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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)
There's an argument to say that W'boro fall foul of the "fire in a crowded theatre" argument. The things they say are hateful, and harmful, and it's good that our government is willing to come out and say that such hatred doesn't belong in a civilised society. I think I'm inclined to start worrying about the slippery slope when we start to slide down it.

But I can see it from the other side too. I don't think there are any easy answers to this one.
Feb. 19th, 2009 06:49 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's certainly not something I'm sure I'm right about! I don't *want* to let them in, I'm just not sure how justified we are in keeping them out. Although I probably wouldn't have thought twice about it if it hadn't been for the Wilders issue last week.


bad wolf
Notes from extinction

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