Lemme go out on a limb here…
I’m guessing that, among “us” (i.e. those of you reading this and myself writing it) there are probably several dozen opinions, agreements and disagreements about the myriad premises of the protests against the Iraq war.
I’ll further extrapolate that there are an equal number of divergent thoughts as to it even being “proper” to stage such protests from any premise while “the boots are still on the ground.”
But I’m willing to bet that, despite all those various clashing opinions, MOST of us… heck, most people period… would generally agree that staging such an event at the funeral for a soldier killed in the war is in the worst possible taste. Speaking for myself… screw “taste,” it’s flat out wrong. In fact, I can’t really imagine a MORE wrong thing you could do to someone’s family and loved ones whatever your feelings of the conflict in question…
…unless, that is, the stated theme of said protest is that the departed soldier(s) in question “deserved to die” as punishment for the ways of the country they fought for. And whether I can imagine something as wrong as that, that’s exactly what’s happened in Smyrna, Tennesse.
Who’s responsible for this outrage, then? Far-left antiwar peaceniks? MoveOn.org? Islamofacist appologists? Outright jihad supporters?
This was the work of an extremist Christian fundamentalist sect, the Kansas-based Westboro Bapist church. It’s leader is Reverend Fred Phelps, (known to Howard Stern listeners as patriarch of the “God Hates Fags Family”,) a genuine monster of the modern American political scene. He’s staging these protests as part of his standard theme: That American soldiers being killed in Iraq is actually God’s punishment of the United States for it’s growing gay rights movement.
His “church” is mostly made of his own children, grandchildren and their families, and is not (it’s important to understand this) affiliated with any official denomination. Even Rev. Jerry Falwell and “Family Research Council” boss Gary Bauer don’t want anything to do with him (Falwell called him “a first-class nut,” a welcome but somewhat puzzling statement from the man who once accused a Teletubbie of same-sex leanings.) And how’s this for contradictions: Phelps is a longtime registered Democrat (admit it, you’re surprised.)
Now, I may be wrong in believing that an overwhelming majority of good people (and even a fair share of the bad ones, I’d wager) can hear something like this and instantly agree that it’s just wrong. It shouldn’t matter if you’re pro-war, anti-war, liberal, constervative, democrat, republican, pro-gay, anti-gay, Christian, American, whatever you are… some things are just beyond the pale. Some things are evil no matter what side you fall on anything.
At least, I hope so.