Today, I'm pissed off....Why? I'm going to address an issue that is always inflammatory. Freedom of Speech and Religion are always hotbed contention points, but this issue definitely needs to be dealt with. I'm a big believer in the rights of individuals, especially those rights given to us within the Constitution. Now, for me, this is not a "black or white" discussion; admittedly with alot of gray area. Some folks just don't know when enough is enough.
A Perfect example is the Westboro Baptist Church is Topeka, Kansas. I'm sure most of you know exactly who they are; you may not associate the name with the group though. The 60 or so members of this "church" are mostly family members borne from one hatemonger. They are the group that goes to servivemembers' funerals and protest loudly and obnoxiously. They hold signs up with quotes like, "God hates dead Soldiers" and "You are dead because God hates you" and even, "Soldiers are Fags and God hates Fags". Unbelievable! I won't even dignify them by posting a link to their site. They have managed to somehow wrap the world's troubles into one ugly little package. They call it "God's will"; I call it "Stupid, insensitive, absurd shit-spewing". Some of you are much more knowledgeable on religious issues than I will ever be, but I truly don't believe these folks represent God's word. In fact they don't represent much of anything, except a self-centered notion that they are the chosen ones. The angry Sailor in me says, "We should kick everyone of their asses and burn their facility to the ground". The reasonable American in me says, "They are excercising their freedoms and to just ignore them". A very difficult pill to swallow. Of course I don't advocate any physical confrontations or malicious actions on these folks...but it is a difficult, heart-tearing issue. In my readings of the Bible, the Qu'ran and the Torah...I've found at least one "verse", in each, that is representative of "Turning the other cheek". This is probably the best course of action regarding these folks...I just hope once my "cheek is turned"; they don't decide to punch me in it.
There is one group, The Patriot Guard Riders that has elected to "combat" the Westboro Baptist Church. Their means are completely non-violent and are truly patriotic. They PGR are a motorcycle club, with members in all the states. When a fallen hero's funeral takes place they will roll into town, escort the procession and stand "guard" against the WBC all the while with presenting American flags. They create a physical barrier and an emotional barrier against the venom of the WBC. They are truly a unique group...a honorable group. In my view, they represent what America is; A country of "open-arms", sensitive to the hardships that servicemembers endure and while not necessarily agreeing with the politics of war, they are still supportive of the individuals involved. They will only be present at the funeral if requested by the family, electing to remain unintrusive. The Patriot Guard Riders are heroes in my book. I hope if my family is put into a horrible situation, the PGR will be there to support them.
Now, before I get a bunch of "hate comments", remember this IS MY blog and not representative of any view except my own. Not the military's, not the government's. Opinions are like a**holes, everyone has one and they all stink. I told you guys I was pissed-off today.