I hadn't quite finished my coffee this morning so I picked up the current issue of Arizona Highways. Hub said, "Inside the back cover." I turned to the story; a memorial to a young soldier who had written to the magazine asking if they would send copies to his unit to give them something to read and remind them of home.
The staff was so taken by the young soldier's humility and concern for his friends they sent far more then magazines and soon they had a special bond - plus an inside perspective of what war was like in Afghanistan. He was killed January 10, 2010. I was wiping my eyes by the time I finished reading. They were grieving because they would now never meet this young man to say a heart felt "thank you", not only for serving his country but what he gave them.
It reminded me of my own GI who picked up one of many Christmas cards I had sent to his unit, several years ago now. You know, one of those special requests that come around the holidays. He was serving in Iraq. We too have a special bond, a warmth that embraces me, even though we've never met.
The stories of these soldiers brought to mind the story of the father of a young Marine who is suing a group of protesters that invaded the privacy of his son's funeral.
We know people protest any and everything these days. There is something so ugly about this, however, I'm finding it difficult to articulate how I feel. This group is claiming first amendment freedom as they spew their hate. The Supreme Court is going to hear the case. Chief Justice John Roberts has shown in recent days, due to his flap with the President from the State of the Union incident, that he understands the frustration of humiliation.
Beyond the legalities of these actions, is the vileness of them done in the name of God. These people claim to be Baptists and most are relatives of the founder, one Fred W. Phelps, Sr. A crotchety old man who is reveling in the publicity for his cause - spreading hate.
It's hard to grasp how deep this hatred for Catholics and Gays, and who knows what else, runs! How twisted are minds that think the war is "divine retribution" for America's sins!
It's will be a fine line for the Supreme Court to deal with. In the meantime, it seems to me the Baptist Church should denounce this congregation at the very least or forbid them to claim the Baptist Church before it is diminished by their actions.
Short of that they should all be placed under psychiatric observation. No one that hates so deeply they use the funerals of fallen servicemen, those who have died serving their country, to get their message front and center can be considered sane.
It is beneath contempt.