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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 25, 2014 / 23 Adar II, 5774

Goodbye to an infamous tormentor

By Wesley Pruden




JewishWorldReview.com | A mean and vulgar troublemaker died last week, gone to his reward for making life miserable for millions of Americans. Some of those who suffered most under the lash of language, many of them advocates of the lavender lifestyle, have set an example of Christian good will and forbearance. Maybe it will be catching.

Whatever good deeds the Rev. Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church left behind - he was once a civil-rights lawyer who defended blacks when no other lawyers would -- will be interred with his bones. He'll be remembered for his message that "G0D hates fags," and American soldiers, Jews, Christians, children, Chinese victims of tsunamis and just about everybody else. He'll be further remembered for trying to smear the name of the churches, Baptist and otherwise, that Christ left to spread the Gospel of G0D's love and forgiveness.

The social media exploded on the Internet with suggestions of how the death of Mr. Phelps should be marked by those he tormented in his long life. Several members of gay advocacy groups suggested that he "get a taste of his own medicine," and urged that protests be organized for his funeral. One twitterbird tweeted the proposal that vulgarity be answered with bad taste: "Let's protest the Westboro Baptist Church's funeral by holding a graveside gay wedding and rave." Another said the graveside message should be "G0D loves gays."

But wiser heads said no, leave the family and alone in their grief. "If the reports of Fred Phelps' declining health are accurate," Sandra Meade, director of Equality Kansas, said as Mr. Phelps lay dying, "then his family and friends are certainly saying their goodbyes and preparing to mourn his loss. We ask that everyone understand the solemnity of the occasion, and honor the right of his family and friends to remember and mourn in private without interruption or unseemly celebration."

George Takei, an actor and gay advocate, agreed: "I take no solace or joy in this man's passing. We will not dance on his grave, nor stand vigil at his funeral holding 'G0D 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 always goes to its lonely, dusty end."

The Phelps demonstrators in the end smeared not only those of the gay persuasion, but undermined those who, by religious instruction and conviction, believe that gays have the right to their rites and practices in their private lives, however destructive that may be to themselves and to the culture, but not the right to co-opt the rites and traditions, centuries in the making, of the institution of authentic marriage, e.g., the union of one man and one woman.

Mr. Phelps was a clever man. Before he got in the "G0D hates everybody" business, he was a civil-rights lawyer in Topeka, and by reputation a very good one, and in the wake of the Brown decision (which originated in Topeka) and defended blacks when no other lawyers would, the Ku Klux Klan demonstrated against him. He was later disbarred for badgering witnesses.

The Westboro Baptist Church is a curious business, by its own description with no more than 40 members. None of them appear to be wealthy and most are members of the extended Phelps family, yet in some years Westboro spent a quarter of a million dollars flying its demonstrators to protest funerals in distant cities.

Westboro is not affiliated with other Baptist churches or denominations, and has been denounced by the Southern Baptist Convention and the Baptist World Alliance for its vulgar and demeaning demonstrations. Westboro has demonstrated against the Southern Baptist Convention more than once.

Baptists are organized only in individual congregations, independent of all others, and independent of supervision by any other church or denomination. Some Baptist churches co-operate with other churches, as in the Southern Baptist Convention, to organize in support of missions, colleges, orphanages, hospitals and other outreach. But not all. Some smaller Baptist denominations so prize their independence that they pay for mission outreach on their own. Anyone can organize a congregation and call it "Baptist," as the Phelps clan did, and there's no one to say they can't.

Perversions of the Christian faith are particularly dangerous in an increasingly illiterate society where everyone is an authority on what he doesn't know (which is a lot).

The rich irony here is that some of the gays Mr. Phelps mocked and despised obeyed the Christian commandment to turn the other cheek in answer to insult, offense and torment. Faith teaches us all that it's the sin and not the sinner that offends G0D, who loves us all.

Wesley Pruden Archives

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© 2014 Wesley Pruden

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