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Westboro Banned

Westboro Baptist Church members banned from the UK. Hmmm. I don't think I like this. Foul as Phelps & co are, they're not violent, and I don't think they directly incite violence, as far as I know. I can't help thinking the Home Office have only done this because of the Geert Wilders controversy last week, so that they can claim some kind of consistency.

Freedom of speech is supposed to be a founding stone of our democracy. Let 'em in, let us laugh at them and counter-protest. Silencing them just makes them into martyrs.

I can't help wondering if Shirley Phelps-Roper is actually joking when she says "Unless they intend to begin checking the bare backsides of every person coming into that country to find that tattoo that says 'Property of WBC' - they will have no way of identifying who is from WBC." I expect she is, but...whoa. Also, her interview with the Telegraph is great. I particularly liked this bit:

. So we go to the place where the Laramie Project is playing and you look at us, then you look at the so-called "counter-picketers" and the young people that you have taught that they can live like the very devil himself and it is JUST FINE, because even though the Bible CLEARLY says that God HATES people and it is a perfect hatred - a determination to send the UNREPINENTANT to hell for ever.

God hates people? Good to know!


Feb. 19th, 2009 06:15 pm (UTC)
Freedom of speech is supposed to be a founding stone of our democracy

So is freedom of association. Sometimes those freedoms come into conflict. Non-citizens do not currently have automatic right of entry. Until such time as we genuinely have global free movement of people, freedom of association means we can choose not to associate with people.

I just wish this was applied consistently.
Feb. 19th, 2009 06:47 pm (UTC)
True, true. I should go and look up the actual guidelines about who we let into the country, too!

I think it feels a bit off because if they hadn't crowed beforehand about what they planned to do while they were here, it wouldn't have been an issue. And, as Mrs Phelps-Roper points out, there are other Westboro members who would be allowed in.


bad wolf
Notes from extinction

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