Skip

Nobody told me there'd be days like these
January 31, 2006 10:43 AM   Subscribe

Have you ever had one of those times where you lose your job, then your VA benefits are cut (even though you were wounded seven times in Vietnam), then your son dies in Iraq and homophobic protesters hold up a sign at his funeral that says “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” then just after Christmas the candle you light for your dead child burns your house down and your family (including your grandchildren) is homeless, and your wife needs surgery for gallstones?
Yeah, that’s tough when that happens.
But sometimes people come through for you.
posted by Smedleyman (154 comments total)

 
Intriguing freeper link

The wonderful (but unfortunately named) operation home front

And the
Rev. Fred Phelps page. (Possibly NSFW)
posted by Smedleyman at 10:45 AM on January 31, 2006


Holy Shit.

Also, who protests at a funeral?
posted by chunking express at 10:46 AM on January 31, 2006


thank you for that
posted by caddis at 10:47 AM on January 31, 2006


Also, who protests at a funeral?

Fred Phelps. Because God hates America because we're too tolerant of homosexuals.

Seriously, that's their angle.
posted by jperkins at 10:52 AM on January 31, 2006


Another shining example of America's treatment of its war veterans. I'm not surprised many of the donations came from "fellow veterans and widows".
posted by Miko at 10:52 AM on January 31, 2006


Chunking Express: Quote from the link that Smedleyman posted:
“Our view of this situation is that God Almighty blew these kids to smithereens and sent them to hell,” claims the 76-year-old Phelps, who says God is punishing “a fag army - don't ask, don't tell - for a fag-loving agenda of a fag-loving nation,”
posted by jperkins at 10:53 AM on January 31, 2006


Did you see the Freepers asserting that Phelps is actually in cahoots with Al Gore to bring shame on Christianity? Oh my.
posted by daveleck at 10:58 AM on January 31, 2006




Some of these typos are great.

"God Hates Faqs"

"...but have expanded their activities in recent months to the services of fallen shoulders..."
posted by birdie birdington at 11:00 AM on January 31, 2006


I laughed and then I cried.
posted by mowglisambo at 11:00 AM on January 31, 2006


Kind of amazing that neither of the linked articles names Phelps, or that it's an anti-gay message. Without knowing more of the background one might make the incorrect assumption that the protesters are generic anti-war protesters.
posted by SteveInMaine at 11:02 AM on January 31, 2006


Also, who protests at a funeral?

Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Klan have been protesting at funerals for quite some time -- from Matthew Shepard's to that of author/journalist Randy Shilts. They also protest at high schools which put on productions of the play "The Laramie Project" which chronicles the efforts of a New York theatre troupe to shed light on a western town's loss of innocence following a hate crime perpetrated on Shepard.
posted by ericb at 11:04 AM on January 31, 2006


This another one of them Oprah Book Club thingies?
posted by HTuttle at 11:05 AM on January 31, 2006


I support free speech, even when it's fucked up and I disagree with it in every imaginable way, but Jesus H. Christ on a pogo stick, don't intrude on funerals, regardless of whose funeral it is. If I had seen any motherfuckers with cameras or signs at my sister's funeral several years ago, I would've done some serious damage. Funerals are rituals for the living to try and cope with the death of those who meant something to them, for fuck's sake.

Hell, when Reagan's funeral was televised a year and a half ago, I got pretty pissed off at the photographers who were jumping in to get good shots of poor Nancy as she clutched the casket at the end. What the fuck, people?
posted by Gator at 11:07 AM on January 31, 2006


Phelps doesn't need more publicity. But, I do find it interesting that now that he is protesting soldiers' funerals, a law is being proposed to stop him.

He's been protesting other places, including at the funerals of non-soliders, for years.
posted by QIbHom at 11:07 AM on January 31, 2006


This another one of them Oprah Book Club thingies?
posted by HTuttle at 2:05 PM EST on January 31 [!]


Ladies & gentlemen, I give you: Compassionate Conservativism!
posted by Chrischris at 11:07 AM on January 31, 2006


Phelps is actually in cahoots with Al Gore to bring shame on Christianity

As if they need Al Gore to do that. Christianity is admirably managing to bring shame on itself, without too much assistance from outside.
posted by Miko at 11:07 AM on January 31, 2006


That's the first time I've ever looked at the Phelps page, and it's really quite wonderful. I can't tell if it's a surrealist joke, an attempt to discredit the true nature of the religious right by saying out loud what the rest of them really think, or just a peculiar example of a collective delusion.

Whatever it is, the more publicity these folks get, the better. Too often bigotry and homophobia scuttles about hiding it's light under a bushel. The more these people show their true colours, the more people will recognize how truly repellant they actually are.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:08 AM on January 31, 2006


I'm surprised the Rev. Fred Phelps hasn't been violently beaten repeatedly.
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:08 AM on January 31, 2006


wow-- if someone had that much adversity, they should start packing their bags for Vegas or pick up a lottery ticket since I'm of the belief the tides always turn again at some point. so based on that, they're due for a lot of good stuff to head their way soon..... ( and it's already happening with the donations)
posted by GoodJob! at 11:08 AM on January 31, 2006


smedleyman, thanks for that Freeper link. Amazing that they claim Phelps, who's been pulling this shit for years now, is a liberal double agent "with lots of ties to Albert Gore."
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:09 AM on January 31, 2006


(I shouldn't wait so long to hit post damnit)
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:10 AM on January 31, 2006


Next time Fred Phelps makes an appearance to protest at a funeral here, I'm going to counter-protest by sticking a four foot dildo up his ass and waving him around like a placard.

That willfully-ignorant, no respect having bastard makes me puke.
posted by Fezboy! at 11:10 AM on January 31, 2006


Derail: Most Freepers aren't worth consideration, they are on the same level of Phelps except they don't see satan they see liberal.

Rerail: It's fantastic to see people willing to help people, compliments to these who sent whatever money they could afford.

On a tangent I can't friggin believe the country harboring the most expensive investment, obtaining the highest profits and exercising the greates power all over the world is unable to offer their citizens opportunities to build themselves some -security- to insure some of their -future- ..they had to rely on the very unreliable people goodwill.
posted by elpapacito at 11:10 AM on January 31, 2006


...and once again I regret having posted instead of just closing the page after writing my comments...
posted by Fezboy! at 11:12 AM on January 31, 2006


From a comment on the freeper page:

"Phelps is ineffective, too, since his group's actions won't accomplish his goal and will create resentment against Christians.

Most of us around here believe that this is his real agenda. If you search (not very deeply) you'll see lots of ties between this Phelps scum and Albert Gore.

I have looked into it, but it gets me so mad that I can't stomach it any more."

Yeah, you should really stop looking into any more. You just might actually discover something.
posted by billysumday at 11:15 AM on January 31, 2006


The core of of protestors are Phelps's klan of children and grandchildren
"The Church is led by the septuagenarian Reverend Fred Waldron Phelps Sr., and many WBC congregants are related to Phelps by blood. His wife, several of his children and dozens of his grandchildren frequent the church.

....In 1991, WBC staged its first public demonstration, targeting a park in Topeka allegedly frequented by gays. Thousands of protests have followed, and WBC shows no sign of slowing down. In addition to speeches on the picket lines, the Church spreads its hateful message via faxed fliers and 'News Releases.' These faxed documents also appear at WBC's notorious Web site, Godhatesfags.com, along with photos of Church pickets and a schedule of upcoming demonstrations. A second WBC Web site, Godhatesamerica.com, contends that the United States is 'doomed' because it supports gays. According to Fred Phelps, 'God invented the Internet for us to preach on.' [source]
posted by ericb at 11:16 AM on January 31, 2006


excellent post, thanks.

and "God hates faqs" is genius
posted by matteo at 11:18 AM on January 31, 2006


I thought Gore invented the Internet. Maybe that's the connection?
posted by ericb at 11:18 AM on January 31, 2006


I can't believe no one's taken a baseball bat to that inbred scumbag Phelps yet. If anyone has ever been more deserving of getting beaten savagely, to within an inch of his life even, I've yet to hear about him.
posted by clevershark at 11:19 AM on January 31, 2006


Ah, yes, the Ayatollah Phelps....might've guessed.
posted by alumshubby at 11:20 AM on January 31, 2006


SteveInMaine writes "Kind of amazing that neither of the linked articles names Phelps, or that it's an anti-gay message."

Try the “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” link that's cleverly concealed in the middle of the post...
posted by clevershark at 11:20 AM on January 31, 2006


A group of motorcycle riders called Patriot Guard has formed to attend these funerals when requested by the family to try and sheild them from those Westboro Baptist Church assholes. I found out about them when I was asked to ride with them at a funeral here in GA; the Phelps people had applied for a protest permit, but never showed up.
posted by TedW at 11:22 AM on January 31, 2006


Thank God for Tsunami -- Thank God for 3,000 Dead Americans!.
"America is awash in diseased fag feces & semen! America; apostate land of the sodomite damned!"
posted by ericb at 11:23 AM on January 31, 2006


There's background on Phelps, a history of inciting battery and then suing on a repeated basis, just using the whole thing a f-d up fundraising scheme. (not the original reference, but close)
posted by bhance at 11:23 AM on January 31, 2006


God Hates Shrimp!
posted by ericb at 11:24 AM on January 31, 2006


On Tuesday, Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn and Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-Norris City) announced that Phelps will introduce the "Let Them Rest in Peace Act" this week in the General Assembly. The law would ban protesters from coming within 300 feet of any funeral service in the state.

I'm appalled that there is a need for a law like this.
posted by orange swan at 11:25 AM on January 31, 2006


Wow, first introduction to this Phelps fellow. Thanks for that.

What do you think of the Religious Right?
In general, they are lukewarm cowards.
Why do you preach hate?
Because the Bible preaches hate.


And they mean that in a positive way. Wow.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 11:25 AM on January 31, 2006


You've gotta be one mean hearted sumbitch to protest someone's funeral.

And Fred Phelps wishes he would stop having wet dreams about being gangraped in prison.
posted by fenriq at 11:26 AM on January 31, 2006


God also hates figs.
posted by Gator at 11:27 AM on January 31, 2006


BrotherCaine : "I'm surprised the Rev. Fred Phelps hasn't been violently beaten repeatedly."

That's what the "compassionate(and downward) conservatives" would do (except they usually use uniformed police for the job of "cleaning the streets of these hippy minority liberal commies"). Rational people usually play it cooler even under such extreme circumstances because well, their mothers taught them it is not polite to disturb a funeral.

And if you really want to dig this skeleton, what Phelps and his gang shout is exactly what most Christians think - they may disagree with his methods but most don't have much problem with his ideas.
posted by nkyad at 11:28 AM on January 31, 2006


From a commenter at the Freeper site:

What do you want to bet this guy [Phelps] is taking money from moveon.org to pose as a Christian? It's time to FOLLOW THE MONEY!!!

I knew moveon.org was behind this. Damn lefty activists. *frown*
posted by Eyebeams at 11:30 AM on January 31, 2006


This makes me proud to be an atheist.
posted by bardic at 11:30 AM on January 31, 2006


Sigh. All you Phelps-bashers: why doesn't your head explode when you preach intolerance against intolerance?

If it was Ronald Reagan, Mefites would be champing at the bit to defend the right to protest at his funeral.

Remember: step 1, principles, step 2, emotion.
posted by deadfather at 11:34 AM on January 31, 2006




I still don't know what God has against Frequently Asked Questions.
posted by clevershark at 11:35 AM on January 31, 2006


He's been protesting other places

Yeah, the photographs at the memorial for the Buckhannon, WV miners were particularly charming.

Apparently, God hates miners as well, for some unknown reason. Presumably, Reverend Felch mixed up The Mineshaft with a mine shaft?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:35 AM on January 31, 2006


Thank God for Tsunami & 2,000 Dead Swedes!!!
"How many tsunami-dead Swedes are fags & dykes? vacationing on their fat, expendable incomes without kids to bother with and spend money on....Woe to faggot Sweden....Homo-Fascist Sweden.
Sweden "Land of the Sodomite Damned"
"Where they eat each other's feces, lick each other's anus, and pee on each other."
posted by ericb at 11:36 AM on January 31, 2006


I still don't know what God has against Frequently Asked Questions.
posted by clevershark


'Cuz God fears the answers....
posted by Floydd at 11:36 AM on January 31, 2006


If it was Ronald Reagan, Mefites would be champing at the bit to defend the right to protest at his funeral.

I don't think so.
posted by caddis at 11:37 AM on January 31, 2006


And Fred Phelps wishes he would stop having wet dreams about being gangraped in prison.

Methinks Phelps doth protest too much!
posted by ericb at 11:37 AM on January 31, 2006


This bears repeating: Kind of amazing that neither of the linked articles names Phelps, or that it's an anti-gay message. Without knowing more of the background one might make the incorrect assumption that the protesters are generic anti-war protesters.

It's just At Christopher's funeral, protesters carried a sign that read "thank god for dead soldiers" and The family's grief for their son was further punctuated last November when at the memorial services a fringe group held signs that read: "Thank God for Dead Soldiers."

Were those papers afraid to point out exactly what kind of fringe group it was?

Were they intentionally trying to make it ambiguous?

I can't picture that kind of vagueness being accidental. The fact it was a fanatic religious anti-gay group with an infamous leader is hardly a *detail* for chrissakes.
posted by funambulist at 11:38 AM on January 31, 2006


This makes me proud to be an atheist.

If the comment is serious, I'm not sure why this makes you proud. If someone does something incredibly stupid in your name should it make me proud not to believe in your existence?
posted by spock at 11:39 AM on January 31, 2006


Remember: step 1, principles, step 2, emotion.

Step 3, Ridicule. A step to the left, a step to the right and if you are doing like this you are doing it right !
posted by elpapacito at 11:40 AM on January 31, 2006


Were those papers afraid to point out exactly what kind of fringe group it was?

I'd say they were trying not to give freakshows the attention they so desperately crave.
posted by deadfather at 11:41 AM on January 31, 2006


I don’t know that I agree with Quinn’s “Let Them Rest in Peace Act” though. I’m always really gunshy of limiting protest. But the argument seems to be that the families are also expressing their 1st amendment rights and the protesters are disrupting that. One I’ll have to think about for a while.
(Even though viscerally I’d really like to strangle Phelps with his own intestines)

/derail -Most of the freepers said things like:
“Donation sent.” or "What idiot group is that???"type of stuff.
A couple idiots did link Phelps with Gore (or moveon.org), but there's an idiot in any group large enough to play poker with.
But that “Rep. Brandon Phelps” pushing the bill got my paranoid antennae going, f’rinstance.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:41 AM on January 31, 2006


Personally, I wish that someone would beat the unholy shit out of the next group of Phelps idiots. The bastards deserve it.

One of them actually holds a government job, too. Department of Corrections if I recall correctly. I think it's in Kansas.. big shock there, eh?

Gah.
posted by drstein at 11:43 AM on January 31, 2006


All you Phelps-bashers: why doesn't your head explode when you preach intolerance against intolerance?

Um, I've seen a few people saying they'd like to give him a slap. I've not seen anyone saying they'd like to take away his right to do what he does.

Remember: step 1, principles, step 2, emotion

Surely step 1 should be: first read the material carefully?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:43 AM on January 31, 2006


and by the way, to grant equal time to all bigots and gay-haters:

"Jerusalem is the holy city and is not San Francisco".

apparently, HaShem hates fags, figs and faqs, too
posted by matteo at 11:44 AM on January 31, 2006


Speaking of the Phelps folks..

"On Tuesday, Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn and Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-Norris City) announced that Phelps will introduce the "Let Them Rest in Peace Act" this week in the General Assembly. The law would ban protesters from coming within 300 feet of any funeral service in the state"

I wonder if there's any relation. Probably not, but the namesake is ironic.
posted by drstein at 11:44 AM on January 31, 2006


Step 3, Ridicule. A step to the left, a step to the right and if you are doing like this you are doing it right !

Fair play, elp. I chugged my coffee this morning and now I may be suffering for it.
posted by deadfather at 11:44 AM on January 31, 2006


deadfather writes "Sigh. All you Phelps-bashers: why doesn't your head explode when you preach intolerance against intolerance?"

His right to free speech should be respected in the same way he respects others' funerals, really. Personally I can't believe that the whoreson thinks of himself as a man when he in facts spends a good chunk of his life engaging in the most cowardly of actions -- demeaning the dead.

Perhaps what's needed is a way to disrupt Phelps' protests, much as he disrupts funerals. For instance, have two or three old, soot-spouting diesel trucks show up where Phelps shows up, and have them idle at high RPMs.
posted by clevershark at 11:45 AM on January 31, 2006


drstein - no relation.
"Members of the church, led by Rev. Fred Phelps, who is not related to Rep. Brandon Phelps..."
posted by Smedleyman at 11:47 AM on January 31, 2006


One kind of intriguing counter-protest to Phelps' lunacy has been used on a number of occasions: when the Phelps people protested the funeral of an AIDS patient or victim of a bashing, local gay rights organizations put together a fundraiser in which people would pledge a certain amount for every minute Phelps protested. The longer he was there, the more money would be raised for local gay rights groups or AIDS charities.

That same tactic has been adopted by some of the families of the dead soldiers who are now getting the same treatment.

At a meeting of Catalyst, the now-defunct Pasadena-area GLB* organization, I once met Alison Arngrim, who as a child played the delightfully bitchy Nellie Oleson on "Little House on the Prairie" and who has been a longtime supporter of gay and lesbian causes. She's actually met Phelps, and once had a long, non-confrontational conversation with him to see what makes him tick.

There's a lot of history and baggage and insanity in there, but it seems that most of all he wants to be on television. Alison said he went on and on about the press attention. If there are no cameras, no newspaper stories and no press there at all, he seems to lose interest.

I like how Phelps was handled in the movie version of "The Laramie Project" -- people showed up dressed as angels, their "wings" made of huge sheets on poles. The angels all stood around Phelps' little protest zone, with their backs to him (and in many cases weeping), obscuring him and his ilk from view and giving some relief to the grieving families. I'd throw in a white noise generator to help drown them out, too.
posted by chuq at 11:50 AM on January 31, 2006


bardic : "This makes me proud to be an atheist."

spock : "If someone does something incredibly stupid in your name should it make me proud not to believe in your existence?"

What bardic means, spook, is that if someone did exactly the incredibly stupid thing bardic told him to do, in writing and/or through his many mouthpieces for thousands of years, you'd probably be proud not to conected to bardic in any way.
posted by nkyad at 11:50 AM on January 31, 2006


'Every good movement passes through five stages: Indifference, Ridicule, Abuse, Repression, and Respect." (Emphasis mine.) -- Mohandas Gandhi.
posted by Gator at 11:51 AM on January 31, 2006


deadfather: I'd say they were trying not to give freakshows the attention they so desperately crave.

Yeah right. That sounds like a very weak excuse. Or rather, rationalisation. I don't believe for a second that was the reason.

The only possible reason I can think of for not mentioning the nature of those protesters, other than being afraid to mention it for some reason or wanting to leave the ambiguity it might be general anti-war protesters, is that they didn't want to mention the funeral was for a gay soldier. Cos that's also not mentioned at all in either of those two articles.
posted by funambulist at 11:52 AM on January 31, 2006


The longer he was there, the more money would be raised for local gay rights groups or AIDS charities.

Brilliant. I'll revise my earlier (shot-off) point to that: why wish something so crass as a beating on someone when you can make his tiny little intellect work against itself?
posted by deadfather at 11:53 AM on January 31, 2006


I still don't know what God has against Frequently Asked Questions.

How dare you question Him? God demands faith of His followers, not mealy-mouthed skepticism!
posted by mowglisambo at 11:53 AM on January 31, 2006


Q: Why does God hate FAQs?
A: We'll never know.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:56 AM on January 31, 2006


clevershark : "I still don't know what God has against Frequently Asked Questions."

If you were eternal in time and omnipresent in space, how long would it take for you to get angry at people asking the same questions again and again?
posted by nkyad at 11:58 AM on January 31, 2006


Yeah right. That sounds like a very weak excuse. Or rather, rationalisation.

Having worked at a newspaper, I have to disagree. You don't think Phelps tapes every single one of his press mentions up on a wall? Best case scenario, he gets "God Hates Fags" printed up in the paper. Exposure for his ideas! Contributions from like-minded folk who are impressed that someone stands up for himself!

The press is, in fact, very concious of things like this.
posted by deadfather at 11:59 AM on January 31, 2006


Perhaps what's needed is a way to disrupt Phelps' protests

Matthew Shepard's friend Romaine Patterson mobilized a group which donned 7" high angel wings to block Phelp's and his group at Shepard's funeral. She went onto found Angel Action and has a radio program on Sirius called Derek and Romaine.
posted by ericb at 12:01 PM on January 31, 2006


On preview -- what chuq said.
posted by ericb at 12:03 PM on January 31, 2006


deadfather, I'm not against his right to protest at funeral's (though he is most definitely a complete asshat at using other people's grief for his soapbox). My comment was meant to reflect the notion that the most ardent homo-phobes are often locked in the closet themselves.
posted by fenriq at 12:06 PM on January 31, 2006


So you're telling me two major news outlets are refraining from giving full and accurate information on a very relevant fact mentioned in the article, thereby leaving the door open to a politically heavy ambiguity (ie. that it might have been anti-war protesters), only cos they don't want to give the man a moment of self-satisfaction?

Are you kidding? What kind of press is that?

And why would they apply this criteria only to the God Hates Fags people?
posted by funambulist at 12:07 PM on January 31, 2006


Clevershark, when Phelps protested here, the local Unitarians swept the sidewalk he protested on after he left.

When he threated to come back, someone organised the money thing, and he didn't show.
posted by QIbHom at 12:07 PM on January 31, 2006


Wasn't this fpp originally a Johnny Cash song?
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 12:08 PM on January 31, 2006


Quote from the link that Smedleyman posted:

“Our view of this situation is that God Almighty blew these kids to smithereens and sent them to hell,” claims the 76-year-old Phelps, who says God is punishing “a fag army - don't ask, don't tell - for a fag-loving agenda of a fag-loving nation,”
- jperkins

*rotflmao* Yeah, cuz the US is such a fug-loving nation. *snort* It could be worse, but it's not like gay people are a celebrated species or something.
posted by raedyn at 12:09 PM on January 31, 2006


I'm not against his right to protest at funeral's

Sorry to overdo it with the questions, but I'm really curious about this too: aren't funerals by definition private? couldn't a protest at a private ceremony be defined as harassment? Or was it a state funeral?
posted by funambulist at 12:10 PM on January 31, 2006


It would be great if the great Bill Hicks was alive to give us his take on Rev. Phelps.

"..you never see my attitude in the press, that's what bugs me. You never see my point of view. For instance, gays in the military. Now, I dunno how y'all feel about it... here's how I feel about it: Anyone dumb enough to want to be in the military should be allowed in. End of fucking story. That should be the only requirement. I don't care how many push ups you can do, put on a helmet, go wait in that foxhole we'll tell you when we need you to kill somebody. You know i'm sick of hearing military guys saying "The esprit de corps will be affected, and we are such a moral..." Excuse me, aren't y'all hired fucking killers? Shut up! You are thugs and when we need you to go blow the fuck outta a nation of little brown people we'll let you know. Until then... Where do the fucking military get all these morals? "We are the military; is that a village of children and kids? Where's the napalm? (explosion) I don't want any gay people hanging around me when I'm killing women and kids. I just dont wanna see it."
-- Bill Hicks
posted by Mijo Bijo at 12:10 PM on January 31, 2006


Phelps et al. would do well to actually read their holy book. Specifically Matthew 7:21-23 which, were I the believing sort, would give me a warm fuzzy feeling about what will happen to them.
posted by ubernostrum at 12:12 PM on January 31, 2006


funambulist : "aren't funerals by definition private?"

Yes, but from the images I saw of the Phelps gang in action, they usually protest at the other side of the street from where (church, cemetery) the event is happening - so they are probably in a public area. And they always get a permit for the protest in advance.
posted by nkyad at 12:16 PM on January 31, 2006


If you protest at someone's funeral, doesn't that mean you wish they were still alive?
posted by onlyconnect at 12:17 PM on January 31, 2006


funambulist, military funerals are considered public events.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 12:18 PM on January 31, 2006


What do you want to bet this guy [Phelps] is taking money from moveon.org to pose as a Christian? It's time to FOLLOW THE MONEY!!!

*mind reels*. Come on. We lefties aren't that smart!
posted by Miko at 12:18 PM on January 31, 2006


funamblist, I'm wondering if you actually read the articles linked, since the first paragraph of the second link starts with,

"An anti-gay group that spews hate and homophobic propaganda has taken protest to a new low"

And it also mentions,

"While the courts have upheld some laws that limit protests at private family funerals, [they have ruled] services for fallen military personnel as more public events."
posted by nomisxid at 12:27 PM on January 31, 2006


they didn't want to mention the funeral was for a gay soldier

None of the links I've read have suggested Alcozer's son was gay, but that doesn't matter. Apparently Phelps doesn't care if the soldier is gay or not. He'll protest any soldier's funeral because...

...with full knowledge of what they were doing, they voluntarily joined a fag-infested army to fight for a fag-run country now utterly and finally forsaken by God who Himself is fighting against that country.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 12:29 PM on January 31, 2006


Someone bothered by Phelps ? I mean he is certainly controversial and some find him disgusting...but whaever he did that is NOTHING compared to telling people they are going to die for good while they're going to die for oil.

I bet the Alcozer family would tolerate one hundred thousand Phelps if that was useful to bring back Christopher.
posted by elpapacito at 12:31 PM on January 31, 2006


For those who pray for Fred to get some karmic-payback, when I lived in Kansas City, some friends were driving back from Manhattan, Kansas, and happened to stop in some town where Phelpsco was doing their thing. After a few moments deliberation, they found an empty milk carton in the back seat, and all pissed in it, then threw it on Phelps, right in front of a cop, who just laughed and waved them on.
posted by nomisxid at 12:32 PM on January 31, 2006


clevershark writes "For instance, have two or three old, soot-spouting diesel trucks show up where Phelps shows up, and have them idle at high RPMs."

Run 'em on castor oil to really get things flowing (bring your oil filter resperator).
posted by Mitheral at 12:33 PM on January 31, 2006


Try doing that to some President..see what happens.
posted by elpapacito at 12:34 PM on January 31, 2006


Fred is about as christian as Anton Levay.

And that is all I am going to say about that.
posted by konolia at 12:35 PM on January 31, 2006


*Looks forward to Phelps' funeral*
posted by Durhey at 12:36 PM on January 31, 2006


Did you know: Reverend Phelps, when he is not protesting homosexuality, enjoys sucking the erect cocks of consenting, grown men?
posted by wakko at 12:39 PM on January 31, 2006


You know, he's just going by what the Bible says.
posted by bshort at 12:40 PM on January 31, 2006


Have you ever had one of those times....

No, but some asshole cut me off this morning, and I spilled my coffee. Fucking tragedy.

Where's my $250k?
posted by I Love Tacos at 12:40 PM on January 31, 2006


nomisxid, err, sorry. I skimmed through the articles, missed that part. Thanks for highlighting it.

I promise not to do it again.

nykad: And they always get a permit for the protest in advance.

I still find that amazing. Probably just my lack of familiarity with the legal aspects involved here.

Permits for protests at funerals... wow. Not one expression of free speech I particularly miss.
posted by funambulist at 12:43 PM on January 31, 2006


GhostintheMachine: wow...

My bad, I just made an assumption, but *ahem* yeah the second link does say they're protesting any soldier funeral... I'll go hide in the corner now and type "read the *whole* feckin article" a thousand times. Sorry.
posted by funambulist at 12:47 PM on January 31, 2006



Did you know: Reverend Phelps, when he is not protesting homosexuality, enjoys sucking the erect cocks of consenting, grown men?


Sorry, I realized I need to clarify this statement to avoid any possibility of slander.

Fred Phelps doesn't "enjoy" sucking dick. He fucking loves sucking dick. Can't get enough of it. The slightest blue bluge of vein on a short-stack of man-meat sends a shiver up his spine right to his twisted little neocortex.

The guy really digs the cock!
posted by wakko at 12:48 PM on January 31, 2006


"they voluntarily joined a fag-infested army to fight for a fag-run country "

Wait a minute! Bush is gay?!?. The Bush-Cheny slash is accurate? Why am I always the last one to know about these things?
posted by Mitheral at 12:49 PM on January 31, 2006


I'm surprised the Rev. Fred Phelps hasn't been violently beaten repeatedly.

I don't deny his freedom to speak hatred but I would be happy to take a bat to his head. That monster makes me physically ill. God is ashamed of him and he will rot in Hell where he belongs.

Smedleyman, thanks for the interesting post.
posted by codeofconduct at 12:54 PM on January 31, 2006


...what Phelps and his gang shout is exactly what most Christians think - they may disagree with his methods but most don't have much problem with his ideas.

What a ridiculous statement. Go spread your lies and intolerance somewhere else.
posted by rocket88 at 12:56 PM on January 31, 2006


I've lived in KC/Lawrence/Topeka for quite a while and can confirm that his ideas are not as rare as one would hope, although damn near everyone condemns his methods.

I have a number of coworkers who think his heart is 'in the right place'.
posted by daveleck at 1:01 PM on January 31, 2006


SteveInMaine writes "Kind of amazing that neither of the linked articles names Phelps, or that it's an anti-gay message."

Clevershark responds "Try the 'Thank God for Dead Soldiers' link that's cleverly concealed in the middle of the post..."

My point was that both the ABC affiliate and Suntimes story (first and last link) left out what seems to be pertinent information.
posted by SteveInMaine at 1:04 PM on January 31, 2006


Your coworkers are some seriously dumb people.
posted by wakko at 1:05 PM on January 31, 2006


rocket88 : "What a ridiculous statement. Go spread your lies and intolerance somewhere else."

If you think this is a lie, ask almost any minister of almost any Christian denomination if having homosexual sex is a sin and what happens to gay people after they die.

As for the intolerance, no. I defend the right of any Christian to celebrate their superstition in whatever fashion they see fit, as long as it does not interfere with the rights of the non-Christian population. You may notice I am not one of those defending the clubbing of Mr. Phelps - I think he is doing a great job showing exactly where the intolerance is and how bad things may get if the fundamentalists have their way. As a non-religious person, I think he is the best Christian poster-child God could send us.
posted by nkyad at 1:11 PM on January 31, 2006


deadfather:
Having worked at a newspaper, I have to disagree. You don't think Phelps tapes every single one of his press mentions up on a wall? Best case scenario, he gets "God Hates Fags" printed up in the paper. Exposure for his ideas!
Jumping to defend bad writing does not do a service to the profession of journalism. The ethical points you bring up are incredibly minor compared to the overt problem of misleading one's readers by subtraction of data.

"At Christopher's funeral, protesters carried a sign that read 'thank god for dead soldiers.'," without any further elucidation, misleads the reader to believe that it was an anti-war protest. Anyone unaware of Phelps (most people!) will jump to this conclusion naturally.

It appears that you're using utilitarian ethics in your defense. To me, it's clear that your motive of reducing Fred Phelps' motivation to protest by avoiding giving him publicity is, in a utilitarian system, outweighed by the greater good of informing all of your (tens of thousands) readers to your best ability.

The other half of your argument wants to avoid exposure of his ideas. I'm assuming you want to avoid exposure due to dangerousness? If you don't trust your readers to make good decisions based on the most truthful information available, why write journalism at all? Whatever happened to, "give them enough rope and they'll hang themselves?" Or faith in the marketplace of ideas?

I sense lazy writing and I doubt the ethical question ever came up. They wanted to summarize a bunch of quick points in the nut graph and didn't want to lose steam by explaining Phelps' convoluted logic. In fact, the explanation might have been purposefully killed in editing to condense the story. The fact that the ethical question was avoided (and it must have been, because deliberately misleading your readers by subtracting information is insanely unethical), just shows how little consideration was put into the story. It's confused writing. The writer starts out with a human interest story and ends his/her final paragraph with the introduction of a new law.

This could also be an example of how the mainstream media's obsession with appearing unbiased leads to bias. Anyone who's ever participated in a protest rally would recognize the importance of the generic label "protestors."

Heck, the paragraph even fails the WHO, what, where when, WHY test.
posted by Skwirl at 1:17 PM on January 31, 2006


No, but some asshole cut me off this morning, and I spilled my coffee. Fucking tragedy. Where's my $250k?

Um. Nobody forced people into generous charity.

With obvious exceptions, veterans do take care of their own. When my brother was in the Navy and transferred across the country and unable to find base housing for his wife and three toddlers, he was featured on the San Francisco local news (somebody else arranged that), and the next day had an apartment (from a veteran).

As for Rep. Brandon Phelps, I'm sure he's doing this precisely because of his last name. And as the Westboro press release makes clear, there are other states considering similar laws -- such as Wisconsin. That editorial is also careful not to name the church, but also makes clear what their affiliation is -- something the Chicago news outlets could have done.
posted by dhartung at 1:27 PM on January 31, 2006


Wakko: Yep.
posted by daveleck at 1:38 PM on January 31, 2006


Sean Hannity (MP3 link) mentions the absurd disrespect at a soldier's funeral omitting any mention of Fred Phelps, instead attributes protest to "ultra-leftwing liberals".

Hannity: "Isn't this just another of example of how the anti-war left supports our brave troops?...They are disrupting the funeral, tormenting a grieving family!"

What an unbelievable douchebag.
posted by edverb at 1:52 PM on January 31, 2006


"Where they eat each other's feces, lick each other's anus, and pee on each other."

yeah so what?
posted by mr.marx at 1:56 PM on January 31, 2006


nkyad writes "If you think this is a lie, ask almost any minister of almost any Christian denomination if having homosexual sex is a sin and what happens to gay people after they die. "

God loves all of his children, for he created all of them in his own image. That would include the gay ones too. For those who believe that homosexuality is a sin, have them read Luke 19:7 and Matthew 11:19, for a perspective of how the righteous are instructed to treat sinners.

Those who feel otherwise can feel free to cast the first stone.
posted by toxic at 2:04 PM on January 31, 2006


edvarb - nice catch. No attempt to know what he's talking about. But likely most of those that are listening to him don't know what he's talking about anyways, and are just being told what they already believe.
posted by raedyn at 2:12 PM on January 31, 2006


“Did you know: Reverend Phelps, when he is not protesting homosexuality, enjoys sucking the erect cocks of consenting, grown men?” - posted by wakko

Wakko - that’s a completely unthinking comment that completely distorts the facts. Nowhere - nowhere do I see a suggestion that the cocks Phelps’ fellates are consenting...or erect...or grown...or human.

And Hannity can go entirely fuck himself (thanks edverb). I’d rather take a hammer to my balls than do what he did there. It not only lets the actual perpetrators off - it re-victimizes and uses the family.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:15 PM on January 31, 2006


Toxic - God's pretty clear about what he thinks of homosexuality.

Lev 18:22 - Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination.

Lev 20:13 - If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood [shall be] upon them.

Rom 1:32 - Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

1 Corinthians 6:9 — Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
posted by bshort at 2:17 PM on January 31, 2006


toxic, you're preaching to the unconverted ; ) (although I appreciate your message, and hope you repeat it as loudly and often as possible at your particular place of worship).

Do most Christians resemble Phelps? Of course not.

Is Christianity a doctrine that condemns those who disagree with it to damnation, and is thus ripe for the Rev. Phelps-types of the world? I think it is, moreso than many other religions.
posted by bardic at 2:18 PM on January 31, 2006


Whatever happened to, "give them enough rope and they'll hang themselves?" Or faith in the marketplace of ideas?

Yes, skwirl, what did happen to that? Take a read at this, if you've got the time.

In any case, my post wasn't a defense of the paper's ethical position, it was simply a counter to funambulist's (initial) suggestion that the papers might have intentionally tried to create a misconception. FWIW, I agree with you on principle, but I think it's an oversimplification given all the parameters involved (space constraints, the fact it's just one writer and one story, the fact that Phelps is an enormous self-promoting douchebag that loves to game the media, etc.).

On preview, seeing the Hannity bit: Wouldn't it be wonderful if, in a world without Fox News, these little discussions of ethical minutae were actually the most important problem?
posted by deadfather at 2:20 PM on January 31, 2006


bshort -- you forgot:

"For everyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother. His blood shall be upon him." (Leviticus 20:9)

"If a man lies with a woman during her sickness and uncovers her nakedness, he has discovered her flow, and she has uncovered the flow of her blood. Both of them shall be cut off from her people." (Leviticus 20:18)

"Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property." (Leviticus 25:44-45)

"Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard." (Leviticus 19:27)

"...and the swine, though it divides the hoof, having cloven hooves, yet does not chew the cud, is unclean to you." (Leviticus 11:7)

"...do not plant your field with two kinds of seed. Do not wear material woven of two kinds of material." (Leviticus 19:19)

"But all in the seas or in the rivers that do not have fins and scales, all that move in the water or any living thing which is in the water, they are an abomination to you." (Leviticus 11:10)

"They (shellfish) shall be an abomination to you; you shall not eat their flesh, but you shall regard their carcasses as an abomination." (Leviticus 11:11)

"Whatever in the water does not have fins or scales; that shall be an abomination to you." (Leviticus 11:12)

"And these you shall regard as an abomination among the birds; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, the vulture, the buzzard." (Leviticus 11:13)

"All flying insects that creep on all fours shall be an abomination to you." (Leviticus 11:20)

"Whatever crawls on its belly, whatever goes on all fours, or whatever has many feet among all creeping things that creep on the earth, these you shall not eat, for they are an abomination." (Leviticus 11:42)
posted by ericb at 2:21 PM on January 31, 2006


If you are going to apply the proscriptions literally, proscribe them all!

God Hates Shrimp.
posted by ericb at 2:23 PM on January 31, 2006


“The Abomination of Leviticus”
posted by ericb at 2:24 PM on January 31, 2006


ericb - Awesome! Yeah, thanks for reminding me. I almost forgot that mixed fabrics were an abomination.
posted by bshort at 2:27 PM on January 31, 2006


Pee on me.

-Jerri Blank
posted by thefreek at 2:36 PM on January 31, 2006


Abomination

posted by Smedleyman at 2:40 PM on January 31, 2006


Hannity: "Isn't this just another of example of how the anti-war left supports our brave troops?...They are disrupting the funeral, tormenting a grieving family!"

Oh lord... that takes 'predictable' to a new level.

I very much doubt that ABC and the Chicago Sun Times and anyone else who's pulled that omission trick did not foresee that their phrasing left it open to exactly that kind of reaction.

They should get so many complaints they're forced to add a correction and do a full story on the Phelps people disrupting funerals. Where are the bloggers?

deadfather: yeah, though I'm not sure on the intention, it looks obviously intentional to me, because for all the space constraints in the world, you don't omit something so significant, and not only that, but phrase the sentence in a way which strongly suggests it was antiwar protesters rejoicing for the death of soldiers.

They did found it relevant to print the contents of the signs, but not who was holding them and why? just "protesters"? I can hardly believe any major news outlet can pull off something like that. If it had actually been a specific group of antiwar protesters, d'you think they wouldn't have named them and their motives and leaders?

Swkirl was actually pointing out how unethical it is, after you'd justified the omission based on not giving 'em too much attention rationale.
posted by funambulist at 2:48 PM on January 31, 2006


And I'd hardly call examples of serious omissions and grossly misleading phrasing in media "ethical minutiae". Fox or no Fox.
posted by funambulist at 2:53 PM on January 31, 2006


Wouldn't it be wonderful if, in a world without Fox News, these little discussions of ethical minutae were actually the most important problem?
'eh, on good days where I have faith in the common man, I like to believe that the media's lackluster performance is why Fox and the neocons ever even got a foothold.
posted by Skwirl at 2:55 PM on January 31, 2006


nykad: Asserting that Phelps is a poster child for all Christians is no different than saying that Osama bin Laden is a poster child for all Muslims, and treating them all accordingly.
Your original statement: ...what Phelps and his gang shout is exactly what most Christians think - they may disagree with his methods but most don't have much problem with his ideas. has nothing to do with whether or not Christian clergymen consider homosexual sex to be a sin. Phelps believes that soldiers are dying because God is punishing America for being lenient on fags. "Most" Christians do not share that view. "Most" Christians would find Phelps' views and actions stupid and repulsive. Just as stupid as you taking the worst possible example of religion-inspired hatred and applying it to "most" Christians.
posted by rocket88 at 2:58 PM on January 31, 2006


We need a brave Czech to parachute in and put a terminal end to Mr. Phelps.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:10 PM on January 31, 2006


Gay fetish: the infinite shelf life of homo- distraction -- ...what worries the Right? Brokeback Mountain. And gay marriage.
posted by ericb at 3:20 PM on January 31, 2006


Sweet jesus, some of you people make me retch.

Fred Phelps is a cancerous polyp in the rectum of America and like any cancer he should be excised and discarded.

To absolute hell with any of this bullshit about "free speech." In a civilized society people do not behave as Phelps does.

If you wish to have a civilized society, you need to have some basic rules about what constitutes civilized behaviour. A good number of countries make it illegal to promote hate speech.

The only people affected by these laws are the grotesque hate-mongers like Phelps, Zindel, and the like. These are people without whom our society -- nay, our world -- would be better off.

Personally, I'm all for the quick execution of them: they are simply a waste of resources that could be better utilized elsewhere.

But silencing them is a good start. We do not need Phelp's message. We do not need to tolerate Phelps. We do not need to give him the least little consideration at all. Fred Phelps is unfit for humanity, and we should not concern ourselves for his continued survival at all.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:29 PM on January 31, 2006


rocket88, not quite. bin Laden's influence has led many moderate/sane Muslims to question why it is factions within their faith have become so insane and backwards. There is, dare I say it, a sense of shame that seems lacking in the discourse around Phelps. If only moderate Christians would do the same--condemn the hatred and the backwardness within certain pockets of Christianity (I'd argue that they are much larger than you seem to think) rather than just say, "Oh, that guy's crazy! He ain't a Christian!" I certainly haven't condemned "most Christians," I just wonder why the decent ones don't want to take their religion back from those who espouse hate and intolerance at these sorts of protests, and who put up with politicians who want to enact divisive and unfair legislation in the name of Jesus.
posted by bardic at 3:35 PM on January 31, 2006


fff, all well and good, but 100 years ago the same argument was made about uppity women and blacks. Better to let flawed and arbitrary things like "freedom of speech and assembly" rule than the whims of any person or persons.

FWIW, the Laramie Project "angels" things was a brilliant response, and one that got the attention it deserved.
posted by bardic at 3:39 PM on January 31, 2006


FWIW, the Laramie Project "angels" things was a brilliant response, and one that got the attention it deserved.

I wholeheartedly second that!
posted by codeofconduct at 3:52 PM on January 31, 2006


The difference, bardic, is that this isn't 100 years ago. In a good number of countries -- perhaps not your own -- the foundation constitutional documents are quite clear about people's right of equality and fair treatment.

Banning Phelps does not threaten those rights in the least.

I'm pretty damn thankful I live in a country where his bullshit wouldn't be tolerated at all.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:55 PM on January 31, 2006


fff, you're for "the quick execution of them," those whose ideas you find distasteful. Interesting. 100 years from now, who the hell knows whether your grandchildren will be on the side of the executioners or the condemned.

Your bluster is commendable on a gut-level, but not the stuff of which sound public policy is made. Have fun with it though.
posted by bardic at 4:05 PM on January 31, 2006


In a truly just and sane country, we'd be retching over cutting VA benefits for a seven-times-wounded Vietnam veteran, to an extent equal to or greater than the retching over the audacious antics of some hateful nutjobs.

As opposed to wasting energy and outrage hating the haters -- Serenity is a just focus and a worthwhile spiritual exercise (where both the religious and the athiests and everyone in between can probably appreciate the sentiment alike.)

Hateful nutjobs like Phelps are a persistent phenomenon in any society, unlikely to ever go away, because some humans lack the capacity for empathy or shame...but VA benefit cuts are something over which We The People ostensibly have some measure of control. "Grant me the wisdom to know the difference" and all that.

Yet, here we are, 136 comments about Phelps, zero about VA benefit cuts (excepting Smedleyman's FPP.) With my post, at least VA benefit cuts are not going to get shut out of this discussion. It's 136-1 now.

Glad to hear the man got $250K...it will never make up for the loss of his son, but it should help defray the loss of bennies and get his family back into a home.

How many other vets are this f*cked, or are about to be? We never hear Hannity agitating for their just recompense, do we? Funny, that. It would seem to follow from his "these are people who sacrificed everything to serve their country" arguments...if it's an effective bludgeon to beat people over the head, it should be an effective bludgeon for VA increases too. Anything less is rank hypocrisy. Or like Pharisees, if you prefer.
posted by edverb at 4:28 PM on January 31, 2006


I certainly haven't condemned "most Christians," I just wonder why the decent ones don't want to take their religion back from those who espouse hate and intolerance at these sorts of protests, and who put up with politicians who want to enact divisive and unfair legislation in the name of Jesus.

I'm Jewish, but I've been known to read the blogs of some Christians who are trying to do just that.
posted by thomas j wise at 4:29 PM on January 31, 2006


100 years from now, who the hell knows whether your grandchildren will be on the side of the executioners or the condemned.

Unpossible: no kids, hence no grandkids.

100 years from now we'll probably be ruled by Cthulu. In the meantime, I'd like to live in a world without Phelps.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:35 PM on January 31, 2006


five fresh fish
Fred Phelps is a cancerous polyp in the rectum of America and like any cancer he should be excised and discarded.

I agree thus far.

In a civilized society people do not behave as Phelps does.

I agree with this, too.

These are people without whom our society -- nay, our world -- would be better off.

I even agree with you on this.

BUT

The corrective action you propose is counterproductive.
A silenced demagogue's power is only surpassed by that of a martyred one.

You gotta fight with both your head and your heart.
posted by Richard Daly at 5:44 PM on January 31, 2006


Q: Why does God hate FAQs?
A: because God hates n00bies.

posted by lenny70 at 5:44 PM on January 31, 2006


I'm surprised the Rev. Fred Phelps hasn't been violently beaten repeatedly.

Amen.
posted by reflection at 7:03 PM on January 31, 2006


edverb is right.
posted by Miko at 7:06 PM on January 31, 2006


I'm surprised the Rev. Fred Phelps hasn't been violently beaten repeatedly.

I'm quite sure that the Rev. Fred Phelps would enjoy the beating on a multitude of levels.
posted by I Love Tacos at 7:33 PM on January 31, 2006


And yet, Richard, the corrective action I proposed is that used in many other countries.

Canada has dealt with the likes of Ernst Zündel by kicking his sorry ass out of our country. Germany deals with the likes of Zündel and other nazi-spewing creeps by jailing them. And so on and so forth.

It appears to me that Fred Phelps has greater freedoms and greater protections than those he is hurting. Where the hell is the justice and fairness in that?!
posted by five fresh fish at 9:03 PM on January 31, 2006


Thanks, ericb, that's a great take on the subject.
posted by Tomatillo at 11:00 PM on January 31, 2006


Yes edverb is right, except for this:

Hateful nutjobs like Phelps are a persistent phenomenon in any society, unlikely to ever go away

Hateful nutjobs in general yes. Hateful nutjobs getting permits to disrupt funerals for something that doesn't even have anything to do with politics but is just pure hatred against a group, not really. Not in a country with no ongoing civil war or ethnic cleansing at least. Find me an equivalent elsewhere?

And one other thing -- I'm not getting into how much Phelps is representative vs. Bin Laden, but when you all talk about this sort of thing and Christianity, I know it's implied you're all talking about the US and you are in the US, but you should keep that in mind rather than implying too much. Unless you sincerely believe the entire scope of Christianity in today's world is contained in Kansas.
posted by funambulist at 12:47 AM on February 1, 2006


FFF's point is about hate speech. There is no relation to that and the issues of gender or race. Banning hate speech is no more onerous than banning the yelling of "Fire!" in crowded theaters.

Edverb: I've been enjoying your comments a lot today. Thank you.

All the talk about "supporting the troops" while cutting Veteran's benefits in one form or another is utter crap. Why/how do they get away with it? Perhaps because too many voters don't give a damn. Perhaps we are carefully distracted from any consideration of the Verteran's Administration, for fear we'll notice what a total mess it has been, for decades.
posted by Goofyy at 1:30 AM on February 1, 2006


edverb: Add one more to the VA side of your scorecard. The absolute least any country must to is to care for those it asks to serve it. It terrifies me that we as a nation are able to ignore the hypocrisy and zealotry that prevent us from doing what is right.

We ask soldiers to do the unthinkable and to disrespect their sacrifices is the real abomination here. I don't care what your views on the hot issues are; the guys on the ground need compassion, not politics.
posted by Skorgu at 4:56 AM on February 1, 2006


It's amazing how when we have a post about people doing something noble and generous, the fact that phelps appears turns the whole discussion into a diatribe about him and the generosity is forgotten. He has achieved his goals. He wins, you lose.
posted by caddis at 4:57 AM on February 1, 2006


From the Sun Times link, in case it was overlooked: Also on Tuesday, Alcozer, a wounded Vietnam veteran, won restoration of his full Veterans Affairs benefits.

Sounds like he was caught up in that pathetic benefits review (previously discussed here and a few other places I can't seem to find right now) that are causing grief to a lot of American vets these days. So at least it's benefits restored, his wife's operation covered, $250K to rebuild the house, and hopefully the satisfaction of knowing Phelps won't be allowed to pull his shit during another family's funeral.

He's still lost a child, though. Not much can make up for that.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 5:04 AM on February 1, 2006


He has achieved his goals. He wins, you lose.

Not at all. If my contributions to this thread have moved anyone even a fraction closer to supporting laws that make hate speech, or at least disruptive hate speech, illegal, then he loses.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:51 AM on February 1, 2006


Phelps isn't really a Christian anymore. His church has decided to spin itself off into a cult. Google "Tachmonites."
posted by brownpau at 10:40 AM on February 23, 2006


deadfather : Sigh. All you Phelps-bashers: why doesn't your head explode when you preach intolerance against intolerance?

Mmm, perhaps because we can understand that tolerance does not have to extend to toleration of intolerance? Or does something other than binary-black/white-yes/no distinctions make your head explode?
posted by kcds at 12:05 PM on February 23, 2006


« Older Stage on TV   |   Operation Anthropoid Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post