By now, many of you may be wondering: With all the far-right religious lunatics this column has ridiculed, how come Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church, the people who stage anti-gay protests at funerals, are not among them?
The answer is simple: They’re not worthy of our time.
Fred Phelps is nothing more than an abusive alcoholic conman who only turned to religion after he was barred from practicing law.
The WBC has no members outside of his immediate, heavily inbred family, which is itself also known for its frequent abuse of the law (all of Phelps’s children are lawyers).
And their funeral protests are nothing more than a thinly-veiled attempt at playing the lawsuit lottery. Their purpose is to provoke violent responses so they can file lawsuits at whomever threw the proverbial first punch.
Fred Phelps and his followers are not worthy of the food and air needed to sustain them. Giving them any of our consideration just makes it an even greater travesty.
Which is why I am now in the incredibly uncomfortable position of being required to reprimand one of Phelps’s critics.
According to the website of The Satanic Temple, a New York-based organization that seeks to foster “benevolence and empathy among all people” through Satan, a ritual called a “pink mass” was performed at the grave of Fred Phelps’s mother, Catherine Idalette Johnston.
The aim of this ritual, they claim, was to posthumously turn Phelps’s mother gay.
“Upon completion of the pink mass ceremony, Catherine Johnston is now gay in the afterlife,” the group’s website states. “Fred Phelps is obligated to believe that his mother is now gay … [and] if beliefs are inviolable rights, nobody has the right to challenge our right to believe that Fred Phelps believes that his mother is now gay.”
The latter assertion is likely a play on the WBC’s own stance that their beliefs are totally infallible.
According to the group’s website, the ritual, which was performed twice, involved Temple spokesperson Lucien Greaves wearing horned headgear and placing his penis on Johnston’s grave.
First of all, leave Catherine Johnston out of this. She has to (for lack of a better word) live with the fact that Fred Phelps came out of her body and was the product of her upbringing. She’s suffered enough already.
But more importantly, this is precisely the kind of behavior that Phelps delights in seeing from his opposition.
As was noted above, the WBC is looking, first and foremost, for a lawsuit; for something their spokespersons can prop up as evidence of the “militant fag agenda” while the rest of them go over the books to see precisely how much money they can make with their lawsuits.
The Satanic Temple is now encouraging same-sex couples to visit the grave site and perform their own pink masses. This column, however, would encourage them not to.
Fred Phelps is not worthy of your attention, and you will only be perpetuating the problem if you are foolish enough to give it to him.