After the death of Westboro Baptist Church’s founder and leader Fred Phelps, it seemed as though all of the United States cheered in unison.
Known for his hate against gays, soldiers and the general population, Phelps quickly gained the reputation of “the most hated man in America,” according to CNN.
Once the nation caught wind of Phelps’s death, a storm of comments spread around the Internet about this seemingly wonderful event. Of course, most were glad he was dead. Some even began exclaiming they would picket or even party at his funeral. I’m sure quite a few people would like to imagine Phelps going to Hell. However, none of that is really an appropriate response to a death.
Even though Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church brought pain and humiliation to the country, the only reasonable response to hate is not hate, but love. A perfect example of this is a group of people who responded to Westboro Baptist’s protest at Lorde’s concert in Kansas City on Friday, March 21. The sign they held up to show the protesters read, “We’re sorry for your loss.”
Some might be thinking, “We shouldn’t be respecting them,” or “They deserve pain, too.” I can assure you this is not the right thing to do. You might ask why, and the simple answer is hypocrisy. What gives us the right to turn around and disrespect them as they have disrespected us?
It’s easy to hate someone who has caused an irreversible amount of pain. However, showing respect and kindness to that person, no matter how hard it may be, will always be the right thing to do.