Opinion: Military protests should not be tolerated

Taylor Miksic

Taylor Miksic

Taylor Miksic is a freshman news major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].

Imagine waking up before the sun to go through ruthless training in order to fight for your country; to keep the home of the brave, the land of the free safe.

Thousands of American soldiers do it every day to keep the citizens of the United States — YOU — living a safe and comfortable life.

People in the community, people you see every day: a teacher, a family member, a friend, a friend of a friend, everyday people are signing up for the life-changing experience and a responsibility that is the military.

How would you feel if you were attending a loved one’s funeral only to have it interrupted by protesters?

The Westboro Baptist Church is known for its protests of military service members’ funerals. The reason for their protests is that members of this church believe that military deaths are God’s way of punishing America for accepting homosexuals.

In 2007 the Manchester Ordinance put respectable limits on protesting military funerals. Protesters are not allowed within 300 feet of the ceremonies.

Manchester, Mo., as well as several other cities with ordinances similar to this, was sued by American Civil Liberties Union stating that the protests are protected by the First Amendment, which includes freedom of speech.

In October a panel of three judges reviewed the Phelps v. City of Manchester case. The judges ruled in favor of the Westboro Church. The case was then presented to the Federal Appeals Court in St. Louis Jan. 9, 2012 where they also ruled in favor of the church.

It is absolutely unnecessary and completely inappropriate for these people to protest heroes of our country and family members of others. It is especially outrageous that these church members live with the notion that the reason for these militants’ deaths is due to America’s acceptance of homosexuals.

The men and women serving in our armed forces deserve respect and dignity, especially at their funerals, when they gave their own lives to protect the freedom of all citizens of the United States.

If it were not for the people who are willing to go and fight for our country to avoid being invaded and taken over by other countries, the life we know and love could be very different.

The Westboro protesters need to think about what they are doing to the families of the deceased and “if [they] don’t stand behind our troops, [they can] feel free to stand in front of them.”

The ruling these judges made in favor of the Westboro Baptist church is ridiculous. The limitations on the protests helped to maintain order and were a happy medium for protesters and family members of service men and women.

If the restrictions are to be taken away, all hell will break lose at many funeral ceremonies.