Levi Forman wrote:
>>I just don't understand why they would think that this is a good idea. "Let's promote our cause by doing the most obnoxious and inappropriate thing that anyone can think of". They say there's no such thing as bad publicity but. . . .
My guess would be it builds up a sense of solidarity among those who are the "true believers". We see something similar to this play out quite often with non-mainstream groups (religious or otherwise). Their leaders place the group in position where they feel surrounded (threatened) by outsiders (non-believers). The leadership deliberately places the group in such a position that its members will feel persecuted. This in turn, encourages / enforces group unity. It results in a classic "Us against Them" dynamic. In this instance, it may not be all that effective in recruiting new members into their "congregation", but it is probably pretty effective in keeping existing members from defecting. If you've become a pariah - if you've violated societal taboos - it then becomes difficult then to leave the group and re-enter the mainstream.
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As I said before, I'm always reluctant to see incident-specific legislation passed that (however slightly) impinges on our Bill of Rights. And of course, such legislation has been enacted from day one and is going to continue to be passed - - but the less often we do so, the better off we'll likely be.
That being said, Mimi does raise an excellent point in the case of SB0015 - by giving families targeted by the Westboro cretins the ability to sue . . . the measure may prove to be very effective in curtailing their actions when it comes to military funerals.
How it will be construed and applied in the future and whether it is a good idea in terms of everyone's civil liberties, I can't say . . . we'll just have to see how it plays out.
Myself, I think the Westboro cretins are best countered by the community coming to the support of targeted families. From what I've saw in the papers, this community support already takes place in Montana and elsewhere (whether or not WBC is present or not).
While I was still in Montana, I attended the funeral of the son of old friends, a fine young man who was killed while serving in Iraq. Hundreds of people showed up for the service, so many in fact that most stood outside during the services. Literally (and I mean literally) thousands of people lined the route that the procession took the graveside (this for a distance of many miles). WBC was not present, but had they been they'd not likely have gotten close enough for the family to have even noticed.
I guess my point is . . . When good people stand up to be counted on the side of good - cretins like Westoboro really don't count for much at all.
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As always when it come to this topic, I'll exercise my speech rights and close by reminding folks that the cretins at Westboro do attempt to raise money from outside the ranks their "congregation". If you are solicited for support by this "church", please keep in mind just what kind of low-life, scum suckers they truly are, while you decide whether or not to give them your money or other support.http://www.google.com/sea...tnG=Search