June 07, 2007

Gawd Hates Flags

Fred Phelps' daughter has been arrested in Omaha for allowing her son to stomp on an American flag.

Phelps’ daughter arrested for son’s actions

A member of the Kansas church that protests at soldier funerals across the nation was arrested Tuesday after her son stomped on a U.S. flag during a protest in Bellevue.

Shirley Phelps-Roper, 49, of Topeka, Kan., was arrested on suspicion of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Phelps-Roper acknowledged that she allowed her 10-year-old son, Jonah, to stand on the flag — an action that she says is protected by the U.S. Constitution...

...The Bellevue funeral was for Nebraska Army National Guard Spc. William “Bill” Bailey, who was killed May 25 when an explosive device struck his vehicle in Iraq.

What can I say? I fully support the right of a Phelps, or anybody else, to stomp on a flag, American or otherwise, if they feel like it. I don't personally care much what happens to colorful pieces of cloth, and in the case of the American flag, if we don't have the right to burn it, stomp on it, or pee on it — even if one personally chooses never to exercise that right — then that flag doesn't have much meaning. These days, it doesn't have that much, anyhow, when it comes to notions of individual liberty.

On the other hand, these are Phelps whelps. I can't help buut enjoy the thought of them suffering just a bit, and that's not even schadenfraude. That's justice in my mind. These people go about picketing the funerals of people who died tragic deaths, as in this very case. They don't care a bit about the emotional pain of the survivors who cared about those people so long as the heartless monsters get some attention out of it. Why should anyone feel bad for someone who exploits the suffering of others for their personal gain?

Moreover, the Phelps clan would take away everyone else's freedom if they had their way. If Fred Phelps ruled the world, you can bet that there'd be gay people being burned at the stake and non-theistic scientific types like me would be drawn and quartered in the streets. Phelps hates freedom; he openly advocates for the harshest imaginable theocracy based on biblical literalism.

My feelings about this are ambivalent. For all I care, all of the Phelps whelps can rot in some dank dungeon. On the other hand, they do have the right to stomp on a flag. I wish the Omaha police could have come up with a better charge on which to arrest Shirley Phelps-Roper. Surely there must have been something more compelling, a real crime, of which she and her bunch could have been legitimately accused.

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