Good Riddance, Fred Phelps: 5 Pivotal Moments For LGBTs In Comics

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"Good riddance"?
As in the earth is better off without him?

Isn't that what he thought about certain people?

So with all the controversy surrounding this individual, and some very understandable personal feelings coming out in this forum, let me say my peace with something positive. Simply that I feel amazed with people in general today. While I'm sure there are some out there discussing on how to take "revenge", a quick google search brought up statements from LGBT groups and others who suffered from the man's hate with the resounding opinion that we should not find ways to publicly avenge his wrongs because that would only play into his atrocious game. I was worried that many would be thinking about the obvious (and unoriginal) choice of picketing his funeral (which current word is there will not be one), but I was happy to find that many people feel the way I do and understand that the only thing we should do is continue to progress as a society, support equality for all individuals, and celebrate the success in those goals.

Oh, and right quick to you Lincoln, I personally didn't find an issue with your article and I enjoyed learning about homosexuality's representation in comics. While your remarks were certainly opinionated, it's a far cry from "fighting hate with hate" and being detrimental to the cause. You know what is most important and made it clear in your article. I'm sure you know this and stand behind your work, just felt like some friendly remarks would be nice.

Normally I would say its bad taste to celebrate a death. In this case though I feel that it was over due. Shame no one shot him years ago at a funeral

Silverfox99:

LifeCharacter:

Silverfox99:
Is the world a better place with him gone? Yes. My problem with articles like this is the fact that being a bigot to a bigot doesn't make you any less of a bigot then the bigot you are being a bigot to.

When you make bigotry so broad as to include any hatred/intolerance/whatever of anyone or anything, bigotry stops being an inherently bad thing. Quite honestly, we should be bigots to bigots, because doing otherwise might make them feel as if their views are accepted when they aren't and shouldn't be.

The meaning of bigotry is being intolerant of others ideas or beliefs that differs from your own. There is no other qualification and there shouldn't be. When right or wrong gets put into the equation it creates a situation where bigotry can be justified. The justification then leads to excesses of the hateful behavior. This is exactly what the LGBT community has been fighting against. Many of those people resistant to gay rights believe they are correct and right. Since everyone has a different opinions and ideas the only way to stop bigotry is having the meaning be broad.

This does not mean that you agree with them. It does mean that you don't return the hate and intolerance back at them. When you are hateful and a bigot to a bigot you are only reenforcing the hate in that person. You can not agree with them and still not be hateful and intolerant.

I think it's important to keep in mind though that I'm not the one treating Fred Phelps, and his kin, as sick and dirty animals. No, you should never respond to intolerance with more intolerance (although I don't see where the supposed hatred is supposed to be in this article), but the footing isn't exactly equal at the moment. Frankly, I'm not sure it's fair of you to expect the people who are still, in many ways, part of the oppressed minority to act 100% respectfully in response to the death of such a dreadfully hateful bigot. Especially, when his prejudice views are emblematic of an, admittedly dying, but still very noticeable part of American culture.

So, while I won't be throwing a jamboree in honor of Mr.Phelps' death, and nor do I think anyone else should for that matter, I have absolutely NO problem with poking fun at a man who would have liked to see me treated as a second-class citizen because of something I can't control.

Yeah.... I get it that Fred Phelps was an asshole to the 3rd degree but it doesn't really mean we should start celebrating his death. I mean, he pretty much dedicated his life to hate (legal hate, but hate nonetheless) but he wasn't the second coming of Hitler. I would expect people to take the high road and not celebrate his death like Westboro does with gay people and soldiers.

Oh? The worthless waste of space and resources died?

Good, I hope he enjoys his stay in Hell. Now if we can just be rid of the rest of his filthy cult the world truly WILL be a better place, till then its just one less worthless sub-human in the world.

Oh, and before some one decides to get on my back about how 'I'm no better then him'. Save it, I AM still better then him. He founded an organization found on hate and lies, brought suffering to god knows how many family's already suffering from the loss of a loved one, while hiding behind the rights given by a country his own cult hates.

But I'm TOTALLY just as bad is him, for celebrating the death of an evil human, yup >.> totally on the same level. /sarcasm

Anything that makes people more aware of Stormwatch and the Authority is good in my book. Still pissed that DC cancelled the new Stormwatch of the new 52. I liked Midnighter's new chin spike!

Two things:

1) The amusing thing about the Northstar wedding (as well as the new Alan Scott turning out to be gay) is the big two waited for Archie Comics to have a gay wedding, take the lumps for it, and then trying to keep up. Say what you will about Archie but, when the writers want to write on a subject, they can turn out both socially challenging AND nuanced material.

2) What I said on G+

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So I know it's not right to feel glee at someone else's death and that one should strive to be the better man in these cases.

But, then again, it is said that one should be true to one's self and, deep down, I'm just too petty to not feel irrational glee at this vermin's passing. Whether it was his hatred of the gay community or yelling poisonous insults at the grieving widows of our fallen soldiers, this vermin was a cancer upon our society. I can't think of a more appropriate song to present my feelings here than this one.

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As for it being in bad taste, eh.

First, I imagine that the people complaining have no trouble unleashing the venom on people or groups when they are alive. One would think that this should be more reprehensible as the dead no longer care what is being said about them while the living do. Being dead should not give you immunity to the criticism that you would have gotten when you are alive.

Second, such criticism is not on the same level as going to his funeral and yelling at anyone who is grieving. To say that it is reveals a lack of any sense of proportion and/or spending too much time on the internet.

Third, it is quite natural to feel good about someone's death when that person is a cancer on your existence. We tell ourselves that it isn't in an attempt to conform to society's standards but that is the denial of emotion. Many victims of cases such as child abuse have had to grapple with feeling guilty about feeling good when something bad (prison, death) happens to their former abuser until they find out (usually through therapy) that it is okay to have these feelings.

So, yes, it is okay to feel good about Phelp's death and to be able to express your feelings as such.

RossaLincoln:
To mark the passing of a bigot, let's look at how gay people have fared on the pages of American comic books.

**raises a glass**

Cheers.

Also, a neat article. Movie Bob already covered Wonder Woman in depth, but it was nice to hear about some of the others. I didn't realize that Batman/Robin homo-eroticism was the source of the Comic Authority thingy.

Houseman:
"Good riddance"?
As in the earth is better off without him?

Isn't that what he thought about certain people?

Ya, the difference is we're right, the world IS better off without him. Don't even try to defend this guy, the only thing that separates him from being like Hitler is he didn't have enough followers or power to act on his disgusting beliefs.

I think it's easy to forget just how revolting this guy and his followers are. When people were mourning the loss of children and family members to school shootings like Sandy Hook these guys were CELEBRATING it, celebrating the murder of children.

Damn guys. Isn't celebrating his death just sinking to his level? I mean I had no love for the man, but shouldn't we be the better men or women in this scenario and not do that? In a way I pity him, Living live consumed by hate is no way to live life. The guy clearly had some personal issues and demons. I hope that his soul found the peace that has clearly eluded him in life.

RossaLincoln:
To mark the passing of a bigot, let's look at how gay people have fared on the pages of American comic books.

Yaaaaay! *Uncorks champagne.*

I cheered when Osama bin Laden died and I'm cheering now. I had some reservations about cheering anyone's death, but then I remember that this man not only devoted the last, precious years of his life to tormenting innocent people at their most vulnerable moments, but brainwashed fucking children into spewing his hateful, cultish bullshit.

I wouldn't picket his funeral, but I'm not shedding any crocodile tears over this human filth. Unlike the soldiers whose families he harassed, the world really is a better place without him in it.

Curious. I wonder if in the last few moments of his life, he realised he wasted it?

I am not happy he is dead, and I am not sad. Either would imply I cared about him in the first place.

AzrealMaximillion:

TaboriHK:
I have no problem with anyone calling him out for exactly what he is - a hateful dead bigot.

There's a difference between calling someone out and celebrating their death. A big difference. Phelps didn't even kill anyone or advocate violence. He was a nuisance. Nothing more.

There's absolutely no data on what kind of emotional harm he inflicted on literally hundreds of families. You can write off his actions as being a nuisance, as a person who never watched a brother, or a friend, or a father's death gleefully cheered by a peanut gallery that immediately sued anyone with the audacity to throw a punch. His church was largely funded on lawsuits of people they harassed.

It's fine if the tone bugs you personally, to each his own. All I'm saying is the tone will probably be less "agreed upon as unnecessarily ugly" than you might think. Fred Phelps was about as ugly as you can get, and he made ugly children, and they all together ruined a lot of people's lives.

Silverfox99:

LifeCharacter:

Silverfox99:
Is the world a better place with him gone? Yes. My problem with articles like this is the fact that being a bigot to a bigot doesn't make you any less of a bigot then the bigot you are being a bigot to.

When you make bigotry so broad as to include any hatred/intolerance/whatever of anyone or anything, bigotry stops being an inherently bad thing. Quite honestly, we should be bigots to bigots, because doing otherwise might make them feel as if their views are accepted when they aren't and shouldn't be.

The meaning of bigotry is being intolerant of others ideas or beliefs that differs from your own. There is no other qualification and there shouldn't be. When right or wrong gets put into the equation it creates a situation where bigotry can be justified. The justification then leads to excesses of the hateful behavior. This is exactly what the LGBT community has been fighting against. Many of those people resistant to gay rights believe they are correct and right. Since everyone has a different opinions and ideas the only way to stop bigotry is having the meaning be broad.

This does not mean that you agree with them. It does mean that you don't return the hate and intolerance back at them. When you are hateful and a bigot to a bigot you are only reenforcing the hate in that person. You can not agree with them and still not be hateful and intolerant.

It's not his "beliefs" that were the problem, though.

I mean, I STRONGLY disagree with his beliefs, as do almost all of us here, and most people. The fact remains, you're free to BELIEVE what you want, no matter how stupid or f-ed up those beliefs are.

No... what we all have a problem with is his actions. The man did (and led others to do) absolutely despicable things. Hating someone because of their actions isn't bigoted.

You're not a bigot for hating someone who murders a school full of children. You're not a bigot for hating someone who rapes and kills women for fun.

Sure, he may not have been as bad as either of those, but no... you're not a bigot for hating someone who uses the funerals of soldiers who died in the service of their country or innocent children who died in one of the places they should have been truly safe as a damned sounding board for his hatred and evil.

As an agnostic, in cases like this I hope there is a God, so that I can say that I hope this steaming pile of human waste enjoys the special place in Hell he's earned. May he suffer there for all eternity.

RossaLincoln:
I'm celebrating the fact that his hateful legacy failed. Though, and I swear I don't mean to offend, I have no problem considering people who aren't bigots morally superior to people who are, nor do I think it's in bad taste to comment on the legacy of hateful bigots by pointing out how they failed, and hilariously so.

i swear i didn't mean to offend? that's just a straight-up lie. You can't celebrate someone's death (no matter how you justify it) and then claim you don't mean to cause offence. you do. you just don't care about offending people who care about Fred Phelps. That's your own choice to make, but don't pretend we're idiots and come out with some weak excuse like that.

on topic: His later life may have been lived in the name of hate, but i can't judge Phelps as harshly since i learned that he spent much of his earlier life defending black people in civil rights cases (sometimes for free) in Kansas. He stood up to an enormous amount of hate and bigotry defending the rights of his fellow man when few others in his state would. He was more complicated than just a hate preacher. As i see it, he was a man that stood up for his convictions regardless of what the rest of the world thought. I respect that regardless of what i think of the opinions he held, and i don't feel he deserves the 'ding-dong the witch is dead' treatment.

Like I said in the other Phelps thread I can understand why some people would be happy with the news and I don't think they're wrong to do so, but I don't find any joy in someone's death. Be it Thatcher, Bin Laden, Gadaffi. I didn't feel anything at all and I still don't feel anything now Phelps has gone.

But this? If it were off-topic/user created in general that'd be alright but a featured content article just smells like cashing in. Exploiting peoples emotion and hatred of this figure for some juicy, ad laden click-bait. I used to hold the Escapist to a higher standard but a few recent articles, this one most certainly included, have led me to question that particular belief.

TaboriHK:
I think you can count the people who will be mourning his death on one hand, and that includes his family.

Yeah, I doubt that...

http://www.vice.com/read/fred-phelps-has-died

The Hits Never Stopped

Phelps ruled with a literal iron rod. He regularly beat all of his kids, but the most extreme example available to us was when he nearly finished off Nate Phelps on Christmas Day. Nate and Mark had made the fatal error of acquiring some Christmas lights. Fred did not allow Christmas-it was yet more sodomite blasphemy, basically. For his crimes, Nate received more than 200 strokes from an adze handle. He was beaten in 40-stroke batches, alternating with his brother, Mark, who was receiving 20 at a time for slightly lesser crimes. Mark later said he was "hoping I'd be knocked out, or killed... anything to end the pain."

Apparently, One of His Favorite Tactics Was to Grab Kids by the Hands and Pull Them Upwards, Then Repeatedly Smash His Knee into Their Groin and Stomach, While Walking Across the Room Laughing.

He continued to do this even when they were sexually developed teens. Bit weird, Fred Phelps.

Another excerpt:

He Celebrated the Death of His Son's Girlfriend

In 1970, Debbie Valgos was a sweet local girl who had the misfortune to fall in love with Fred Phelps Jr. The pair tried to elope, but were caught by Fred Sr. Discipline followed, but Debbie was then allowed to attend Westboro services along with Fred Jr. At each one of these, she was called a whore from the pulpit. Despite this, she repeatedly asked Fred Sr. what she needed to do to be allowed to see his son. Not long after, Debbie moved out of town and lost it. By 1972, she was dead of a speed overdose, having already taken half a jar of barbiturates earlier that evening. She was still only 17.

Mark Phelps says, "I remember getting home from school the day it appeared in the papers, and my dad came dancing down the stairs, swaying from the knees and clapping his hands, singing, 'The whore is dead! The whore is dead!' He paraded around the house, singing and laughing with that maniacal giggle he has, 'The whore is dead!''

... and it goes one...

He'd first read about the new "science of aerobics" on the back of a Wheaties box and had subsequently marched his entire tribe off to the local track, where, from his youngest-who was five-upward, they were all forced to run five miles every day, no matter what the weather.

Soon, he upped that to ten miles a day. Then, they were being made to run a marathon every Saturday.

So yes, not only was a hate-monger, he was an abusive bastard as well.

Major_Tom:
We celebrated when The Wicked Witch Thatcher died, so we can sure as hell do it for this asshole. Enough with holier-than-thou bullshit.

And though I have an opinion to add to this, it was summed up by former CNBC employee Keith Olbermann years ago.

As an addendum: no matter what you believe, when you infringe upon another person(s) life or liberty, what you believe becomes null and void.

WarpedLord:

It's not his "beliefs" that were the problem, though.

I mean, I STRONGLY disagree with his beliefs, as do almost all of us here, and most people. The fact remains, you're free to BELIEVE what you want, no matter how stupid or f-ed up those beliefs are.

No... what we all have a problem with is his actions. The man did (and led others to do) absolutely despicable things. Hating someone because of their actions isn't bigoted.

You're not a bigot for hating someone who murders a school full of children. You're not a bigot for hating someone who rapes and kills women for fun.

Sure, he may not have been as bad as either of those, but no... you're not a bigot for hating someone who uses the funerals of soldiers who died in the service of their country or innocent children who died in one of the places they should have been truly safe as a damned sounding board for his hatred and evil.

THANK YOU.

It is unbelievably frustrating when people don't get that.

Personally I won't be celebrating (or even really acknowledging it outside of this post), but yes, I'm glad he's dead. Harassing people at their loved one's freaking funeral is one of the most disgusting behaviours I've heard of, especially when the deceased had absolutely nothing to do with him or his organisation >.<

Umm, it's totally ok to celebrate the death of a horrible person. Everyone gets to pick where that line is, some it's a Hitler-esque (Or actually Hitler) figure that is ok to hate, for others it could be a cold uncaring father/mother. Fred Phelps ruined a lot of lives and got to be a jolly, media accepted, hate filled man while doing it. Death was and is the only comeuppance to come his way so his victims have to take what they can get.

I know this might make me sound like an asshole, but fuck it, I'm glad that bastard's dead! Glad glad glad! ("Gee, I wonder if she's glad?")

If you disagree, then fine, that's your opinion. Me? I'll be over here, celebrating.

Saxnot:

RossaLincoln:
I'm celebrating the fact that his hateful legacy failed. Though, and I swear I don't mean to offend, I have no problem considering people who aren't bigots morally superior to people who are, nor do I think it's in bad taste to comment on the legacy of hateful bigots by pointing out how they failed, and hilariously so.

i swear i didn't mean to offend? that's just a straight-up lie. You can't celebrate someone's death (no matter how you justify it) and then claim you don't mean to cause offence. you do. you just don't care about offending people who care about Fred Phelps. That's your own choice to make, but don't pretend we're idiots and come out with some weak excuse like that.

on topic: His later life may have been lived in the name of hate, but i can't judge Phelps as harshly since i learned that he spent much of his earlier life defending black people in civil rights cases (sometimes for free) in Kansas. He stood up to an enormous amount of hate and bigotry defending the rights of his fellow man when few others in his state would. He was more complicated than just a hate preacher. As i see it, he was a man that stood up for his convictions regardless of what the rest of the world thought. I respect that regardless of what i think of the opinions he held, and i don't feel he deserves the 'ding-dong the witch is dead' treatment.

I swear I don't mean to offend the commenter to whom I was replying, meaning I wasn't trying to be a jerk to that person, as was obvious from context. I was not saying my intent wasn't to offend people who think Fred Phelps was a swell guy.

Also, Fred Phelps was permanently disbarred after waging a campaign of sexist harassment against a court reporter who was like 5 seconds late providing some documents to him. He called her a slut on the stand when he sued her, and ultimately perjured himself by providing false evidence in his appeals. So much for his convictions.

How do you go from

TaboriHK:

There's absolutely no data on what kind of emotional harm he inflicted on literally hundreds of families.

to this

Fred Phelps was about as ugly as you can get, and he made ugly children, and they all together ruined a lot of people's lives.

And think that its still ok to celebrate a person's death?

And to say he ruined a lot of people's lives and not mention that he also saved alot of people's lives when he represented black people during the Jim Crow era is also kind of funny.

Fred Phelps is a homophobe, but he never advocated for violence or death. He used the funeral picketing to gain attention. Ruining a funeral is tragic, but I'd hardly call it life ruining when the grieving families still have the memories of the deceased. No amount of audible homophobic noise can take that away. The only lives that you could argue the WBC ruined were the family members they excommunicated, but would you really call being booted from a hate group due to not being a homophobe "life ruining"?

He also fought for a group of people that were suffering from laws that meant they could be killed on site by the public with no due process due to the colour of their skin. Fred Phelps statistically has saved more lives that you think he's ruined.

Celebrating the death of someone while only focusing on the part of it you didn't like is irresponsible and tasteless no matter how right you think you are in doing so. Now if Phelps had killed people, you'd have a point to your argument, but Phelps didn't really take anything away from anyone. The picketing of funerals had not one, not two, but three federal laws that rendered their protests mute for almost 10 years. And community members took it upon themselves and blocked the WBC noise from ruining many funerals.

In the end the WBC was resorted to sidewalks because they legally haven't been able to interrupt on since 2006.

Why are people quick to celebrate the death of those who in reality were just all bark and no bite?

Woah. I was enjoying this article and was ready to discuss gay characters in superhero comics.

Then.... reading the comments, I realized this article was made to "celebrate" the death of a guy who I assume hated gays (at least so I gathered; these are probably American news and I'm Italian).

Tasteless and disgusting. So, you "celebrate" the death of someone who I assume thought the world was better off without certain people, by claiming the world is better off without him?
Isn't it a bit like saying "let's bring all nazis in concentration camps and torture them"? Isn't it.... becoming the bigotism you're supposedly hating?

Speaking of failures, isn't an article considered a failure when an author has to sit in the comments and explain it away?

Celebrating death is NEVER okay, its beneath human. You can write another article explaining this one but that doesn't change the fact that you celebrated a death. To top it off you used the work of others as a device to celebrate this death.

It is wise to consider ethics when writing a public piece of journalism.

Zira:
Woah. I was enjoying this article and was ready to discuss gay characters in superhero comics.

Then.... reading the comments, I realized this article was made to "celebrate" the death of a guy who I assume hated gays (at least so I gathered; these are probably American news and I'm Italian).

Tasteless and disgusting. So, you "celebrate" the death of someone who I assume thought the world was better off without certain people, by claiming the world is better off without him?
Isn't it a bit like saying "let's bring all nazis in concentration camps and torture them"? Isn't it.... becoming the bigotism you're supposedly hating?

If this was just some casual gay basher, people would probably be more like 'meh, another one bites the dust'. But this guy founded the Westborro Baptist Church. They are more or less known for the following.
Waiting until someone dies. Hope it gets on the news. If the funeral is being reported, they will speed there like bats outta hell to get there for the cameras. They would then harass the shit out of anyone coming or leaving the funeral. Signs like 'thank God for dead soldiers', or 'God hates fags'. Shit like that. They also had a nice little habit (IIRC) of getting phone numbers of those that lost someone, and calling to harass them. The whole thing more or less being a giant ploy to get attention and news coverage. All the while destroying peoples lives and kicking those grieving lost loved ones.

You have to wonder if Fred mentally snapped at some point. I mean we're talking about a man who spent years defending black peoples civil rights. His family getting death threats and being called "nigger lovers". Yet he stood firm. When the US sent an ambassador (or something or other) to the Vatican, Fred sent a letter saying that was against the separation of church and state. The guy used to be a huge secularist. Then one day he snapped. One has to wonder if this is like picking on some mentally handicapped kid. I mean, could he even help himself? What tweaks in someones head to go from civil rights defending, secularist, general good guy, to gay bashing, Christan, fuckhole?

Zira:
So, you "celebrate" the death of someone who I assume thought the world was better off without certain people, by claiming the world is better off without him?
Isn't it a bit like saying "let's bring all nazis in concentration camps and torture them"? Isn't it.... becoming the bigotism you're supposedly hating?

Well, not really. Hating people on the basis of their actions is completely different from hating people on the basis of their inherent characteristics.

I'm not saying that celebrating a death is okay (though I think the article itself had value, and that most people here are overlooking the majority of the content of the article, which was primarily targeted at his legacy rather than his person).

MacLeRoy:
Speaking of failures, isn't an article considered a failure when an author has to sit in the comments and explain it away?

Well, journalism isn't just about bringing people pieces they agree with and leaving it at that. A lot of articles are aimed at provoking debate (and even argument)-- even in traditional media.

He was not a nice man and he had some distorted views without a doubt. I will neither mourn or celebrate his death. I worry less about the impact of that entire organisation because their behaviour became so ridiculous that I assume they actually lost what little credibility they may have held with people. Also to be fair I think he is being somewhat over-villified, sure he was a hateful nutcase but he never actually committed any violence (to my knowledge). There are people who hold views like his who are much more dangerous and pervasive. And those on the extreme side of Islam who are more dangerous again while we are on the topic of religious zealots.

My point is just that I feel it is a bit overblown, he is being made out like the reincarnation of Hitler when really he just happened to be the loudest bigot in town. Got more attention than he deserved.

AzrealMaximillion:
How do you go from

TaboriHK:

There's absolutely no data on what kind of emotional harm he inflicted on literally hundreds of families.

to this

Fred Phelps was about as ugly as you can get, and he made ugly children, and they all together ruined a lot of people's lives.

And think that its still ok to celebrate a person's death?

And to say he ruined a lot of people's lives and not mention that he also saved alot of people's lives when he represented black people during the Jim Crow era is also kind of funny.

Fred Phelps is a homophobe, but he never advocated for violence or death. He used the funeral picketing to gain attention. Ruining a funeral is tragic, but I'd hardly call it life ruining when the grieving families still have the memories of the deceased. No amount of audible homophobic noise can take that away. The only lives that you could argue the WBC ruined were the family members they excommunicated, but would you really call being booted from a hate group due to not being a homophobe "life ruining"?

He also fought for a group of people that were suffering from laws that meant they could be killed on site by the public with no due process due to the colour of their skin. Fred Phelps statistically has saved more lives that you think he's ruined.

Celebrating the death of someone while only focusing on the part of it you didn't like is irresponsible and tasteless no matter how right you think you are in doing so. Now if Phelps had killed people, you'd have a point to your argument, but Phelps didn't really take anything away from anyone. The picketing of funerals had not one, not two, but three federal laws that rendered their protests mute for almost 10 years. And community members took it upon themselves and blocked the WBC noise from ruining many funerals.

In the end the WBC was resorted to sidewalks because they legally haven't been able to interrupt on since 2006.

Why are people quick to celebrate the death of those who in reality were just all bark and no bite?

What a ridiculous argument. First, no amount of good work that Phelps did early in his life mitigates the work that he did later. If anything it shows a de-evolution of his character from compassionate to cruel. Now, this article couldn't be farther away from dancing on Phelps' grave. The intent of this article couldn't be clearer. It recognized the death of a bigot who dedicated his life to making life miserable for gay people by illustrating the progress our society has made in its acceptance and recognition of gay people, in this case in the pages of comics. THAT is what is being celebrated here. Finally, to suggest that he was all bark and no bite is specious. We live in a country in which it was literally illegal to be gay in public a generation ago, and in which sex acts between gay males were illegal in PRIVATE until this century! Phelps spent years creating a public spectacle of hate, which right-minded people may have laughed at, but that actually fed a lot of the anti-gay bigotry that still silently made life miserable for gays. When he picketed a funeral, he wasn't just making life miserable for that family, he was making life miserable for ALL gay people. Not being gay, it is easy to laugh at the efforts of the WBC because you don't have to deal with any of the other discrimination and hatred that the WBC's protests were just a part of.

Now, having said all that, I say we should celebrate his death EVERY YEAR, and we should do it by celebrating the ways in which our society has become more tolerant. Make this post the first of such celebrations.

Way I see it, anyone who hates too fervently a group, wether based on race or sex or beliefs, has deep psychological issues.
And then other, less insane but still not completely healthy people, use this crazy guy as the cover for their own hatred, which is again caused by their own personal issues which they project onto someone else because hating yourself is impossible.

This is how Nazism came to be: millions of unemployed people who were suffering, and all that suffering caused hate, and all that hate used madman Hitler as their cover.

So, hate the predicament, but don't hate the person. If you hate the person, you will end up becoming like him, because what this person did was to hate so much he did no longer see others as people with feelings and rights. And you mustn't hate this person enough to ignore that he's still a human like all of us, with feelings and rights. Otherwise it means YOU have issues of needing to project your hate onto someone, too.

Of course all this is easy to say when, like me, you've never experienced first-hand nazism or, in this case, strong homosexual discrimination. I'll give you that.

But I just think it's in very bad taste to write "good riddance" about a person's death.

Nobody hates this man for his beliefs, if he was just another bigot then most everyone would have just shrugged their shoulders and went on. This man, however, started a hate group who's sole purpose is to spread hate and attack people when they are at their most vulnerable.While he did not cause any physical harm, one can only imagine the amount of mental and emotional damage he and his church have brought. As for me, I really don't care about his death, it's not worth the time or energy to do so, but I understand why several people are glad that he's gone.

I just don't like hate, takes too much energy to hate someone whom I never even met. In his last few years of life, he did some rather bad things, now he's dead, we can move on, no more breath has to be wasted on him, the rest of the group is still around, still spreading hate - when Hitler left this world the war soon ended, this guy, not so much. So why care? It's one dead person, for everything that means.

Rebel_Raven:
Still, part of me feels bad a guy died, no matter what his views were.

I've got no problem feeling good about his death. Fact is, there are people in the world that are absolutely horrible, actively choose to make the world a worse place with their time here, and are worthy of complete derision and shouldn't be given a modicum of respect. He falls into that category. His existence dragged everyone down and I look forward to his little group continuing to slowly dwindle as the rest of the world moves on and leaves them behind to die as ignorant and hateful as they choose to be.

Houseman:
"Good riddance"?
As in the earth is better off without him?

Isn't that what he thought about certain people?

The people he thought that about haven't spent their lives trying to make other people miserable and deny millions equal rights and protections under the law.

There's no hypocrisy in it if you hate the man for the right reasons. He chose to use his existence on this planet to actively make the lives of others worse. People like that actively detract from having a civil and equitable society for no other reason than they find a certain type of people icky because of how they were born, even when it doesn't affect anyone else directly. It's wrong to hate people for that reason; not to hate people for choosing to be ignorant, hateful fucks.

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