Don’t sign the petition

 In the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre and their threat to picket the funerals there's a petition on the White House site to have the Westboro Baptist Church “legally recognize[d] as a hate group”. It already has over 158,000 signatures.

Tempting as it is, you shouldn't sign it.

 First off, there is no such “legal recognition as a hate group”. It's a political label but it has no legal significance.

Second, and more importantly, this is a proposal to have the government single out one group for some kind of adverse treatment based on the religious or political views of that group. This is entirely antithetical to the First Amendment and the core values that underlie our system of government and way of life.

I take a back seat to nobody in my loathing of this organization. That is why they need and are entitled to the protection of the First Amendment.

There is no basis to claim that it isn't a bona fide church: plenty of church and religious groups espouse hateful ideas. Even churches that espouse hateful ideas are entitled to the protection of the First Amendment.

Granted, the Phelpses and their followers are undoubtedly among the vilest, most hateful people on the face of the earth.

On the other hand, so far as I know the Westboro Baptist Church has never done anything to actually hurt anybody.

They never killed anybody, burned down any buildings, or put a price on anyone's head for publishing a book or cartoon they didn't like.

 There's no sign that they ever harrassed or beat women and girls for wearing what they considered indecent clothing.

And there is certainly no evidence that they ever delivered thousands of children to the hands of child rapists, and then established religious edicts to prevent the exposure of the criminals

No, as far as I can see, the Westboro Baptist Church has done a lot less damage than almost any “mainstream” church.

Besides, it's not the popular ideas and groups who need the protection of the First Amendment.

So don't sign the petition. Hate the Westboros all you like, but don't ask the government to use the power of the state to silence them. 

If we start taking away rights from the Westboros because they express political views we don't like, where do we stop, and who will protect us when someone tries to silence us.


8 thoughts on “Don’t sign the petition

  1. It sounds as if the circulators are not very sophisticated themselves.

    The Westboro’s are their own worst enemies, and no one needs to tell anyone else that they are a hate group.  

  2. The POTUS & White House should not be monitoring our rights.

    In a related action, a petition has been posted to asking President Obama to have Westboro Baptist Church legally recognized as a hate group.


    While I agree that WBC and their right to “free speach” is protected, and in actuality serves to expose the dark & evil side of religious hate groups, is their activist harassment of private citizens protected? Funerals??? I just don’t see how they can be, isn’t this clearly harrassment? These are obviously hate crimes & nothing

    more. WBC doesn’t just hate LGBT, they hate everyone who doesn’t see it their way which appears to be, well, everyone including Christians & denominations who do not agree with them, again all of them, most particularly other baptists, as well as Jews, which the bible they claim to read does not do.

    The WBC is not affiliated with the two largest Baptist denominations, the Baptist World Alliance or the Southern Baptist Convention, both of which have denounced the WBC over the years.

    I do not really see how they can be called “Christian” when they clearly reject the teachings of the one they claim to follow, with their actions, and are completely consumed with & blinded by abject hatred which is the antithesis of Christ’s teachings. This does not reflect the behavior of the purported author of their faith. Since their so-called “church” is made up primarily of brainwashed family members, it is not really a church but allows them to maintain tax exempt status. They are merely a cult if the entirety of their beliefs and theology are centered around activity which is not taught in the bible. Yanking a few scriptures out of context doesn’t cut it.

    According to wiki, they adhere to the definition of a “hate group”:

    A hate group is an organized group or movement that advocates and practices hatred, hostility, or violence towards members of a race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation or other designated sector of society.

    This appears to be why these nutjobs are monitored by the FBI:

    Psychopathology of hate groups- According to a 2003 FBI Law Enforcement bulletin, a hate group, if unimpeded, passes through seven successive stages.[27] In the first four stages, hate groups vocalize their beliefs and in the last three stages, they act on their beliefs. The report points to a transition period that exists between verbal violence and acting that violence out, separating hardcore haters from rhetorical haters.

    Fortunately there are others with free-speach rights doing combat against their astonishingly insane practices:

    Hackers target Westboro Baptist Church after Newtown threat

  3. These fuckers need LAWSUITS, not petitions, and not special attention from Obama.  Obama’s SPECIAL ATTENTION should be about GLOBAL WARMING, or else we’ll all wind up on an Ark with these fuckers.

    Of course, in 1890 at Wounded Knee, we didn’t petition the Indians to stop their Ghost Dancing and other RADICAL RELIGIOUS RITES–we just shot ’em all down.

    Maybe we can SCALP the Westboro Church folks.  They’d be comfortable as SKINHEADS.

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