Dealing with Hate: "An Open Letter to Westboro Baptist Church"

The Westboro Baptist Church picketing at the m...This is not my letter.   This is a letter from the vigilante hacker group "Anonymous" -- the folks who are targeting the sites of businesses who have worked against WikiLeaks.  Anonymous has, in the past, attacked the Church of Scientology and even the government of Egypt.  They consider themselves militant proponent of free speech.  So it's interesting here that they are willing to threaten a group who's very existence tests the limits of free speech.

The Westboro Baptist Church, as you may or may not know, is a group famous for picketing military burials and for their "God Hates Fags" signs and website.  They are religious activists led by Fred Phelps and the members include many of Phelps' family.  They make me want to throw up and they force other Christians into an apology that persons who claim to be Christian can spout the things they spout.

Well, "Anonymous" has issued a threat against their group.  I found the full letter, below, over at Digital Trends:

Open Letter to Westboro Baptist Church
AN OPEN LETTER FROM ANONYMOUS

February 16, 2011

TO THE CONGREGANTS OF WESTBORO BAPTIST CHURCH:

We, the collective super-consciousness known as ANONYMOUS – the Voice of Free Speech & the Advocate of the People – have long heard you issue your venomous statements of hatred, and we have witnessed your flagrant and absurd displays of inimitable bigotry and intolerant fanaticism. We have always regarded you and your ilk as an assembly of graceless sociopaths and maniacal chauvinists & religious zealots, however benign, who act out for the sake of attention; in the name of religion.

Being such aggressive proponents for the Freedom of Speech & Freedom of Information as we are, we have hitherto allowed you to continue preaching your benighted gospel of hatred and your theatrical exhibitions of, not only your fascist views, but your utter lack of Christ-like attributes. You have condemned the men and women who serve, fight, and perish in the armed forces of your nation; you have prayed for and celebrated the deaths of young children, who are without fault; you have stood outside the United States National Holocaust Museum, condemning the men, women, and children who, despite their innocence, were annihilated by a tyrannical embodiment of fascism and unsubstantiated repugnance. Rather than allowing the deceased some degree of peace and respect, you instead choose to torment, harass, and assault those who grieve.

Your demonstrations and your unrelenting cascade of disparaging slurs, unfounded judgments, and prejudicial innuendos, which apparently apply to every individual numbered amongst the race of Man – except for yourselves – has frequently crossed the line which separates Freedom of Speech from deliberately utilizing the same tactics and methods of intimidation and mental & emotional abuse that have been previously exploited and employed by tyrants and dictators, fascists and terrorist organizations throughout history.

ANONYMOUS cannot abide this behavior any longer. The time for us to be idle spectators in your inhumane treatment of fellow Man has reached its apex, and we shall now be moved to action. Thus, we give you a warning: Cease & desist your protest campaign in the year 2011, return to your homes in Kansas, & close your public Web sites.

Should you ignore this warning, you will meet with the vicious retaliatory arm of ANONYMOUS: We will target your public Websites, and the propaganda & detestable doctrine that you promote will be eradicated; the damage incurred will be irreversible, and neither your institution nor your congregation will ever be able to fully recover. It is in your best interest to comply now, while the option to do so is still being offered, because we will not relent until you cease the conduction & promotion of all your bigoted operations & doctrines.

The warning has been given. What happens from here shall be determined by you.

WE ARE ANONYMOUS.
WE ARE LEGION.
WE DO NOT FORGIVE.
WE DO NOT FORGET.
EXPECT US.

So, what do you think? Is this a way to go after the folks at the Westboro Baptist Church? I'm kinda' holding out hope that Anonymous goes through with the attack. While I believe in free speech, and think that WBC should "legally" be allowed to spew their hate, I'd love to see them shut up by someone...you know, someone else. Then again, perhaps my own limits of free speech are being tested here.
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2 comments

  1. The thing is, Free Speech is Free Speech. If you start stopping this bunch of assholes, then who's next? You? Me? The Anonymous? Once you start down that slippery slope, where does it end? You can only present your ideas in opposition to theirs and hope those listening can tell the good from the evil, for these 'christians' are very evil indeed.

  2. I agree with you Jerry (or Mr. 08a0c...). I believe that good ideas will win out over bad ones. I recall a time at Duke when someone who was a revisionist (saying the Holocaust never happened) was a speaker somewhere on campus. The question was, whether he should be allowed to speak. I thought he should...so you know what the truth is up against. A bigger question is this...if someone donates a revisionist book to the public library, should the library have it on the shelves? Is that censorship or is that conserving your shelf space for books that aren't lies?

    That said, I think the WBC has a right to spout out whatever nonsense they want. I'm not so sure they should have the right to do so outside of military funerals or such although I'd have difficulty restricting them. And, my self-righteous side would kind of like for someone to shut them up...at least for a while.