Over the last week or so, we have seen stories about one of the most hated people in America being close to death. A few days ago, that individual died. Instead of the typical condolences tweets and Facebook statuses, I saw an influx of celebrations and memes mocking their death. While I made a promise to myself when I made my blog almost a year ago now that I would not mention this individual or their cult, I have chosen to break my silence this one time to hopefully make others think.
While I did tell a few people about this individual’s passing, I did not post a celebratory status on Facebook or Twitter. I have not read the articles that are being written about this hateful person, and I won’t. I have not reblogged any memes or humor pieces that make light of their death. I won’t do these things, because I believe in dignity and respect, even when that idea is not reciprocated by others. I don’t believe in rejoicing or celebrating the death of another individual, regardless of how evil they may have been. This person and their family had no impact on me whatsoever. They do the things they do not to spread “God’s” word as they say, but to be provocative and to draw attention to themselves. While they blame everyone else except for themselves for worshipping false idols, they worship themselves. They strive on the attention we give them, and they eat it up. That’s why I don’t give them publicity, or typically pay attention to what they do. I only knew about this person’s impending and eventual death, because of “breaking news” alerts sent to my phone.
I was saddened when I saw their picture plastered on the front of CNN.com with the headline that they had died. I just wish we would spend the same energy on sharing the stories of the soldiers and other difference-makers in the world that have died. I’ve always been dumbfounded about the fascination we have with this person and their cult. This person deserves no more recognition for their death than anyone else, particularly those that die wearing the uniform of this country. It’s utterly ridiculous that we give them the time and energy that we do. Think of the possibilities if we ignored this family. What would happen if we didn’t give them publicity? What would happen if they didn’t grab headlines? They might not go away, but their egos wouldn’t be as stroked as they are today. The “power” – no matter how small it is – that they have is only further legitimized by our own allowances of following their every move.
Over the last four months, it seems like I have been to more funeral homes than I have my entire life. I have learned that it is now customary for us to donate money to charities that the person that died held near and dear to their heart. My grandfather loved animals, and after he passed away in November, people were asked to donate money to diabetes research and to a local animal shelter. I call for anyone that feels the need to honor the death of the evil individual that died last week to consider donating money to an LGBTQ charity, AIDS initiative, or a charity that supports our troops in their name. I’m sure their family will love that token of our appreciation for them far greater than any happy tweets, memes or pickets of their funeral. Once we donate to these foundations, I suggest we erase this cult from our memories and never utter the name of the “church,” or the family members’ names that belong to the cult. We have the power to strip them of any influences that they may have on society. I for one will continue to campaign against them, but doing so in productive ways, such as being involved with initiatives and organizations that advance causes I believe in. I will not stoop to their level, or play their game. I am above that and I will continue to show dignity and respect to every person, regardless of whether I agree with their stances or not. Without open, constructive dialogue, we halt progression.