20 years ago today, the space shuttle Challenger exploded only seconds after take-off, killing allseven crew members. Fred Phelps didn't have a media presence back then, or he would have shouted "Glory Hallelujah" just as he did after the Columbia disaster:
Anti-homosexual activist Fred Phelps produced a flier that claimed, "The 7 Are In Hell," where he stated, "God's Arm hurled Columbia in fragments to the ground, and hurled the 7 fools into the everlasting fires of Hell - in wrath and vengeance, laughing, mocking and deriding this nation of fags." - Phelp's Web site, 2/2
His website's latest headline:
Of course, we instantly dismiss whatever Phelps and his Topeka, KS family of hate say about anyone or anything. After all, who listens?
That's the real tragedy of Ledger's death: that anyone might use his name or image to actually kill someone else. It makes no difference that Ledger was an actor in a fictional film. To someone, he might have been more than real. Someone may be out there who hates the Heath Ledgers of the world - the people who are willing to take risks so that others will stop and think about macho images and tolerance.
Thank you, Heath Ledger.