The leader of the Satanic Temple says he’s glad to hear virulently anti-LGBT pastor Fred Phelps is near death.
“While some part of me thinks, ‘the sooner the better,’ another part of me hopes he lingers long enough to savor the full terror that must consume a mind as superstitious and bitterly haunted as his during its last moments of life,” said Lucien Greaves, who heads the New York-based temple.
Greaves told VICE he was surprised to learn that Phelps had been excommunicated from the Westboro Baptist Church he’d founded, but the news gave him comfort.
“I only hope that it is true, and that the consequence of this excommunication is that Fred finds himself frightened and alone on his deathbed now, abandoned by the only people he personally shared his spiteful and depraved sense of mission with,” Greaves said.
Although he abhorred Phelps’ viewpoints, Greaves said he appreciated the unintended consequences of the pastor’s hateful rhetoric and his group’s notorious protests outside the funerals of slain troops and others.
“As a caricature of cruel religious-based inhumanity, Phelps often rallied people in opposition to his stupidity, and he served as a ludicrous arch-villain,” Greaves said. “He was a living argument ad absurdum in support of all of the things he detested and decried.”
He said Americans should be proud they castigated and marginalized Phelps and his message, even as they tolerated his “disgusting malice.”
“It is infinitely better to suffer the few Fred Phelpses that will surely always exist than to live in a political environment in which odious speech is regulated by an officiating body,” Greaves said.
Greaves gained national attention in July when he and his group performed a “Pink Mass” over the grave of Phelps’ mother, claiming they’d turned her gay in the afterlife, and he vowed to do the same for the 84-year-old pastor.
“At the time, I predicted that Fred hadn’t too much longer till he would pass, and I stated … that I would be presiding over Fred’s own Pink Mass before too long,” Greaves said. “As I have made a promise to a dying man, I fully intend to do my very best to see it through, and the pomp and circumstance of this Pink Mass will surely far, far exceed that of the original event in Meridian, Mississippi.”
Watch this video report about the previous “Pink Mass” posted online by WTOK-TV: