While we were on block leave, a military wife from Fort Campbell posted a flyer from the Westboro Baptist "Church" announcing a protest to be held at the funeral of a soldier. I wish I could find it. The language was repulsing. Their argument for why they hold the protests made me ill. I wanted to share it here and if I can come across it again I will.
There are no kind words - or calm words, rather - that I could possibly share about that organization (no part of me can consider it a "church"). The flyer fired me up and it may be a good thing I couldn't write about it at the time that I saw it. Hate breeds hate. I know my anger would be what they would want. I know any strong language would empower them, make them feel even more right in their "mission".
The language of the flyer said that to not allow their protests would be to disgrace the "sacrifice" the fallen soldier has made to defend the rights of the citizens of this country.
Good play, WBC.
I am sure that that was their intention. To "one up" military families. To take the rights and sacrifice and throw it back in our faces. To make a mockery of it. To say, "Ha, we got you."
You're right. You have a right to be there. Entirely correct. The man or woman you and you wretchedly tie-dyed signs are protesting against ensured your right to file the paperwork and express you intent to be present at curb side and face the motorcade. Yes, he or she was blown to almost nothing by an IED, or shot through the chest with a rocket-propelled grenade like C's friend, or shot, and shot again, and again to to allow that.
That child who can't possibly understand what your signs say lost his daddy for you to stand there and look like a fool.
But that child can understand hate. He can look at you and recognize the evil existing within your heart. But most likely, he will never see you. His eyes will never meet yours. His mind will never process the words that you so disgustingly spit out.
Because love is stronger than hate.
For the dozen of you who "practice your freedom of speech," hundreds - hundreds - will show love to that family by standing in front of you and your signs. Quietly, respectfully, they will honor that family. The Patriot Guard Riders will hold the flags to block your hate-filled faces if a family asks for them. The will come from miles and miles because they love a nation, they honor a sacrifice, and they know that reacting with hate to yours will only breed more anger.
For a long time I thought there should be a law against what you do. And then I understood the goodness in people. It is very much my belief that people are fundamentally good - not fundamentally bad. Since your "protests" have started, America has seen strangers line up along road ways, who never knew the fallen - just as you have never known the fallen - who will bring their flags out of their homes that may not have flown in years and hold it to block you. I have no doubt that flag finds its home on the front of their house after that. Love comes out in numbers to practice their first amendment right just as you come out in hate and love comes out stronger.
I feel sorry for your children. The little ones you bring with you who hold signs they can't possibly understand.
I pray for them. I pray for you.
The reaction of the multitudes that come out to where you are to shield children of the fallen, their widows or widowers, parents, grandparents, sisters, brothers ... they don't come for you, they come for them.
They do not stand out of hate; they stand out of love.
Where there is evil, Good will rise to meet it and overcome it and defeat it. Where there is hate, people can and so often will choose love.
I do not know a god who tells us to hate people for their choices. I do not know a god who tells us to raise children in hatred and judgment. I do not know a god who gives us the authority to condemn. Your god is not my God.
Your hate will never create hate in me, it won't create hate in those who stand in front of you in rows and rows and rows. They come out of love, they come out of respect, they come to quietly and peacefully honor and protect the families of the fallen.
Good will always rise above evil. Love always wins.
Your hate will always lose.