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

MacLeRoy

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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.
 

Hunter Creed

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Zira said:
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 "****** 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?
 

Silvanus

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Zira said:
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 said:
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.
 

RossaLincoln

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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.
 

earnestp

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AzrealMaximillion said:
How do you go from
TaboriHK said:
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.
 

RossaLincoln

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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.
 

lord canti

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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.
 

ChristopherT

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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.
 

Vivi22

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Rebel_Raven said:
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.
 

Vivi22

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Houseman said:
"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.
 

RossaLincoln

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Vivi22 said:
Houseman said:
"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.

Allow me to disagree. Hate is always hate.

So you're saying your hate is right, his hate was wrong?

There is no hate that is right. Because hate is always wishing someone's misery. And wishing someone's misery is always for a**holes.
 

TaboriHK

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AzrealMaximillion said:
You are free to your views on Fred Phelps, and I never disputed that. I'm also free to mine. My point was never "we should all be celebrating the death of a human being," my point is there is going to be an emotional gradient, especially when it comes to people he or his awful family directly affected. Emotion is the antithesis of logic, for better and for worse. For those who were emotionally affected by the WBC people, many have enjoyed this, and while you may view that as immature or low, it's just as human as your reaction of empathy.
 

Saltyk

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RossaLincoln said:
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.
Braedan said:
Major_Tom said:
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.
Here here!

Get off your high horses people. An asshole died, and I'm going to drink a beer to celebrate the world becoming a better place.
Here's something I learned after reading an article that references it on another site and looking it up. Fred Phelps worked as a lawyer. In fact, he worked on a lot of Civil Right's cases and was even given an award from the Bonner Springs Branch of the NAACP for his work. He also sued President Ronald Reagen for appointing an ambassador to the Vatican on Separation of Church and State Grounds, though it was dismissed.

I am in no way advocating for his Westboro Baptist Church (truth be told I hate them, it's a sad day when you make the KKK look good). However, that doesn't mean he isn't entitled to his opinion and nothing he did, including the picketing of the funeral, was illegal. The Supreme Court even upheld their right to do so, which I agree with, regardless of my feelings on the actions themselves.

I am not unhappy to see him die, nor do I dance on his grave. At the end of the day, he was just a man. Like any man he holds his own views, some of which people may agree with or not. I happen to disagree with his stance on Gay Rights and wish he would have stopped picketing funerals.

You give him far more power than he ever actually held in the Gay Rights debate by hating him. He never had any actual impact on it. If anything, he probably helped Gay Rights by his actions.

The man died. Leave him in Peace.
 

Saxnot

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RossaLincoln said:
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.
you might not have meant to offend (for example) AzrealMaximillion specifically, but if he is offended by the fact you're celebrating someone's death (and you are), then your article is offensive to him. There's no miscommunication here. you're glad Phelps is dead, you wrote an article about it, then somone got offended about your article celebrating Phelp's death. The thing that is offensive is the message and intention of article.

You accepted someone might take offense, and decided your need to share your happiness about phelp's death was of greater importance than the feelings of someone who feels celebrating anyone's death is tasteless. Take some responsibility for the things you write.

Regarding his disbarment: Nobody's saying he was a nice guy. But sexual harassment and picketing funerals are in the balance against fighting a hostile and racist justice system for the right of black people to go to school.
To me, fighting against the racism of an actively hostile society is more admirable than standing around with some signs is reprehensible.

Reading anything about the life of this man you get the impression he needed something to fight against. Be it Jim Crow, 'the gay agenda', the military, the American government or all of western civilisation. He had his convictions, and he wanted people to oppose him. Some of the things he opposed , i oppose, most things he opposed, i support. but however that may be, he deserves credit for the good he did in his life, as much as he deserves condemnation for the evil.
 

Rebel_Raven

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Vivi22 said:
Rebel_Raven said:
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.
Yeah, his legacy doesn't leave him heavily grieved to say the least. I'm aware of the damage he did, though the LGBT would be hated with or without him, but wouldn't it have been better if he changed his ways before he died? Sure it'd have been unlikely.

Believe me, WBC might dwindle, but, well, to put it bluntly, the LGBT community is far from being accepted, especially when people are told to hate them by something/one they believe strongly in. The WBC doesn't hold a monopoly on hatred of others.

I get why he's hated, believe me. I'm not a fan of him either.
 

michael87cn

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It's okay to celebrate someones death, but not disagree with peoples sexuality. That's a crime worthy of death! Death for everyone! Death all around! But don'tcha be hating on mah sexuality, now. That there is offensive! So offensive I WANT YOU TO DIE!

.... Ugh.

Disgusting. Weird. Perverted.... That's what humans are. We sit around and think we're so much better than everyone around us, but we've all done terrible things that we're ashamed of... luckiy most of us escape public scrutiny for our crimes, our moments of evil.

In our fear of what we've done, we scurry in little bands and clash glasses together, lynching people so that we can feel better about ourselves... surely, that person is so much worse than us.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMT1Ig38Buc
 

MatsVS

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We should celebrate his death and spit on his memory. The man was trash and moral pussy-footing around that is doing a disservice to the hundreds of people who suffered under his biggotry. Let people take a measure of joy in knowing that the world is a slightly better place now that he's gone so that we can move on t forgetting him.
 

Johkmil

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Good riddance is the right term to commemorate the passing of Fred Phelps. Had he died some thirty years ago, he would have died as a great champion of civil rights, but he chose another path in his late life. I would never picket his funeral, but I see no sin in criticizing him in the media after his death. Commemorating his memory means remembering all of his actions, not just the noble ones. The legacy he tried to build during his late life will crumble to dust together with his buried coffin, and the world will be a better place for it.
 

Zeterai

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I may be wrong, but hadn't that guy protested funerals in the past or some such? I don't feel bad about celebrating his - personally, I'm just of the opinion that disrespecting others who have died makes you completely fair game to be disrespected when you do.
 

Techno Squidgy

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While some of the things that are being said make me feel somewhat uncomfortable, I don't condemn anyone for celebrating his death. I'd probably feel the same way if the WBC had been more real to me. However, once everyone has their celebrations I think it would be for the best for everyone to let that hate go. He's dead, he can't spread his twisted ideas any more, and holding on to that hate won't do any one any good. Let his memory fade into obscurity.