Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Now For Something Completely Different

Dear Westboro Baptist Church:

Assuming the news reports are true and accurate, I am truly sorry that Fred Phelps is so sick and lying near death.

I hope no one protests at Fred Phelps’ funeral. Because far from worshiping the dead, a funeral is really a gift for the living. We have funerals to comfort each other, to share happy memories (and yes, even sad ones), and to give thanks to a benevolent God for the grace of having had our loved one in our lives for however long we did. And after my husband Tom's funeral we had barbecue  and kickass Kickass Cupcakes

When a person dies, all those left behind really want to do is mourn the loss of their loved ones in peace. Just like you’d like to do with Fred, but are considering not doing so because of potential protests, when that time comes.   Rest assured: I have no intention of protesting at his funeral. 

I’ve never actually been to a funeral protest. I guess I almost went to one once, when I’d heard that you might be protesting at the funeral of one of the Boston Marathon bombing victims. The church was just a couple of blocks from my house so that morning I walked by, saw through some very tight security that your group wasn’t there and went on my way and let the family grieve in peace. Because I didn't know her and I didn't belong there any more than you did. 

All the Campbell family wanted to do was mourn the loss of their beloved Krystle. 

Matthew Shepard’s parents loved their son; they and his family and friends were devastated by his violent death. I bet all they wanted was to grieve in peace. 

Elizabeth Edwards? Really? I suppose she deserved your contempt posthumously because … wait a minute, I’m going to need you to explain to me again why you wouldn’t let her children grieve in peace. 

And you realize that that tornado was climate change, right? Not God’s wrath rained down upon Oklahoma because of the anal sex or  the marriage equality or even the lesbians. Not any more than it was God’s wrath rained down upon Oklahoma because a group from a neighboring state spews hateful speech during things like mass shootings, tornadoes and funerals. Which it wasn’t, even though you do. 

Now, the next time you read in the paper that an Iraq war hero dies, or a 9-year-old girl is assassinated by a bullet meant for a politician, and someone says, “Hey, let’s go protest at that funeral and it’s an opportunity for us to make sure that everyone knows God we hate the fags” I hope your response is, “No thanks, but I'm thinking barbecue sounds pretty good right about now.”

Signed, Linda


  1. Linda: How very special. You have always been the epicenter of feeling and for that I love you so very much. I learned from you constantly and I am not aware of any disagreements. Thank you for your good wishes.

  2. Thank you, Maurice! You remain one of my favorite people on the face of the earth! But we should probably avoid talking about Mr. Obama!