Monday, October 11, 2010

where are david kelly and aaron sorkin when you need them?

It's almost amusing that the justice system seems to be at a loss on how to handle the despicable acts of the Westboro Baptist Church. Free speech seems to be trumping every legal objection that can be raised to quash the declarations of hate. Since the violation of privacy and emotional distress don't seem to carry any weight, I've been applying my simple mind to other alternatives for shutting up these declarations of hate.

That's why I'm in search of David Kelly and Aaron Sorkin, two of the greatest creative and genius minds I've seen work extraordinary magic when it comes to the intricacies of religion and law. Since I don't have ready access to either of them, this is what I've come up with by myself. Disclaimer: I have not done extensive research to support any of these ideas, so they may well be full of holes. Like I said, it's my simple mind at work...

1) On behalf of God, someone should file a defamation of character suit against WBC and the family Phelps. According to the NIV, there are three biblical texts that include the words "God hates...," two of them in Deuteronomy. The first (12:31) makes a vague reference to "the things the Lord hates." Without a list to delineate those things, we can assume nothing. The second warns against erecting sacred stones. God apparently hates those (12:22). This is unfortunate news to the celts, the picts and the druids. The third reference is found in the first letter of John: "If anyone says, 'I love God,' yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen." Here's the question though: has anyone heard members of the WBC say they love God?

The Message offers a few ideas of what God hates. Fags are not among them, nor are tears. But here's an interesting idea out of Proverbs (6:16): "Here are six things God hates, and one more that he loathes with a passion: eyes that are arrogant, a tongue that lies, hands that murder the innocent, a heart that hatches evil plots, feet that race down a wicked track, a mouth that lies under oath, a troublemaker in the family." Again, there's some vagueness, but I'm thinking that a pattern is emerging, which might be helpful.

2) The IRS doesn't seem particularly interested in yanking 501(k) status rights from churches, but there might be something, upon investigation, that the WBC does that puts that status at risk. Not that they would care.

3) Restraining orders, although there are lots of ways such an order could be challenged.

4) Claims of Harassment. This doesn't prevent demonstrations, but if enough families bring action it would tie the WBC up in court indefinitely, and drain their financial resources.

I'm open to other suggestions. Appealing to decency appears not to have any effect.

What I don't get is how this family benefits from their demonstrations (I don't think these qualify as protests, there's no evidence that they are protesting anything specific). Notoriety? So what? For what purpose? I don't think anyone is running to join their church. Bragging rights? Again, for what? All they seem to do is inflame.

All I can say is that I'd really like to be a proverbial fly on the wall come judgment day.


The Bug said...

LOVE this post - in fact I'm going to link to it on Facebook.

Jan said...

Wise words. Thank you for expressing what I was not able to.

Also, I am glad you are thinking of looking into fair trade chocolate. I was a little worried, because you once wrote that you were avoiding my blog about that topic!

Jayne said...

These people are so misguided and yet so sure of their righteousness that I am not sure there is an argument that would convince them that in the process of their "stating their convictions" (and Gods apparently), they are causing pain and grief to those who mourn their lost sons and daughters. I do hope the Supreme Court rules this an invasion of privacy and the right to grieve without being harassed. A wonderfully thoughtful post my friend.

Mompriest said...

One thing that really gets me is the founder, or some really old leader in that church, said in an interview that the parents of gay soldiers should THANK HIM, this guy, for bringing to their attention, this sin, this issue...I guess so they can ??? I don't know what? somehow their salvations depends on this wacko guy and his actions? sigh

anyway. Yes, good points you raise. Not to mention that JESUS NEVER SAYS ANYTHING ABOUT this...except: LOVE GOD, LOVE NEIGHBOR, and LOVE YOURSELF....and I add, just as you are, just as God created you.

Oh,and on the topic of images of God - don't forget the Orthodox and their icons....which I know technically aren't images of God....

Somehow I really hope the court figures out something to say....I really do. Something wise.


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