Friday, March 4, 2011

Phred Phelps

Today's commentary on KMUW is here or read it below.

Whenever I feel a little bit down about this old world of ours, about the direction things seem to be going in, I turn my thoughts to Fred Phelps and, by golly, I see the beautiful side of life again. His skeletal facial features are hardened by decades of wallowing in the odious, putrid mud of hate and self-loathing. Yet that face always serves as a reminder to me of our society’s amazing ability to resist the pull to meet violence with violence. The emotional and psychological violence inflicted by the Phelps clan has not been successful in eliciting a physically violent response from us. Remarkably he and the other members of Westboro Baptist Church are all able to walk around physically unscathed.

Considering how frequently and how long these people have been thrusting themselves at the rest of us, the fact that they are all apparently unbruised and physically healthy is nothing short of a miracle. To the Phelps family Americans have demonstrated nothing less than Christ-like behavior. We have turned the other cheek time and time again against the battering of Phelps’ fetishistic signage. Just this week the United States Supreme Court found yet another cheek to turn toward the Westboro-ites’ tightly fisted picket signs. The spirits of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Patriot Guard and others who will not be moved to violence against these hate-fueled people who try so hard to chide and goad us down to their level.

So whenever you find yourself thinking we’re all going to hell in a handcart, consider that this handcart may also have u-turning capabilities. We choose not to sink into Fred Phelps’ hell with its’ lake of fiery hatred, brimstone violence and flaming prejudice.

Thanks, Fred. For showing us how not to behave!

For KMUW I’m Richard Crowson.

1 comment:

JJones said...

How dare those legal and social commentators, who never miss an opportunity to praise the Jehovah's Witnesses for stretching the boundaries of the First Amendment, now condemn the Westboro Baptists, whose actions in our time are no more outrageous than were the actions of the Jehovah's Witnesses during World War 2.

During WW2, Jehovah's Witnesses specifically targeted the homes of parents and spouses of wounded and killed soldiers -- knocked on those doors -- and told wives, mothers, and fathers that their husbands and sons had died not only needlessly and pointlessly, but in support of a government which GOD considered His enemy and would soon destroy.

During WW2, Jehovah's Witnesses would show up at War Bond Rallies and spew the same garbage.

1940s Jehovah's Witnesses would park sound trucks across the street from public schools and during recess and blast the school campus with pre-recorded sermons decrying the Pledge of Allegiance. There were also instances of JWs going inside school buildings and passing out anti-Pledge literature to children in the hallways.

JWs also parked sound trucks outside of churches during ongoing services and blasted churches with pre-recorded sermons decrying church teachings.

JWs carried phonographs with pre-recorded sermons door-to-door decrying patriotism, Christianity, etc. During WW2, a WW1 veteran and then Deputy Sheriff ran two JWs out of his gasoline station after they started playing such a recording. One of the JW "pioneers" pulled a pistol and murdered the Deputy.

Post WW2, the WatchTower Society made a point of renting for conventions those facilities which had been named or renamed in honor of the WW2 veterans (Memorial Coliseum, Veterans Stadium, etc. etc.) so as to poke their fingers in the eyes of returning veterans and the cause for which they had fought, been wounded, or died.

1940s Jehovah's Witnesses would specifically target urban Catholic neighborhoods with door-to-door sermons and literature which defamed the Pope and other Catholic hierarchy, Catholic theology, etc.

The JWs of WW2 were the Westboro Baptists of today.

Make up your minds, commentators.