The Religious cult of Hate, Westboro Baptist Church, has found its way to Woodstock, GA. They plan to ‘peacefully’ incite rage, anger, hate, and to rub salt in the wounds of the family and friends who plan to say goodbye to Spc. Gary Lee Nelson III. Gary, 20, was killed in a non-combat accident near Mosul Iraq, April 5th. May he rest in peace.
What the Westboro Clan is doing can be regarded as ‘Free Speech’, however inciting violence does not come without consequence. Article 1 Section 1 Paragraph 5 of the Georgia Constitution states that no Law shall be passed to curtail or restrain the freedom of speech or the press, but it also adds that those expressing ‘Free Speech’ shall be held responsible for ‘the abuse of that liberty’.
While civilization has ‘advanced’, I am reminded that it was not so long ago that one could challenge another to a duel for grievances that could not be satisfied lawfully. I can say without fail that if these practitioners of hate and incite ‘protested’ my family member’s funeral I would have no option but to hold them responsible for the abuse of their ‘liberty’ to demean the deceased and defenseless through hate speech.
While I am against the government abrogating ‘Free Speech’ I am not at all divided upon citizens abrogating the intentional and purposeful hate filled interruption of a family’s farewell to their beloved. Inciting compounded grief is hardly different from yelling “Fire” in a crowded theatre. They are hiding behind one ‘Right’ in order to abrogate the families’ of fallen soldiers Right to Pursue Happiness by putting their beloved deceased to rest in a respectful and decent manner.
Prudence dictates that one Right cannot be used to Abrogate another. One cannot claim to be Pursuing Happiness or Free Speech at the expense of another. GA Code 16-11-39 actually prohibits the intended actions of the Westboro’s. I just spoke with the Woodstock Police and they stated that they and the County will be doing everything possible to prevent any interruption to SSGT Gary Lee Nelson’s farewell. They also indicated that the Westboro’s claim to protest every soldier’s funeral and only make it those that are convenient or attention getters.
I mourn for Gary’s life being cut short before he could experience the joys of raising his own family. I mourn for Gary’s family in their loss, and for the additional spectacle and transgression that the Westboro Baptist Church intends to put them through.
I will be attending so as to help shield the grieving family and friends from the monsters that worship a god of Hate and use one Liberty to abrogate another’s.
Address of location:
St. Michael the Archangel
490 ARNOLD MILL ROAD
WOODSTOCK, GA 30188
If you can join, please arrive between 9:30 and 9:45 April 15th as the Westboro Baptist Church plans to arrive at around 10:15 am.
On Friday morning the Westboro Baptist Church is planning on a protest at St. Michael’s for the funeral of SSGT. Gary Nelson. Gary was killed in the service of this country. While these protesters have the right to demonstrate on public property, they cannot come onto church property.
We are asking members of the parish and anyone who can from the surrounding community to come out Friday morning and line Trickum and Arnold Mill Roads. If we are standing in place peacefully praying, then they will not have space available to hurt the family with their hate-filled placards, slogans and chants. Their flyer says they will be there at 10:15. If we can be there between 9:30 and 9:45 perhaps we can peacefully deny them access to the immediate area and require them to move their protest away from the church.
WE WILL BE STANDING IN PEACEFUL PRAYER TO SUPPORT OUR FELLOW PARISHONERS AND A FALLEN SOLDIER. The family must deal with their grief and we need to shield them as much as possible from this group. We will be there to honor the sacrifice of this young man. If you can get this information out to other contacts please do so. Law enforcement is aware of the planned protest.