Phred Phelps is a Phucking Phreak
Posted by Jeff on January 31, 2010
The cast and crew of Westboro Baptist Church visited my campus on Friday. From my understanding they were here to protest Jews and Homos at the Hillel Center, a Jewish student spiritual center. For the record, religiosity on the Stanford campus is pretty low-key. I mean, it’s there, and this being California there is no shortage of wacky hippie-dippie spirit mumbo-jumbo, but for the most part everyone is extremely respectful of differing opinions.
I’d like to start by expressing my skepticism of the fanaticism of the Westboro-ians. I mean, sure they are famous for hate-speech, but that’s also sort of how they make their living. The Phelps clan – Freddy himself being a disbarred lawyer – is highly litigious and makes a pretty sizable livelihood from suing the pants off counter-protestors who cross the line at their little events. I mean, think about it. They advertise well in advance where they will be protesting and when. For several years now every one of their protests has met with counter-protest. And they are VERY careful to not do anything which actually breaks any laws themselves.
I’m going to now say something somewhat controversial. I’m actually thankful for Westboro Baptist Church! I obviously don’t agree with their rhetoric, and I do believe that they are crude, closed-minded rednecks out for attention, but I’ve also noticed something about their protests. If you want to bring together a vastly diverse community to unite under a single purpose, mention that these religio-freaks are showing up at the local high school! These protests have grown to hold about as much impact as a miniature 9/11 wherever they go, in that during and for a while after everyone is on the same page about how tragic and terrible it was.
With their protests, WBC has brought about more cohesiveness and tolerance among the very groups they are protesting than any civil rights rally or government petition ever has or will. Whether they are truly as insanely ignorant as they claim, are doing it just for the money, or have villainized themselves for some greater good is anybody’s guess, but I say thank you Fred Phelps! Thank you for giving our society a common enemy that everyone – regardless of their differing worldviews or lifestyles – can hate equally! Now go burn in hell with Jerry Falwell.
For the record, the first time I ever heard of this church was when I was in Iraq. I saw videos of them protesting a soldier’s funeral, and to say that they make me angry is an understatement. So, to clarify, don’t take my approach in this post as any sort of endorsement or approval of the WBC’s actions. It’s not. Even if they really are just in it for the money and the attention, they are evil and reprehensible people who deserve whatever fate may come to them when they happen to piss off the wrong person someday. I’m sure that there are some sociopathic atheists/jews/gays/hindus/non-christians out there just waiting for their chance…