Phelps Teaches Tolerance

Edgy performance artist, Fred Phelps came to Rhode Island with his traveling troupe to put on the show they have been doing nationwide. The response was gratifying. Phelps’ dramatization of the ugliness of hatred and the destructive and irrational face of religious bigotry taken to its logical extreme spurred Rhode Islanders to unanimously reject prejudice and violence.

We are, after all, the state founded by Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson.

It was heartwarming to see high school students on the front page of the Journal rallying for tolerance, supported by school superintendent Mario Cirillo, who is a military veteran.

Despite the effectiveness of Phelps’ strategy for promoting gay rights and discrediting prejudice, I can’t endorse his tactics. I have to say as a gay rights supporter that the end does not justify the means. Phelps’ performances are not nonviolent.

It’s a kind of accomplishment in reverse that in the 21st century someone has managed to invent a new form of disgraceful conduct, forcing states to pass laws against behavior that no one had thought of before.

I’m referring, of course, to harassing bereaved families at funerals. Nothing, not world peace and a cure for AIDS, and baldness, can justify such a tactic. That is violation of the worst kind. Phelps may be carried away with his urgent mission to discredit religious fundamentalism, particularly Calvinism. But like many performance artists he takes it too far.

Some might be led to think that he really believes the hateful slogans he and his fellow actors paint on signs.

Although he succeeded in organizing pro-gay rights demonstrations on short notice, and ensuring the demonstrations would be well-covered in the news, I wish he would go home. He has business of his own to take care of, unless the Lord takes him before the lawyers do.

About these ads

One response

  1. Phelps is so far over the edge,he does seem like an SNL skit,but he isn’t being funny.
    He doesn’t deserve the attention because he and his bunch of inbred followers thrive on it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 974 other followers

%d bloggers like this: