This didn’t really happen, did it?
According to the Associated Press, members of a church who believe that God is punishing American troops because their country tolerates homosexuality protested over the weekend at the funerals of two soldiers killed in Iraq.
Members of the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas — which is apparently made up mostly of the family of a man named Fred Phelps, but which echoes, albeit in a slightly uglier fashion, some of the wisdom of Jerry Falwell — turned out for the funerals of Tennessee National Guard Staff Sgt. Asbury Fred Hawn II, 35, and Spc. Gary Reese Jr., 22, the AP reports. With shouts and signs, the AP says, the church members conveyed messages like “God hates fags” and “God hates you.”
Proving Justice Louis Brandeis right once again — which is to say, showing that the solution to stupid speech is “more speech” — hundreds of local residents gathered outside both funerals to stand up to the anti-gay zealots. According to the AP, counterprotesters at one of the funerals turned their backs on the church members until the time expired on their protest permits and they went home to Kansas.
“If they were protesting the government, I might even join them,” Danny Cotton, 56, told the AP. “But for them to come during the worst time for this family — it’s just wrong.”