Fred Phelps, the man who founded the Westboro Baptist Church has died.
The world is a better place without him.
I don’t hate him. He had my pity. Here was a man so obsessed with vitriol and despite, so full of toxicity, that he pumped it into the world around him, spreading his vile message as far as he could.
Yet, if hate was his cause, he was an abject failure.
His sycophantic church of bombastic rhetoric achieved little other than to unite people against them. People found a common cause when Westboro was around: to block and mock them. That they polarised is indisputable – but what is also indisputable is that even in the United States, they protested meaninglessly while the rights of GBLTI people were advanced. Sure, those advancements weren’t all perfect, but they happened.
Westboro and Fred were the voices screaming into the uncaring night. He, and his church by extension, has consistently failed its cause.
He was a loathesome, toxic man, but he was also pitiable, as is anyone who wastes their life on a hollow, immoral pursuit. His was a life wasted.