March 22, 2014

Atheists React to the Death of Fred Phelps

Fred Phelps at his pulpit: August 4, 2002 All ...
Fred Phelps at his pulpit: August 4, 2002 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you read any atheist, secular, or progressive websites, blogs, or social media accounts, you have already heard that Fred Phelps is dead. You have probably also encountered some mixed reactions, ranging from calls for celebration to somber reflection; however, I think it is accurate to say that the majority of the reactions have been more in line with the somber reflection end of the continuum.

I have written about Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church here a few times, but I decided not to comment on the news that Phelps was dying or his death. I suppose I did not feel like I had much to add to what had already been said. That hasn't changed.

Here is a collection of what others in the online atheist community have written on the subject so far:
I understand that few in our community are going to miss Phelps. I certainly won't miss him. And yet, I agree with the majority who say that they will not celebrate his passing but will instead consider the lessons of Phelps' life. He's gone now, but his legacy could still be valuable in helping the very groups against which he directed so much hate.

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