"Thank God for Dead Soldiers," read one of their placards. "Thank God for I.E.D.'s," read another, a reference to the bombs used to kill service members in the war. [One even read, "God hates your tears".] To drive home their point — that God is killing soldiers to punish America for condoning homosexuality — members of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., a tiny fundamentalist splinter group, kicked around an American flag and shouted, if someone approached, that the dead soldiers were rotting in hell." - New York Times
As a veteran myself, you have to understand, this pissed me off to no end. I am still amazed at the depravity of humanity. Just as it seems I can't be surprised anymore of how low mankind can get, another invention of hatred and evil is released upon society; and in the name of God, no less. I felt fairly confident that this was such a clear-cut case that it would not only be stopped but that the perpetrators would be penalized and the victims redeemed. Well, I was wrong:
Court Says GI Funeral Protests Legal, September 25, 2009, Baltimore Sun
"RICHMOND, Va. -- A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that a fundamentalist Kansas church's protest outside the funeral of a Westminster Marine killed in Iraq is protected speech and did not violate the privacy of the service member's family, reversing a lower court's $5 million award."
I don't always agree with the some of the reasons why we go to battle. As a soldier, I pledged to follow orders and defend this country and its interests and allies against enemies both foreign and domestic. We are a military with a civilian politician as Commander-in-Chief. It is not always a cut and dry decision when we deploy and the public may not always agree. I can understand that. Iraq is not popular. I can understand that. Soldiers on foreign ground done always solve a problem. I understand that. But to disgrace and disrespect the men and women, and their families, who are the ultimate servants of our country, who volunteer their lives to provide the freedoms all of you enjoy... I just don't understand why everyone in America is not coming to the defense of our fallen. Too many cases. Too many situations arise where our fallen are disrespected in order to get a story, express a radical opinion, or otherwise get attention and not enough is being done about it.
Damn. That went on more than I wanted. I'm done ranting.