Wednesday, May 31, 2006

So long, Semper Fi; Hello, Sieg Heil

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? -- Attributed to Yeshua ben Joseph, circa 30 A.D.

Not being a practitioner of any orthodox Christian doctrine, I'm free to ignore Christ's admonition and plainly state this: I hate the "God Hates Fags" morons, and their type. They prove by their actions that they aren't Christians, or anything resembling Christians, either. As a matter of fact, it's a stretch to consider them human beings.

I've run across them a few times:

- Perhaps not them, but certainly their type, in the late 80s when Southwest Missouri University in Springfield put on a production of Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart. A friend -- I forget whether it was John Stone or Clell Harmon -- decided to discuss theology with one of the "No Homo Play" protestors, and began by asking what Yeshua ben Joseph would think of all this. Who, inquired the protestor, was Yeshua ben Joseph? Why, replied my friend, Jesus Christ. Um, no, quoth the protestor -- Jesus Christ's name was Jesus Christ, and his parents were Joseph and Mary Christ.

- At the 2000 "major party" presidential debates (sic) in St. Louis, the Westboro Baptist Church Crew (the gen-ewww-whine "God Hates Fags" mob) held court in a fenced-off section of the official "free speech zone" with their "Mel's in Hell" signs (Missouri governor and Democratic US Senate candidate Mel Carnahan had been killed in a plane crash the day before). A bunch of us talked -- which amounted to playing the dozens -- with them for a bit, until one of them tried to start a fight and then cowered behind an intervening police officer when I let him know that yeah, sure, I was up to it (perhaps because I told him that once I was done whipping him, I might just sodomize him in front of his friends).

Nope, don't like the "God Hates Fags" bunch very much at all. But, but, but: I tolerate their guff, because this is America and in America even contemptible idiots are, and ought to be, free to flaunt their idiocy.

Even near military funerals.

In signing the "Respect for America's Fallen Heroes Act," George W. Bush has once again officially repudiated the First Amendment -- and, by associating that repudiation with the armed forces of the United States, he has disgraced the men and women in uniform once again.

Bush's disrespect for freedom -- and for military personnel who haven't deserted their posts as he did -- seems to be limitless.

As an American and as a libertarian, I find his disobedience to the bare minimum constitutional restraints on government power intolerable; as a former Marine, I find his disdain for the men and women he postures as the Commander in Chief of just downright disgusting -- "God Hates Fags" cubed disgusting.

Let me explain something to you, Mr. Bush:

America's fallen don't need government compulsion to garner the respect due them. Those who die in a worthy cause will be respected by those of good will and sound mind whether you order it or not.

Even those who die in unworthy causes such as those with which you've saddled the armed forces of the United States during your tenure in the White House will, by most Americans, be respected for their commitment, however much that commitment may have been abused by poltroons like yourself.

And, finally, America's dead would not, and their living comrades do not, give a tinker's damn for the kind faux "respect" your signature on a void -- by dint of being repugnant to the Constitution -- bill attempts to compel. Their oath, and the raison d'etre of the organizations to which they belong, is to defend America from precisely the kind of fascist horseshit that you continually pull and that you just signed into putative "law."

So, Mr. Bush: Take your "Respect for America's Fallen Heroes Act" and cram it right up your chickenhawk cloaca. To paraphrase the man who should be doing the job you've so miserably failed at, anywhere I'm standing -- even, and especially, if that place happens to be within 300 feet of a national cemetery or 150 feet of a road leading into a national cemetery, during the period between an hour before and an hour after a military funeral -- is a free speech zone.

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