What he said…

Thomas Knapp on his personal run in with Fred Phelps and his merry band of God Hates Fags ‘phobes:

At the 2000 “major party” presidential debates (sic) in St. Louis, the Westboro Baptist Church Crew (the gen-ewww-whine “God Hates Fags” mob) held court in a fenced-off section of the official “free speech zone” with their “Mel’s in Hell” signs (Missouri governor and Democratic US Senate candidate Mel Carnahan had been killed in a plane crash the day before). A bunch of us talked — which amounted to playing the dozens — with them for a bit, until one of them tried to start a fight and then cowered behind an intervening police officer when I let him know that yeah, sure, I was up to it (perhaps because I told him that once I was done whipping him, I might just sodomize him in front of his friends).

Knapp on Bush’s response to Phelps and his bunch of rabble rousing twits:

In signing the “Respect for America’s Fallen Heroes Act,” George W. Bush has once again officially repudiated the First Amendment — and, by associating that repudiation with the armed forces of the United States, he has disgraced the men and women in uniform once again.

Bush’s disrespect for freedom — and for military personnel who haven’t deserted their posts as he did — seems to be limitless.

As an American and as a libertarian, I find his disobedience to the bare minimum constitutional restraints on government power intolerable; as a former Marine, I find his disdain for the men and women he postures as the Commander in Chief of just downright disgusting — “God Hates Fags” cubed disgusting.

In closing:

So, Mr. Bush: Take your “Respect for America’s Fallen Heroes Act” and cram it right up your chickenhawk cloaca. To paraphrase the man who should be doing the job you’ve so miserably failed at, anywhere I’m standing — even, and especially, if that place happens to be within 300 feet of a national cemetery or 150 feet of a road leading into a national cemetery, during the period between an hour before and an hour after a military funeral — is a free speech zone.

posted by Stephen Gordon
  • Julian (a Vietnam Vet)

    I am a member of the Patriot Guard Riders. I am opposed to any abridgement of freedom of speech no matter how distasteful. Bring on Fred Phelps and his trash family to the funerals. We are there in numbers and totally marginalize them. That is the correct way to deal with him and his movement, not by shutting him down.

    I believe most people understand he and his group are just a bunch of nut cases.

  • Tim

    Dear Mr. Knapp:

    Your comments don’t merit the dignity of a response.

  • Paul Pace

    I think the best way to deal with these people is to make the funerals private, and then if they tresspass on your private funeral, use your legal right to shoot them.

  • http://knappster.blogspot.com Thomas L. Knapp

    Paul,

    So far as I can tell, the Act deals ONLY with military funerals on “public” property (national cemeteries), which is precisely the problem with it. No such law would be needed for events on private property, since those occur at the discretion of the owner — and no such law is valid on public property.

    (As a side note, I hold to the same principle regarding laws that forbid people to exercise their inalienable right to keep and bear arms when entering a government building such as a courthouse — if you can’t exercise your rights on property which you theoretically own an undivided interest in, where the hell CAN you exercise them?).

  • http://knappster.blogspot.com Thomas L. Knapp

    Tim,

    Thanks for responding to let me know that you’re not responding (or, in plainer English, “what … EVER”).

  • Paul Pace

    Oh, I agree, Mr. Knapp. If the rights of even the most vile human beings are not protected, then how do I know someone who thinks I’M vile won’t take away MY rights. We can’t pick and choose what speech to protect under the first amendment, as much as we may be tempted to in cases such as this.

    The only acceptable weapon to fight hate speech is with more speech.