knoxville daily sun

knoxville news knoxville daily sun lifestyle business knoxville sports travel knoxville classifieds knoxville jobs knoxville legal notices knoxville yellow pages smoky mountains contact facebook twitter linkedin rss entertainment knoxville advertising

Commentary: "Peaceably to assemble"

George T. Weir
Jacksboro, Texas

By now this may seem to be old news, but for those that are laying their heroes to rest, or may be at some later date, the decision of the Supreme Court finding in favor of the Westboro Church is not something that is likely to go away.

I read, then I read again, the First Amendment of our Constitution, and it seems that their decision was for the most part based on these three words -- "Peaceably to Assemble," and I, for one, have no problem with this, but the key word to this is "peaceably".

The Westboro church can argue that they were well out of sight, and that no one could hear them, but I wonder did they really care on way or another because it is clear they weren't showing any respect to the families and friends attending the service.  I have attended a lot of funerals in my time, and they are all "tough".  Why would any church, or any group of people, try to make it even harder for grieving parents?  No one has this right, nor should they.

Even now, Westboro's Pastor Fred Phelps is promising to step up their efforts, and he says that they are planning on quadrupling these protests in the future.  Folks, I must be missing something.  Am I missing something in our Constitution that gives people the right to protest at the funerals of the very same soldiers that are fighting for them in some foreign land?  I don't think so.

I have two grandsons in the service, one is on his second deployment, the other will start his second deployment soon. As any grandfather, I am very proud of both of them.  They are serving their country alongside thousands of other men and women, many of different color, many of different religions, and I'm sure they fight alongside gay and straight alike. When any of these brave soldiers fall in battle, no one asks "Is he worthy, do we leave him on the battle field, or do we go back after him?  In the military you leave no one behind.  Now I'm asking the Supreme Court why they have left our fallen heroes  on the field of battle?

This is despicable behavior  for any Christian church or any other faith.  I am a Christian, and if I'm not mistaken we are supposed to show mercy, and respect, and if someone is down, we are to lift them up. 

If any Supreme Court Justice should read this, go back and think this over.  Possibly it's not too late to correct this injustice and to set our constitution above any ideology.

Look at it this way, and think about it.  Would the framers of our Constitution allow protests at the funeral of any of the fallen soldiers in their day? I think not!

It seems that we are living in a time when if you don't agree with something, we take to the streets in protest.  Yes, we have the right to "peaceably assemble" but just what is "peaceable"?  I suppose that is for the Supreme Court to decide, but as for me, I will protest at the ballot box.   I can think of no more a peaceable way to protest, possibly the outcome is not what we expected, and it may be painful, but we need to bite the bullet. I think they call this democracy, and it hasn't failed us yet. It won't if we love it and keep it safe.

But today, I just may go fishing. I understand that the sand bass and crappie are biting.  Our nation has some daunting problems. I am aware that I can't settle them, and, even if I could, no doubt we would then have something to worry about.

But I would like to take this time to encourage the Supreme Court to sharpen their pencils. They will soon be looking at the Obama health Care Package, and I'm hoping that this will happen sooner, rather than later, for the good of the Nation. This is what we are after, isn't it?

Published March 21, 2011

Share |

The opinions expressed on this page are the personal opinions of the writer and not necessarily the opinions of the Knoxville Daily Sun.


knoxville daily sun Knoxville Daily Sun
2011 Image Builders
User Agreement | Privacy Policy