In case you haven’t been on the internet over the past few days, Fred Phelps is on his deathbed. The general reaction has ranged from scorn to pity, but the general consensus is that this isn’t terribly sad.
Some people have even expressed an interest in picketing his funeral, as a form of poetic justice for Phelps’s life goal of picketing every funeral he could get his hands on. Fitting as it sounds, is it worth it?
Look, I absolutely get the appeal. Hell, that was even my initial reaction: “I wonder how many people will protest his funeral?” And no matter what I say, someone will protest his funeral, and I can’t honestly blame them for it.
But then there’s the matter of not lowering yourself to their level. Yes, it would be a fitting end to his legacy. Yes, he used his one life to spread hate and vitriol. Yes, his family is terrible. But at the very least, we’re supposed to be better than our enemies. If we start pulling the same shit, they win. The hate spreads.
Here’s my proposal: let the family bury him in peace. Let his legacy die with him. Let this just be one of those ugly chapters in history that no one ever brings up again. Because it’s just not fucking worth it.