Rev. Fred Phelps Sr., the founder of the infamous, vehemently anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church, has died at 84 years old. Nathan Phelps broke the news on his Facebook page on March 16 that his estranged father was "on the edge of death," and later, his daughter Margie Phelps informed The Associated Press that Phelps died around midnight on Wednesday, but didn't provide the cause of death or the condition that recently put him in hospice care.
While losing a loved one is never easy, the country's reaction to Phelps' passing is overwhelmingly dry-eyed. After all, this is a man who led a small Kansas congregation (made up almost entirely of his extended family) in some of the most hate-filled protests this country has seen in recent years, aimed at everything and everyone -- from AIDS victims to gay people to soldiers.