a reply to: lucifuge
The trouble with a disreputable bunch like the Westboro Bigot Committee, is that their particular brand of offensive, and hateful "protest", is
passive aggressive in its outworking. By that I mean, that these people ABUSE their right to free speech, rather than just using it. By behaving as
they do, with intolerable hate speech, but without actually ACTING against the physical persons of those they target in their little field trips, they
incite tension and unrest in others, while maintaining a legal high ground, despite the obvious intent of their actions.
Essentially, they are baiting the nation of which they are citizens, trolling the entire USA, and indeed persons from all over the globe, by their
actions and words. I think it would play right into their delusion for someone to actually take action against them in a physical manner. I have seen
behavior like this before. When I was at school, there was a kid who for the first three years of senior school, would square up to me every day,
swear at me, insult me, and never quite got to landing a blow on me. For three years I put up with his crap, and aside from the odd elbow in the ribs,
he never touched me with ill intent, but he certainly made every effort to prod and poke and rip at every scab on my psyche, with carefully measured
doses of verbal and psychological abuse.
One day, he called my sister a slut in... was it a mathematics class, or a German class? Mathematics I think... anyway, I pretty much went cold,
waited for him to turn around and concentrate on his work, stood up, walked around behind him, then strangled him half to death with his own tie. He
went a horrid shade of purple before his tie broke.
Now, my high school was a bloodbath, and compared with some of the crap that went on in that place, it features very low on the scale of severity, as
an incident, but what I did was technically wrong. Legally, it was certainly wrong, although nothing ever came of it, since much more serious
incidents got swept under rugs at my old school, and this was no exception. The only effect it had, was to make me very angry with myself, and
(somewhat more positively) no one screwed with me for the next two years. The fellow himself never even looked me in the eye again.
Should I have done what I did faced with that level of provocation? No. However, should the fellow have been able to get away with harassing me for
three years? No. So where does one draw the line, how does one address this passive aggressive sort of behaviour, without giving up the moral high
ground? I think the answer is, that if we are to have freedom of speech in the developed world, then communities and demographics have to grow thicker
skins against purely verbal baiting. I realised that my reaction to continual provocation, was improper, and although every cell in my body wanted to
see that guy choke on his crushed larynx at the time, that was because I was not collected enough, not serene enough by that point to realise that by
acting against him, I probably did more harm than good, to myself, and indeed to the community of which I was a part at the time.
The Westboro mob alienate themselves further from their local community, and indeed their fellow countrymen, with every utterance which falls from
their mouths, and make pariah out of themselves at every rally they attend. If someone were to attack them physically, that would strengthen their
twisted image of themselves, as the last bastion of righteousness, and may result in legal action being bought against people who acted out of
entirely justified indignation and disgust at their poor conduct.
Just a word on the precise issue at hand though...
Robin Williams was a good man. He had problems, just like the rest of us, and he dealt with some of them poorly over the years, just like the rest of
us, and just like the rest of us will at some point, he was faced with two serious diseases, depression and Parkinsons disease. He was being faced by
the cold reality of his mortality, and for whatever reason, abandoned his flesh. In short he was human, and no person on Earth has the right to judge
him in the way that the Westboro bunch have. By the word of the God that those people claim to love and follow, it is GODS right and HIS alone to
judge the souls of mankind, their worth, their quality. By installing themselves as judges of human souls, these people abandon the very faith that
they claim to uphold by their vile spew.