Letters to the Editor

Free speech

March 29, 2010

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To the editor:

Margie Phelps’ letter (Public Forum, March 24) and Michael Smerconish’s column (March 20) illuminate the contradictory claims of free speech and religious obedience. If we don’t engage in slander, hate speech or endangering public safety we are constitutionally guaranteed our public views.

Smerconish argues that we should restrict odious expression and uses the Phelpses’ protest at military funerals as evidence. The House Un-American Activities Committee’s inquisitions and southern sheriffs abusing protesters are examples of attempts to restrict what was viewed as unacceptable at the time. The Phelpses’ disgustingly provocative views, just like those yelling the “N” word at Rep. Lewis, if restricted, could lead to further persecution of unpopular expression. Trumpeting restrictions, Smerconish disdains the common rabble. My own view is that we should be able to freely mock them.

The Phelpses’ cranky, tenth-rate religious melodrama isn’t politically harmless. Given the power, they would promote persecution in the name of the Lamb. This is apostasy. It encourages the death of soldiers and gays. This is the abandonment of Christianity. Margie Phelps’ train wreck of religious posturing creates a schism by pillaging and exploiting Christian teaching. She apparently fervently desires the fiery annihilation of America. She invents adversaries with the furious anger normally reserved for megalomaniacs and debauched Puritans. She is apparently unaware that the idea of the intrinsic evil of America is a Gnostic cult one.

Phelps sets herself up as America’s scourging healer. She would buttress us by breaking us. She is a heresiarch.

Comments

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 7 months ago

The Phelpses are merely one example of what happens on the slippery slope of religious, superstitious and ideological demagoguery. A far scarier example is the one represented by Fox News/Tea Partiers/Sarah Palin/Republican Party, et al.

headdoctor 7 years, 7 months ago

TomShewmon (Tom Shewmon) says… The Phelp's are basking in the glory of all the attention they recieve and always have. Ignoring these nutcases is what everyone should do. Anyone who thinks they are not not fraught with mental illness(es) is fooling themselves. Should I or anyone else worry, posting or submitting LTE's with a name, obviously Margie (the Phelp's) read LJW/LJW on-line (award-winning).


Miracles never cease. The skillet just noticed the condition of the frying pan. roflmao

Deja Coffin 7 years, 7 months ago

Okay, so is the purpose of writing a letter to the editor to pull out all the big words you can to make yourself look good? Maybe it's too early in the morning for me or maybe it's my Eudora education (probably) but goodness. I couldn't decide if I agreed or disagreed with the writer because I was too busy looking up words.

Deja Coffin 7 years, 7 months ago

I'm not saying there is anything wrong with a vast vocabulary...... just saying maybe I better stick to Green Eggs and Ham this early in the day. I really thought the writer said that Mrs. Phelps would butt rest us and for a minute was imagining some technical cage fighting move.

Liberty275 7 years, 7 months ago

"A far scarier example is the one represented by Fox News/Tea Partiers/Sarah Palin/Republican Party, et al."

Even scarier examples were the Weather Underground and Jonestown. OTOH, they were stupid enough to only kill themselves, so they weren't real scary.

Liberty275 7 years, 7 months ago

Come on guys, it's 8th grade level. Quit complaining. If it helps a liberal shove his/her foot in his/her mouth we should be all for it.

"The Phelpses’ cranky, tenth-rate religious melodrama isn’t politically harmless. Given the power, they would promote persecution in the name of the Lamb."

Stu, is making an assertion, then proving it wrong in the next sentence some new ploy you are working on? Or did you just word your idea very badly? You can't really be potentially dangerous, politically nor otherwise) without power. Also, your first sentence claims the Phelps' to be "politically" harmful. The only political harm they can present is to themselves. Outside of harming one's own self, the concept of "politically harmful" is silly. You know too many big boy words to make mistakes like those.

"My own view is that we should be able to freely mock them."

Your redeeming point. I like that part.

Tighten it up a little and resubmit.

Sharon Aikins 7 years, 7 months ago

LOL, Deja, the images you created there.....and with Margie no less!!!!! I think we should all stick with Green Eggs and Ham or Goodnight Moon. Great AM and PM reading no matter our ages. The first got me through kids, both through kids and grandkids. And no dictionary required. I'm too lazy for that so just took a stab at some of those words Stu used. Like we all use "heresiarch" on a daily basis. Guessing it has something to do with heresy but I was lost by then anyway so it didn't matter.

Deja Coffin 7 years, 7 months ago

Well glad to see I'm not the only one redmoonrising!! Between reading to my kids and my book club I'd like to think that I have a great love of the literary word but apparently it's only for the most basic stages! We're currently reading The Secret Life of Bees and I can't say I've came across any 'big' words to set me back! !

Gary Sandell 7 years, 7 months ago

Let's see......"Smerconish, odious, apostasy, schism, megalomaniacs, debauched, Gnostic cult, buttress, and heresiarch". Gosh darn.....I'm just an old Kansas Farm boy. My head hurts!!!

Gary Sandell 7 years, 7 months ago

Did_I_say_that --- Thanks! I'm glad you cleared that up!

jackpot 7 years, 7 months ago

What the heck is the Maryland court thinking? The PA man now has to pay the Phelps appeal lawyer's cost after he lost the appeal of his 5 mil court ruling. The costs from the Phelps I hope are looked at with a fine tooth comb. Did the Phelps file this on their own or did they use a non Phelps member to appeal?

Sharon Aikins 7 years, 7 months ago

Deja, I made it through The Secret Life of Bees without a dictionary too. And, Did_I_Say_ That?, now that I'm through laughing, loved your translation. Gotta get me one of those.

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