As most everyone knows (at least everyone in the United States), Fred Phelps was a so-called Baptist minister who founded a “church” (mainly his house and consisting mostly of his family) based on his outright hatred of gays, gay people, rainbow flags, and anything not completely toeing the line on his views. Later, he expanded his vitriol to protesting (mainly at military funerals, but also at high-profile events) homosexuality with his trademark “God Hates Fags” signs.
There was a time I thought I’d be throwing glitter in the air and dancing in the streets singing “Ding, Dong, the Witch is Dead” when Fred Phelps no longer infested the earth with his presence. There was a time I longed for someone (anyone) to blow his brains out.
Lately, however, I’ve kind of taken a different turn. I’m certainly not sorry that Fred Phelps is dead. Is he in Hell? I don’t believe in Heaven or Hell any more, so not sure where Fred is. Nor do I care.
Now, I’m mainly sorry for him. (WHAT?!) I’m sorry for him that any human could become so sick and evil and twisted by hatred that he spun into this hate-filled thing.
Society is moving past Fred and his whacko band. NONE of my Christian friends countenance him or his followers. Good has triumphed over evil once again. Equality is slowly becoming the law of the land; an icon I never thought would happen in my lifetime, equality for gay people, is going to happen. Whether it happens voluntarily or at the order of the Supreme Court (I’m thinking #2), it IS going to happen.
What I will not forgive Fred and his minions for doing is the picketing of military funerals. I’ve been called everything in the book—faggot, fucking fag, cocksucker, you name it, and I’ve got a thick hide. Protesting at these innocent families’ moment of deepest grief while an American hero is laid to rest just disgusts me.
I feel sorry for anyone whose hatred so consumed them.
Malaysian Airlines Flight 370
Anybody who knows me well knows that I am a Kennedy Assassination Conspiracy Theorist. I just think there’s no way Lee Harvey Oswald KILLED Jack Kennedy. Did he shoot at him? Probably. Was he, in fact, a “patsy”, as he claimed? I think probably so. Did the “magic bullet” actually happen? (Read the Warren Commission Report, it’s available online on the National Archive website, just google it). Not even a chance. The “magic bullet” is fiction.
There are a lot of amazing theories on the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. I have no idea what happened. It’s one of the most baffling things I’ve seen or heard of in my entire life. Short of alien abduction, I tend to think there’s a logical explanation out there somewhere. If the plane actually crashed in the very deep waters over which it may have flown, we may never find the black boxes—and they’re the only way we can even guess at what happened. Truly fascinating.
They found some of D. B. Cooper’s money, but they never found a trace of him—and that was the Pacific Northwest, not the ocean.
We may never know.
Sheridan, Arkansas High School Yearbook censored
My home town, Malvern, is southwest of Little Rock; Sheridan is south-central. They’re about 30 miles apart on US 270, and there’s a lot of commerce and commonality there.
Sheridan residents, you have been portrayed in the national news in the worst possible light—and most of you shouldn’t be. Most of you accepted a young man, one of your own, when he bravely came out. Sheridan is about 30 miles down the road from Malvern, my hometown, and I would NEVER have had the guts to come out in Malvern. Many Sheridan residents just took it in stride, accepted that “some boys marry boys” and got over it. It’s shocking, then, that your school board and high school principal took such a bigoted stand in censoring the yearbook. Censorship is NEVER a good thing. If you tell the students “the yearbook is yours”, you can’t then come back and say, “Oh, except when some religious group in town is offended by what you publish.” But thank you, Principal Williams and Dr. Haynes. By showing what bigoted, homophobic jerks look like, you’ve given the rest of the world an object lesson in unacceptable behavior. Bravo! (Sigh. Arkansas, in the news for being a bunch of backward, redneck hillbillies—again. Just when I think we’re getting better…).
As I write this, Michigan has just become the latest state to have its discriminatory anti-gay-marriage law struck down by a Federal Judge. It’s coming. It’s taking a lot longer time than it should—systematically discriminating against any group of American Citizens, denying them basic rights, is Unconstitutional on the face of it. Will everybody be happy when Equality becomes the law of the land? Certainly not. Are there people out there right now who wish that all those “uppity” black people are not picking cotton or shining shoes by day and eating watermelon and singing in the cabins by night? Of course there are. There are plenty of people in the world who hate people who are not JUST LIKE THEM—whites who hate non-whites, blacks who hate non-blacks, Baptists who hate Catholics, Catholics who hate Baptists; good grief, look at the middle east—Christians and Muslims have been brutally killing each other (in the name of the same god) for centuries. (One of my favourite illustrations of the stupidity of this is the Star Trek (The Original Series) episode “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield”, in my opinion one of the better episodes of the entire series, in which two survivors== of a catastrophic planet-wide war are beamed on board the Enterprise—and continue their fight to the death, until finally returning to their own planet—which has been totally destroyed, all inhabitants lost; the two continue their battle to the death. Cause of the hatred—they are pigmented black on one side, white on the other—except different sides. Both consider the other’s pigmentation reprehensible and inferior—which is silly to the crew of the Enterprise and to all of us; what possible difference could it make?).
Commissioner Bele (Frank Gorshin), explaining to a puzzled Captain Kirk and a skeptical Lt. Uhura why being white on the left and black on the right is far superior to being white on the right and black on the left…
Are there a bunch of people who feel threatened by gay marriage? Yes.
Are there a bunch of religious people who don’t like it? Yes.
Are there a bunch of conservative people who don’t like it? Yes.
Does this mean that we should allow discrimination, because to end it means some group is offended? If so, we should allow discrimination against black people because some whites are offended that they’re allowed the same rights; we should allow discrimination against women because some men are offended they’re allowed the same rights; the list is endless. Before long, we’d just destroy the whole society—like the planet Cheron on Star Trek above.
Can a cake baker discriminate against an interracial couple because some religion or another dislikes it? No. Can she discriminate because she dislikes two men or two women marrying? No.
Should churches and ministers be forced to marry gay couples? No. (They can believe what they want and handle their church as they wish—excluding gays, blacks, whites, or whomever they desire. We do have limits on things churches can do; sacrificing children to Baal is not allowed in the United States…). Religious people, know this: You have the right to believe whatever you want—but so do the rest of us.
Government and businesses should be forced to give everyone the same rights.
Businesses are leading the way. They know it’s coming and they’re out in front.
The Courts are headed there.
Let’s just all agree that everyone should be equal and get on with it, shall we?
Please support the Human Rights Campaign, I do.