Social Question

Cruiser's avatar

Have you ever felt glad that someone has died?

Asked by Cruiser (34999 points ) March 20th, 2014

Today I am. Fred Phelps, pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church has kicked the bucket! Yay!

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34 Answers

hominid's avatar

Somewhat related question.

No. I have never felt glad when someone has died, even Fred Phelps.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

At the news of the hate-filled Fred Phelp’s death, I am reminded of what Bette Davis said to Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show when he asked her how she felt about the passing of Joan Crawford.

“Good.”

KNOWITALL's avatar

Not really. As much as I hate some of the thing’s people do, someone somewhere probably loved them.

zenvelo's avatar

No. Never glad. Relieved, often.

Symbeline's avatar

Feels pretty morbid when someone’s death is celebrated, and I’m often reminded that it doesn’t change much. Like take So Damn Insane, he’s dead, yet that place is still chaos. Didn’t change a thing.

But yeah that Phelps dude was an ass.

livelaughlove21's avatar

No. I’ve felt a complete lack of emotion over a death – like Fred Phelps’. I’ve never been happy someone died, though.

Why are people bothering to be glad that Phelps is dead? Like I said in the other, almost identical, thread, this won’t change anything. Westboro will prosper, I assure you. That old man was the least of our problems at this point. There are plenty more crazy hateful bible thumpers out there to replace him!

Coloma's avatar

Yes, relieved, not so much glad.

marinelife's avatar

If there is an afterlife, I expect he is in for learning a few things.

hominid's avatar

I’m about to get a ton of shit for this, but maybe I can explain why I’m uncomfortable when people celebrate someone’s death…

At one point a few years ago, he was a baby. He was a kid full of hope and wonder, with his whole life ahead of him. But either through nature, nurture, or a combination of both, at some point this child arrived into adulthood holding despicable positions and doing horrible things. It could be my lack of belief in free will or that I’m an apologist for awful people, but I find nothing to celebrate.

This is the only life we (apparently) have. It’s short and we are all speeding towards death. This miserable man spent a majority of his short existence hating. As much pain as he might have caused, it certainly could not have been a picnic to be Fred Phelps. I’ve been crapping all over his shitty beliefs and actions for years. But I can’t help but feel some compassion for this awful man and his miserable life. And maybe it takes a death to remind me of that. Tomorrow I will reason that the loss of Fred Phelps is a gain for humanity. But today, I pause. And I’m ok with that.

Symbeline's avatar

You ain’t gonna get shit from me out of that.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@hominid I actually respect that more than anything I’ve heard in a long time.

Symbeline's avatar

Yeah, however horrible someone can be, everyone starts out as a baby. :/

ragingloli's avatar

I was devasted to hear that bin Laden was assassinated, and all these animals dancing in the streets were nauseating.

Coloma's avatar

Well sure, mourn the innocent babe lost, but the monsters that climb out of the cradle need to be eliminated. So sorry, but you are the weakest link.

Winter_Pariah's avatar

Only with people I genuinely hate. so that’s one person so far and am waiting on another 2.

ucme's avatar

Not a reaction i’ve had, seems desperately pathetic to me.
I mean yeah, this bloke was a complete head of a dick, but i’ll have forgotten all about it in maybe an hour or so.

ucme's avatar

I still think he looked like Adam West, not that that <<<heehee two that’s together adds anything to the discussion, but still.

Coloma's avatar

Well..does it count that I can’t wait to tell my boss to take this job and shove it, that’ll kill her!
Die evil, passive aggressive snob! haha
Im really looking forward to rocking her world and knowing that when I am gone she will actually have to do some WORK! lol

kritiper's avatar

Just last week, as a matter of fact.
There was this shop I worked at 22 years ago and the foreman was a total jerk, a bully. Thought his shit didn’t stink!
On a wild hair, I went to our local paper and typed in his name for an obituary search and there he was! Glaring out of a color photo like a vision from hell. (I wonder who picked that photo??)
He died just over two years ago of liver cancer at the age of 66. Good riddance!! And it has made my day every day since I found out that he was dead.

muppetish's avatar

As a pacifist, I do not wish death or harm upon anyone. I neither celebrate nor mourn this person’s death.

1TubeGuru's avatar

Fred Phelps was taught to hate and then in turn he taught others to hate..as far as his death goes it has no effect on me one way or the other.

talljasperman's avatar

Yes… my step father… thank God he can’t hurt anyone anymore.

Bluefreedom's avatar

Like others have said above, I don’t ever find happiness in someone dying but I do recognize that without certain people around anymore, life can be a better place.

As an example: being a military member and knowing that Fred Phelps and part of his congregation would attend military funerals and try to disrupt them…..a perfect example of the world being a little better without him in it.

Cruiser's avatar

GA @hominid you knocked it out of the park with your answer and I agree about your summation that everyone is born innocent with their whole life ahead of them. And because of service men like @Bluefreedom Fred was afforded the right to say and do pretty much as he damn well pleased and I am all for that. What I cannot condone is that this man denied families their peace and dignity to grieve the loss of their child, brother, sister, husband, wife, mother or father. I am also heartened by the people that rallied to support and protect the gay community and the families of the fallen service men and women from this truly hateful evil man. I too feel relived that world is a better place without the Fred’s, Gacy’s, Dahmer’s and Bin Laden’s no longer around. Sadly their are lot’s of happy children whose live’s will for ever be changed by some uncertain event that will cause them to hate innocent people.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Not glad but relieved that Fred Phelps is gone !

rojo's avatar

No, the worst I have felt is indifference.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

This is from David Gerrold’s news feed on Facebook today. He’s a sci-fi writer of good repute. (He wrote for the original Star Trek series.)

Some people are saying we shouldn’t celebrate the death of Fred Phelps. Okay, I get the point. We’re trying to be compassionate, enlightened, and wise.

Okay, I’m not celebrating.

But at the same time, neither am I forgetting the years and years of vileness, the malignant hatefulness, the deliberate perpetrations, the sheer malevolence of everything that he and his followers committed in the name of god. I refuse to forget the hurt and outrage he and his followers caused in thousands of good people who merely wanted to grieve in peace. And I cannot forgive the damage he and his followers did to the image of Christianity, a faith that once stood for forgiveness and love.

Some people say that celebrating his passing would make me as bad as him. I call bullshit on that.

People who have been hurt and outraged and traumatized by this evil old man have a right to feel their emotions. Phelps was an attention-whore, wallowing in the hatred he created, wanting others to hate him in return. He succeeded in generating hatred for himself and his family.

And while it’s easy to be enlightened and say things as profound as “hatred is like drinking poison, hoping the other person will die,” it’s never as easy to put aside that emotion. When the anger is finally resolved, the result is glee. Even celebration.

So here we have the final resolution. Fred Phelps failed. He went to his grave alone, unloved, and unmourned. Fred Phelps is dead. We’re still here. And yes, even the best of us, will admit to a simmering resentment of the whole Phelps Klan. So yes, we are allowed to celebrate the last failure of this terrible man. The world is a better place with one less hate-monger.

And no, that doesn’t make me as bad as him. It makes me honestly human. It is simply me recognizing and voicing my own emotions in response to the final disappearance of a malignant and hurtful voice.

Later, when enough time has passed, when we have some perspective—then we can ask, what happened to this human being to turn him into what he became? What do you have to do to a man to get him so fucked up? Later, we can ask that question and feel sorry for the hellish prison of Phelps’ own sick psyche. Maybe he was suffering from some bizarre emotional derangement, maybe there was a physical cause, maybe he was torn by his own psychological demons. Maybe we can talk about this someday.

But right now—those who have been hurt and outraged and traumatized—please don’t say they’re not entitled to breathe a large sigh of release. Phelps is gone. We’re still here.

ucme's avatar

Speaking for myself, i’m not trying to be anything, much less “compassionate, enlightened and wise”
No, I was just being honest, sincere & calm.

GloPro's avatar

Yes. People that are terminally ill and suffering. I am sad for my loss, but glad for the end of their suffering.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

And today I read the following on Facebook:

Forgiving Fred Phelps – A few words with Mr. Mike Müller
March 21, 2014 at 4:21pm
Oh please! Forgive Fred Phelps you say? That seems to be the general consensus these days. but, I must ask you this – did the Jews forgive Hitler of his many crimes and millions of senseless deaths?

Exactly.

Thus far they haven’t yet. So please allow me my bully-pulpit:

Fred Phelps of recently somewhat rehabilitated back into human form fame, was Hitler to millions of GLBT and our allies. His policy toward Gays, no less hateful than Herr Hitler’s “Final Solution”, called for a worldwide pogrom of genocide against GLBT. “He is dead.” you say? F-I-N-A-L-L-Y. Now let’s not muck it up by going all trembly kneed, talking semantics and “Well, he really was human after all.” nonsense. Prove it. Death in no way ends this madmans reign of terror. He left behind the machinery and all of those grandchildren precisely to perpetuate his KKKri$t-insanity. The hate-show must go on.

This brings us to the otherwise valiant GLBT warriors that have beseeched me to roll over and play Stockholm Syndrome. Surely the leather/daddy shtick is all for show – right? Some of them use KKKri$tian love as a reason to call a truce to this one sided hatefest – whilst in Freddy’s place we have the likes of Scott Lively, Tony Perkins, Pat Robertson and a bevy of Republican, so-called elected servants (Bachmann…Santorum…Huckabee…) and their Fox News mouthpieces, clamoring to take over where he left off. Arizona, Mississippi, Uganda, Russia – the list grows larger the more we placate ourselves with notions that hatemongering, genocidal prodding and your bargain basement homophobia are all really just free speech. Yep, now’s the time to wave the flag of reconciliation, forgiveness and renewal. The Rainbow banner replaced by a good ole white flag of surrender. Give these beasts, unfit to be called human let alone being treated as such, a chance to fulfill their Buy-Bull prophecies.

Meine kinder: The god of the Buy-Bull doesn’t hate fags or anyone else for that matter. He is and has been a no-show across the ages – a non-existent excuse to allow fear and hate to usurp us of our humanness. People hate just fine without a sky-zombie’s assistance. If nothing else Fred Phelps has proved that much. When we choose the path of hatred and do so as loudly and for as long as Fred did, one must not expect my forgiveness. When you use lies and the threat of eternal damnation to force teenagers into killing themselves because they were born homosexual – there can never be forgiveness. To then wrap your god around you as a shield that you might mute the scorn that you so richly deserve – forgiveness is not only out of the question – but to do so would give a green light to those listed above and their moronic ilk; license to take up on behalf of this god of death and ruin that they call Lord.

What of little children? Are you ready to forgive a man that indoctrinated – his grand and great grandchildren with hatred toward other human beings and then used them as human shields should someone try and shoot his hatemongering ass? Let me know when that sinks in.

You may endeavor to embrace the humanity that Fred Phelps was allegedly born into. You may even hope for a deathbed conversion of sudden rational awareness and remorse. Meanwhile, I will celebrate the end of this tormentor.The long awaited demise of still another purveyor of the imagined notion called “sin”. One less traitor to the Human Race.

The preceding words are not a rant. I do not engage in temper tantrums. Irrational behavior is not the byproduct of a rational mind.

kritiper's avatar

Yeah. Fred Phelps wasn’t such a bad guy. After all, he wanted to remove monuments to the 10 Commandments from public and government owned (not religious) areas.

Cupcake's avatar

The death of Fred Phelps had no effect on me whatsoever. I have not spent any time or energy on him, his life or his death.

I have felt glad for every person I have loved who has died “naturally”. The release from physical pain and/or suffering is a beautiful, powerful and spiritual thing to me.

The media reporting of (pedophile, kidnapper, torturer, rapist) Ariel Castro triggered my PTSD. I lost nights of sleep and cried for the women (and young daughter) who were released from his bondage. I was glad when I heard that he died.

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