Fred Phelps – Quietly Into the Night


In the very near future, Fred Phelps – the founder of the Westboro Baptist Church, will be dead.

The church is famous for it’s anti-gay and anti-abortion sentiments…

Westboro church tweet

as well as picketing military funerals with hateful signs.

Screen Shot WBC pickets

Phelps, who was reportedly excommunicated from his own church in 2013 has recently entered a hospice facility and is presumably “on the edge of death”.  What celebrations will ensue?  That remains to be seen.  There has been much talk about protesting his funeral in fair return, though it is unlikely there will be one since Westboro church does not believe in commemorating the dead.

Will the world be a better place without him?

I say yes…

but I still hope the sounds of rejoicing at his passing will be low.

I understand thinking that it would be right to cheer the death of such hate…

to offensively picket his funeral like he did for so many others…

but I also know that I am not the arm of justice.

I know that if a child throws sand in my son’s face, he need not throw it back.  If everyone is blind with sand, no one can move forward.

I know that I cannot condemn his behavior while mirroring it.

I know that hate occupies space in the heart…

and that our hearts can be better occupied than with the likes of Fred Phelps.

I think he should go quietly into the night…

and I will curb my urge to rejoice.

I hope we can observe a quiet respect for the dying…

without the uproar he so loved to create…

without the fury and the hate he fed off of…

and perhaps with pity or forgiveness…

but most of all, with a great sadness for a life so tragically ill-spent.





8 responses to “Fred Phelps – Quietly Into the Night”

  1. anymommy says:

    I love this, Jenni. It reminds me of that famous MLK Jr. quote: Darkness can not drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate can not drive out hate, only love can do that.

  2. Alison says:

    I would rather fill my heart with love and hope. When his passing happens, I will consider it a non-event, and quietly breathe a sigh of relief, and be done with it.

  3. Stephanie C. says:

    Thank you for this post. As a Kansan and someone who lives just a couple of towns away from him, it will be a quiet relief when he is gone. Unfortunately, his family will continue to carry on with the hate they so strongly cling to. I completely agree that his death should not be celebrated, two wrongs do not make a right, and protesting his funeral (if there is one) is just lowering oneself to their level. Why can’t we all just get along?!

  4. Extremely well said, Jenni.

  5. Kelly says:

    “Just want to have a little peace to die
    And a friend or two I love at hand…
    Take a look at poor Peter, he’s lying in pain
    Now let’s come run and see”
    –Robert Hunter/Jerry Garcia

  6. Bruna says:

    Well said Jenni! I agree.

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