Here’s what the sign in front of Moore Liquor in Moore, Okla., was changed to say this week:
“Fred Phelps, 1929-2014. Champagne 10% off! Not a coincidence.”
It’s strange enough that a store would publicly celebrate someone’s death, but even more unusual are the responses to the store’s Facebook post with a photo of the sign
“I don’t drink anymore, but cheers!” one commenter wrote. Quite a few others offered sentiments including, “I’d drink to that,” and, “Love this!”
It all makes a little more sense when you consider who Phelps, who died March 20, was. As pastor of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., Phelps led numerous protests of funerals of U.S. soldiers and gay people in which he and his congregation would picket with signs with slogans including “God hates fags.”
Bryan Kerr, the owner of Moore Liquor, explained his sign in a Wednesday email to The Huffington Post
I was a little reticent about putting up the sign in the first place because I have two good parents who raised me not to speak ill of the dead, but I couldn’t help feeling that the world was a better place without Fred Phelps. He did so much to spread his special brand of hatred while bastardizing Christian principles that I thought it might be appropriate to recognize his lack of corporeal existence with some celebration.
If the Facebook response is any indication, most people agree with him. So far, only one commenter has complained about the sign—and he didn’t exactly defend Phelps.
“Stooping to his level, only perpetuates the hate,” wrote commenter Matt Easley. “The only way to win against ignorance and hate is to rise above and be a message of love.”
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The Moore Liquor Marquee Facebook page responded to Easley by saying: "There’s no hate here. Just a little humor.”