Fred Phelps ^
So, yeah this guy died. I've never met him, but i saw him speak while i was walking between classes a few times a hell of a long time ago. most of this i've gotten 2nd or 3rd hand. lemme back up ...
the year was 2000 ish. I was at the university of idaho, why a guy from kansas chose to come there, i'll probably never know. so, this guy came to this super liberal, mostly humanities/engineering oriented university to preach what i can only assume to be jesus's message of hate, every year around the same time. he had been coming for a while, and ... it became this whole thing. everybody turned up to laugh at him, and make fun of him to his face. the really odd thing was this: he wasn't uncool about it. he'd ask people what sins they might've done, they'd say they were a lesbian or whatever, and then he'd tell them they were a sinner, and were going to hell. everybody would laugh. he'd give them a button or some such that said "you're going to hell". in a nutshell, it was like a fun opportunity to define one's self by difference from his otherness.
fast forward 7 years or so, he had established a cultlike following, the westboro babtist church, and for some reason they were trying to humiliate the families of fallen veterans at their son's funerals. many of his children have gotten law degrees (and many have been disbarred) to establish his cult/family's 1st amendment right to harass the families of fallen soldiers. wow. this so does not seem like the guy i saw / heard about so many years ago.
what i have to wonder is this: by making fun of him to his face, were we emboldening him? how did he go from being a harmless misanthrope that gave out wacky prizes to lesbians for not being what he thought god wanted from them ... to this monster?
puzzling evidence: his kids had law degrees, that doesn't happen overnight. it must've been a long plan, and he fooled us into thinking he was fairly harmless, while he instigated some long drawn out plan? it just goes to show you, never over estimate a public speaker.
I'm sad that the funny strange person I listened to for about 10 minutes and heard stories about died.
the person he became, i won't miss.
I think that a lot of christians develop selective hearing when it comes to certain aspects of the religion. "judgment is mine sayeth the lord". which is to say that we shouldn't judge, because when we do, we are assuming that we have the power/omniscience of god. (which seems like it falls into the category of sin)