Friday, October 26, 2007

Marine's Father Sues Westboro Baptist Church

I read the article in this morning's New York Times about a Baltimore man who filed a lawsuit against the Westboro Baptist Church for protesting his late son's 2006 funeral with particular interest. The Rev. Fred Phelps and his family, who comprise the vast majority of the extremist Kansas-based congregation, are clearly outside of what the vast, vast majority of people in this country consider acceptable. The sect, however, certainly knows how to generate publicity for itself with its very public protests against gays, lesbians, victims of Sept. 11 and even American soldiers who lost their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq.

These protests are certainly heartbreaking (and obviously infuriating) for the grieving family members who must face these as they lay their loved ones to rest. Most people of good faith will not dispute this fact. But the question remains: Why does the mainstream media fail to give as much attention to Phelps and company's rabidly homophobic-driven actions. Most Americans are quick to identify themselves as patriotic despite their positions on Iraq, the Bush administration and other political hot button issues of the day. These protests clearly strike a nerve at the heart of this 'nationalistic' idealism. Gays and lesbians have long suffered heartache and suffering at the hands of this group. Perhaps it's futile to give it additional attention (as I'm doing with this blog entry). But the parallels must be drawn.

1 comment:

Nick said...

So I heard they won the lawsuit against Rev.Phelps. Will it stand on appeal on First Amendment grounds? It seems to me you'd have to have a law in place outlawing protests of funerals in order for this to stick. But it was gratifying nonetheless. ---=-=- om== Nick