Thursday, November 17, 2005

There oughta be a law ... right?

The well-travelled congregation of the Westboro (Primitive) Baptist Church of Topeka, Ks., has done its level best to aggravate just about everyone from Michigan to Texas, including us Okies, by picketing military funerals.

And not just picket. They seem to take great joy in each and every tragic soldier's death because their pastor preaches that it's God's way of punishing America for its ungodliness, chiefly that it tolerates homosexuality. The members make incredibly rude and tasteless remarks that are shocking coming from the mouths of people who proclaim themselves such good Christians.

As a Christian, it's disheartening to see and read about their activities. The Westborians, as we call them, are out there poisoning the well of public opinion against Christianity, by providing false witness to the teachings of Jesus.

There's a bill pending in the Oklahoma Legislature, SB 1020, sponsored by two Tulsa area senators, that would erect a legal barrier against the picketing of funerals near churches or cemeteries. Some people believe that the bill would be unconstitutional. The Mad Okie thinks its not good for Oklahoma, despite his anger at the Westboro people.

After further review, we agree with Mad Okie that it's the wrong thing to do, although we fear that the bill as written might not be held as unconstitutional.

But there's a lot about the issue that we wanted to explore in depth and we did so over at Oklahomily (the website), which is where we cover religious, faith and moral issues for our mostly Catholic viewers. We didn't want to exclude anyone here from reading the article, "Bad Cases Make for Bad Law," so we invite you to pour another cup of coffee and drop by. An excerpt:
This is typical of the charm, or lack of it, used by Phelps and his group to promote their message across middle America. It is unusual in that it is tailored to anger nearly every segment of the American public -- liberal, conservative, religious, pagan. The Westboro people specialize in equal opportunity offensiveness.


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