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Proud to be an American

Today the Supreme Court of the United States of America ruled in favor of the Westboro Baptist Church essentially giving them the freedom to continue protesting at military funerals.  I would like to say this disappointed me.  I would like to say that this made me ashamed of our Supreme Court.  I would like to say that having to see the children of these folks carrying signs that read “Thank God for IED’s”, “God hates Fags” and “Thank God for 9/11” doesn’t bother me… but I’d be lying.

Ya’ll know me well enough by now I hope to realize I don’t often speak of my politics or my religious affiliations.  To me those conversations are about as useful as teats on a boar, and not worth the powder to blow them to hell.  So I won’t get into the political or religious ramifications of this ruling.  I’ve had personal contact with this group, and I still don’t understand them or their message.  Here is what I do know…

In the United States of America we have rights afforded to all citizens, rights that many of our military members fought and died for honorably.  Some of those basic rights include, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom to vote.  Now of all of these freedoms, which one could you do without?

I know that makes me sound nuttier than a squirrel turd, because obviously no one is threatening to take away any of your rights.  But there’s the rub ain’t it?  If we allow the Supreme Court of the United States of America to take away the Westboro Baptist Church’s rights of free speech, freedom of religion or freedom of assembly… well we’d be selling the mule to buy a plow!  It would only be a matter of time before someone in government decided that like the Westboro Baptist Church if we don’t like the message then let’s make it illegal to protest.  What would happen to all those folks in Wisconsin who are protesting their Governor’s recent decisions?  What about those Tea Party assemblies that protest the government?  And what if your church were contributing to a political campaign and was suddenly shut down because of it?  Where would we draw the line when it comes to politics or speech we don’t agree with?

Don’t get me wrong, I personally would like to slap every member of the Westboro Baptist Church like the red headed stepchild they are… but that only serve to prove their message of hatred and intolerance is right.  I personally like to think that I and many others like me have served, fought and died honorably to uphold these basic rights.  And although we don’t much care for the message, and would like to shoot the messenger, they still have a right to say it because in a democracy if you take from one, you take from all.  As Johnny Cash said once about the protesters burning flags, “Ya’ll have a right to burn the flag.  But I’ve got a right to bear arms and if you burn my flag I’ll shoot you!

Now I’m not suggesting we shoot anyone, or even engage in any physical way with any of those Westboro Baptist wacka-dos.  But I am grateful and thankful for the proud Americans and good Christians I’ve seen sheltering these grieving families.  I have been to several military funerals and am grateful to the Patriot Guard Riders, those bikers who stand between those Fred Phelps psychos and the grieving families.  I want to bust a gut when I see in the smallest towns in America their numbers swell to hundreds of thousands of men, women and children coming out to shelter these families in their hour of greatest grief.  I have witnessed the streets lined with American flags to welcome home a hero to their final resting place.  It’s those positive images I choose to carry with me.  I’ve seen complete strangers come and stand together in union against the foolishness of this group’s intolerance and hatred.  I’m proud to be an American because even though the Westboro Baptist Church won a legal battle, they haven’t won the war!  Fight on America… fight on!

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10 thoughts on “Proud to be an American”

  1. BRAVO! Although I too was upset at first as to why the SC would allow this, I know see the points as made in this article. Great article MM!

    1. Why thank you Miss Angela… I knew you were upset about this ruling and I’m so glad I could help you see it differently. But don’t stop being upset sweetie… it’s when we’re upset that we can affect the greatest change! Fight on, my sister, fight on!

  2. This Westboro group upsets me so much. But as stated, I have seen huge crowds of patriots forming a human barrier to guard grieving family members from the ugliness that Westboro. That while this group is UGLY and I think ulitmately EVIL to the core, there is a larger group of Americans ready to guard/protect against them – and that makes me PROUD! Thanks for bringing a different perspective.

  3. Here’s my answer to this…
    I am a member of the Patriot Guard Riders, and Gods forbid my husband who is an active duty Reservist would die in combat, I WANT these idiots at his funeral. Because to my mind he died defending their right to be idiots… it would be a fitting tribute to be reminded what he died defending no matter how evil the message. Don’t get me wrong, they won’t be welcomed with open arms and not only will I have all the PGR standing at my side with all the biggest meanest looking bikers I can find, but I’m going to invite all my friends who are drag queens and homosexuals to come and be as outrageous as possible! Take that Westboro!

  4. I agree that if they did take away their rights it would only shed light on other campaigns and freedom of speech in many facets. My heart breaks because I have seen many non-Christians (friends of mine even family) show hatred to the overall community of Christians and I like how you noted we are not all like that. The devil and evil hides and cloaks himself in many forms but if we stay convicted to the Truth we will get through. Also to all those families who have lost someone will know that God is greater than any wickedness and find peace in Him in their heart. My prayers go out to all those families and kudos to the one’s who ride for our soldiers and families.

  5. I agree with the article, and with the follow-up comments. That severely misguided Baptist group is giving the rest of America the opportunity to demonstrate how America really feels. America clearly appreciates the efforts of people like the Patriot Guard Riders who are invited to funeral services as guests of the deceased’s family to passively shield the mourners from disturbances caused by protestors.

    If it wasn’t for the Whacko Westboro Baptist folks, the general public might be less familiar with the fine Patriot Guard Riders. If it wasn’t for the Witless Westboro Baptist group, the general public might not realize how vehemently the population takes the opposite view. Still, it’s truly unfortunate that those irrational few had to be the catalyst, and in this way. (I’ve deliberately avoided the word “church.”)

    1. My train of thought isn’t on track yet this morning. It was silly to write, “If it wasn’t for the Whacko Westboro Baptist folks, the general public might be less familiar with the fine Patriot Guard Riders.” Let’s change that to, “If it wasn’t for the Whacko Westboro Baptist folks, the general public might not have the Patriot Guard Riders to admire and rally around.”

      Thank you, MM, for a very thoughtful and intelligent article.

  6. Well put Martha! I feel the same way but didn’t know how to express it. Now I can explain it much easier to my children who don’t understand why someone could be so against what their dad does. Thank you so much!! HOOAH!

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