The people of Westboro, under the leadership of Fred Phelps, have taken on the habit of attending the funerals of these soldiers as almost a celebration. They believe that the soldiers deserve to die because of America's pro-gay policies.
Discerning readers will wonder:
- What pro-gay policies? and,
- How the hell did they come up with that?
I never said that Phred and his followers were paragons of logic.
Unfortunately, the article in the Freep downplayed this bizarre connection and reason for the Westboro protests. They wrote as if the followers of Phred (whom they did not mention) were ordinary anti-war protesters. I consider this to be shoddy reporting at best, and deliberate misinformation at worst. I am very strongly against the war and have been since the beginning, but I would never dream of saying so at a soldier's funeral! And I do not want to be connected with the delusional clowns from Westboro in any way, shape, or form.
So, being me, I fired off a letter to the editor. Here's what I wrote:
I must take exception to your 3/28 article regarding the Patriot Guard, who shield the families of fallen soldiers from protests during their loved ones' funerals. I have no issue with your coloring the Guard as heroes; they are that and more. My issue lies in the characterization of the protesters as simple anti-war demonstrators. Westboro Baptist, under the leadership of Fred Phelps, is noted for their hatred of gays. This has led to a warped belief that American soldiers "deserve to die" because of the country's pro-gay policies. By failing to emphasize this link and implying that Westboro Baptist is more-or-less a standard anti-war group, you have done your readers, as well as those who are truly against the war rather than using it as an excuse for hatred, a disservice of information.
Polite, but to the point. Let's see if they print it.