QUEER VOICES

Should Fred Phelps Sr., Westboro Baptist Church Founder, Have His Funeral Picketed? (POLL)

03/17/2014 12:53 pm ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016
ASSOCIATED PRESS

News broke over the weekend that Fred Phelps Sr., the polarizing and highly controversial founder of the anti-gay Westboro Baptist church, is reportedly "on the edge of death."

In response, a number of individuals have called for a protest of Phelps' funeral, a practice frequently utilized by members of the Westboro Baptist Church church at the funerals of soldiers, politicians, and victims of high-profile acts of violence.

The call to action has generated a mixed response. A number of people have spoken out about picketing Phelps' funeral, including actor and prominent LGBT activist George Takei.

Ex-communicated former member of the Westboro Baptist Church Lauren Drain also posted a lengthy statement on her Facebook page that calls on individuals to seek out compassion and peace during this time rather than perpetuating hate. A portion of the post reads,

As a nurse I can say that every man and woman deserves the right to make peace with themselves, their family and their God on their death bed. I wish for peace. I wish for change. I wish for families to be reunited in love. Please help spread compassion and understanding despite the utter confusion in this situation. Consider this, there are members still there, like my younger siblings, who can and will learn from experiencing compassion from others, not polarizing hate. Prove the WBC wrong. We all seek peace not vengeance.

On the other hand, a group called "Protest Fred Phelps' Funeral" has already generated over 1,000 likes on Facebook. The group calls on individuals to "organize and prepare to give the Phelps' family and Westboro Baptist a taste of their own medicine. Lets give them the loudest, most LGBT proud, most patriotic protest they have ever seen, full of celebration, happiness, and jubilation."

We at The Huffington Post would like to hear from you. Do you think picketing Phelps' funeral is an appropriate response to the Westboro Baptist Church founder's death? Let us know in the poll and comments below.

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