"Pray for the dead, and fight like Hell for the living"
Normally, this is classed as a "humor" blog. I frequently look at serious subjects, but usually in a light-hearted way. Don't look for jokes in this post, though. To be blunt, I am ENRAGED by news I've received tonight via Facebook.
As many of you know, there was a horrific plane crash just outside of Buffalo last week. 50 people, many of whom were residents of, or had ties to, Buffalo were killed. Throughout this week, several churches have quietly held memorial services for the victims. By all accounts, they have been well attended. Earlier tonight, church bells throughout this end of Western New York rang in memory of the dead. This is a close-knit area. Many people knew one or more of those on the plane. Those of us who were spared direct connection with the tragedy are in mourning for fellow humans, and those who sufferred loss, and live on.
Word has reached us, though, of a disturbing response to last Thursday's crash. Representatives of the Westboro Baptist Church have announced their intent to come to Buffalo, and picket two memorial services on Sunday (2/22). If you're not familiar with Westboro Baptist, it's an independent church in the state of Kansas. It's noted for sending groups of protestors to funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afganistan, and using these events to claim that America's current woes are caused by the government's tolerant attitude towards homosexuals. Understand; as disturbing as I find their message, I believe they have the right to express it. Where I draw the line is their disruption of funerals and, now, apparently, memorial services. Even people in virtually every nation I believe to be truly repressive have the right to mourn their dead without disturbance! (It may be the only universally agreed-upon human right on Earth)
Were the protest to be held in a location away from the services [one of which is scheduled in the community where Flight 3407 went down], I could accept that. But to disrupt the honest mourning of the grieving is just wrong.(Facebook members can find out more about planned counter-protests here.)