My very sincere apologies to Fred Clark of the wonderful Slacktivist blog for identifying something he wrote in a posting here yesterday as an article by Fred Phelps! I have no excuses at all for this lapse, except that 1) I'm aging and my brain misfires at times, 2) I'm a little worn and distracted these days with last-minute work to prepare my book for publication, 3) I was vexed and harassed yesterday by a situation about which I posted in one of my postings during the day, and 4) right before posting about Fred's piece, I had just read an article about two Phelps women who have left Fred Phelps's church in Topeka. And so I had the Phelps family on the brain.
Well, there's also reason number 5: when God appeared to me some years ago in the form of a long-dead pope with a resplendent tiara on his head offering me the charism of infallibility, I turned it down. My reasoning for refusing the gift made much sense to me: don't want to be infallible, can't imagine claiming to be infallible, can't imagine how the claim never to make mistakes could be anything but destructive for any individual or organization that makes such an outrageous claim--since we learn by recognizing our limitations and facing our propensity for getting things wrong.
I admire Fred Clark to high heaven, and am really sorry to have mixed him up with Fred Phelps. I do know the difference. And, in the final analysis, I have no excuse whatsoever for this inexcusable mixing-up of two very different gentlemen whose first name is Fred.
And many thanks to Tim of Following the Voice Within for pointing out my mistake!