Monday, March 27, 2006

A View Of Reason #16 Why I Am An Atheist

Because bigotry is not next to godliness, something the people at Westboro Baptist Church didn't learn in bible school. I saw this report on the Detroit Free Press website and couldn't believe what I read.

GRAND LEDGE, Mich. (AP) -- More than 250 military veterans and other supporters showed up Monday at the funeral of a Michigan soldier killed in Iraq to counter a group that has protested at soldiers' funerals nationwide.

The Patriot Guard Riders chanted "God Bless Corporal Yates" during their peaceful counterprotest.

Three members from the small Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., held up signs denouncing homosexuality. One said, "Thank God for dead soldiers."

Church members have shown up military funerals around the country for several months saying soldiers are being struck down by God for defending a nation that tolerates homosexuality.

While friends and family of Army Cpl. Nyle Yates III gathered Monday morning to pay their last respects inside Grand Ledge Baptist Church, the Patriot Guard Riders -- mostly veterans and motorcycle club members -- congregated outside to block the protest.

Yates, a 22-year-old from Lake Odessa, died March 16 in Bayji when he came under small arms fire by enemy forces during combat. He was assigned to a unit that operated out of Fort Campbell, Ky.

It was at least the third trip to Michigan by Westboro members, who in recent weeks protested at military funerals in Flushing and Flint. The group planned to picket later Monday at the state Capitol in Lansing to oppose recently introduced legislation that would restrict protests at funerals.

Several states are moving to pass similar legislation. At the federal level, U.S. Rep Mike Rogers, R-Brighton, has introduced a similar bill.

An attorney for Westboro Baptist Church has said the group will obey state laws banning funeral protests. The group canceled plans to protest recently in Oklahoma, Indiana, Missouri and Wisconsin, all states that recently have passed funeral protest laws.

The first Michigan bills dealing with funeral protests were introduced March 16 by state Reps. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, and John Gleason, D-Flushing. The bills would ban intentional loud noises, threatening gestures and other intentional disruptions within 500 feet of a funeral ceremony.

Rep. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, also has introduced funeral protest legislation. More bill introductions are planned.

Reason #17: When I was a kid, I was told that, "God don't like ugly." Disregarding a family's grief? Using a funeral to showboat? It can't get any uglier, right? Not very Christ like, is it?

But wait, there's more. Creating a website called "God Hates Fags," using the Bible to justify prejudice? How I wish I were making this up. The church's minister created the site and says that, "God's hatred is one of his holy attributes." Click here to read the history behind this as reported by the Anti-Defamation League. That's a whole new level of ugly.

It's not so bad being a godless heathen if being on "God's side" means being this cruel and selfish.

How come you just know some of these people have "Support Our Troops" bumper stickers on their vehicles? Be for or against the war, but don't use the war or it's soldiers as a domestic weapon of mass destruction. The dead soldiers and the country they died fighting for, no matter how flawed the war may be, deserve so much better.

More to come later. My soapbox can only take so much weight at one time.


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