This week, the vice mayor of a town in Arizona learned the hard way that The Onion is satire.
Ed Farrell, vice mayor of Maricopa, Arizona, quickly read The Onion’s obituary for Fred Phelps, titled "Fred Phelps, Man Who Forever Stopped March Of Gay Rights, Dead At 84." Farrell then reposted the piece on his Facebook with the caption, “We need more Fred Phelps in this world. May you rest in peace sir.”
When asked if he was joking, he replied, "No, I’m not kidding! This world needs to get back to the biblical standards that our God made for us. This guy was not afraid to preach it, and I respect that.”
“I had no idea who this Phelps guy was, I had no idea about the publication the Onion,” Farrell told the Monitor in a phone conversation the next day. “I was just simply scrolling down my news feed and saw this article.”
“I had no clue about this guy; he’s an idiot,” he continued. “I can’t believe that I posted what I posted…shame on me.”
The Monitor reported that Farrell clarified his original post in the comments section on Monday evening with the caveat that he has “many, many” gay and lesbian friends, but stood by his opinion about America needing to return to its “biblical platform.”
I gasped at this headline, and then snorted with laughter throughout. Although the REAL kicker for me is how he fumbles around to say he has gay friends. Really, buddy? That’s your lifeline here?