As you would expect, he was a braggart, but he mainly wanted to demonstrate to us what an efficient operation he led. Like a company marketeer, he proudly walked us around, Vanna Whiteing the number of printers and fax machines.
Thank you, Fred Phelps. Thank you for enraging us, empowering us and uniting us. Thank you for bringing together LGBT and civil-rights activists, veterans and pacifists, bikers and schoolteachers, Republicans and Democrats, atheists and believers.
Too bad Fred Phelps didn't understand that Sodom was condemned not for sodomy or homosexuality but for the sin of inhospitality and hostility to strangers. They had to answer too. Now it's Fred Phelps' turn.
The following is an interview with Rebecca Barrett-Fox, Ph.D., who spent years studying the Westboro Baptist Church. With all the intense speculation and conjecture on what is going on with the WBC, I sought her out to get a more informed and balanced perspective.
While many people will be celebrating the death of Phelps, whose name is synonymous with irrational hate and vitriol, I think that today the world lost someone who did a whole lot more for the LGBT community that we realize or understand.
I do not respect Fred Phelps, nor do I forgive the pain he inflicted, but I value him. I value what he contributed to the struggle for LGBT equality. I am grateful that because of his presence, millions woke up to understand homophobia better and to confront it.