Death isn’t always sad:
I had an interesting conversation with That Guy the other day about Westboro Baptist; they came up for some reason, and I mentioned the rather excellent idea of full on drag queens, trannies, out and proud gay and lesbian couples, etc, protesting his funeral when Phelps dies. That Guy objected on the principle that it’s just distasteful to protest funerals, it’s not a moral or virtuous action, and playing dirty just because someone else does isn’t a good reason. He thought it would simply be better to throw a party on your own elsewhere- and I admit that he raises good points.
But there is something in intolerance and hatred spewed forth by people like Falwell, Robertson, Phelps, and etc, that makes it hard to be neutral and say a funeral is a funeral, and all should be given respect, all mourners the right to mourn in the way they want. Because sometimes, death isn’t a sad thing – not because it brings relief, but because it removes a really really bad person from society.
Would protesting at Phelps’s funeral make a point? Yes, I think so. Would it get through to his family? I would hope so – but am not optimistic that it would. Could it be done in a way that wasn’t spiteful, mean, and full of hate? Perhaps – but again I’m wary.
The satire Mahr provides is one way at poking the people who deserve to be poked for who they are, but if it would be wrong to protest at a funeral, shouldn’t it be equally wrong to speak ill of the dead? What about, as Mahr points out, when the dead made their living speaking ill of others?
I don’t know. On the one hand, I attempt to live a peaceful and moral/virtuous life. So That Guy raising the possibility of a protest stepping outside those self and religious imposed guidelines certainly brings me up short to think. On the other hand, it feels like a very human response to people who have caused so much pain and suffering. On the gripping hand, however, I wonder if the best thing is indeed to simply offer well-wishes and show how much better a person it’s possible to be.
Then again, it’s not like they raised the bar all that high…