My column today looks at the Phelps clan’s protests at military funerals and asks for more space for grieving families in the form of a no-protest buffer zone around funerals. I strongly believe in First Amendment rights, but I also feel strongly that mourning families trying to bury a loved one shouldn’t have to endure such harassment. Give them their space.
A funeral protest isn’t free speech — it’s cruelty.
I went to the Phelpses’ protest this morning at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Wichita — I wanted to see one of these protests up close. Believe me, it was way too cold for an outdoor protest.
But there they were — about eight Phelps protesters, standing right across the street from the church, waving their signs (one said “Thank God for Dead Soldiers”) and occasionally taunting and jeering. It was beyond offensive. It was ghoulish. Reaffirmed my belief that family members deserve better privacy protection.
About 150 Patriot Guard members were there, too — some had traveled many miles in bone-chilling weather to offer support and try to shield the family. I salute them.
Posted by Randy Scholfield
Registered?Commenting on WE Blog now requires you to be a Kansas.com member. Use the links above to register, if you haven't already, or to log in.
Do you tweet? Follow us on Twitter: @WE_Tweet.