One father finally stood up and has taken them to court. It wasn't very clear who might have done better today in explaining their case to the Supreme Court.
I sat and pondered over this mess. Based on the arguments given by both sides...it was pretty lousy, and the judges offered up some pointed questions but never got the reactions they sought.
My argument? This freedom of speech piece of our lives carries enormous weight. Typically, in a case like this....free speech wins hands down. Both liberal and conservative judges would agree on that normally.
So I sat there and in five minutes came to a short but direct confrontation against this free speech argument.
Free speech ends in a theater when someone stands up and attempts to yell "fire". No one argues about that.
So I turned to the Westboro folks. Religion typically means that I can go up to a funeral and spew anything of a whacked-up nature that I wanted. But there's this strange element of religion....you tend to use your free right within the church. You don't end up as a hard-line Baptist standing in a Catholic Church and condemning everyone to hell....going on and on for an hour. The priest will call the cops and they will escort you out....it's very simple in this case.
Go try to play the Jew at a Islamic Center in Philly.....and see how long they let you stand there and spew out various negative comments against Muslims.
So lets go to the next step....funerals. If you are the officiating religion at a funeral....the family has given you rights to say whatever you please....as part of the religion. They didn't give those moments to a unannounced religious group to just show up at a funeral and start condemning your dad son or cousin to some religious hell.
I came to realize several factors about the Westboro Church. First, there are no blacks. Take a look over at videos at various protests....they simply don't have any blacks, and I would strongly suspect that if twelve black men showed up at the church and attempted to join....they would be escorted out.
The Westboro Church uses every penny of its resources to take folks to the four corners of the US. It's like some camping expedition....they just toss in sleeping bags and hope to get to the target protest. It's interesting how no one ever realizes the convoy or attempts to destabilize the convoy.
At the end of the day....these Westboro guys are a bunch of doped freaks without much of a life. They are easily motivated and I suspect any minister could come up and tell them something....and they'd just believe. Why Iraq war vets were ever picked on....is mostly comical. They could have picked dead political figures, dead football players, dead NASCAR guys....but no, they had to pick dead vets. It's mostly about getting attention in the national media and little else.