Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it

It's often said that Voltaire said that, but that's disputed.

But that's not the point of this.

As Dennis Miller would say, "Now, I don't want to get off on a rant here," but I'll defend anybody's right to say what they think, no matter how idiotic it is for the simple fact that I'd like them to do the same for me.

Once in a while, though, people test that policy of mine.

One example of this would be Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, which plans to protest outside Staff Sergeant Edward Reynolds' funeral on Saturday. Reynolds died last week in Iraq.

And they're not protesting the war or anything Reynolds did.

They're protesting that he was fighting for a government that they believe is not tough enough on homosexuals.

Jonathan Phelps, a spokesman for the church, told KFDM:

"About 16 years ago, we took to the streets, preaching with picket signs. Our core message: God hates fags."

I've always believed that you should hate the sin but love the sinner. I also believe that God sees it the same way.

Fighting against us

"These soldiers who are coming back increasingly in body bags are the direct result of the wrath of God. They couldn't be marching down Main Street if we didn't have a nation of fornicators and adulterers. What gets God raging mad is when this nation has turned on its prophet. God is now fighting against the nation."

God fighting against the United States? That's got to be one of the stupidest things I've ever heard. If God wants to fight against a country he's not going to see to it that a couple thousand of their soldiers die in a far away place. This is the same God that these people, and myself, believe flooded the earth, leaving just Noah's family and two of every animal alive. The same God that sent ten plagues upon the Egyptians to convince them to let the Israelites free and parted the Red Sea to allow them to escape after Pharaoh had a change of heart. My point is when God does things, He does *BIG* things. He'd  take out everybody in one fell swoop with an incident of proportions that we couldn't begin to fathom, not sporadically kill soldiers with roadside bombs.

Patriotic pep rallies

The article goes on to say:

"If families didn't turn funerals into patriotic pep rallies, we wouldn't travel to Beaumont, Texas," said Phelps. "But they're saying 'God bless America,' and we feel like we have to make sure our message is heard. This is a big patriotic pep rally and they don't want any dissenters. This is the only legitimate forum to send our message."

Patriotic pep rallies? Excuse me??? A funeral is supposed to be a celebration of someone's life and Staff Sergeant Reynolds died defending the country that he loved. If there wasn't an element of patriotism in the funeral then I believe that the man was not truly honored in the way he should have been.

And imagine that, not wanting dissenters at a funeral. Excuse me for thinking that a family grieving over the loss of their son should not have to deal with a bunch of wackos saying that their son was fighting for "a country that enables homosexuality." Let's say that one of these people dies in a tragic accident. Would they all want a bunch of gay pride protesters at the funeral protesting what they were doing? I seriously doubt it.

Supporting immoral behavior

Emphasis in the next quote is added by me:

Phelps said the church doesn't believe God has blessed America. Instead, he says members of the church believe God has turned against America because of what he calls our government's support for immoral behavior.

The U.S. government's job, as outlined in the Preamble to the Constitution, is to "establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity." I don't see anything in there about legislating morality, which is basically what these people want. Wwither two guys or girls can sleep with eacho other does not, in my opinion, fall into that scope so I don't believe it's the government's job to get into it.

It's their right

To sum it all up, I believe that these people are sadly misled and their actions are despicable. I also believe that, no matter how horrible or despicable their protest may be, it's their right to do it. I also believe that Staff Sergeant Edward Reynolds would say the same thing, as he was in Iraq fighting for our rights.

As Dennis Miller also would say, "Of course that's just my opinion, I could be wrong."

Let me know what you think in the comments, but please keep them to the issue at hand and not about the war itself as comments that don't pertain to the issue at hand will be deleted without notice.

(Crossposted to Through our eyes)

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