Thursday, December 09, 2010

Further evidence, as if we needed it, of indecency

The N&O is reporting this morning that Westboro Baptist Church will picket Elizabeth Edwards' funeral Saturday. It's one more sign, in a world that doesn't need it, of indecency during a time of sorrow. Whether you liked or disliked former Sen. John Edwards or his wife, who died of cancer earlier this week, this group's protests at the funerals of American soldiers and of such public figures as Edwards or Jerry Falwell are the sorts of things that give free expression a bad name.

Yes, you can argue that for the 1st Amendment to mean anything, it must allow even the expression of things we find distasteful. I don't argue that the 1st Amendment should be reined in, but I do observe that it's a sad thing to see such a high principle used to compound the sorrow of the families of those who have died.

The N&O website reports:

Westboro Baptist Church, a group with a history of staging protests at funerals and issuing anti-gay statements, is planning to picket the Saturday funeral of Elizabeth Edwards.

The group said it will picket outside Edenton Street United Methodist Church in Raleigh from 12:15 until 1 p.m. when the funeral is scheduled to begin.

The group, based in Topeka, Kan., travels nationally to picket funerals.

The group came into the national spotlight when members picketed the funeral of Matthew Shepard, a young man from Wyoming who was beaten to death by two men because of his homosexuality. Westboro has protested at the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and well-known people such as Fred Rogers, Coretta Scott King and Jerry Falwell.

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1 comment:

hiprhyme said...

so what are they picketing about?