from Village Soup:
“SEARSPORT, Maine — Searsport District High School senior Zach Parker may have got more than he bargained for when he decided he didn’t want the topic of his government class project to be boring.
More precisely, Parker knew he didn’t want to tackle what he saw as overdone themes — he gave “poverty” and “welfare” as two examples — so he hit the Internet looking for an offbeat topic and came upon some headlines about the Westboro Baptist Church, a rabidly anti-gay, anti-Semitic, anti-government church in Topeka, Kan. that has made a name for itself by picketing thousands of events around the country every year.
The group sounded familiar, and as Parker did more searching, he found that WBC had protested at military funerals. He thought of his own uncle in the National Guard, who he said could be deployed overseas next year, and the thought of him being killed in combat was hard to reconcile. The idea of people protesting the funeral was unthinkable.
Part of Parker’s school assignment was to get the word out. He had always wanted to write a bill, but Maine already had a law on the books addressing protests at military funerals, so he took his argument to the federal government, pitching the bill to Sen. Susan Collins and Rep. Michael Michaud, both of whom, Parker said, have expressed interest.
His goal, Parker said, is to “put a barricade” between protesters and military funerals.” (read full article)
OK Stop Here. Lets discuss this.
In 2008, when I started paying more attention to government, and how faith plays a role in one’s political views, I would have thought this would have been a good thing. Now, in 2011, I have my doubts. Having seen a large spectrum of political views and what is and is not acceptable in some conservative’s eyes, the question begs- “is this the price of freedom?”. When the smoking ban occurred in our state, there were a LOT of conservatives that cheered that ban, citing their personal reasons for supporting the ban. Personally, I love the idea of smoke free restaurants. However, my personal desire not to be around smoke cannot override a property owner’s right to do what he or she wishes, with their own property. WHY is it ok to regulate what we find ok according to our personal desires, but fight like we were fighting Satan against things we do not believe in personally, such as … ooohhh cap and trade? This is where the rubber met the road in my soul as it pertained to property rights and the smoking ban. I have no “right” to dine smoke free. I do have a right to choose where I spend my money. I can control what is indeed in my control, and take personal responsibility.
So what about Westboro “Baptist” Church? Well for one, they “ain’t” Baptist. Lets get that out there. They’re something, but Baptist, they are not. We can ALL agree these people act like the scum of the earth. However, there is a long, long, long line of liberals in this country who believe that we, the TEA Party activists are scum of the earth, too. It wasn’t long ago when our very own Secretary of Homeland Security released a report titled: “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.“-
“Rightwing extremism,” the report said in a footnote on Page 2, goes beyond religious and racial hate groups and extends to “those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely.”
“It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration,” said the report, which also listed gun owners and veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as potential risks. *
If you remember, the only push back, was truly done in defense of Veterans. The rest of that statement includes a lot of us. SO. Is it ok to silence … this website? Because we talk about state’s rights in our personal conversations? Is it ok to prohibit abortion protests because .. well, it is deemed “extreme” or “hate filled”? Where does it stop?
I believe, it stops when we start regulating ourselves as a country. This teen, while with the most honest of intentions, needs to stop thinking about the government solving our problems. This is the same issue with the smoking ban. People do not like to be around smoke, so they want the government to regulate smoking in public. Forget property rights and free market capitalism. This teen’s answer to the Westboro bunch is to make it illegal for them to do what they do. He’s forgetting that, as much as we DISAGREE with what they say, they have just as much a right to stand in a public right of way and “protest” as we do to stand in a public right of way at an abortion clinic and hold signs that pro choicers could easily say is “hate filled” by their own reasoning and definitions. So if we say it is ok for the Westboro bunch to be regulated out of their protests, are we going to say it is ok for abortion protestors to be regulated out of their protests, as well? One group is no more legal to be in this country as the other.
If he wants a “barricade”, I would suggest he consider forming an “Anti Westboro” group that does the same thing that our awesome conservatives in North Carolina did with the Elizabeth Edward’s funeral:
“Just because I disagree with someone, does not make them my enemy, just my opponent in life. We will not stand by and allow these monsters to disrespect Ms Edwards life or her family. Randy’s Right, NC freedom and Triangle Conservatives Unite will be there in numbers with American Flags for only one purpose. To prevent Westboro Baptist Church radicals from disrupting funeral services or harassing the Edwards family. We must make sure that the Westboro Baptist Church membership understands they’re not welcome in our state.
It is sad we have to do this during a funeral, but for evil to reign is when good women and men remain silent.
Please only bring American flags. Our groups will remain silent and please no shouting, even if provoked by the members of Westboro Baptist Church.”
Maybe as it pertains to Westboro “Baptist”, others should take the lead from the Triangle Conservatives, and not allow their evil to spread for the presence of good in their midst. Only then, will God’s love be shown to all involved in those funerals, which is what they need. Love. Not Hate.