Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Civil Liberty vs. Popular Opinion?

It was with great interest that I read this article about how a town chose to react to the protest that was to be staged in their town by the members of the WBC and Phelps Clan.

Mississippi Town Destroys Westboro Baptist Plans
April 21, 2011 By Joni

The Westboro Baptist Church once again makes the headlines. This time however, the good news is that they were foiled in their attempts to disrupt another serviceman’s funeral. Mississippi gives the Westboro the kind of welcome that we would all like to give.

Since we have reported on the Westboro Baptist Church a few times here, it is fitting that we update you on the latest.

Last Saturday, USMC Staff Sgt. Jason Rogers was laid to rest in Brandon, Mississippi. He was killed in action in Afghanistan on April 7th. Many of the town’s residents paid homage along the route of the fallen hero as his body was transported home.

Most notably absent were the Westboro protestors who planned a large demonstration at Sgt. Rogers’ funeral. According to an Ole Miss message board, a tidbit of info………..

“A couple of days before, one of them (Westboro protestors) ran his mouth at a Brandon gas station and got his arse waxed. Police were called and the beaten man could not give much of a description of who beat him. When they canvassed the station and spoke to the large crowd that had gathered around, no one seemed to remember anything about what had happened.

Rankin County handled this thing perfectly. There were many things that were put into place that most will never know about and at great expense to the county.

Most of the morons never made it out of their hotel parking lot. It seems that certain Rankin county pickup trucks were parked directly behind any car that had Kansas plates in the hotel parking lot and the drivers mysteriously disappeared until after the funeral was over. Police were called but their wrecker service was running behind and it was going to be a few hours before they could tow the trucks so the Kansas plated cars could get out.

A few made it to the funeral but were ushered away to be questioned about a crime they might have possibly been involved in. Turns out, after a few hours of questioning, that they were not involved and they were allowed to go on about their business.”

It might be legal for the protestors to be there, but it isn’t right. Thankfully, the citizens of Brandon agreed and arranged for these slight incidents to keep the unwanted pests away. The Westboro mob never made it to the funeral and Sgt. Rogers was laid to rest without incident.

Fred Phelps, who is the leader of Westboro mob, is a disbarred lawyer and Democratic activist. Other members of his family hold law degrees. They use our court system often and have sued and won countless times all with financial gain to themselves, helping to fund their sickening activities. Undoubtedly, Phelps will plan a lawsuit against someone in Mississippi because his grand plans were thwarted. Mississippi folks says let him. There isn’t a jury in the whole state that will see things his way.

While I understand the Supreme Court ruling allowing Phelps and his gang to demonstrate, I sure appreciate the fact that citizens take it upon themselves to do the right thing. If it takes the community to gather around the bereaved to keep these thugs away, then so be it. I hope every town learns from the example set by people of Brandon, Mississippi." i...

The actions and resistance that this town showed in solidarity against hate IS something that I admire.

What concerned me about the entire episode is the fact that, a large group of people decided that their popular opinions and beliefs were greater than the civil liberties of a group they despise and acted in such a manner as to deprive them of what should have been the fair and open practice of peaceable assembly and protest.(I realize that their message is one FAR from the definition of peace but the courts have decided in their favor repeatedly)

Are not these the same tactics that have been deployed against the LGBT community since the founding of this country?

While I would like to applaud this town's actions since I agree with their cause, what will my reaction be when these same tactics are deployed against me and those like me who are continuing to seek the basic freedoms that our heterosexual citizens enjoy daily?

Just something that made me think is all.
What are your opinions?

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