As you may have heard, the former leader of the hate group Westboro Baptist Church, Fred Phelps, died this morning. Phelps is infamous for picketing funerals of dead American soldiers with signs like "God hates fags" and "Thank God for dead soldiers."
When news of his death came out, people had strong reactions. Many people, such as myself, are hopeful that his death signifies the end of the WBC's legacy of hatred. But others have been celebrating. Yes, celebrating a man's death. Now I understood when they celebrated Saddam Hussein's death, and they probably celebrated Hitler's death, too. While it's true that Phelps caused a lot of pain for a lot of families grieving their loved ones, it's also true that he was exercising his right to free speech--not slaughtering innocent people.
Fred Phelps was a hateful man who picketed at the funerals of dead soldiers, but he was a human being: a father, a grandfather. If we celebrate his death, we are no better than the hate-mongers of the Westboro Baptist Church. Have some compassion for your fellow humans, even if they would have none for you.