Last week, the Supreme Court made a tough decision is regards to the legal case against the Westboro Baptist Church.
Albert Snyder sued the hateful Christian church for protesting at his military son’s funeral. We have all heard about these people who protest at the funerals of military dead, stating that this is how God is showing his displeasure about the tolerance of Gays in the U.S.
The vicious church follows the law in publicizing where they are protesting and staying out-of-bounds of the private funeral. But they have been known to print out flyers and post on websites about the sexuality of these soldiers without regard to the truth.
Snyder’s first case was a victory but since then court after court has overturned the ruling. Last week, the Supreme Court supported the lower court overturning of the initial case, stating that while what the Westboro church was doing is offensive and repellant it is still allowed within the parameters of the First amendment.
Which means we all still have the right to gather and protest. And that also means we have the right to have our own churches. Imagine if this church would have lost the case. What would have been the consequence for the rest of us? Does that mean anytime a union would choose to picket, the owner of the property would have the right to have the picketers arrested?
What about any form of protest? The anti-war groups, the anti-abortion groups, the anti-government groups, the million man/woman march people? If that ruling had gone the way most of us would have wanted it to go, then many of the other forms of protest would suddenly be seen in a different light.
Now it is time for some smart legal beagle to figure out how to shut these people up. I would look at potential libel or slander suits because they do that all of the time about the people who’s funeral they are protesting.
Meanwhile, I will try not to get too much perverse joy out of this bit from Saturday Night Live. After all we are told in the book of Romans, verses 12:17-21 that we are to…
“Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
That means I need to show the Westboro Baptist Church some kindness should they ever come and protest in my neck of the woods.
Which is harder – to make a Supreme Court ruling guaranteeing the rights of an abhorrent group of people to protest or show Christian love to that same group of haters as dictated by our God?
Right now either action is looking pretty difficult.