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A lot of people are talking about the reported grave condition of Fred Phelps, ex-communicated patriarch of perhaps the most hateful American organization since the days when lynch mobs were a common occurrence. Here are my two cents.

Upon the death of Osama bin Laden, a quote (inaccurately) attributed to Martin Luther King Jr. made its way around Facebook, and read as follows: "I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."

Allow me to state, for the record, that I wholly disagree with this sentiment. Darkness absolutely can drive out darkness, and (for that matter) regularly does. The quote is an impractically idealistic one. Who among us would dare shun hatred of genocide, brutal indoctrination of youth, sexual subjugation, national imperialism, or racism? Hatred of these wickednesses is not only morally just, it is a wholly necessary tool in combatting them.

I also don't find it a moral failing to rejoice at the death of an enemy. Osama bin Laden was directly responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocents, and instilled an entire generation with a dark terror at the very mention of his name. Even up to the time of his death, he represented a very real threat to global safety and security. The world is wholly a better (and safer) place with him gone. To criticize people experiencing joy at this weight being lifted from their shoulders seems, to me, quite strange.

That said, I find myself rather unsettled at some of what I've been hearing concerning Mr. Phelps' imminent demise. Gleeful depictions of the old man enduring infinite agony in the bowels of hell abound, and there is (disturbingly) a great deal of chatter concerning a massive picket of the fellow's funeral, in a manner similar to that performed by the Westboro Baptist Church itself.

I must say that I find this to be petty, childish, and pathetic. By all means, nurse a deep hatred for those who cause evil in the world around you- it will motivate you to combat them with a fervor that those who do not possess this hatred could never imagine. But in the name of all that is good, do not descend to their level, nor advocate doing so. Picketing the funeral of this man who is about to die is an act that will ultimately do nothing but further cement the fanaticism of the Westboro Baptist Church itself and cast the gay rights movement in a petrifyingly twisted light. No matter how horrifyingly misguided the brainwashed members of the Westboro Baptist Church may be, gleefully mocking human beings that have just lost a beloved father, grandfather, or great-grandfather and feel a genuinely deep sense of loss purely because of a prepubescent “he did it first” mentality is utterly abhorrent.

We are the good guys. We are different than people like them. We are better than people like them. Now let's damned well act like it.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It's a very simple choice. (6+ / 0-)

    Will people choose to hate or choose to be something greater?

    Suddenly, it dawns on me, Earnest T. Bass is the intellectual and philosophical inspiration of the TeaParty.

    by Nebraska68847Dem on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:15:10 AM PDT

  •  Saw facebook calls for protesting HIS funeral (7+ / 0-)

    but it's childish and silly.  (aside from being nasty in a counterproductive way).

    His passing, when it comes, is simply best IGNORED.

    When he's gone, there is simply no point to it.  

  •  I knew Fred Phelps and his family.... (6+ / 0-)

    back in the mid 1980s they were my attorneys in a law suit.  Fred Sr. Was debarred for being abusive to the court reporters, but he was in many ways a brilliant lawyer.  He channeled his energy early on to fight for religious freedom and civil rights.  Being debarred made him more than a little crazy, I think.  But he was always a hellfire preacher with a huge family who were sort of cult like in their devotion.  They saw themselves as fighting for the right in everything they did.  They started protesting gays during the beginning of the HIV epidemic in Topeka.  The family would protest every week at the zoo and other locations for years.  It kind of escalated because local people tried to silence them and wound up losing lawsuits both on first amendment rights and injury claims.  That lead to the family taking the show on the road.  

    I know Fred was advocating a position I despise.  But I have to admire his legal prowess and sheer guts.  If the Occupy movement had an attorney(s) like the Phelps clan, things would have turned out differently.  And there is case law that Phelps established for free speech that is very powerful.  Now we tweet instead of standing on a public sidewalk with a sign.  The Phelps clan were actually very good at practicing nonviolence.  They were not David Koresh.  Someday someone will write the story if this family and it will be very interesting.  

    You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

    by murrayewv on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 03:59:34 AM PDT

    •  You should do a diary on that. (7+ / 0-)

      It's a very interesting story that gets to underlying motivations that group has for doing some very bizarre and hateful things.  

      As to them not being Branch Davidians, well that's not the point. These folks have caused untold pain to innocent people, some of them being young children even, and many of whom were grieving lost love ones whose only connection to the issues Phelps' crew were protesting was tangential and totally arbitrary.  They are pathologically mean assholes, no matter what their contribution to 1st amendment law might be, and the fact that they never killed anybody or set fire to anything does not in any way diminish the monumental cruelty they exhibited for the sole purpose of venting their collective spleen; and that's all in the public record.

      "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi, 6/30/07 // "Succeed?" At what?

      by nailbender on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 04:28:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think on balance.... (2+ / 0-)

        they harmed themselves a lot.  The world has a face and actions of gay haters who state that AIDS is God's judgment.  And the face is a brilliant but crazy lawyer and his children and grandchildren, who are mostly lawyers themselves.  But then what?  God is forgiving gay people by permitting big PHARMA to develop effective treatments, prevention and even cures for HIV?  So Phelps blames every bad thing in the world on God hating gay people.  Death of a child or a veteran or a police officer?  Well God hates gays.

        I think lots of families were hurt by turning their family members funerals into a media circus.  But I am not sure how much the Phelps families hurt the gay cause.

        When I first met Fred Sr. In the early 1980s, he was in the basement of his church and he spent about 2 hrs going through his early days as an itinerant preacher setting up on college campuses.  He had early clippings of those controversies as well as clippings of cases he won to let seventh day Adventists and other Sabatarians keep their jobs and refuse to work on Saturday.  They had both black and white clients.  Fred was proud the family didn't drink or smoke and were devoted to exercise and eating healthfully.  Naturally they didn't advocate for birth control and the girls (all lawyers, but always girls to Fred Sr.) didn't cut their hair.  The family lived in a compound of houses.  They went to Washburn law school, an unusual college run by the city of Topeka.  If a Phelps didn't get in, they sued and won.  

        You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

        by murrayewv on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:00:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Phelps also (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Old Sailor, atana, Eyesbright

        abused the shit out of his children.  Seriously.  Look it up.

    •  "They were not David Koresh" under Fred, and (4+ / 0-)

      hopefully will remain that way under new leadership, but when you're that much of a cult your future largely depends upon the mental state of whoever is in charge.

      The biggest victims have been the children born into this group, who never had a normal life, plus several of them who escaped (which I think is an accurate word) report psychological and physical abuse.

      •  Not terribly different.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Penny GC

        The Koresh compound was raided because he sexually abused minors.  Phelps was also renoun for beating his children.  Only difference is he was a good lawyer and loved to sue.  One has to wonder if Koresh had better legal representation within the compound if the feds would have been terrified of going in.

        Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

        by lostboyjim on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:47:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  But isn't this.... (0+ / 0-)

    ......

    Hatred of these wickednesses is not only morally just, it is a wholly necessary tool in combatting them.
    ....

    .....the justification the Phelps' use for the actions and tactics we here so heartily repudiate.

    We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

    by delver rootnose on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 04:23:21 AM PDT

  •  Hate organizations run far worse than WBC. (2+ / 0-)

    The big killing machines are not even the street gangs, but the prison gangs.

    415 Kumi, Numi, Aryan Brotherhood, Nazi Low Riders, TS Texas Syndicate, MS-13, BGF, Mexican Mafia, La Nuestra. All kill members of other races.

    WBC is a money grubbing enterprise. A play for middle class attention.

    "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Rand Paul Ryan

    by waterstreet2013 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 04:26:16 AM PDT

  •  Good point in this (5+ / 0-)

    diary. I'm glad he no longer can spread his awful thoughts. But dancing on graves is unseemly and crass. Please don't do that.

    A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

    by onionjim on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 04:28:55 AM PDT

  •  I'm not better than them. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ExpatGirl, Old Sailor, old mule

    When I learn of his death, I'm popping open a bottle of champagne and celebrating.

    I'm glad there are people better than me in the world, but I ain't that person, and I don't want to be.

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

    by terrypinder on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 05:20:12 AM PDT

  •  Mr. Phelps doesn't seem to have been a good (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DavidMS, art ah zen, joe from Lowell

    person but there is no point maligning the dead. Wishing for someone to go to hell demeans whoever does the wishing. As to whether Phelps will go to hell, he won't. There isn't any such place.
       He will simply not exist anymore.

  •  I actualy wish I could thank him. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Batya the Toon, chimene

    For helping to make homophobia socially unacceptable.  He did more to help the cause of equality than many of us on the left because he equated it with disrespect our war dead.  

    I did not support either war but dancing on graves is wrong.  If you must, cremate them and dump their ashes at sea or bury them, wrapped in sailcloth in an anonymous grave.  In all cases respect the body of the deceased.  

    I'm a 4 Freedoms Democrat.

    by DavidMS on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:14:59 AM PDT

  •  Hate and Love are strong emotions (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe from Lowell, BlackSheep1, myboo

    But the real insult is indifference.  When it comes to anything associated with the Westboro Baptist "Church", my iron-clad indifference shows through.  As Rhett Butler once said:  "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn"  In a nutshell, that's how I feel about Fred Phelps.  

    •  Different POV (0+ / 0-)

      I have to strongly agree: I have come to believe, through learning and experience, that hate is not the opposite of love, apathy is. See also "The Road Less Traveled," by M. Scott Peck.

      Christ taught that we are to love not just our friends, but also our enemies, for even the heathen love their friends. That's my standard, hard as it is to pull off, and I sure fall short often.

      Saint Paul taught that if we love, rather than hate, opponents, they will burn inside because we are not responding in the hateful manner that they use to get us down in the hole that they are in (I paraphrase).

      Resentment is like taking poison, and waiting for the resented person to die.

      It will eat you up inside.

      Of course, YMMV! I'd sure like to know how a person can move ahead while nursing hatred. ??

      You meet them halfway with love, peace, and persuasion ~ And expect them to rise for the occasion...

      by paz3 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 10:57:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The problem with loving one's enemies (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Username4242

        Is that they very rarely love you back. The natural result of this sort of worldview is an ineffective pacifism that allows the weak to be subjugated by the strong. It is for this very reason that I've long thought many of the teachings attributed to Yeshua of Nazareth to be highly immoral things. It is no coincidence that the dogma of Christianity, rather than a multitude of other religions, was wholly embraced by ancient Rome.

        As I've commented earlier, unbridled hatred is a dangerous and ill-advised thing. However, it can very easily be forged into a tool for good. Properly tempered, the poison you refer to becomes far less potent to the imbiber.

  •  Concerning your title . . .. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ssgbryan

    call me hard-hearted, but quite frankly I'm not all that concerned.

  •  He's already gotten far too much attention. (0+ / 0-)

    I don't want him to end up in Hell, but in obscurity.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 07:25:10 AM PDT

  •  i can't help but think (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AJayne, Penny GC

    that my wishing ill on another person makes me more open to illness myself.  i would wish that he had found peace at the end of his life and renounced his hate filled ways because he wasted the only life he was sure to have.  it diminishes me to wish hate on him with the only life i am sure to get. i believe he lived hell on earth in this life and i do hope the energy that animated his body finds better lodgings in a new world for him. my youngest brother died of aids in 1994 and we wished him a new and well body in a new life where he would be healed and whole.  i hope for that healing for all of us when we finish this tour of duty, even fred phelps.

  •  My deep concern for the state of Phelps soul... (0+ / 0-)

    causes me to hope that there is a Catholic priest with him in his final hours.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 07:28:00 AM PDT

  •  Phelps = bin Laden? Um...no. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Penny GC

    Despite the diarist's suggestion of moral equivalency between Phelps and bin Laden, there is no comparison to be made between the two. Here's a hard truth: In terms of what he actually did--protests, pickets, exercise of free speech--Phelps is closer to Occupy than he is to bin Laden, regardless of the disgust in which we hold his speech.

    So, when you get right down to it, anyone taking "joy" in Phelps' death is really saying, "I'm glad someone's dead because they said things I didn't like."

    Yeesh.

    This kind of hatred is not a necessity.

    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

    by wesmorgan1 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 07:49:28 AM PDT

    •  I never sought to make that equivalency. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Username4242

      I simply bring up Osama bin Laden because that is the last time in recent memory that I have witnessed this level of widespread joy at the death of an individual, and to point out that happiness at the death of another is not in and of itself wickedness.

      Phelps was a monster. It is nothing more than the height of irony that the actual effect of the WBC was (in all likelihood) to further the LGBTQ cause, but he is a monster nonetheless. The emotional pain he and his ilk caused to thousands of people already going through the most trying times of their lives is very real, and the brutal brainwashing of the youth of his family is tantamount to all but the most severe form of child abuse. To say "good riddance to bad rubbish" to such an individual is not and could never be an immoral act.

      I am not for blind hatred. But I certainly am an advocate of tempering and using it.

    •  Uh (0+ / 0-)

      I don't think you can draw a reasonable parallel between picketing an office building and picketing a funeral.

      •  Well, let's see... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Penny GC

        ...consider these actions:

        * picketing a doctor's office
        * picketing a church
        * picketing a funeral
        * picketing a political event
        * picketing an appearance by an elected official
        * picketing an employer

        If all pickets take place in public space (let's say a sidewalk), what's the difference in First Amendment terms?

        Now, for the record, I stood in a counter-protest when Fred Phelps came to town a decade ago, and I have always found his speech disgusting - but the First Amendment doesn't make exceptions for disgusting speech.

        The Supreme Court specifically agreed on this point in its 8-1 ruling in Snyder v. Phelps (Alito dissented).

        The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

        by wesmorgan1 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 12:45:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The First Amendment isn't remotely relevant here. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Penny GC

          This diary has nothing to do with whether or not his activities should be/remain legal.  It's about personal condemnation of his activities.

          In terms of the legality of what Phelps did, yes, he's much closer to the Occupy protesters.  But in terms of the morality of what he did, they shouldn't even be mentioned in the same breath.

          "He should be arrested because of what he said" is not a defensible statement.  "I won't mourn his death because of what he said" absolutely is.

          •  First Amendment irrelevant to propriety of speech? (0+ / 0-)

            You wrote:

            I don't think you can draw a reasonable parallel between picketing an office building and picketing a funeral.
            I merely pointed out that such a parallel exists where our Constitution is concerned.
            "He should be arrested because of what he said" is not a defensible statement.  "I won't mourn his death because of what he said" absolutely is.
            I won't mourn him, either; I took exception to the notions that a) hatred should be met with hatred, and b) "the death of an enemy" should be a joyful thing. My original comment, to which you replied, was:
            So, when you get right down to it, anyone taking "joy" in Phelps' death is really saying, "I'm glad someone's dead because they said things I didn't like."
            See the difference between "I won't mourn" and taking joy in "I'm glad he's dead!"?

            As the diarist and I discovered earlier in this comment thread, I took "joy" to hold a much deeper connotation in reading it than did she in writing it. **shrug** These things happen when it's just words on a screen.

            The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

            by wesmorgan1 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 02:17:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I didn't think it was necessary (0+ / 0-)

              to add "in this context" to my assertion that you can't draw a parallel between those two.  And yes, since we are not and have not been talking about involving government enforcement of any kind, the First Amendment is irrelevant to this discussion.

              I have no problem with your position that one should not be glad at anyone's death.  But that position hardly warrants equating WBC's activities with those of OWS.

              •  Within a fairly broad range... (0+ / 0-)

                ...speech is speech.

                Drop the Constitutional analysis, if you like. Want to go with Noam Chomsky? John Stuart Mill's On Liberty?  John Milton? The Greek agora?

                The fact that WBC's protests often take the same form as do Occupy's means exactly that--that the same form of expression is in use--and nothing more.  Here's the statement to which you took exception:

                In terms of what he actually did--protests, pickets, exercise of free speech--Phelps is closer to Occupy than he is to bin Laden, regardless of the disgust in which we hold his speech.
                I made no comparisons of their respective motivations or intentions.

                Picket Line A and Picket Line B are both picket lines, yes?

                The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

                by wesmorgan1 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:53:20 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  By that argument (0+ / 0-)

                  tackling a professional football player in the course of a game, tackling a gunman to prevent a fatal shooting, and tackling an eighty-year-old cancer patient outside a hospital are all morally equivalent.  After all, the action is the same.

                  •  Ooh, what a BIG strawman you have... (0+ / 0-)

                    An Occupy protest in a public space is a clear parallel to a WBC protest in a public space. If all their signs were facing away from you, you wouldn't be able to tell them apart.

                    I never said (or even hinted) that the two were morally equivalent, yet you insist on citing moral equivalency in almost every reply. You're arguing a statement I never made.

                    I completely understand your moral offense at WBC's choice to speak in close proximity to funerals. I share that offense, even as I acknowledge that claiming freedom of speech and assembly for myself requires me to claim it for others as well - even those whose speech I find repugnant.

                    How is it incorrect to observe that two different groups, with different motivations and goals, chose the same means of expression?

                    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

                    by wesmorgan1 on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 10:43:57 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  It's not incorrect as a standalone observation. (0+ / 0-)

                      It is, however, as a standalone observation, unrelated to the discussion.  Its only relevance to the discussion is a faulty implication of moral comparability.

                      If I may quote your first comment that compared the two:

                      Despite the diarist's suggestion of moral equivalency between Phelps and bin Laden, there is no comparison to be made between the two. Here's a hard truth: In terms of what he actually did--protests, pickets, exercise of free speech--Phelps is closer to Occupy than he is to bin Laden, regardless of the disgust in which we hold his speech.
                      Do you mean to assert that, in a diary that is about moral rather than legal anything, in a comment that opened with talking about moral equivalency, you were not speaking in moral terms at all when you said "Phelps is closer to Occupy than he is to bin Laden"?  And if you weren't, what was the point of saying it at all?

                      As to this:

                      An Occupy protest in a public space is a clear parallel to a WBC protest in a public space. If all their signs were facing away from you, you wouldn't be able to tell them apart.
                      Let me know when Occupy protesters show up during funerals and I will concede that point.  Because honestly, I don't care what anyone's particular platform is, picketing a funeral is a grade-A dick move.

                      Seriously, throughout this whole discussion, you seem to be operating on two entirely distinct and independent levels of ignoring context.

                      •  Gee, maybe one more time will do it... (0+ / 0-)
                        Do you mean to assert that, in a diary that is about moral rather than legal anything, in a comment that opened with talking about moral equivalency, you were not speaking in moral terms at all when you said "Phelps is closer to Occupy than he is to bin Laden"?  And if you weren't, what was the point of saying it at all?
                        Once more, with feeling (here, I'll help you by bolding the phrase you seem to keep missing):
                        Here's a hard truth: In terms of what he actually did--protests, pickets, exercise of free speech--Phelps is closer to Occupy than he is to bin Laden, regardless of the disgust in which we hold his speech.
                        Here, prepositional phrases can be tricky, so let me say it again for emphasis:
                        In terms of what he actually did
                        So, what does that mean in each case mentioned in the diary or in my original comment? Let's see:

                        What bin Laden "actually did" - suicide attacks, 9/11, armed attacks, press releases

                        What Phelps "actually did" - pickets, protests, press releases

                        What Occupy "actually did" - pickets, protests, press releases, long-term occupation of public spaces

                        I drew a simple comparison limited solely to the parties' respective means of expression. You're the one sinking into an endless stream of moral equivalency arguments.

                        The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

                        by wesmorgan1 on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 03:03:44 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                •  I think the main problem here (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Batya the Toon

                  Arises in the phrase "what he actually did," rather than "how he went about doing what he did."

                  Because, yes, the process by which the WBC goes about its business is significantly more similar to that of Occupy Wall Street than the Taliban. However, when someone discusses what a person does, there is by necessity an added context of the effect of that action. This is what Batya was attempting to express in his tackling example. One cannot say that a person that shoots a man in the head and a person that shoots a dummy in the heart have just "actually done" the same action, namely that of pointing a gun and shooting it. Rather, one -can- say that, and the statement is factually accurate, but they are being extraordinarily misleading. (Concerning your counter-example, let us assume that the man is pointing the gun at a target outside of one's field of vision. The two actions appear identical.)

                  Genuine harm has been caused by the Westboro Baptist Church, on a grand scale to the families that have lost loved ones, and on a smaller scale to the family members themselves, many of whom did not choose the life that they live.

                  Suggesting that people pleased at the man's death are so because "he said things that (they) didn't like" fails to take into account the fact that for the last few decades, Fred Phelps has been the source of very real emotional and (less commonly) physical harm to countless people.

                  •  Thanks for acknowledging my point. (0+ / 0-)
                    Because, yes, the process by which the WBC goes about its business is significantly more similar to that of Occupy Wall Street than the Taliban.
                    Thank you; that's all I EVER said.
                    However, when someone discusses what a person does, there is by necessity an added context of the effect of that action.
                    Here's where we disagree - the question of context. Take a second look at what both you and Batya suggested:
                    This is what Batya was attempting to express in his tackling example. One cannot say that a person that shoots a man in the head and a person that shoots a dummy in the heart have just "actually done" the same action, namely that of pointing a gun and shooting it.
                    Both of your examples go far beyond mere speech as expressed in pickets and protests; Batya cited physical tacking, while you offered a comparison to shootings. You're kind of "skipping a step," in that you're both putting speech in the same context as a physical assault.

                    I never stated that WBC didn't cause great spiritual and emotional pain to people - both the LGBT community and the folks outside that community whose events (not just funerals, but christenings and other occasions as well) WBC appropriated as opportunities to protest. However, both of you are equating that with physical attack; I do not know of any definition of speech that can stretch that far. Even our legal guarantees and definitions of speech fall well short of that possibility; for instance, neither "incitement to riot" nor calling for assassination of political figures are protected speech.

                    I understand that some folks may have the same feelings in response to speech that they do to a physical attack, but that doesn't--and shouldn't--make the two equivalent.

                    Thanks for your thoughtful response.

                    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

                    by wesmorgan1 on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 08:11:13 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

  •  I'm with Bill Maher... (0+ / 0-)

    when he talked about Jerry Falwell's death.

    "Death isn't always sad..."

    http://youtu.be/...

    (apologies for not embedding - I'm posting from my tablet right now.)

  •  maybe.... (0+ / 0-)

    but still, maybe the rusty corroded gates of hell will creak open just one more time, just for him.
    He made it, now he can endure it.

    I buy and sell well trained riding mules and American Mammoth Jack Stock.

    by old mule on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 09:25:39 AM PDT

  •  what would be appropriate? We should ALL (0+ / 0-)

    leave the fate of Phelps' soul up to God.

    LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

    by BlackSheep1 on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 09:28:40 AM PDT

    •  There is a Jewish tradition (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      paz3, Penny GC, BlackSheep1

      of saying, when one hears of a death, the phrase Baruch dayan emet (sometimes Baruch dayan ha-emet, which translates roughly to Blessed be the True Judge.  Because one says it for the death of loved ones and respected public figures, it is usually said with an overtone of mourning.

      I still remember the first time I ever said it regarding the death of a public figure I considered evil.  I hesitated, because it's a phrase I'd always considered one of mourning, and this was not a death I could mourn.

      And then I brought to mind what it literally means, and I said it aloud: baruch dayan emet.  And I had never before said it with quite such sober intent.

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