Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Countering the Phelps Clan

Today the Supreme Court made the obvious decision to uphold the First Amendment by siding with the odious Fred Phelps and his borderline-comically fanatic brood, known for protesting at gay and military funerals. Free speech includes hateful speech, after all, and any effort by the government to curtail unpopular expression, no matter how justified it feels, is gravely wrong-headed.

There remains, though, the problem of what to do with such unrepentant assholes; one of Ta-Nehisi Coates' commenters, JonF311, posted a lovely idea which--since it isn't turning up on Google--I'll just repost verbatim:

When Westboro Baptist protested the opening of a gay bar in Traverse City MI ten year ago, the bar had a rather creative response. They held a "sponsor a protestor" party, inviting patrons to pledge some amount of money for each minute a selected protestor continued his/her protesting. (It was a bitterly cold winter day). Some of the patrons even bought hot chocolate for the protestors to keep them going. And at the end of the event the bar informed the protestors how much money their presence had just raised for the HRC, and invited them back the next day.

When life gives you lemons, squirt citric acid into life's eyes.

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