Westboro Baptist Church plans to picket Jobs funeral


It’s been a bad 18 hours.

Last night, while finishing dinner and settling into some homework with the kids, I got the call I knew would come sooner or later: Steve Jobs had died.

Needless to say, when you’re a tech editor, this is the kind of event that propels you into action mode – making sure you’ve got all the facts and then doing your best to tell readers what they need to know and helping put it all in context.

That’s what we did last night, and the process continued this morning and throughout the day.

And it wasn’t restricted to the media. As we watched the wires and Facebook and Twitter, it became apparent that the Internet itself was in a state of mourning for the man who, perhaps more than any other, had helped make it the thriving world of communication that it has become.

Some tributes were grand – whole websites dedicating their homepages to the visionary – others were small but no less powerful, like the Asian design student who artfully married the iconic Apple logo and a cameo of Steve Jobs into an elegant statement that Jobs himself would have found delightful.

But as is so often the case, there’s the one or two people (or groups) who choose to take a tragedy like the loss of Steve Jobs and turn it into an opportunity for grandstanding. That’s what the Westboro Baptist Church did when member Margie Phelps, the daughter of the church’s founder tweeted this:

It’s hard to know what to say to something like this when your brain is struggling just to understand the mentality that created it. But that didn’t stop the twitterverse from pointing out the irony, not to mention the hypocrisy that Phelps had used an iPhone to send her message.

To which she eventually responded:

Yeah, we’re apparently going down that road and it isn’t pretty.

While part of me is angered beyond words that Phelps would manipulate Jobs’ death in this way (along with the distress such a message must surely cause Jobs’ family) I couldn’t help but notice the strange flow of logic that she created. Is it just me, or does Steve Jobs end up being God as a result of creating the iPhone? If so, I think I could live with that. I might even become a fan of Intelligent Design. No one more than Steve Jobs proved that there is such a thing.

Rest in peace Mr. Jobs. You’ve earned it. Millions of times over.

[Source: The Toronto Star]

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118 comments

  1. Moses

    I have read the Bible many, many times. However, unlike many brain-washed Christians, I have also read everything else that I could get my hands on in order to search for the truth. Seek and you will find!
    I have many Christian contacts (I have been baptized) and the typical immediate reaction to any discussion about the ‘faith’ is, “No,no,no…oh,no,no,no. The Bible says that…”
    Take off the blinders and understand that Christianity has historically been a vile and abusive religion dominated by hypocricy, hatred and judgemental attitudes. I regularly read my local newspaper obituaries (fortunately, I have not read about myself yet) and it never ceases to amaze me how people so frequently quote that “— has gone to be in the loving arms of his Lord and Saviour…”
    How judgemental! God is the supreme judge according to the Christian faith. This is the same thought that can be applied to the email about Jobs’ passing and him going to hell. Christians throughout history have persecuted, murdered and subjugated more people than probably any other religion, and yet we continue to promote Chritianity as a religion of love. People such as the one who wrote about Steve being in hell are living proof of the bigotory, hatred and self-serving judgemental attitudes of fundamental Christians.
    I am reminded of a story that I read recently. Jews do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah: Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the head of the Christian church…and Baptists do not recognize each other when they are in Hooters.
    Hypocrite Baptist woman! How dare you spout your hatred in public (although I still respect your right to freedom of speech).
    I met Mr. Jobs several years ago and I can tell you that his genius will far outstrip your ability to promote bigotory and religious hatred. He was a good man who should be in Heaven. You are an evil bigot who should be in hell.

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  2. Bee4

    Steve Jobs was a brilliant man who died to young, he was also a Buddhist. All this back and forth argument over christianity is irrelevant. He had his faith and I hope in his last days he made peace with himself and whatever, if any, God he prayed to. He should be remembered for his many accomplishments and how they changed the world, good and bad. He is not responsible for how people use his inventions and innovations, no more than Henry Ford is responsible for every car accident or Alexander Bell for every obscene phone call people make. What individuals choose to do with the tools provided to them is something they have to live with and take responsibility for. What I find ironic is that this silly twit used the iphone and twitter to bash the man who created the iphone – Steve Jobs, or in her view God, who must be one in the same. RIP Mr. Jobs.

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