Here is what my Facebook feed said about the death of Fred Phelps today. I think it is pretty safe to say that none of these people would have been considered pro-Phelps, or even Phelps-neutral, while he lived. I did not cherry-pick these responses. This is literally every response I saw.
Rev. Emily C. Heath: I pray that Fred Phelps finds in death the peace and love of God that he never found in life.
"Do not repay evil for evil..." - 1 Peter 3:9
Heidi Carrington Heath: Prayers of healing, peace, and reconciliation for Fred Phelps. Fred, may you be surrounded by the infinite mercy of God's love that loves all of us. May you find the peace in death you could not find in life. May your family find comfort as they grieve your death. Go with God.
Patrick Hagerty: I know that the man, while alive, espoused a hate-filled agenda. I hope, now that he is gone, that he is at peace and all the conflict and pain he caused can now start to heal. In the end we should treat even those who despise us with compassion, although they would not do the same for us. It's what makes us different.
Sonora Chase Snyder: Farewell Fred, and may God heal you before you get reincarnated.
Beth Zacharias Hunt
can’t help but wonder where Fred Phelps finds himself this afternoon.
Erik Marino: Fred Phelps is dead. My bracket is ruined.
George Takei: Today, Mr. Phelps may have learned that God, in fact, hates no one. Vicious and hate-filled as he was, may his soul find the kind of peace through death that was so plainly elusive during his life.
Mary Lambert: Don't practice what Fred Phelps preached. A death is a death is a death. My wish is that he is met by the beautiful souls he hatefully picketed and learns compassion, empathy, and true love.
I may have more complicated feelings later, but right now, I'm hardly thinking about Fred Phelps. I am thinking about how lucky I am to be in a circle of folks who are so loving and hilarious and unhateful. I am pretty excited that these are the people I have surrounded myself with, or been surrounded by, over a lifetime.
Note: All quotes are used with permission, and attributed by permission, except for the ones by celebrities who already shared the sentiments publicly, so, seems OK. I don't actually follow either Mary Lambert or George Takei, but my real-life friends shared their words.