Thursday, March 20, 2014

Surprisingly, I’m not going to hate on Phelps today.


It’s not because plenty of people have already been doing enough hating on him already. They have, and I’ve been amused by most of it. Especially the one where Pinhead from Hellraiser greets him and promises that there’s so many sights to show him. It’s also not because I’m going to act like the bigger person. That bigger person thing is really just a holier-than-thou bunch of bullshit that proves the exact opposite. I always say to people that I have no interest in putting on a “bigger man” act since I’m obligated in no way to act like anything. I already know I am, and don’t give a fuck what anybody thinks. I just want to be.

pinhead phelps No, that’s not why I won’t hate on him. I actually had this weird, secret respect for the guy. Not a like, not an admiration, not even really a tolerance for what he was doing. Just a strange twinge of respect. Maybe respect isn’t even really the word for it. I don’t think there is a word for it. If there is, it’ll be one of those elongated German words that’s four miles long.

Try this: while I don’t like Phelps any more than you’d like catching your average STD, I know what he is. He is what fundamental Christianity means. He is saying what they are wanting to say, but know it’s unacceptable today to say it. He wasn’t afraid to take the criticism that they dodged by smiling and putting on that bullshit love the sinner hate the sin face.

Make no mistake, it was merely less than a human lifetime ago that gays were beaten commonly in the streets without the ability to ask for the help of cops, since cops often were the ones doing it. And it went unreported so nobody realized it was happening so commonly. Less than a human lifetime ago. Let that sink in. It doesn’t happen today, or at least not to the extent that it did. It also is widely reported now, often, when it does happen. But don’t mistake why gay-bashing no longer happens as freely as it once did. The popularity of gays has gone up a bit, but the real reason the beatings have reduced so much is that gays scored plenty of political victories and made it clear, they’d no longer be tolerated. If not for that, fundamentalist Christianity, even today’s fundies in their present mentality, would happily resume the beatings.

HTSBLTSBut fundamentalist Christianity’s population (not popularity, but amount of people) has reduced drastically. A lot of that comes from biblical scholarship and its widely known proof that the Bible isn’t the book people think it is. With media and internet, the very goal of fundie Christianity—to take the message to all the people in the world, as though they hadn’t heard it all already—backfired. Because the message was heard, alright, and therefore its many flaws have become common knowledge. Plenty now know why not to become a fundamentalist Christian.

But for those few who do, fundamentalist Christianity has had one single mascot that even it was ashamed to admit: Fred Phelps. Christianity came to recognize that they have to stand out and be noticed lest they be considered cowards in their faith. So they openly accepted the idea of being the Jesus Freak, but the second Christianity really looked even remotely freaky, they tried really hard to act normal again, and tried to convince you that there’s nothing abnormal whatsoever about that love the sinner attitude.

Why did Phelps focus so much attention on this one “sin” of homosexuality? I have no idea, honestly. That’s not really relevant. Speculate all you want, but the truth is, fundamentalist Christianity has always done so. It’s the very thing that makes them so… so… so fucking fundie.

I doubt you can call it irony (except in a faulty Alanis Morisette way) that he was excommunicated from his own church last year for suggesting niceness. After all, Matthew 26:52 suggests those who live by the sword shall also die by it, and you can very much say Phelps’ church career died by the same hate in which he lived. Their family still cared for him enough that they managed to keep it quiet, at least, to spare him humiliation. So he still had that going for him.

Fred_Phelps_10-29-2002_1Fred is often perceived as possibly gay, as all really hateful anti-gay men are. And with good reason, considering those studies people talk about. I’m not going to do that either, though. Here’s what I see when I see Phelps. I see someone who believed so damned hard in what he was saying that he felt the same need to do and be what biblical prophets did and were. What baffles me is how anybody who really claims to believe in that crazy-ass book known as the Bible act any other way.

Think about it: you really believe that there’s a God angry enough to send someone to eternal hell and torture if they don’t repent from something that He hates. Why you’ve come to think buttfucking is the maximum issue aside, you just do. Wouldn’t you do whatever it takes to warn people? Biblically the prophets were expected to do all kinds of extremist insanity. Ezekiel was told to lie on his side and cook his own food over his own shit to demonstrate… well, whatever crazy shit God was trying to demonstrate. And if you don’t warn people the way God wants you to? God holds you responsible for their destruction. Seriously. These verses scared the shit out of us when we were supposed to go out and make converts. You think fundies are acting too extreme, you should read that book and realize how extreme it expects you to be.

I think he did believe that strongly and did want to be a prophet. He had this hateful message and he believed in it. He was the ultimate Pharisee. Contrary to peoples belief about Pharisees, they were famous for doing everything they believed in to a fucking tee, no exceptions, no slip-ups. They even believed there should be no more than 40 lashes so much that they did 40 minus one just in case they lost count, so they wouldn’t accidentally do 41. Jesus called them hypocrites to shock them, but not because they were failures at practicing what they preached. He called them that because what they preached was just so fucking stupid.

Phelps, in his twisted way, believed what he was saying and doing. He hated because he believed he was supposed to. I think he read that book thoroughly. He focused on one thing, but at least he was focused. Other Bible readers can’t seem to do that!

You want to know who the real hater is, just listen to his daughter for five minutes. She’s the one whose death I’ll celebrate. There is no redeeming value to that woman whatsoever. Not that there was to Fred. But like I said, he was at least more real than a million smiling churchgoers who hug you while thinking, cowardly, that you’re going to burn forever, but refusing to go the distance he did to warn you of what they delusionally believe.

SupercuntsSo in the spirit of Fred, I too am going to do what a million anti-Phelps people should be doing. There are more than enough people suggesting Phelps entered hell today (and okay, he wanted to put a monument saying so about Matthew Shepard, so he brought it on himself). But instead, I say Fred found out something else today: absolutely nothing. He expected heaven, but he just went out and thinks nothing anymore, because he no longer exists. The light is out, the life is over, and there is no more. He can’t even regret not indulging in the buttsex he probably so desperately wanted while he was alive (if that was indeed why he was the way he was) because he stopped thinking or feeling anything as soon as the body died.

So I say don’t waste any of your living moments thinking even for a second that he was right about anything. Just spend your time on earth advancing science, civil rights for gays and all peoples and decreasing the power of fundamentalist religion or any form of bigotry, and enjoying all the kinky sex you can.

After all, he’s gone, but it still pisses off Shirley, and ain’t that a great enough reason?

EDIT: Turns out Betty Bowers agrees: