Stop caring about Fred Phelps

I’m amazed that after more than a decade of growing publicity, antics more worn out than Paris Hilton’s and so many other more important events, people still bring themselves to care about Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church.

Phelps, for the rare soul fortunate enough not to know him, is the spiritual founder of the church, a cantankerous, violent old man who preaches a type of Calvinism that teaches that God, rather than loving all of mankind, is actually more hateful than anything else, presdetermining the fate of all to either be a part of his elect or to burn in hell for all of eternity.

Phelps is best known for his message of God’s hatred towards homosexuals. Whereas most fundamentalists would argue that God does not hate homosexuals, but rather forbids their lifestyle and sexuality, Phelps himself teaches that they are loathed by God, as are their enablers, everyone from Rosie O’Donnell to George W. Bush.

In addition to picketing the funerals of those who have died of AIDS, Phelps’ followers have recently taken to picketing the funerals of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who have been killed in the Iraq War. God hates the troops, Phelps says. Phelps’ God is sadistic if nothing else. He coaxes people into wars and even recently inspired the Virginia Tech shooting that left 32 people dead. Add to God some other acts of terrorism as well including the September 11, 2001 attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center, and Phelps says that the Almighty is the greatest terrorist.

None of us have any hope of Heaven in Phelps’ theology. Strangely, I’m comfortable with that. What’s the point of exerting energy to discredit this man. When he opens his mouth his anger and frustration with the world is plain to see. He’s a sadist, though I don’t think that Phelps, as some would say, is an evil man. He’s got issues, is all. People take him way too seriously.

I suppose that there is nothing that any of us can know for sure about God. He’s beyond our comprehension. Looking at Him intellectually, God could be either all-hating, all-loving, indifferent or have even the mentality of a person sitting at their PC and playing the Sims. What does it matter? We’re not in control.

Now, I’ll never argue that God is Fred Phelps’ God, but I will ask people to stop paying attention to this guy. He and his family (those who haven’t fallen away) feed off of the negative attention. How could anyone take them seriously. Reason, emotion and so many other things seem to indicate that this man is himself a false prophet.

But as the third video shows, there are religious extremist all around. Anyone who believes wholeheartedly in the many contradictions of the Bible has to be denying the reality that humans see in God what they see in themselves. For forgiving people, God is more likely to be forgiving. For angry people, God’s wrath flows like water. Fred Phelps is not the only crazy out there. He’s just the most well-known.

So stop worrying about Fred Phelps and his hatefulness. Get on with your lives. Pay him no mind. Afterall, this is the guy who praised Saddam Hussein and then after his execution turned around and said he was in hell, right? He’s nuttier than a shithouse rat. Pay him no mind.