Sunday, May 20, 2007

I Really Can't Believe This

I enjoy the hogstomping baroque exuberance of American life -- not so much the Jerry Springer version as the Weegee and Diane Arbus sort of strangeness that pervades our culture. But when I read things like this, it just leaves me shaking my head.

You may or may not know that there is a group of protesters from the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., that stage anti-homosexuality demonstrations at the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq.The group's message is that U.S. soldiers are dying in Iraq because of America's tolerance of homosexuality. Then there are the Patriot Guard Riders, a nationwide group of motorcyclists who stage counter-protests to show support and rev their engines to drown out Westboro protesters.

Are you kidding me?!

I am appalled that these tragic and solemn occasions are turned into such a freakshow. One bit of dignity in all this: Fort Worth’s own State Rep. Charlie Geren-R checks the church's Web site daily to see whether it is planning a protest in Texas. He said he plans to go to every Texas funeral that the group protests."They don't have any right doing what they're doing," Geren told the Startlegram. "That time is a special time that these families deserve to have without these hateful, hateful practices." I'm not a big Republican supporter, but thanks for trying, Charlie.

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