Thursday, January 24, 2008

Heath Ledger and a Pain Resurrected

By Pat Cromwell

Earlier this week we lost a great actor, Heath Ledger. Message boards are overflowing with comments about his death. For the most part, the people leaving comments are expressing their heartfelt sympathy which is admirable and in my opinion, very American.

Unfortunately, there is that small minority of individuals who take situations such as this to exploit their own personal agendas. I’m speaking of the Westboro Baptist Church, an organization that, in my circle of friends, is considered the most backward, ignorant group of non believers ever. They are like a cold sore that pops up the morning of an important meeting.

They’re like an acute pain in my side that refuses to just go away. You know the type of pain that lays dormant and at the worse possible time reminds us that it is there and emits an ache so deep that a strong dose of Morphine can’t get rid of it. Regrettably, this throne in our side is a catalyst for yet another round of Anti-American post written by people around the world. Already, I’ve read several comments about how disrespectful the Americans are and many of the post that I have read reference the Westboro Baptist Church’s planned attack to protest Heath Ledger’s funeral.

I want to go to the tallest building in the world and scream “All Americans are not this ignorant and heartless!” I would also say to them that while I firmly believe that everyone has a right to their opinions and a right to protest (that includes Westboro), that I take issue to lack of judgment and the respect of others when practicing the right of freedom of speech and assembly. That is why this group is such a pain. Not only do I disagree vehemently with their philosophy and biblical interpretations regarding homosexuality, but their methods are despicable. The Westboro Baptist Church total disregard for the bereaved is not what this country is about. I’m not just speaking of their intent to “picket” the actor’s funeral, but every single funeral that they have intruded on and the anguish that they inflicted on the families and friends of our fallen soldiers is beyond reprehensible.

In my opinion, that makes them no better than a terrorist. The fact that they perform this inhuman action in the name of God is a slap in the face. I don’t know what bible they are reading, but it definitely is not the same as mine. As far as the people leaving comments about Americans as a whole, hey you guys, Westboro is not, and never will be a representative of the mentality of Americans. I’d go so far as to say that the majority of Americans view them as I do: a nasty little sore that festers and refuses to go away.

Pat Cromwell

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