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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Use Your Brain, Dammit

Absolutely THE most disgusting thing I've seen all year

If you're read this blog for long you know I'm a member of the Patriot Guard Riders (PGR). The group was organized several years ago when a Baptist church in Kansas started picketing and protesting at soldiers' funerals. The church isn't protesting the Iraq war at the funerals, but rather homosexuality. They hold signs saying thing like "God Hates Fags" and "Thank God Your Son is Dead," their reasoning being that since homosexuality is not illegal in the United States, anyone who defends the U.S. is damned and will go to hell. Seeing the church protesting, and the pain on the families' faces as they bury their soldier, the PGR formed -- a group of bikers (quite a few of whom are veterans) who stand between the protesters and the family, hoping both to maintain the dignity of the ceremony and to honor the soldier.

Okay, that's the background.

Last Wednesday a tornado went through a Boy Scout camp just south of Sioux City, killing four boys. The whole area is in mourning. Last night when I got home from work I had an e-mail from a friend saying the Baptist church had released a press release saying they're gonna protest the Boy Scouts' funerals.

I'll say this again. The church is protesting at four Boy Scouts' funerals.

This is a new low. I simply cannot believe this is happening.

I contacted the PGR, but it turns out there's nothing the organization can do -- "we're not a counter-protest group, we exist to help honor fallen soldiers." Okay, I can understand that... It sucks, but I can understand it. I called the national Boy Scout council (with some help from a buddy with a phone number) and told them what was going to happen. There was stunned silence on the other end of the line.

I still wish there could be something we could do to stop these people from ruining the last memories the families will have of their boys. I'm absolutely flabbergasted by this whole thing.

I'm not sure, but I sure like to believe that Jesus' main message was of TOLERANCE. Seems like the Westboro Baptist Church thinks they can read God's mind somehow... The arrogance is appalling, the actions abhorrent.

The funerals will be held Monday and Tuesday. Two will be in Omaha, Nebraska, one in West Point, Nebraska, and one in Texas. The Boy Scouts of America are taking donations if anyone's intersted.

16 Comments:

Blogger ~:*:*:Pixie:*:*:~ said...

This makes me feel very violent.

7:24 PM  
Blogger D A said...

So, according to their press release, they are going to protest the funerals because they, as a group, have been "persecuted" by the legal systems of Nebraska and Iowa, and since they are the "voice of God", these poor boys deserved to die because it was God's punishment to those states? Did I read that right?

OK. In the name of the true God and the true Jesus, these idiots must be stopped. At any and all costs.

My understanding is they cannot enter the cemetary, they have to be either on public property (where they need a permit in most cases to have an organized event, at least that used to be the law in Iowa, or at least Harrison county) or have permission to be on private property.

Hopefully the private property owners in the areas will take action to make sure these idiots are far away from the families.

Maybe the boyscouts can mobilize their own "patriot guard". Call the girl scouts too.Call all the soccer moms you know that have big vans to park in front of them. If anyone out there is connected to the scouts as a leader or whatever, do what you can, please. As a former scout, I beg you.

I agree with Pixie, this makes me feel very violent. I realize we live in a country where freedom of speech and religion are highly regarded, but this is neither free speech or religion, it's emotional terrorism (using free speech and religion as an excuse to continue.)

Maybe some concerned citizen (anonymously of course) can cut the brake lines on their vehicles or put sugar in their gas tanks or slash their tires or....

7:59 PM  
Blogger Adam Gonnerman said...

That's pretty messed up.

At least one of the boys was an active Christian.

http://tinyurl.com/4zxba9

Not that this would matter to that sad lot of...whatever they are.

8:18 PM  
Blogger D A said...

I just looked at this post again. Is that 10 year old looking girl "flipping off" the photographer?

As if we needed any further proof that these people are about as un-Christlike as it gets.

8:44 PM  
Blogger ~:*:*:Pixie:*:*:~ said...

They are evil in it's most (un)pure form.

My stomach literally turns... and that *tinkling sound*? My heart breaking.

{{{Chris}}}

10:24 PM  
Anonymous Virginia said...

These people are angry and bitter...I suspect they have never learned how to really love. While this is troubling, this is an opportunity to demonstrate our values...it take great courage to choose to love and to find common ground rather than to react in anger and hate or violence. Look beyond the human picture and see the real man and woman of God's creation...as difficult as that is, it is the right thing to do. This is not a passive love, but a strong, honest love. Go into your hearts and listen to the still, small voice because our human response (violence) will beget only more violence. Divine Love (God) is stronger than willful human reactions. Do not take the same road that these anrgy, misguided individual are taking. This is not an easy choice, but it is the right one...Do not fuel their flames by adding gasoline...put out the fire of their anger...teach them what real love means...Teach them...do NOT incite them....

"Ginn"
In Sunny Santa Fe

10:31 PM  
Blogger Falwless said...

It's very difficult for me to talk about the parishioners of the Westboro Baptist Church without getting really worked up. I will say this -- they are everything that a benevolent creator is not. As I read Virginia's comment I know deep down that she is right; it is just so hard to accept that there are people in our world so misguided.

I once saw a documentary a British director made of this church group, and the one overwhelming feeling I came away with was just utter sadness -- not for me or even for any of their victims, but for them. To live with such hatred in your heart is to barely live at all. What must it be like, day after day, to carry all that anger around? I dunno, it's all very hard for me to comprehend.

My heart goes out to the families and friends of these boy scouts.

12:06 AM  
Blogger Bluzlover said...

These WBC folks are crazy! They don't understand the basic principles of the Bible. They use select passages to justify their actions. "God" doesn't punish Boy Scouts to retaliate against state governments. If "God" handled things that way, none of the WBC whackos would still be breathing. I wish a mighty wind would put a little scare in these nuts on their trip to a protest.

10:53 AM  
Blogger Dale said...

I can't believe that someone hasn't shot those fuckers yet. I'm not a violent man but I go mental when ever time I hear about these people.

You can't teach people who don't want to be taught.

6:27 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

So... What finally happened at the funeral in West Point Nebraska was this: The protesters filed the paperwork to go there and do their thing. The local government contacted the law enforcement people and had them figure out how to escort the protesters in and out of town and how to protect them whilst they protested. Meanwhile the protesters put out the press release I've shown on my blog. That got spotted almost immediately by someone, who e-mailed me. I contacted the Patriot Guard and the Scouts. This all happened last Friday. By Saturday afternoon it was decided that the Patriot Guard couldn't go stand in line due to a conflict with their mission statement. By Sunday morning the American Legion Riders (of which I'm a member) had found a statement issued in 1919 saying that the Legion would support the Scouts. So... The Omaha/Lincoln chapter, along with a few from our Northwest Iowa chapter (I couldn't go) took the bikes to the funeral, only to find that the protesters weren't there. So that's that, I guess... They didn't show up.

This is a maddening group to deal with, that's for sure.

RE violence -- don't worry, the Patriot Guard is NOT a vigilante group. There's never been even a hint of violence while the PGR is there. In fact, that's WHY we're there. We stand between the protesters and the family, with our backs to the protesters and flags in hand, in order to maintain an air of respect and also so the family doesn't have the need nor opportunity to confront them. In simple terms, if someone pops a protester in the snoot, the protesters win. (I've also heard rumors that that's how they fund their operation, by baiting people into punching them, then suing the poor schmuck for all he's worth and using the moolah to hold more protests.) So no fears about violence; we're not a bunch of bikers bent on vengeance or anything. I doubt any of us are ever gonna give one of the protesters a hug, but we're sure not gonna do any violence.

But it's hard.

6:51 PM  
Blogger Bluzlover said...

You and the other riders deserve a huge "atta-boy"!!! Many people talk about problems, only a select few actually do something. God bless all of you.

9:56 AM  
Blogger SkylersDad said...

You are much more tolerant than me, I don't think I could resist popping one of them in the mouth.

5:02 PM  
Blogger The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch: said...

They are a hateful bunch. I saw the same documentary that Falwless mentioned.

I'm glad that they stayed away, but sorry that they seem to get what they want every time - attention and getting everyone whipped into a frenzy.

10:58 PM  
Blogger steakbellie said...

ugh. those people just suck the life out of me.

12:26 PM  
Blogger Dale said...

Thanks for your update. You're a good man.

7:19 AM  
Blogger Leonesse said...

Way to go, Chris. Way to go.



Thank you.

10:01 PM  

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