Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Pat Quinn proposes law to control funeral protests (Fred Phelps)

Cross posted at Marathon Pundit.

From Tuesday's Daily Herald:

The signs still haunt Jesse Alcozer.

On the day he would bury his 21-year-old son, Christopher, an Army private from Villa Park who died Nov. 19 while serving in Iraq, protesters stood across the street from the church, holding placards that read “Thank God for Dead Soldiers.”

All Jesse Alcozer saw was the hate in the signs and the distraction it served to keep him and his family from properly mourning his son’s death.

“For (soldiers) to come back and be faced by radicals that don’t respect them, it shouldn’t be like this,” said Alcozer, himself a Vietnam War veteran.

Now Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn, who spoke at the funeral, is trying to spare military families the extra grief the Alcozers experienced. He’s proposed a state law that would prohibit protesting within 300 feet of any military or civilian funeral.

Oklahoma has a similar bill working its way through the legislature. Laws controlling Fred Phelps and the despicable actions of his Westboro Baptist "Church" do not control free speech. His group can always protest a half mile away when there is a funeral going on.

Yssterday the latest Fred Phelps-organized protest took place. From the Westboro web site, here is a flier about a picket yesterday morning for a soldier's funeral in Florida.

9 comments:

Anonymous,  5:44 AM  

Once again Pat Quinn is "right on."

Anonymous,  9:25 AM  

The CIA should pick-up Phelps and drop him into an insurgent dominated city in Iraq. Since they don't like homosexuals there either then he shouldn't have a problem with that, right? He could then spend his final moments condeming the muslim non-belivers before someone finally sends him to his god. Its a win-win situation for everyone!

Anonymous,  3:40 PM  

As much as I don't like Fred Phelps, I think the ever increasing number of laws designed to limit protest are short sighteted and go agsint the princples of the first amendment. I feel more strongly about this every time I go to protest Bush or Cheney and am kept far away where we will never been seen.

Anonymous,  12:55 AM  

What about, as PQ mentions in his presser, the first amendment rights of people to conduct religious rites for their dead family members? Don't project Bush/Cheney onto this issue...surely the right to practice your faith unharassed is not second place to the rights of moonbats to sneeringly and cynically, yet peacefully, assemble.

Anonymous,  9:47 AM  

I think this is really short-sighted. The demonstrators in this case are nothing but a bunch of assholes but to seek legislation to make this illegal is going way too far.

If you can stop protest at a funeral, why not at a memorial? And then why not at a meeting of the VFW?

This is just bad legislation and shows poor judgment on the part of Quinn.

Anonymous,  9:51 AM  

P.S. It's not as if there weren't laws already to stop disruptive behavior.

If this is based on the "right to practice your faith unharassed", it's even worse legislation than I thought.

Can you imagine what a can of worms that'll open?

John Ruberry 11:03 AM  

Anon at 9:47am: Would you like your kid's funeral being disrupted by Phelps and his loons?

Anonymous,  12:21 PM  

Anon said: "Don't project Bush/Cheney onto this issue...surely the right to practice your faith unharassed is not second place to the rights of moonbats to sneeringly and cynically, yet peacefully, assemble."

I don't think any group should have secondary or lesser rights to peacefully assemble than another group. The point of the first amendment is to protect unpopular forms of speech, like Fred Phelps. We don't need it to protect the popular forms of speech.

The reason I can't protest Bush where he can see me is that liberals passed laws to ban abortion clinic protestors from being too close to the clinic. That sounded like a good idea at the time, but laws which limit free speech always tend to be a double edged sword.

Anonymous,  3:09 PM  

"Would you like your kid's funeral being disrupted by Phelps and his loons?"

There are a lot of things I wouldn't like. But you know what, that kid of mine -- should I have had one -- died, not because he had to, but because he volunteered in the service of a free and democratic country. Those principles meant enough to him -- if he had been my son -- to protect and even die for.

There are laws to protect people going about their business -- even at funerals. These laws are more than adequate should the lunatics truly interfere with the service.

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