So Fred Phelps is dying. Few will mourn him. I’m sure he doesn’t care. He has said countless times that he doesn’t care what anyone thinks or feels about him, and I’m sure it isn’t bravado. He cut himself off from other people a long time ago.

I have great pity for that man. It doesn’t take any effort of will or empathy on my part. Every snippet of video, quote and photo of him has shown a man in the grip of rage and hatred. I think of my most out of control, seething moments and try to imagine feeling like that all the time, and I see a soul in torment. I would not want to be a person dealing with grief and facing Fred and Company at the funeral of someone I loved, nor would I want to be one of his abused family members, but neither would I want to be Phelps himself.

I believe heaven and hell are what we make here in this life, and as far as I can see, this man has been living in hell, and making every encounter with him hell for others, for decades. I don’t believe that any punishment or reward awaits him, just that soon his pain will stop, and I am glad for him.

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