I want to start off by saying that I have no clear opinion on what I am about to write about. It changes depending on my mood, what I ate, where I am, etc.
So there are two things that I think are somewhat connected that I want to discuss.
1) Picketing funerals
So I am sure that the passing of Fred Phelps is something most people heard of. Last month the leader of the Westboro Baptist church died, and it caused quite a stir on the Internet. Well known for picketing funerals with signs reading “GOD HATES FAGS”, Pastor Phelps and his followers quickly gained notoriety for their hateful rhetoric and outlandish protests.
When news was relayed that he died, people seemed to jump on the chance to give him a taste of his own medicine. Organizing emerged around protesting his funeral in response to all the pain him and his church caused. Some people thought it was immoral, and that the best medicine for the deceased pastor was kindness. Offers of peace and love were offered to his family as well.
On the same note, I bring up outing. Representative Aaron Shock sound familiar? I actually don’t really know much about who he is, but the politician was recently “outed” by a queer journalist who thought it was the right thing to do. No one actually knows how Mr. Shock identifies, but he definitely identifies as a republican who has endorsed anti-gay legislature.
There are other conservative politicians who have been outed under the same conditions. Some came forward as such, some didn’t. I could get detailed with specific circumstances, but Google can answer those questions.
I want to focus on the big questions: Yes or no?
Yes, it is ok to seek retribution towards those who have caused us pain and continuously aim to oppress us?
No, we shouldn’t lower ourselves to their standards and harm others for our personal gain?
There are a lot of different opinions, and I apologize for the above oversimplification. Seriously, I have discovered people who think it is not only right, but also necessary to out Republicans. Think Salem Witch Trials or Joseph McCarthy style. On the other hand, some people think pure kindness is the best response.
So yes or no?
Like I said, I don’t lean very far on any of the sides existing in this one. I feel strongly regarding the whole “eye for an eye” thing, but it is not in a concise manner. I think this is important to consider, though. Is it ever ok to lash out at those who have wronged us and our community? At what point is this retribution excusable, if ever?