I wish the media would take Rogers Cadenhead’s advice when it comes to dealing with Reverend Fred Phelps and simply ignore him. If you’re not familiar with him, he’s the pastor whose tiny congregation pickets military funerals and other events with placards bearing hateful messages. His church has announced it’s going to picket the funerals of victims of the shooting in Tucson, and he recently made the news by showing up at the Elizabeth Edwards’ funeral.
People who hang out on the Internet should have no problems recognizing Phelps for what he is — a troll. The message on just about every forum I’ve participated in on the Internet when dealing with these types is, “Don’t feed the troll.” When they fail to provoke the response they’re looking for, they search for greener pastures.
I met a woman who had just left a counter-protest against Phelps on the day of Elizabeth Edwards’ funeral and she was talking about how many people showed up to shield the funeral from Phelps and his crew. I couldn’t help but think that even though she was well intentioned, she and the others who joined her were in the end part of the problem. Don’t feed the troll.