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Free To Speak
Rodney Simmons

Protesting Funerals

Posted Wednesday, January 12, 2011, at 1:44 PM
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  • While I agree with their right to free speech, that speech must be tempered with common sense.

    I would love to see about 200 Hell's Angels suddenly appear at the funeral, and all the police magically be needed elsewhere.

    -- Posted by quietmike on Wed, Jan 12, 2011, at 1:57 PM
  • I have been saying for several months that outrage over Westboro isn't ever going to make Westboro go away. Outrage is what they're looking for. It's when we stop talking about them that they'll go away. I realize that's hard to do; it's hard for me, too. But it's the only thing that's ever going to work.

    -- Posted by Jicarney on Wed, Jan 12, 2011, at 2:24 PM
  • Having the distance limit in place is really the only thing that will help there. While morally reprehensible, they do have the right to protest. As much as I despise their message, even they have a right to free speech.

    The Patriot Guard Riders does a great job of creating a barrier for the families of fallen service members at whose funerals the WBC has said they were going to protest. One that we went to in Dixon had about 150-200 bikers there with MASSIVE flags waving and every time the protesters would start to say something, a rumble waved across the town so that nobody could understand what the protesters were saying. It was GREAT to see that. There were riders there from the Masons, VFW, the American Legion, TONS of biker clubs were represented there and they did a great job of keeping the protesters at bay, and they did it with the invitation of the soldier's family.

    -- Posted by Thom on Wed, Jan 12, 2011, at 2:33 PM
  • I agree, Westboro's members want attention and they are getting it. There are news reports now stating that the church has decided not to protest Christina Green's funeral but it is not out of the kindness of their heart. They only agreed not to protest in exchange for the airtime they are going to receive from a interview on a morning talk show in Toronto, Canada. However they stated they still plan to protest the funeral of U.S. District Judge John Roll.

    -- Posted by Rodney Simmons on Wed, Jan 12, 2011, at 3:52 PM
  • It should be considered as invasion of privacy--the right to free speech should not even be considered.

    -- Posted by stardust on Wed, Jan 12, 2011, at 4:47 PM
  • I've been refraining from commenting on most of the blogs on here lately, but I thought I'd throw in my 2 cents on this one - for one of the first times that I can remember, I agree with Thom, even though what Reverend Phelps does by protesting funerals is completely vile to me, the first amendment applies to him and his followers, too. I recently saw an interview with Larry Flynt where he talked about defending to his greatest power anyone's right to free speech, especially those with opposing views to his - I can't say that's a bad way of thinking (regardless of how I feel about Larry Flint in general).

    -- Posted by cfrich on Wed, Jan 12, 2011, at 6:59 PM
  • Free speech should be protected at all costs. An affront to WBC is also an affront to you. With that being said...

    They don't fall under free speech. The right to worship freely and without intervention is more appropriate. Death is a part of the worship ceremony and should be protected. Free speech aside. They can rally all they want but should be kept from a certain radius so as to not interfere with the process of burial which is normally a religious and spiritual concern.

    -- Posted by Sir_sidney on Thu, Jan 13, 2011, at 11:27 AM
  • The Patriot Guard Riders do a great service to these families, and are to be commended for providing a peaceful barrier to this nonsense. They are quite a sight to see. But, in this case, the Patriot Guard Riders are unable to be in Arizona, and local riders are stepping up to the task. As Quiet Mike mentioned above, the Hells Angels have been asked to their support. WBC seems to thrive on picking a fight on families at their weakest point, but I have an idea waving their signs in the face of this crew would be very ill advised. And I guarantee you, God couldn't hate fags as much as the Hells Angels do. But any Angel worth his leather knows God loves his children. Maybe the WBC will realize their opposition isn't above adding another assault charge to their rap sheet and choose to tone it down this time around.

    Quite ironic that in America, we can still find a valid use for a bunch of outlaws. God loves the Angels too.

    -- Posted by superx1250 on Thu, Jan 13, 2011, at 12:04 PM
  • Thought this was an interesting article about Christina Green's funeral which is today.

    http://www.aolnews.com/2011/01/13/funera...

    -- Posted by Rodney Simmons on Thu, Jan 13, 2011, at 12:53 PM
  • The Westboro Baptist Church agreed to not protest the Green funeral, only after a nationally syndicated radio show agreed to let them spouse their rhetoric over the airways. I didn't listen and I hope no one did.

    -- Posted by docudrama on Fri, Jan 14, 2011, at 2:37 PM
  • Every time we listen to the Westboro protesters, we give them a podium from which they spew their vile speech. Though it may be extremely difficult to do so, ignoring them might eventually make them go away. I pray that they do.

    -- Posted by Tim Lokey on Sun, Jan 16, 2011, at 12:37 AM
  • Unique-Lies - The flag displayed at Christina's funeral was recovered from the 9/11 attacks at the World Trade Center. It was displayed because Christina was born on 9/11. I don't think anyone was trying to "make it a patriotic ceremony" as you suggest.

    -- Posted by Rodney Simmons on Wed, Jan 26, 2011, at 7:41 AM
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