Taking Protestantism Too Far

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The Westboro Baptist Church (unlike the Landover Baptist Church, they continue to insist they aren't kidding) has led 14 states to consider legal restrictions on protesting near funerals because the Westboro faithful have been showing up to protest the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan; a church representative is appalled and vows legal fights if any such laws are passed, saying, according to the AP account, that "states cannot interfere with [the church's] message that the soldiers were struck down by God because they were fighting for a country that harbors homosexuals and adulterers."

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  1. And in protest, members of the church attacked the nearest Danish consulate.

  2. Can’t we get a fatwa put on these assholes?

  3. What I don’t get is this. God is generally conceptualized as being a man by most Protestant denominations. Moreover, God-love is a good thing, as the doctrine goes. I’m sure the Westover Baptist Church would argue it’s the very best thing. But if God-love is super, and God is at least part man, isn’t man-love also a super-duper thing? Or have I slipped a groove here?

    Please don’t burn down my embassy.

    On a related note, I see the carpet-humper is back.

  4. Instead of banning the protests, how about relaxing criminal and civil penalties for grieving family members if they should happen to give the protestors the beating(or worse)that they deserve.

  5. Funny how tame that guy sounds when taken in current world context…but that must not stop us from keeping a close watch on the fundamentalist vipers in our midst, because one man’s stupid, relatively harmless minister is another’s militant Imam, recruiting people to die in a war against the West.

    Thanks, Doherty: good night, and good luck….

  6. Those asses showed up in Galesburg, IL a few months ago, toking “God Hates Fags”, “Thank God For Dead Soldiers” and like signs in front of the church where funeral services were being held. The kids from nearby Knox College formed a line to keep the idiots from getting too close to grieving family and friends. Kudos to Old Siwash.

    http://www.register-mail.com/stories/111605/MAI_B852EH6G.GID.shtml

  7. Next you’re going to tell me that these guys aren’t for real either.
    http://www.godhatesshrimp.com/

  8. Hell–looks like they’ve changed their nickname recently.

    Kudos to the “Prairie Fire” then.

  9. David-I hope that happens soon. Those scum are from a city about 100 miles away from here, and if I ever see them at a military funeral, I refuse to be held responsible for my (extremely violent) actions.
    I figure all I need is one veteran on the jury.

  10. I was listening to Westboro Baptist Church by ICLASOBITH when I read this. Freaky.

  11. Even freakier, I am a computer engineer and I can’t figure out how to get a goddamn link in a blog post.

    http://www.icanlickanysob.com/menacelyrics.htm

  12. I personally think it is blasphemy for anyone, ordained or not, to proclaim that the reason someone died or was hurt was punishment by God.

    Do these people have a direct line to God? “Ok, yes God, I’ll tell the faithful that these buggers got what was coming to them, and why. Your wish is my command”.

  13. This is the best thing ever. It pits religious lunatics against lovers of war.

    – Josh

  14. “This is the best thing ever. It pits religious lunatics against lovers of war.”

    A grieving widow, or parent of a dead soldier can hardly be described as a “lover of war”.

  15. The silver lining is that, in the U.S., these God nuts are pissing off folks who make a living playing with C-4 and automatic weapons, yet their church is still standing.

  16. I think they should be free to do this, but I also think counter-protestors should be able to demonstrate at the funerals of their loved ones in turn, saying that God must have struck them down because they associated with bigots.

  17. Do 21-gun salutes have to be aimed up in the air?

  18. I think they should be free to do this, but I also think counter-protestors should be able to demonstrate at the funerals of their loved ones in turn, saying that God must have struck them down because they associated with bigots.

    Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    Note that I’m criticising the message. God doesn’t kill bigots any more than he does soldiers. The counter-protest idea, however, is spot-on.

  19. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

  20. I with Ken Schultz on this one.

  21. I meant “I’m” — sorry about the Tarzan-talk.

  22. me biologist, you stevo

  23. Yeah, I’m sure the families would prefer two protests during their loved ones’ funerals.

  24. Not two protests at one funeral — two funerals, one protest each.

    The families of the soldiers are already getting a protest at the funeral they care about, so they may not object to blowing off some retaliatory steam at the funerals their tormentors care about.

  25. On a related note, I see the carpet-humper is back.

    Yeah well, I’d probably be humping the carpet too if that girl in red was living just upstairs from me and I couldn’t reach her. YMMV

  26. Maybe they need to start putting real ammo in the guns for those 10 gun salutes they do at some of these military funerals.

  27. I can’t see how a counter-protest would work, unless people started protesting all funerals at the Westboro Baptist Church. Otherwise, you’d have to discover the names of the protestors, find out who their family members are, wait for one of them to die and then move in with your protest.

    It’ll be much easier to just beat one these pricks into the ground, give him a sandwich board suppository, and write the whole thing off as a stress-induced psychotic break directly caused by the protestor.

  28. There have been counter protests, in the form of revving motorcycles to drown out the Phelpsers.

    I am a more than a little disheartened to read threats of violence towards those who have different ideas than you. What ever happened to ‘sticks and stones. . . ?’

    Is it only the ideas that we agree with that deserve protecting?

    To paraphrase Miss America in ‘Bananas’, ‘We should allow ideas that are different, but not ideas that are too different, because then you become a subversive mother.’

  29. Are these people being allowed on the graveyard duing the funeral, or kept outside the gate? If kept outside the gate and not impeding the procession, they should be allowed their right to protest. If they are actualy impeding any part of the ceremony, they should be removed.

    The fact that their church still stands and they are not all incarcerated (sic?) gives me some hope for real civil liberties.

    The counter-protest would be “God is punishing you for protesting a country that allows you the right to protest it.”

  30. The Westboro people are so over the top that I wonder if they are some kind of double agents trying to drum up sympathy for gays.

  31. “The silver lining is that, in the U.S., these God nuts are pissing off folks who make a living playing with C-4 and automatic weapons, yet their church is still standing.” – Larry A

    Amen brother!

    “Do 21-gun salutes have to be aimed up in the air?” – Jimbo

    Yes, and they’re conducted with blanks, usually. But that doesn’t mean that mistakes and bad aiming couldn’t “accidentally” happen. I always wonder what it’s like for these jackasses when they finally DO get their audience with God…

    Nut-job: “Lord, I just got here fresh from a military funeral where I was doing your work!”
    God: “Not exactly. But I plan on introducing you to the guy whose work you were doing – he’ll be in charge of turning you on a spit for eternity.”

    “I think they should be free to do this, but I also think counter-protestors should be able to demonstrate at the funerals of their loved ones in turn, saying that God must have struck them down because they associated with bigots.” – Ken Shultz

    I don’t think so. I think the cemetery should be off-limits, since it’s probably private property. Even if it’s not, pissing off grief-stricken people seems a bad idea no matter which side that person took in life.

  32. We do hope that most people know that the three volleys of musketry fired at military funerals are not the same thing as a 21-gun salute.

  33. True enough… But many people do (mistakenly) refer to military funeral honors of this sort as “21 gun salutes.” Only the Honor Guard guys really track that its not actually a “21 gun salute.”

    “At military funerals, one often sees three volleys of shots fired in honor of the deceased veteran. This is often mistaken by the laymen as a 21-gun salute, although it is entirely different (in the military, a ‘gun’ is a large-calibered weapon. The three volleys are fired from ‘rifles,’ not ‘guns.’ Therefore, the three volleys isn’t any kind of ‘gun salute,’ at all).

    Anyone who is entitled to a military funeral (generally anyone who dies on active duty, honorably discharged veterans, and military retirees) are to the three rifle volleys, subject to availability of honor guard teams. As I said, this is not a 21-gun salute, nor any other type of ‘gun salute.’ They are simply three rifle volleys fired. The firing team can consist of any number, but one usually sees a team of eight, with a noncommissioned officer in charge of the firing detail. Whether the team consists of three or eight, or ten, each member fires three times (three volleys).”

    From http://usmilitary.about.com/od/jointservices/a/twentyonegun_2.htm

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