Saturday, February 07, 2004

Fred Phelps presses on, and idiots who just can't seem to grasp how church-state separation has to work on public land are making it possible:

...The Rev. Fred Phelps, from Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., has chosen Boise and roughly 10 cities around the country to be locations for an anti-gay monument because those cities all have Ten Commandments monuments on city property.

He believes that, based on a federal court ruling, those cities have to allow his religious monument on city property because there is already another religious monument, his lawyer said.

Boise City Councilman Alan Shealy proposed returning the Ten Commandments monument to the group that gave it to the city in 1965, the Fraternal Order of Eagles, rather than get into a court fight with Phelps over what Shealy called a "repugnant" message....

...but a local Christian group led by the Rev. Bryan Fischer of the Community Church of the Valley is fighting the move, taking the issue to federal court....

Reverend Fischer thinks the you can permit "good" religious speech on public land and keep out "bad" religious speech. That's not how it works.

For those of you who don't know who Fred Phelps is, well, he's a real sweetheart:

Phelps has sent letters to several cities around the country seeking to put up a monument on city property with a picture of a gay Wyoming college student who was killed in a gay-bias attack, with the words, "Matthew Shepard. Entered Hell October 12, 1998. In Defiance of God's Warning: 'Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; it is abomination.' Leviticus 18:22."

Because of the Biblical quotation the monument is considered religious, and should be allowed to stand in public parks where there are already religious monuments, said Phelps' daughter and lawyer, Shirley Phelps-Roper.

"That's basically the linchpin to it all, that they put up some religious monument in their public spaces, so they can't refuse ours," Phelps-Roper said....

Is this coming to your town?

She said she could not recall all the cities the group has sent letters to, but among them are Nampa, Idaho; Cheyenne and Casper, Wyo.; Greeneville, Tenn.; St. Paul, Minn.; and Lebanon, Pa. ...


No comments: