Fred Phelps

English: Oberlin College, in Oberlin Ohio, on ...

English: Oberlin College, in Oberlin Ohio, on Tuesday May 10, 2000, Gay and Lesbian students kiss in front of the group of anti homosexual protestors. The protests were brought into Oberlin by Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., and have also been protesting the General Conference of the United Methodist Church in Cleveland Ohio. Several hundred Oberlin College students turned out to rally against the out-of-town protesters. (Photo/Paul M. Walsh) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I thought about not writing this, but then the stupidly self-indulgent nature of my species took hold, and…

Well, Fred Phelps, founder and one-time pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church, is dying, soon to meet the implacable Reaper.

This is not a rant. This is not a denunciation. This is not an attempt at snark or mockery. I’m not anything near a saint, but I don’t need to do any of those things this time.

This is a note of regret, of sadness, and of a life squandered adding to the pain of the world rather than adding to its joy. Schadenfreude is out of place here.

Fred’s church is best known for picketing funerals, with signs like “God Hates Fags,” “God Loves Dead Soldiers,” and such. Didn’t anyone ever point out to them that what God might really hate is people with picket signs telling Him what to think?

But never mind that.

What this deeply troubled man has wrought is not good, cannot be called good by any conscionable person, but his passing will bring no satisfaction, no joy, no mocking jig, and I recommend noone ever picketing his funeral.

That would mean he has won. Please, whatever you do, don’t let him win.

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