Heath Ledger died yesterday. For those of you that do not know who he is, he played Ennis DelMar in the movie “Brokeback Mountain”. He moved me to a sobbing mess each time I have watched that film. It was a stunning performance. His death is tragic enough- 28, father, gifted actor, family support, good hearted guy.
Then, if his death weren’t enough of a loss, Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church have decided that since he played a gay character in a movie, then he depicted and encouraged a way of life that is an abomination. So, according to Mr. Phelps, Heath has not only found his place in Hell as of today, but he and his followers will be picketing at Heath’s funeral, holding up I assume some glorious signs such as “God hates fags”, and “Pervert”. As if his family won’t be tortured enough. This is the same man, Mr. Phelps that is, a man of God supposedly, who carries these same signs at the funerals of individuals that he believes may have been gay, including Matthew Shepherd. He also presents his group at the funerals of soldiers who have died in Iraq, because any soldier who dies for a country that supports homosexuality should be doomed to hell.
Huh??? I just don’t get some people. Mr. Phelps believes that we as gays and lesbians are so henious, so evil, that he believes he is justified in saying such awful things after a loved one has passed on. And, at the same time, declares he is doing it in the name of God. Are you serious? I mean, I believe in God, I believe in the presence of Jesus in my life, I believe in all the beauty and awe that surrounds me as being outside of my control, yet I am gay. Could I be that loved that God made me exactly as I am? I know that often this derogatory message that he carries is met with anger and resentment, because he portrays God as vengeful, angry, almost hateful in his manner toward his followers. Even when I know that I make mistakes, even when I seek forgiveness, I never believe that God wants to belittle, shame, or punish me. I know that I am a good person. I know that I am not evil. I am not even sure how prevalent evil is in our world. Until Fred Phelps comes along. Then I wonder…….