I just want to take a moment to thank you for the great contribution to society that you given us. I am certain that when you embarked on your quest so many years ago, that you had no idea of the success of the mission, or how many lives that you were able to impact in such a wonderfully positive manner. You and your small group, traveled tirelessly for years teaching us, encouraging us, uniting us.
You look surprised. Do you think that your purpose on earth was really to preach hate, to tell the world how horrible they were, to take joy in other people’s pain, and to call attention to yourself and your few followers? Do you not remember that God works in mysterious ways, able to turn a human purpose into something far better suited to the divine plan for humanity?
Of course your quest didn’t come without cost. Your family is fractured, the pain there must be great. Losing family to death is hard enough, but losing them because of ideology is earth shattering for everyone involved. Hopefully they will all heal from, that which has been wrought. There were the extra tears of mourners, who learned that you had planned to send a group to stage a rally at a loved one’s funeral, a funeral for someone you didn’t even know. Yet even that has been turned into things good. Your estranged family members have themselves been beacon of positive hope, of showing us ways to turn hatred into beauty, forgiveness and hope. Those who’s funerals faced your protests learned of the love and shelter of their neighbors who rallied around them in compassion and tenacity.
Did you have any inkling that your work would shatter closet doors, and free so many of the chains of fear, shame and oppression? Did you have a clue that pastors, congregations, politicians, business owners would rethink their ideologies and therefore open their hearts, giving access and equality a honest chance to succeed? Did you have any idea, that when you started all this, that state after state would change their laws to allow greater freedom to marry? Do you realize that you get a good deal of the credit for these wonderful things happening?
I realize that none of this was your intention, but sometimes the best laid plans take on a life of their own. Look what you taught us.
That hatred is easily countered by love
That neighbors coming together to help others make for a beautiful community
That weddings are a wonderful time of celebration.
That fear is lessened by compassion, and understanding
That forgiveness is truly healing.
Thank you Mr. Phelps for all these lessons we learned from you. I have taken them to heart, as have many others. Your actions showed us what we should and must to. We will continue on. I truly hope that you’ve found peace, either in a beautiful afterlife, or in the rest of the cessation of existence.