Speak Freely?

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Westboro Baptist Church. Talk about misnomers. The last Baptist church I was in the subject was about loving people that were difficult to be around. These people have some serious PR issues. Let’s look at some factors going for WBC here:

  • The First Amendment – Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
  • The Romans 1 condemnation of homosexuality.  (Romans 1:24-32)
    The Levitical Law (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13)
    Matthew 19: 4-6

So, those are the main supporting arguments that WBC uses. They believe what they read in those Scripture passages, and then they quite vehemently voice their beliefs to those who do not share them. The government cannot stop them from doing this, because WBC is technically not breaking any laws. Let’s take the idea that they genuinely believe that what they’re doing is right. Is it right to deny them the right to voice their opinions? I mean, if WBC is using Scripture, and they’re not breaking any laws, then what are they doing wrong?

  • They’re ignoring the commandments to love – Mark 12:31; Luke 6:31; Luke 6:35-36; Romans 13:9-10; 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.
  • So, we’re to love our neighbors and enemies alike. Even though the Scriptures say to admonish one another (Luke 17:3-4) it doesn’t say that we are to hate them.
  • How are we then to admonish them? With love! We cannot reach someone who we don’t agree with if we are constantly shouting in their faces and telling them that God hates them. (Colossians 3:5-17)

So, the Westboro problem is not one of legality, but of morality. Ideally the government would recognize when a group was being immoral and punish it, however, we live in a non-Christian nation. To legislate that WBC was wrong in their actions would be to open up the door to close down abortion protests or other peaceful protests that could be considered ‘intolerant’ or ‘hateful.’

WBC needs to be dealt with through the private channels of the church,  individuals, or non-government organizations who are working within the law.

  • The first thing that would need to be realized is that to fight this with more loud protests would be counterintuitive. To use WBC’s methods against itself would just be an affirmation of the validity of their methods.
  • It is easy to hope that WBC slips up and falls out of the protection of the law, but that is a dangerous thing to wish for. What if to do so people are injured?
  • What would be the goal? – To convince WBC that they are wrong? That would be ideal, but highly unlikely. – To turn the public opinion against them and render them ineffective? That has already happened, hardly anybody likes WBC.
  • I think that the goal would be to convince the public that what WBC says does not matter.
  • Counter-protests in which bikers from the Patriot Guard Riders surround funerals are quite effective, but have the downside of drowning out the funeral processions along with the WBC.

In short, I’m not quite sure what should be done, but I’d like to hear what your ideas are. Post below!

Pop Tarts

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Pop Tarts are amazing. Have you ever noticed that? They’re like the pre-packaged wonder food. I mean, they’re amazing for breakfast and perfect for a snack; you eat two with milk and that could be your lunch… Truthfully, I could live on Pop Tarts.

When I say live on them I mean literally live on them. You know, I could actually build a house out of Pop Tarts. It’d be like in Hansel and Gretal with the gingerbread house! You could use some really large, 4×8 ft Pop Tarts as the siding, cut out some smaller strips for the wall studs, for the roof you just make sure that you use extra glazing…  You could use different flavors to provide the different colorations. For the flooring you could have Pop Tart mosaics. The bed could be one large Pop Tart that isn’t quite fully cooked to provide extra softness. Imagine the wonderful smells in the Summer, strawberry, raspberry, chocolate, apple strudel…. warm Pop Tart all of the time!

Now, the best part would be the pool. The pool would be filled with your favorite flavor of Pop Tart filling (strawberry anyone?) Of course, no pool is complete without a hot tub, and this hot tub would be filled with milk–nice, warm, whole milk in which you could dip your Pop Tarts… I suppose that if a Pop Tart house is not quite your cup of tea, you could always settle for Pop Tart vending machines in your house. That would be pretty legit. Free for you of course (but maybe you should charge your friends, these things are rather valuable.)

Really, I can’t think of too much that’s as cool as a Pop Tart. I mean, cheese is pretty awesome, but, really… Pop Tarts are in a foil package (much better than paper, and easier to open than plastic,) they combine both the stable world of pastry with the exciting realm of sweet jellyness, they come in a million flavors (give or take 999,972,) they can be eaten right out of the package or microwaved; the list could just go on… I honestly don’t think that breakfast would ever be the same if Pop Tarts didn’t exist. (You wake up in the morning, sadly remember that it’s a school day, take a shower, grudgingly get ready for school, then you remember… I HAVE A POP TART!!! Then life is suddenly 99×10^3 times better.) So, yeah, I think that pretty much sums up my view on Pop Tarts. Have I ever mentioned that I like Altoids…?

Misunderstood Anti-Philanthropists

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Benevolent dictators, why does everyone seem to adore them? I mean, whenever a dictator is evil, people are always dissing his government and finding faults in his methods. A malevolent dictator gets no respect at all (aside from those he forces to respect him.) The UN, NATO, the EU, everyone seems to hate on those poor fellows. There’s probably some complex that explains most of their actions. Most evil people really aren’t evil at all, I mean, there’s good in everyone right? That’s what Disney always told me anyway…

In all probability, most of those guys were misunderstood as children. They always knew they could do things better than the popular kids, but they never got the chance. They would always be like “Hey, let’s play cops and robbers! You guys can be the robbers, you others can be the cops, and I’ll be the masked vigilante that indiscriminately kills everyone!” Of course, nobody ever took them up on the offer, they were all too busy playing tag, or football, or some other physically involving sport that the young tyrants could never excel at. They carried that anger and embarrassment all throughout their lives. They would grow up to be trained in the military or other government establishment and steadily gain power.

What’s really wrong with that? I mean, these guys were mistreated as kids; they had a rough upbringing. If they legitimately overthrow a government that can’t even defend itself, why should we care? All the large government treaty organizations and humanitarian organizations get all upset, but they only ever threaten the offender with petty sanctions. I suppose that if the evil governments were all embargoed, their economies would crumble. If they were mistreating their citizens the morale could drop at gladiatorial events and other government sponsored activities. If the people rebelled against their leader, the army would dwindle to only those serving out of fear or misguidance. So, economic depression, sagging egos, and confused militaries aside, I don’t think there’s that much wrong with a malevolent dictatorship.

I therefore propose a solution. All of these confused and neglected rulers should be rounded up and taken to a correctional institute in Egypt. Obviously, the Egyptians should host this institute and facility on account of the warm, pleasant air and mild riverside climate that will lend itself well to a hospitable and friendly location for these over powerful, misguided leaders. There would be classes on social interaction and conversation. Courses in economics, politics, history, and social studies would be offered. The tyrants would be required to take at least one elective such as archery or underwater basket weaving to provide an outlet in their more stressful moments. Inspirational speakers such as Vladimir Putin and Barak Obama would be brought in to provide hints and tips on proper operation of a dictatorship, as well as provide details of their failures. The unique political situation in Egypt will provide a valuable case study to examine first hand.

This has been my assessment and presentation of solution for this most unfortunate problem of misunderstood dictators. So, the next time you see a malevolent dictator walking down the street, just smile and nod to him. You never know, maybe being nice to him will save an economy!