Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Funeral protests

Dean Mundy has a good piece in Monday's Journal Sentinel (I am behind; not on blogosphere time) opposing the proposed law restricting protests at funerals.
I agree with him but want to point out something about the group that has prompted this proposal.

I am not going to link to the website of Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church because it is disgusting. But Fred and his "congregation" protested outside my church about 18 months ago and I took a little time to learn about them then.

This is not a "group" or a "church." It is a family. They are virtually all Phelps' children and grandchildren. It is a very small group. A number are lawyers and they are very careful not to do anything that would cross the line legally. They won't block access to anyplace. They won't get into fights.

They are really odd looking people.

They do try to cross the line emotionally so that bystanders will cross the legal line. They hold up signs that say the most childish and disgusting and inaccurate things. But I can't give examples because this is a family blog.

Did I mention that they are all kind of goofy looking?

On the other hand, they are so obviously deranged that it's kind of hard to get angry. And, based on my experience, they are stupid. We were able to route all traffic in and out of the church into an entrance that completely avoided them.

Having these people outside of a funeral would be awful. But then again so is having Code Pink outside a VA hospital. Unfortunately, the law can't protect us from offense.

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