The Right To Shut Up

March 25, 2010
By editor10 BRONZE, Clark, Missouri
editor10 BRONZE, Clark, Missouri
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The man smiling when things go wrong has thought of who to blame it on," -IDK

I am Pro-Religion, Pro-Choice, Pro-Gay Marriage, and I am Pro-Military. I believe it is every person’s right to choose for themselves. Just as it is one person’s right to choose, it is another’s to dispute it. Alas, every now and then you come across a group with a half-brained argument and a blockheaded response. One of these groups is the Westbro Baptist Church.

Here in America we are guaranteed many freedoms. Some are speech, religion, assembly, education, and choice. I say choice because I believe it is every human being’s right to choose what they believe in and to do what they want. However, just because someone chooses to do something bad, doesn’t mean the government or anyone else has the right to take these rights from them. Yes, they may have killed someone or done something really bad, but the law will deal with that and it’s their right to a speedy trial and a mattress in a state prison.

The members of Westbro Baptist Church are hypocrites to the extreme. Isn’t it their choice to be Baptist and their choice to be married and to love another human being? Isn’t it their choice to protest? They chose to do these things. Why do they think it is right to try to take another American’s rights away because he/she is homosexual? It doesn’t matter whether a person is gay or straight. They are still Americans and they haven’t done anything wrong.

Westbro Baptist Church is led by a man named Pastor Fred Phelps. In 2006, this church held a series of protests around the Kansas area. The ideas these people have for protesting just sickens me to the point where I wonder how they can even believe the things this man says. The Westbro protestors camp out at military funerals and protest. Along with the outrageous idea they carry in their heads, church members carry signs with horrifying messages.
“Thank God For Dead Soldiers”
“God Hates Gays”
“God Hates the USA. Thank God for 9/11”
“Thank God for IEDs” [bombs]
“God Hates Your Tears”

Protestors carry these signs and shout that soldiers are rotting in Hell, along with other obscenities. Why? Church members, the majority of them Fred Phelps’ family, told Congress, the press, and America that the men and women who are dying at war are being killed by God. That He is killing them because of America’s tolerance for homosexuality. “There is just so many of them. We’ve got a job to do. Our job is to cause America to know her abomination. We’ve got to put the cup of the fury and wrath of God to the lips of this nation and make them drink it,” stated Shirley Roper-Phelps, daughter of Fred Phelps.

Okay... What the heck does homosexuality have to do with our soldiers dying in Iraq, Afghanistan, or any other country we are temporarily in? Our soldiers aren’t dying because there are gays in the country. They’re dying to protect our freedoms and our lives. Freedom of speech is our most important freedom and its being abused by these kind of people. They just tiptoe around the law and get away with it by claiming freedom of speech. I have news for them, it isn’t free. The soldiers they are dishonoring pay for it with their lives.

Freedom of speech is limited when you are causing panic in a crowded place or infringing upon the rights of others. That’s what Westbro is doing; they are infringing upon the rights of the soldiers and rights of the families to mourn in peace. It’s just plain wrong, whether you support the war or gay rights or not. It’s wrong. “They have a right to freedom of speech,” Representative Steve Buyer, co-sponsor of the bill currently in the Kentucky Senate that will regulate protesting at military funerals, said. “But someone also has a right to bury a loved one in peace.”

“This hypocritical nation runs around the world touting our freedoms and is now prepared to dismantle the First Amendment,” Mrs. Roper-Phelps told reporters. “A piece of me wants to say that is exactly what you deserve.” What they deserve is a peaceful burial. They deserve to be honored for protecting your freedoms to even speak your mind. America isn’t the hypocrite, you are. You go around and speak your beliefs at the funerals of servicemen who died to protect that freedom. You deserve to lose that right.

Someone finally stood up for the grieving families and gave Westbro Church what they deserve. There is a group of people that deserve so much more recognition than they get; the Patriot Guard Riders. A group of motorcyclists that travel the country/state to form a human shield in front of protestors so the families can’t see them. They rev their engines when needed to drown out the shouts of the Westbro group. “This is something that America needs to do, step up and do the right thing,” said Kurt Mayer, spokesman of the Patriot Guard Riders. I agree with Mr. Mayer. The Westbro Church members need to be drowned out. They are choosing to protest at military funerals and that’s their right. However, it’s my right to tell them to shut up.

The author's comments:
What inspired me to write this piece is my father is in the military, though none of my family is gay, this group of people just angered me because they were protesting at military funerals. Its just wrong.

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This article has 2 comments.

jpotter91 said...
on Apr. 18 2010 at 4:44 pm
Along with the mmcc1417, I know the author personally. She is a great writer and she is never afraid to speak her mind.So with that being said,good luck and keep writing so I can keep reading.

mmcc1417 said...
on Apr. 17 2010 at 5:32 pm
I know this author personally and she always finds a way to impress me. Good job and i hope you continue with what you do best. WRITE!!

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