Self-editing is overrated. Or is it?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

And now, the most fucked up thing that I have ever seen.

OK, remember the other day when I was telling you about how the US was blocking gay rights groups from being able to monitor human rights abuses in countries around the world for the UN?

As bad as that was, NOTHING could have prepared me for this story that I read in, of all places, The Army Times.

Does everybody recall who the Reverend Fred Phelps is? If you think back to the murder of Matthew Shepard (the Wyoming college student who was killed by two young men because he was gay), Rev. Phelps and his followers (made up mostly of his family) from the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas protested at his funeral and trial. Turns out that they have a big problem with homosexuals.

Example

Starting to ring a bell now, isn't he? He's the kind of guy that makes Pat Robertson seem like Walter Cronkite by comparison.

As despicable as that group's demonstration at Shepard's funeral was, it was at least clear why they were there. High profile gay person's death, group hates gay people, ergo they protest gay person's funeral. Disgusting, but at least it's a cause and effect that follows some (albeit horrible) logic.

So what's old Fred up to these days? According to The Army Times, they are now protesting at virtually every funeral of dead soldiers that have died in Iraq.

Wait a minute. Dead soldiers in Iraq? You mean, like after they're shipped home?

That's right.

I don't understand. You mean, gay soldiers who died in Iraq? They only hate gay people, right? So they must be protesting gay soldiers' funerals.

Well, you would think so. But, in fact, no. Due to the army's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, there's no way to know if any of these soldiers were gay, and regardless, the group has said that the soldier's sexuality does not matter. They plan to protest every single soldier's funeral that comes home from Iraq.

And this is not "Send our boys home now" kind of protesting. This is where they chant things like “Thank God for IEDs,” the improvised explosive devices, or homemade bombs, that kill many U.S. soldiers.

What the hell? Why are they protesting at the funerals of dead soldiers, and thanking God for their deaths?

According to their spokesperson, they believe that God killed the soldiers because they fought for a country that embraces homosexuals. They don't have to be gay themselves. The fact that they are fighting for the rights of a nation that has gay people in it is enough for God to punish them with death on the battlefield.

“The scriptures are crystal clear that when God sets out to punish a nation, it is with the sword. An IED is just a broken-up sword,” their spokesperson said. “Since that is his weapon of choice, our forum of choice has got to be a dead soldier’s funeral.”

Hey, you morons! Did it ever occur to you that those soldiers are fighting for your right to be bigoted, intolerant assholes too? How does that fit into your theory?

Thankfully, there is a happy ending to this story. A group of veterans who are also motorcycle enthusiasts had heard a number of these protest stories and vowed to take action. They formed a group called The Patriot Guard Riders who travel with their motorcycles to each funeral site and position themselves next to Phelps's group. When the ceremony begins and the Phelps's begins protesting, the veterans begin revving the motorcycles so loudly that it drowns out the hateful chanting so it cannot be heard by the mourners.

The word of The Patriot Guard Riders has spread quickly and now numbers more than 5,000 members across the country. They only show up when asked by the family, who usually only ask after they learn of the protestors intention to come.

“This is just the right thing to do. This is something America didn’t do in the ’70s,” said Kurt Mayer, the Patriot Guard’s national spokesman, referring to the era when protests against the Vietnam war were common. “Whether we agree with why we’re over there, these soldiers are dying to protect our freedoms.”

“We were glad that the Patriot Guard Riders were there,” said Jackie Pfender, a soldier’s stepmother at a recent funeral. “This group of protesters wanted to put something negative on Jonathan’s funeral. In actuality, it became a positive thing because of the support we had.”

Best case scenario, our soldiers come home soon and this unnecessary insanity ends. Until then, thank god for the Patriot Guard Riders.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Scotty said...

Dude, remind me to tell you about the time i interviewed the phelpses in AL.

2/22/2006 1:49 PM

 
Anonymous Lilly said...

"The church, which is not affiliated with a larger denomination, is made up mostly of Phelps’ extended family. A small group of them appeared last month in West Virginia outside a memorial for the 12 men killed in the Sago Mine disaster. They held signs reading “Thank God for Dead Miners” and “Miners in Hell.” "

I think I've lost my bearings here. Are they against people who "hurt" the earth to provide fuel/resources that ultimately keep people warm, etc. so that they can be alive in a nation with homosexuals?

Wow. This takes the cake of all cakes. Thanks for the tip. It made me even angrier, thus stronger and more hopeful that the sane will prevail- hopefully soon.
Time for a motorcycle license. They are too fucking cool.

2/22/2006 5:13 PM

 
Anonymous Alex said...

This is brilliant. We couldn't have PRAYED for better publicity. I say, let them and there strange, sorry little God hang themselves. It's delicious.

2/22/2006 8:18 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These wack jobs have been spreading their crap in WI. We, unfortunately have had to endure their visits for awhile now. To much surprise, the State came up with a law to put a damper on them. It was written pretty broadly, so there shouldn't be any legal problems. Basicly, they have to stay 500' away an hour before, until an hour after a funeral ends.

Note:the "church" lawyer is also the minister's daughter, so you can bet these people will fight anything you put out against them.

The bill's co-author, Rep. Terry Mussner sums it up, "It never ceases to amaze me that the very people who they're protesting against are the very people who give them the right to act like idiots".

2/23/2006 8:10 AM

 

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