A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


The US Supreme Court started its new session last week and there was much speculation as to what their agenda would be in the coming months. The most prickly one involves a First Amendment suit brought by the Reverend Fred Phelps of Topeka, KS. Phelps claims that he is perfectly within his freedom of speech rights to picket funerals of troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq. Mourners of the soldiers originally sued Phelps for invasion of privacy.

Sadly, tragically, ironically, he may be right.

I believe this is probably one case the Supreme Court wishes would go away. Phelps' free speech claim in his case presents a thorny dilemma. Unfortunately, he does have a strong case, but the court now has to decide if his protests interfere with a private event: a soldier’s funeral. Phelps has drawn a rather convoluted argument comparing the soldiers deaths to the United States tolerating homosexuality. He believes that their combat deaths are a result of America’s tolerance for gays. (Editor's Note: insert sound of cuckoo clock here.)

I’ve written about Reverend Phelps before (A Prayer for Rev. Phelps, 10/11/2006). At that time, I humbly petitioned God Almighty to give the good reverend a sign that his protests were not nice and not very Christian-like. Unfortunately, God has not answered my prayer yet. Actually it was more of a request that the good reverend and his followers should feel the wrath and weight of a Mack truck running over them. Well, it’s time to try again. This time we’ll leave God and the Mack truck out of it. Now is the time to call a spade a spade and a jerk (and I do mean jerk) a jerk!

The radicals in the Republican Party have been railing against the so-called RINOs (Republican In Name Only). They are the candidates who affiliate themselves with the Republican Party, but don’t tow the party line, or so the radical tea party group believes. In this spirit, I propose that Reverend Phelps is a CINO: Christian In Name Only.

He professes to be a follower of Christ, yet his actions run counter to Jesus' teachings. Phelps' flock hold up signs like “God Hates Fags”, and have also displayed a photo of two men engaged in a sex act at their protests. This display is not only hateful and disgusting, but it also exceeds all boundaries of public decency and common sense.

Yet, it is indeed protected by the First Amendment.

I refuse to believe that Jesus Christ would denounce a people in the vile language that Phelps has chosen for his protests. Christ taught love and forgiveness, not hatred. You do remember that part of the Holy Scripture, don’t you, Reverend?

Even if he doesn’t, we the people who disagree with Reverend Phelps tactics do have an alternative. We could give the good reverend a taste of his own medicine and loudly denounce his brand of hate Christianity with protests across the street from his church while he is holding services. Perhaps this demonstration of the First Amendment has been happening already, and if so, more power to those progressive thinking people who have taken the initiative. Regardless, the Supreme Court now has this hot potato issue sizzling in their laps. I hope they rule wisely...

(Thank you for reading. Please remember the thoughts and emotions we project will reflect back on us in ways we may not want.)


Anonymous Janey said...

While I find Fred Phelps and his type of religous protest to be disgusting, I hope the Supreme Court correctly rules in his favor, for Phelps is indeed exercising his First Amendment rights. Phelps and his flock (all relatives) have been protesting at funerals for decades. They began by protesting at the funerals of gay men who had died of AIDS, holding signs with messages such as "Thank God For AIDS." There was no public outcry, backlash, or legal challenge. But now that Phelps is doing the same thing at the funerals of dead soldiers, now society believes he has no right to do so. If he had the Constitutional right to vocally interrupt the funeral of a dead homosexual, then he absolutely has the right to interrupt the funeral of a dead soldier.

October 13, 2010 at 7:09 AM  
Anonymous Easily Amused said...

I smiled at the Christian in Name Only label, and repeat the often-made sentiment that thousands of lives have been lost in the name of religion for a long time. Today some of our Christian fundamentalists are just as mean and just as determined to convert everyone as the Muslims--although fortunately Christians do stop short of killing the infidels so they apparently DID listen in church from time to time. Oh, and back in the day, I believe we had to TOE the line. It was easier to see and easier to do than pulling on that old rope---

October 14, 2010 at 11:56 AM  

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