Sunday, March 13, 2011

Fred Phelps: Profile of an American Hero

Members of the WBC spreading God's message, some better than others. (Image)
There are few people in this world we can truly call heroes.  Often times we hyperbolize when describing those around us that we feel deserve high recognition.  The single mothers working long hours only to have to come home and raise their children.  The men and women that put themselves in danger for the safety of others.  With these people and others, we have a tendency to give credit where we think it is rightfully due.  However, in doing so, we are forgetting just how ordinary these people are, and how many around the country and around the world could fit into these same categories.  If we keep placing so many high up on a pedestal for their bland, oft-repeated, endeavors, will anyone be left below to admire them and give the adoration that is due?

A true hero is one who takes the road less traveled, who stands up for what's right, even when it is unpopular, and who warns others of their destructive ways, even when it means it might make heaven a little more crowded than it otherwise would be.  By this indisputable definition, and through his determination and consistency, for a shining example of a true American hero, no must look no further than Fred Phelps.

Phelps, now 81-years old and in the waning days of his time on this despicable planet, is a model by which we should all strive to mold ourselves.  Since 1955, the year he conceived the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) through what was hopefully, for the sake of avoiding hypocrisy, entirely heterosexual metaphorical sex, Phelps has worked tirelessly to warn all of the United States of America, as well as other parts of the world, of the acts they take part in that may lead them on a path to eternal damnation.

He is a man concerned for the general public, and for the well-being of all heterosexual men and women around the world.  To this end, he preaches tirelessly that God, contrary to examples set in the Roman Catholic church in recent years, may not be particularly fond of homosexuals.  The rest of the members of the WBC, mostly consisting of Phelps' children and grandchildren, spread the message to a wider geographic audience, organizing numerous grassroots information sessions at the funerals of gays, lesbians, American soldiers, and other high-profile deaths that they feel could ever-so-loosely relate to their cause.

Phelps has overcome many afflictions to get to where he is.  After being disbarred from practicing law for fabricating evidence and signed testimonies, as well as verbally abusing a woman for nearly a week, Phelps continues to heroically stay involved in the United States legal system, involving his church in the fight to defend free speech.  The WBC has been involved in numerous legal battles over the years for the tactics through which they convey their message, which include calling the grieving parents of deceased soldiers to tell them their son is rotting in Hell, and displaying signs at funerals stating that "God Hates Fags" and "Thank God For Dead Soldiers."  Through all of these legal proceedings, Phelps has remained vigilant, defending to the extremely overdue death his right to speak freely, all while making Twitter's 140 character limit seem verbose.

Phelps' most heroic deeds, however, come in how he handles the criticism directed at him by all but 71 of the world's estimated 6.7 billion people.

Many see Phelps' message from God as one that is hateful, and at times, confusing.  Some view Phelps' picketing of soldiers who died to protect American laws such as free speech as misguided.  Others question the timing of WBC's altruistic warnings to gays and soldiers of their sinful ways, stating that the warnings would be more helpful if they were given prior to the sinful person's death.  Still more remain curious why Phelps does not practice Jesus' teachings of turning the other cheek.  However, when protesting against sodomy, one can ultimately understand how this teaching could be an issue, and why exceptions can be made.

Through all of this undue criticism, Phelps remains a model of heroism.  He is a humanitarian, working tirelessly to improve the blasphemous country which has done nothing but oppressed him with benefits of citizenship, constitutional protection from being prosecuted for harassment, and public services paid for by taxpayers, even while the WBC is tax-exempt, a statement that quite obviously states a request for none of these aforementioned benefits to be provided to them.

In all likelihood, due to Phelps' tireless work over the years, he will, after his death, live on in the very soul, and the very soil, of this Earth.  He will peacefully decompose underground and degrade into chemicals such as hydrochloric acid, hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide, and methane, and continue to poison the world around him, just like the homosexuals and sodomites who decompose by way of the exact same chemical processes.

It's a cruel world.  And for those that wish to strive towards heroism with the time they have left on this planet before rotting unceremoniously in the ground, you need not look any farther than Fred Phelps.

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