Saturday, March 22, 2014

Fred Phelps Dies

So Fred Phelps has died.

He was the leader of the Westboro Baptist Church, the vile assemblage which preaches hate as its doctrine. Back in the 1960s, though, he was powerful civil rights attorney who championed African-American equality. People who knew him then have said they would never have guessed he would have lead protests at funerals and spewed hate speech. (CNN Article)

I have written about Westboro Baptist Church before:

           Praying for Westboro Baptist Church

           Westboro Baptist Church

           Scriptures on Love and Sin: A Follow-up Post

There are reports that Fred Phelps was excommunicated or estranged from his "church" back in August 2013. Perhaps he repented of some of his ways, perhaps it was a power grab. We'll never know. Westboro isn't talking.

They also aren't holding a funeral, saying they "don't worship the dead." So the people hoping to protest his funeral won't get to do that. Probably for the best. I don't think sinking to their level will be helpful.

I don't know where Fred Phelps' soul ended up and I don't care to speculate. Good may come of this -- perhaps the group will falter and fade without him. Perhaps some members will come to their senses. Perhaps God will reach out to them in love and comfort and they will come to know the truth. Perhaps the little children will learn that God is a God of love, hope, reconciliation and transformation. These are things to pray for.

Meanwhile, let's all show love to those we meet. It's the best counter for hate.

Have a blessed day!