Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Free Speech or Hate Speech?

America is known for its free speech. But, is it really still free speech when it turns to hateful speech and it is hurtful and devastatingly cruel?

I am consistently appalled at some of the behavior of some supposed Christian organizations. I am a Christian, but I have friends of all different beliefs, backgrounds, and lifestyles. We respect and appreciate each other. I make mistakes - a lot. I do not have all the answers and do not pretend to. I am amazed at some of the judgment, hatred, and downright cruelty thrown at people by so-called Christians. Everyone deserves love and respect.

The Westboro Baptist Church is one of these organizations. According to Wikipdia:

The Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) is an Independent Baptist church and hate group known for its hatred of gays.

The WBC is not affiliated with any known Baptist conventions or associations. The church describes itself as following Primitive Baptist and Calvinist principles, though mainstream Primitive Baptists reject the WBC.

The group is best known for its protest activities, which include picketing funerals and stomping on the American flag.
So, they protest at funerals of fallen soldiers with disgusting signs. Where is the compassion, the love, the just plain decency in this mess? If they want it from the Bible, try 1 John 4:8: "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."

For the record, the Bible is full of verses on love. None of them say it is okay to go out and protest a fallen soldier's funeral while his family is grieving terribly. Also in the Bible: Proverbs 10:12 says: "Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs."

Or how about this for a fallen soldier: John 15:13: "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."

According to Yahoo News, the Supreme Court has noticed the latest protest:
WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court is getting involved in the legal fight over the anti-gay protesters who show up at military funerals with inflammatory messages like "Thank God for dead soldiers."
So, in the name of love, in the name of compassion, in the name of decency - enough! It is my hope that the Supreme Court will rule that these people have taken free speech too far, and turned it into hateful, cruel speech. There is no God or love in any part of this equation.

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