Thank God for Fred Phelps.
That's what I say, of the controversial, hate-mongering founder of the Westboro Baptist Church.
But something tells me Fred Phelps already thanked God plenty of times for Fred Phelps, given the two were on such apparently close terms.
After all, it was Phelps who so graciously enlightened the rest of us that "God Hates Fags," with the signature placards of his extremist Kansas church.
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"Thank God for Aids" and "Thank God for Crippled Soldiers" are other examples of their reaction-baiting extremities, with which they've picketed strangers' funerals and public events for the past two decades.
God, according to Phelps, was so incensed by homosexuality he punished America with the 9/11 attacks. Perhaps if God had done his homework, he might have enlightened Fred as to the irony of printing his hateful messages on rainbow-coloured card.
It's unlikely many of us lost much sleep at the thought of Fred Phelps slipping away. At 84 years old, just a day before his followers picketed Lorde, the pastor died on Thursday night, no doubt stammering some carefully considered theology as his final hateful words.
I hated Fred Phelps when I first saw him on TV. He stirred in me the same loathing as when watching white supremacists in Christchurch. I'm ashamed to say I actually daydreamed of he and his crazies being subjected to physical pain.
But over the years, I've mellowed. It's not that I believe in complete and absolute freedom of speech; anyone yelling "fire" in a theatre should be locked up.
But the great thing about Phelps and his church and even the South Island skinheads is that their efforts only serve to galvanise the rest of us. People like them show us just how ridiculous racism and bigotry are.
Society is all the stronger and progressive for people like Fred Phelps. The man is a hero of civil rights. And the next time someone pipes up with some equally racist or bigoted hate, we should hand him a microphone, a pen and a big blank sign, and look forward to the progress he achieves.