Should we celebrate Fred Phelps’ death?

CNN asked me for my feelings as a gay Christian about the death of Fred Phelps, the notoriously anti-gay preacher famous for the phrase “God hates fags.”

Here’s what I said.

The words and actions of Fred Phelps have hurt countless people. As a Christian, I’m angry about that, and I’m angry about how he tarnished the reputation of the faith I love so much.

But as a Christian, I also believe in showing love to my enemies and treating people with grace even when they don’t deserve it. So I don’t view Fred Phelps’ death or the suffering of his family as a cause for celebration. Instead, I pray for his soul and his family just as I pray for those he harmed.

It’s easy for me to love someone who treats me kindly. It’s hard for me to love Fred Phelps. To me, that’s the whole point of grace.