Good morning everyone and Happy Friday once again! Ryan started his first week here at the day job, so now all three of us work for the same company. He’s enjoying the work okay, and he has been sleeping hard at night, so he’s definitely getting in some strength-building. He won’t get his first check for a couple weeks, but he’s cool with that. It’s not like he has bills to pay or a family to feed, unlike the troops who were worrying sick last Friday. The crisis from last week has been averted, so I can indeed call it a happy Friday today. Then again, I do know a number of folks who are rather perturbed the notion of not paying our troops was even brought into question, so it’s not like there’s a real win anywhere.
It’s really sad this was even brought up, because it shows just how obtuse the government is when it comes to how badly military families depend on that check. Many spouses cannot get a worthwhile job due to moving around all the time, and those checks do not leave a whole lot of extra money for savings. Anyone who lives near, or has ever visited, a base or post knows that predatory lending companies and pawn shops litter the outskirts due to so many folks being on such tight budgets. It’s so easy to say people can just live on their savings when they have plenty of it.
This week, there is another important piece of news I wanted to elaborate upon. Republican Maine Senator Olympia Snowe has drawn up the SERVE Act which would keep Ole Boy Phelps and his posse at bay during military funerals. It’s backed by more than a dozen others, and not surprisingly, many citizens and military folks are hoping for its passage as well. Should it become law as is, the SERVE Act would undoubtedly set precedent as to how other protests are conducted and yes, regulated. That can be for anything: Anti-war or pro-choice movements, union strikes, immigration issues or the entertaining/annoying guys dressed up like handicapped chickens in front of KFCs.
While many people want Phelps gone, or at least want him far enough away so as not to upset mourners and respect the dead, there are some folks who would rather tolerate his nonsense than to see any type of protesting legislation come to pass. Some folks want to retain their First Amendment rights by any means. I get that, and I even respect that in some small degree, but I most certainly do not agree with that line of thinking. Personally, I’m glad this is coming to fruition, because as I’ve said a thousand times, people who are egged on and have no fear of consequences will incite violence. Furthermore, I am not a believer in untethered rights, because lines need to be drawn somewhere.
There has to be rules. As my husband stated, what would happen if Westboro protested across the street from a police station, after a police officer was slain in the line of duty, holding up signs stating “God Hates Cops”? I, for one, do not for one second believe that would be a peaceful protest. In fact, my point has already been proven in the past, and it will only get worse. Yes, they have a right to protest, as do all of us, but there is a right way and certainly a wrong way to do it.
A good friend of mine questioned too, should the SERVE Act become law, would that mean Westboro would move on to other funerals to protest – perhaps Pagan funerals? It only covers military funerals as of now. My guess is most likely, because I will give these guys the benefit they are rather crafty with legal matters. After all, they squirmed their way through the Supreme Court recently, which is why the SERVE Act was drawn up.
The way I see it, I’m okay with getting a foot in the door, because at this point, people are so fed up with Phelps the SERVE Act will only be expanded. Besides, it’s not like military funerals are the only ones they go after (even if they get scared off or bribed before arriving). Remember the miners? Or how about that little girl killed in Arizona? And of course, let us never forget the death that put these asshats in the news in the first place – Matthew Shepard.
So what’s your take on the matter? Be sure to share your thoughts, and I’ll be back next Friday with more news and opinion. Take care!