Thursday, March 20, 2014

Q Toon: Ready for Freddy

Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
Mar 20, 2014
Reports on Sunday that Fred Phelps, leader of the Westboro Baptist Church is near death have started a debate on how to respond to the news. (Phelps has supposedly been excommunicated from the family "church" for unstated reasons. Be that as it may.) Shall we gloat? Shall we pretend we don't care?

A number of LGBT bloggers have stated their intention to prove that they are bigger than the Westborans. As George Takei posted on Facebook,
I take no solace or joy in this man's passing. We will not dance upon his grave, nor stand vigil at his funeral holding "God Hates Freds" signs, tempting as it may be.
He was a tormented soul, who tormented so many. Hate never wins out in the end. It instead goes always to its lonely, dusty end.
As an editorial cartoonist, my job is not to turn the other cheek. I'm reminded that when Richard Nixon died, Pat Oliphant published a neutral cartoon remarking on the man's passing, and instantly regretted it. As the nation's cartoonists (myself included) cranked out charitable eulogy cartoons, Oliphant promptly followed his initial cartoon with another reminding readers of the more reprehensible side of Nixon's legacy. (See the third and fourth cartoons on this page: "Nixon Victory Salute" and "RMN: Lest We Forget.")

How To Respond To Fred Phelps is nothing new. In a future post, I'll dredge up some of my earlier cartoons about him and his clan to illustrate a few thoughts on the Descent and Fall of Fred Phelps.

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