Hatemonger number one comes to my neighborhood

This afternoon, when I checked my email, I found a missive from the GAGV. It started out with the following words:

It has been brought to our attention that Fred Phelps, who is known for picketing funerals of victims of AIDS, is planning a ?God Hates Fags? protest here in our community today at the memorial service for the five Cheerleaders from Fairport High School that were killed recently.

Of course, my perverse sense of humor immediately cackled with glee at the thought that my area (Fairport is just to the east of Rochester) has somehow earned the attention and protests of Fred Phelps and his merry band of hatemongers. Phelps and those like him amuse me to no end, and part of me would love to check out the protest tonight just for the sake of satisfying my morbid curiosity.

But on the other hand, I can’t help but feel bad for the friends and families of these girls. I can only imagine what it must be like to have such hatemongers intrude upon what is already a sacred time of expressing the pains of grief and loss.

Of course, Phelps and his group really give no strong explanation of why they chose this funeral to picket. Indeed, their only comment (other than to rattle off a long and nasty sounding Bible passage) about this stop in their picket schedule is to decry the girls who died as “raised-for-the-Devil, American whores.” Personally, I find these inflammatory and awful words, and words that I find hard to believe Phelps has any basis for using. After all, he doesn’t know these girls personally.

Personally, I suspect that Phelps simply chose this funeral to picket on the grounds that it’s the day before another scheduled protest that will take place approximately two hours from the Rochester area. As such, it strikes me as (1) a protest of convenience and (2) nothing more than another opportunity to toot his own self-righteous horn. (I cannot fathom a more despicable violation of a funeral than that.)

In the end, I think that the Fairport High School are right in their assessment that Phelps is simply looking for more intention and their subsequent request that those attending the memorial service ignore him to the best of their abilities. However, I hope that those in attendance at least shoot him a consterning look that communicates the shame he should feel.

7 thoughts on “Hatemonger number one comes to my neighborhood”

  1. Sadly Jarred, I think he’s too wrapped up in his perverse sense of “religion” to feel shame at much of anything he does…until he’s judged on the final day of course.

    It’s instances like this that sometimes a limit to the freedom of speech WOULD be convenient, but at the same time, it could be flipped around on any of us and our right to express our beliefs/opinions. *sighs* I’ll be praying for strength for the people there to grieve…

  2. i find this man sickening beyond words.

    ryc: on some level i know it was a bizarre thing to be able to do. i suppose i should accept that being one doesn’t mean i’ll ever be *cough* normal. but last night… that kind of thing was so much easier to accept when i could attribute it to a seperate part of my consciousness. it’s confusing… and hard not to wonder, if i can do that, why can’t i keep track of a freaking grocery list?

  3. Apparently he’s picketing this because the girls attended a school that was very gay-friendly and their gay student organization was very active. So I noticed in a news article yesterday.

  4. Doesn’t matter what they have done in their lives,it is a time of mourning for their families. I am surprised that no one has done any damage to those hate mongers yet! I bookmarked their schedule, thanks Jarred. I wonder if they protest their own funerals, well, no one is sinless, right?

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