let downs

The Real Problem With The Westboro Baptist Church’s Protests

Is when they don’t even bother showing up. Sure, protesting outside the funerals of fallen Marines and Safeway shooting victims is really annoying. As are demonstrations outside high school productions of The Laramie Project. But when it comes to small towns or big cities that are strapped for cash, the last thing the police force wants to do is expend resources to ensure the safety of a protest that never materializes. Like the folks in Fargo are about to do.

Fargo police suspect the Westboro Baptist Church, an anti-gay ministry based in Kansas, might not even follow through on a plan to protest a Feb. 20 play at Fargo South High School. The chances are likely lower than 25 percent, Lt. Joel Vettel said Thursday. But police are prepping for the protest regardless, with plans in place to have extra officers on duty Feb. 20, which is a Sunday. The amount of additional cops will depend on how much attention the event draws, Vettel said.

The whole charade is over a local high school’s Laramie Project production, of course. And the problem arises when Westboro announces it hate tour schedule on its website, freaking out local officials around the country (and exciting the student bodies, who love a good counter-protest) — often for nothing. Westboro has a tendency to cancel. Those liars. If you’re going to make a mockery of the First Amendment, at least have the decency to follow through. Otherwise we’ve got cops on overtime, schools on alert, and all this unnecessary over-preparedness for squat.

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  • mrbill

    Pass a law stating if you DO NOT SHOW you get billed for the unneeded cost of security. This will not infringed on any ones rights of free speech but deter empty threats of protest.

  • the crustybastard

    On SUNDAY? Well, this is not a matter for the civil authorities! The Bible gives explicit guidance about God’s Holy Sabbath. A believer may not leave home, or even so much as pick up a stick!

    The Lord hath given you the sabbath… abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. Exodus 16:29

    [Immediately preceding giving Moses the 10 Commandments] the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, “Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, ‘Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.'” Exodus 31:12-17

    Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the Lord. Leviticus 23:3

    And they found a man that gathered sticks upon the Sabbath day …. And all the congregation brought him without the camp and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the Lord commanded Moses. Numbers 15:32, 36

    PROTIP: Hey kids —don’t use stones that are too large! It’s more Biblically authentic to really draw the stoning out to allow the perpetrator more time for penitence.

  • James Davis

    Why provide them with security at all.

  • tavdy79

    @mrbill: big tick.

  • ewe

    I do not think people should be free to protest the dead because where they go to do it only effects the living that knew them. If this idiotic nutclan wants to protest people, they should be forced to do it only when their intended target is alive.

  • ewe

    We all have to discuss this gODD nonsense as pure unadulterated and many times evil fantasy.

  • ewe

    Can one redress a grievance by targeting a dead person?

  • Shannon1981

    These people are NUTS. Who in their right mind would protest a funeral? No 1 is right. Charge them every time they don’t show up for the costs of extra security, or, better yet…don’t give them any at all.

  • David Gervais

    No. 1 · mrbill wrote:
    “Pass a law stating if you DO NOT SHOW you get billed for the unneeded cost of security. This will not infringed on any ones rights of free speech but deter empty threats of protest.”

    At least one jurisdiction has thought of that.
    From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westboro_Baptist_Church
    “On July 14, 2006, Mundy Township, Michigan billed the WBC for $5,000.”
    WBC did not pay.

  • David Gervais

    Also from Wikipedia:

    “Their travel budget exceeds $200,000 annually.” and “One of Westboro’s followers estimated that the church spends $250,000 a year on picketing.”

    It seems likely that they spend a lot on attorneys as well.

    My question for the US citizens is: How does this cult come up with their money? Isn’t it time there was a major tax audit here?

  • Grey

    They get money from lawsuits. People get pissed off and punch one of them in the face; they sue and use the money they win to picket more funerals. They love it when they’re able to provoke someone enough to attack them.

  • Terry

    The members of the Westboro Baptist Church are the worthless backwash of humanity.
    They are nothing but fame hogs.

    They are not affiliated with the Baptist Church or any church, and they have no respect for any religion.

    God is not a part of their true agenda. They are worshipers of the false god FAME.

    Fame Hogs = people who have an extreme desire to be famous, even if that entails bad (or notorious) fame.

    If we really want to silence them, the simple solution is peaceful and simple.

    Simple Solution:
    Do not photograph their inbred faces.
    Do not film their inane protests.
    Do not report anything about them on TV, Radio, Internet, etc.

    Alas, there is the crux.

    We are evolving human beings, after all, and we do not yet have the tools to turn our eyes away from a train wreck.

    We are wired to stare in disgust at pictures of obscene demonstrations. They disgust us so much that we are personally forced to watch, and then make pseudo-astute comments to ensure our innate superiority.

    TV, Radio, Internet, etc. – come on, we are the original media kids. If it is being shown on TV, or being said on the Radio or available to read/see/hear on the Internet, we are an active audience.

    We turn our heads to watch them when they show up on TV. It appalls us to see them moving around on film, spouting their hate. And, God knows, we LOVE to be appalled.

    Our ears prick up at any mention of these people on the radio.
    The Internet: Anything remotely concerning the Phelps disease goes viral in 15 minutes.

    And so, the simple solution will not work.

    I have considered other solutions – most of them wouldn’t work.

    Then, it came to me.
    Laugh at them.
    Laugh at the Westboro Baptist Church.
    Just laugh.
    They cannot endure that.

    As Always,

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