Thursday, November 12, 2009

Westboro Baptist Church: stay away from Obama daughters, soldiers' funerals

Is there no decency left in this country? Is everything that was once "off-limits" now fair game?

The Westboro Baptist Church, a religious organization notorious for staging protests outside of fallen soldiers' funerals (with signs like, "God Hates Fags!"), has come to Washington D.C. to protest outside of the schools where the president's daughters attend.

Known for holding extremist views (such as believing that all the nation's ills can be traced to homosexuality, abortion, and the acceptance of other religions as acceptable within society), the WBC refers to the Obama children as "satanic spawn" of a "murderous bastard" in its most recent protests. The church is also protesting at various locations in D.C. including the White House and the World War II Veterans' memorial.

To be sure, the WBC has the right to hold these protests, as protected by the U.S. Constitution. The right to free speech protects the rights of those the majority may find to be reprehensible or distasteful.

But so, too, do opinion writers have the right to find these acts immoral and/or indecent, and may express their displeasure by the same rights vested to the WBC. As such, this opinion writer will speak out on those acts.

Everyone has a right to express their views. They have the right to express how they feel about many issues. But the WBC has no decency whatsoever in my mind. To verbally assault the president's daughters, to attack any politician's children, is a step so low that it boggles the mind.

It's borderline threatening to do what this church has done, to stage events in front of the schools where the president's daughters attend, to call them "satanic spawn." What reason do they even have for doing this? What do they accomplish by putting fear in the minds of children -- not only in the minds of the president's daughters, but also in their classmates' minds as well?

The answer is simple: there IS no purpose to these events, in these staged protests. They are simply designed to bring attention to the church, to bring extremist followers to their doors. The president's daughters (and dead soldiers, for that matter) are props, as important to the protesters as their offensive signs and imagery are. The only purpose Sasha and Malia serve to these protesters is that they are the daughters of the president.

By doing something so offensive, so blatantly wrong, this church brings about more attention to itself. That is the real goal here: the WBC, it's clear to see, could care less about the Obama daughters.

It's disgusting how some can see this as justifiable, as serving some greater meaning. Whether you agree with the WBC or not on the issues, the violent words and imagery they project unto the president's daughters is wrong...and I worry for the souls of these church members.

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