Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Supporting Fallen Heroes; Protests at Military Funerals?!?

For the past few years, a congregation from Westboro Baptist church from Topeka, Kansas has terrorized families of fallen military servicemembers. The congregation has been shouting obscenities calling the fallen hero a sinner. Why do they protest at servicemember's funerals? They are protesting against gays; claiming the deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan are caused by America's tolerance on gays. There was a rise of motorcyclists and former servicemembers who followed the congregation in order to drown out the protests by revving their engines. Most families during the funerals claimed that the sound of the motorcycles was sweet compared to the protests by the congregation.
Protests at funerals are completely immoral; protests at military funerals therefore are a strike of hatred towards the United States. If something is immoral and seen as a disgraceful act, how come no one has sued them yet? The claim of the congregation is that they are only expressing their First Amendment rights. Interesting that the central government denies the right of free speech to those at work but allows a public protest at a private funeral.

The protests are an externality. The protests disrupt the purpose of the funerals and therefore incur a cost. Ronald Coase proposed the Coase Theorem which claims that government involvement is needed only to specify where private property begins or ends; letting the parties bargain a deal to fix the problem or externality. Thus, Mr Al. Snyder has stepped up on suing the congregation. On his web site he proclaims:
This is a private civil lawsuit that is separate from any actions being pursued
by states or the federal government against Mr. Phelps. While those cases
involve Government action and potential 1st Amendment issues, this case is
distinct. This case simply alleges that one does not have the right to
conspire to use lies in order to inflict intentional harm upon persons who
are grieving the death of their children.
His lawsuit is not to take away the right of Free Speech. He is suing the congregation upon their externality they had inflicted upon his son's funeral. He is looking to define his private rights. We are all given certain "inalienable rights", but when does the line get crossed when those who claim to have a right begin taking away the rights of another? Forget about the arguement upon if gay rights is right or wrong. The rights of families to mourn at their family members funerals are being denied to give the right to others to protest. Support Al Snyder in his suit against the church congregation. His website Lance Cpl. Matthew A. Snyder. You can donate to the cause on his website or can email the family expressing your best wishes. Support the Fallen Heroes and their families. Let us remember the final words from John Rambo, 80's movie icon,
What do I want? I want what they want...
(indicates P.O.W.'s)
And what every other guy who came over here and spilled his guts and
gave everything he had wants... for our country to love us as much as
we love it... That's what I want. And that's what they wanted.
(indicates P.O.W.'s)

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