Before I start this post, which has nothing to do with comedy or humor, I wanted to let you know about a special event happening here in Orlando this weekend. And by special, I mean “terrifying”, because it involves me embarrassing myself in front of a live audience.
I’ve been practicing stand-up comedy for a while now, and going around to open mic nights locally. This week, though, I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to appear at the Orlando Improv on Sunday night and do a five-minute set, along with real comedians who are much better than I am.
If you’re interested in attending, you can find out more details, including how to get free tickets, here on Facebook!
The Westboro Baptist Church is, in my opinion, one of the examples of true evil in our world. Without any true understanding of Christianity or the Bible, they use hate and shock to gain publicity, make money from like-minded sociopaths, and with a well-educated, well-trained legal team, they sue anyone who crosses the slightest legal line.
As you may be aware, yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled with an 8-1 majority that the First Amendment protects the rights of these twisted, hateful individuals to protest, overruling a lawsuit by a man whose son was in the military, died, and whose funeral was picketed by this group.
The solitary dissenter in the opinion, Samuel Alito, really tried his hardest to make a case, connecting the dots between defamatory speech by claiming that the deceased soldier was gay (which I take umbrage with – saying someone is gay is not defamatory), and really stretching to allow the plaintiff (the father) to claim Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress as a direct result of the actions of the Westboro Baptist Church.
Unfortunately, he was grasping at straws and I think it’s a good thing that his opinion was not the majority one. As hateful as it is, the fact that these ignorant, despicable scum have the First Amendment right to protest means that our rights are also protected. This is the most extreme example of that saying (I’m paraphrasing) “I do not agree what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
It’s hard to justify allowing these disgusting human beings the right to continue their crusade against everyone (recently, they protested the funeral of the young girl killed in Arizona with signs saying she was “Better Off Dead”). There’s only one solution, and that’s to ignore them.
If the media stopped publishing their press releases and refused to discuss them, if local governments stopped trying to legislate First Amendment rights (and then losing lawsuits to the WBC), if people pretended that they weren’t even there, they’d go away. It’s not a church. It’s a thinly veiled PR machine that exists solely for the purpose of making money. Without publicity, without failed legislation, it would shrivel up and die. They’d have to scream louder and louder and get more and more desperate in order to try to get any attention, until they were forced to either give up or cross that legal line. And that’s the only way that decency or humanity could ever win.
I know that there’s little to no chance of that ever happening, because we live in a society where we love to see a train wreck and we love drama and people’s misery. So, as an alternative, I hope that one day, the members of the WBC unknowingly protest at the funeral of the son of a mobster or druglord, and in retaliation, he puts a bullet in every single one of their skulls.