Friday, February 24, 2006

Don't let Fred Phelps kill the First Amendment

Does anyone else think it's odd that states like Kansas had no problem when Fred Phelps picketed the funerals of gay people, and even gay servicemembers, but now that he's protesting the funerals of straight servicemembers, they think it's time for a law against protests at funerals?

Make no mistake -- Fred Phelps is an evil, evil man who hurts not only other people's feelings but is likely torturing the gay members of his own family. (I saw a TV interview with his webmaster/grandson -- you know, the one who did the GodHatesFags website -- and that poor kid was just painfully gay and closeted.)

Yet, the First Amendment is way more important than Fred Phelps, and, I'm sorry to say, even more important than the feelings of the family members of the brave military personnel who died serving their country. It would be an insult to the memory of those servicemembers to restrict the liberty that they were willing to give their lives for.

As Michael Badnarik often said during his 2004 campaign for President, "A free speech zone for me is defined as wherever I happen to be standing." And though Fred Phelps is mean, evil, and needs to hurry up and die, he too should have a free speech zone wherever he happens to be standing, just like the rest of us in a free society.