Free speech is wonderful thing, it provides the individual the right to speak his/her mind without fear of Government control, or retaliation against his/her personal being. Too many times however, people have taken things too far, pushed the envelope for political or social gain, or for monetary gain.
Freedom must be tempered, not with Government controls that regulate free speech, and seek to control a man from the outside, but with Biblical moral boundaries that control a persons behavior from the inside out. As it turns out however, in America we are replacing our standards of public decency with that of Government control.
When society maintains a level of public decency, and is willing to enforce these standards either by peer pressure, or through the system of law, civility and justice will prevail. When a society allows it's standard of moral decency to be removed, chaos and confusion ensue. This is what has happened in America, we allowed others to attack and remove God, and the Ten Commandments, trample on everything that is sacred, and now we have a huge mess to deal with.
Anytime someone gets offended by someone else free speech they file a law suit to remove, or drown out the messages they don't like. This gets ugly, and people get angry. It's a war of world views that clash like Titans fighting in an arena, to the death. This battle will never end, but it forces people to choose sides on important issues in our culture.
What I want to discuss here is the way that Westboro Baptist protests the funerals of military personnel, and does so in a very vial manner. Carrying signs that read "Thank God for Dead Soldiers" and Your Going to Hell", and so forth. Their website refers to a dead marine as a 'fallen fool', which I might add goes against the very Scripture they claim to believe in which say's "If you say to someone 'you fool', you are in danger of the fires of Hell" So who might be going to Hell WBC?
Most of the people that go out and travel around the country are lawyers connected to this so-called church, they knows the limits of the law, and walk a thin line where the law is concerned. The group carries signs that are easy to see and read, shout and intimidate anyone that get's in their way, or opposes them. They try and draw people into a confrontation, in hopes that people will attack them, or damage their signs. The group then will haul you into court and sue you for lots of money. If you ask me, it's a scam they are running, and they need to be stopped.
While I agree that Christians ought to speak out against evil, and sin. I believe that what WBC is doing is causing more harm than good. My big question is "What would Jesus do at a military funeral?" Would He carry big signs with with nasty slogans on them? Would He shout nasty things at people to get them to slip up so he could sue them? Would he cause insult to injury as Westboro does when grieving families see their hateful signs?
I think that most of us know the answers to these questions don't we?
How did Jesus Christ act when he walked this earth? Well, he looked at people with love, and treated the with respect while calling sinners to repentance, and the Kingdom of God. Jesus reacted strongly when confronted by the religious leaders who were trying to entrap him, so they could kill him. Jesus had compassion on the lost, and preached to them the need to repent and be saved. He never carried a sign, shouted nasty things at people.
Jesus said to "do good to them that hate you" "pray for those who persecute you" and "if some hits you, turn the other cheek". Jesus was not a push over, he was always in control of himself at all times. Granted, Jesus was/is God, and we are not, but he set forth an example for his people to follow. Does Westboro follow the example that Jesus Christ set? I'll let the reader answer that question.
Funerals are sacred moments in the lives of family and friends of a deceased person. A military funeral is just as sacred, and brings with it many formalities not associated with regular funerals. Funerals are for the living too help them move through the grieving process, and accept the death of a loved one. People who serve in America's armed forces deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. They should be honored for their bravery, and protecting our liberty and freedom. To add insult to injury, to add to the grief of an already grieving family and spouse, is unacceptable!
For anyone or any group to picket the funeral of a fallen hero, too stand outside attempting to instigate a confrontation, is contemptible at best, and un-Christlike as well.
Shame on you Westboro Baptist!