Just when you think the Westboro Baptist Church can’t get any worse, they announce a plan to picket the funerals of massacred children.
The lunatic fringe church group is famous for its inappropriate protests, like picket lines at the funerals of fallen soldiers, as well as their 'charming' "God hates fags" slogan.
Their previous 'protests' have been defended on First Amendment grounds, but it's time for them to be officially classified as a hate group, and their protests as hate speech, so their horrendous displays can be stopped.
Their past hate speech has been despicable, flung at anything that has to do with LGBT groups, and at the funerals of soldiers who they think are going to hell because Don't Ask Don't Tell was repealed. But planning to picket the funerals of six- and seven-year-old children is just too far. These kids didn't live long enough to do anything wrong. There's really no way to twist this story so that they were anything other than innocent victims. And attempting to do so is truly sickening.
Members of the group took to Twitter to announce that they would be at the funerals to "sing praise to God for the glory of his work in executing his judgment," using hashtags like #godsentshooter and #FagMarriageDoomsCT.
They seem to really think that the death of 20 small children was a good thing, that it was a warning to America about the lack of religion in schools, and that the 'message' was worth the cost.
As the Sandy Hook shooting sparks a national conversation about mental health and stopping psychotic people from harming others, it's time to take a good look at Westboro Baptist. Of course, they're allowed to think whatever they want, just like the homeless guy on the corner is allowed to think that aliens are reading his thoughts through his fingertips.
They're even allowed to say that the sweet little children deserved to die, if they real feel the need, but when they start broadcasting their bile to encourage hatred and violence, it stops being an issue of free speech and starts being an issue of safety.
The FBI's webpage about hate crimes says that investigating hate crimes is a top priority because "groups that preach hatred and intolerance plant the seeds of terrorism here in our country."
As far as we know, the Westboro Baptist scum haven't murdered anyone (yet) but they are willfully rubbing salt into these families' gaping wounds. They're saying that these innocent children deserved to die because public schools don't force religion down everyone's throats. They're saying that the dominance of their ideology and the quashing of all others are more important than the lives of children.
If that's not hatred and intolerance, I don't know what is.
Calls have been made in the past to classify the Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group, but so far they haven't been stopped from spraying vitriol at already painful events. But so far nothing has been done.
In the absence of official intervention, concerned citizens step up to protect grieving families from the added horror of being harassed by bigots. In the past, groups of people, including several veterans, created barriers between the hate mongers and the military funerals they intended to desecrate.
And on Reddit, a similar plan is in the works to stop them from interfering with the funeral services of the people killed at Sandy Hook Elementary.
The members of Westboro Baptist represent the ugliest, most reprehensible aspects of humanity. But the people who are banding together, driving long distances to shield the shattered families from this vileness represent the best.