Wednesday, October 31, 2007

God Hates Westboro Baptist Church

Well, there's justice for you. Sometimes the system does actually work.

(Reuters) - A jury on Wednesday ordered an anti-gay Kansas church to pay $10.9 million in damages to relatives of a U.S. Marine who died in Iraq after church members cheered his death at his funeral.

Now look, I believe, most strongly, in the 1st Amendment. I think if you want to burn the American Flag, then it's your right to do so. But, don't be surprised when I punch you right in the nose, because that's how I exercise my freedom of expression. People should be accountable for what they say and do.

I think that Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church have the right to protest the War, the Army, the godless heathens (which they define as everybody but themselves), gays, and cheese sandwiches for all I care. Even if they are little more than a thinly disguised hate group. But, I think they should be held accountable for their actions and the pain that they have inflicted on the rest of us - and most especially the families of the fallen. I suppose it is ethically better that they should have to pay money, rather than having the utter shit kicked out of them, each and every one.

They'll appeal, of course. They'll claim religious persecution. They'll claim 1st Amendment protection. They'll use every trick they can find to tie up the legal system for years (at least one of Phelps' daughterwives is a lawyer, of the lunatic nutcase variety, if I remember right). It is unlikely that they'll pay a dime any time soon. But this is a start, and there needs to be more of it. The families of every fallen service member that these jerks have inflicted their particularly noxious brand of bile on, should band together and file a class action suit.

Or, we could all just line up and start punching them in their collective noses. Repeatedly.

Before anybody asks: I have no idea why Fred is wearing an 'Alaska' Sweatshirt in the Reuters photo. He gets an extra punch in the nose from everybody in Alaska, just for that.


  1. I'm all about the "line up and punch them in the nose" solution. I'm quite sure that every veteran in the nation will line up to help complete that little mission. With extreme prejudice.

    What is wrong with these people? I do understand that members of the religious right have some sort of moral problem with homosexuality - while I think they're full of shit, I'm certainly prepared to "agree to disagree" with them on this issue and peacefully co-exist. These freeze-dried whack-a-loons, however, just have no class at all. Why would they use the military funeral of a straight Marine to make their political point, thus earning them the contempt and derision of pretty much everyone in the country? Even individuals who think homosexuality is a "sin" are shocked and appalled by their tactics. It earns their cause no credibility, and in fact takes away from their "message," such as it is.

    As you note, Jim, their message becomes not "homosexuality is destroying the moral fiber of America," but "we're hate-mongering asstards with no sense of right and wrong."

    I don't get it.

  2. Well, I thinks it's less a case of religious extremism and more a case of collective insanity. No hyperbole here, I think that Fred Phelps is genuinely insane, and that he has managed to infect the rest of his 'congregation' with his sickness. I see little difference between Westboro and the Manson Family - other than Westboro hasn't gone on a killing spree, yet.

  3. Unfortunately for all concerned, I think you're right about the insanity part. Hopefully the "killing spree" part won't come to fruition.

    The best conclusion would be for them to announce they're not subject to the rulings of the U.S. Justice system and they'll all get thrown in jail for contempt. Indefinitely.


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