Here’s An Idea: Let’s Picket Fred Phelps’ Funeral!

OK, I know. He’s not dead yet (although, to paraphrase Dylan, he’s gettin’ there; so are we all, of course, and so to my point). I refuse to wish anyone dead, even him. Even to say “drop dead” has direct impact, I believe, so I don’t want to say that into the ether for karma’s sake, if you take my meaning. Look: we all know what a bastard Phelps is, and he’s filled his family and his few supporters on his twisted diet of hatred. And in the name of what cause or goal? Beats me. So I check him out on Wikipedia. Here’s the relevant page, and I wanted to highlight a couple of points raised therein:

First, how about this? Not only did he attend the odious Bob Jones U., his version of Calvinism is so severe it would’ve forced even Edmund Blackadder’s mama to say “Oh no, you didn’t.” 

And this: Nobody wants to claim him, not the Baptists nor the Primitive Baptists. Meaning: the Baptist in Westboro’s name is only that—a name. 

Or maybe this: He allegedly “wants to warn others about God’s anger,” but he cannot be more specific. As we all know he’s using obvious hate speech to make his point, which is hidden inside that wealth of rage. His estranged son Nate considers the family to be “violent,” and I don’t doubt him. It makes me wonder whether Phelps wants to go out like David Koresh in a ball of flame, one more martyr for the cause, whatever it is.

Let’s be honest, folks. God isn’t angry with creation. Phelps is. This is just projection, folks, in which present case Phelps seeks to use God as a puppet from which mouth issues forth Phelps’ own, utterly malevolent and insane religious ideology. Here’s the far end of the scale where American religious zealotry is concerned, but there are other people whose beliefs aren’t far removed from his.

But anyway: Though I do not wish Phelps dead or any such thing, I notice he’s past 80 now and since all our days are numbered I can only presume he’s going to bite the big one someday. So here’s the deal:

Let’s picket!

I don’t mean with signs that reflect his hatred, although GOD HATES PHELPS or maybe even HEY PHELPS, SATAN’S WAITIN’! would be appropriate, I should think. Also, Dada-inspired ideas would be welcome; perhaps a casserole recipe or pictures of living children would work as well. But I stress all this should be both peaceful and, believe it or not, respectful. The Westboro people would never know what to do with that. Also songs—just imagine for yourselves what we could do.

Sounds like fun, eh? There’s only one problem. The Phelps family’s probably already realized this and in that case the funeral would be private and held at their slimy compound somewhere near Topeka, thereby cancelling our lovely little joke. But never mind. It could still happen at the edge of their compound, live on cable-news TV with any luck at all, and then there’d they be, famous for all the wrong reasons.

Sometimes all we can do in the face of such mindlessness is laugh. I mean hard and obviously laughing in the face/s of the object/s of our shock. Phelps reminds me of George Carlin’s description of Dan Quayle: “Stupid, full of shit, and FUCKING NUTS.”

Don’t worry. No matter what, when that old cockfaced bastard dies, he’s the one who’ll be in for a surprise. God will turn out to be both male and female, and what the fuck will Phelps do when he sees that?


About johnwylam1957

I'm a poet and teacher now living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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