The Limits of Freedom


As a person who identifies strongly with Libertarians, one might wonder what I mean by limitations of freedom.  Consider this article about a father who has been ordered to pay $16,000 to Westboro Baptist Church after it won an appeal against a ruling originally in favor of the Marine’s family.  The radical and highly controversial church, founded by Fred Phelps, goes out of its way to protest the funerals of service members killed in action under the supposed effort to speak out against homosexuality.  The ruling alone is disturbing and does not reflect well upon Maryland or this nation:

“The protest was confined to a public area under supervision and regulation of local law enforcement and did not disrupt the church service,” the circuit court opinion said. “Although reasonable people may disagree about the appropriateness of the Phelps’ protest, this conduct simply does not satisfy the heavy burden required for the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress under Maryland law.”


Let’s briefly consider the facts.  A service member dies in combat for no political allegiance except to his/her country.  This “church” claims it has a beef with policies governing homosexuality.  The church members then find funerals of service members who have died in combat (a punishment by God) and wave signs at grieving family and friends that speak such poison as “You’re going to Hell” and “Thank God for Dead Soldiers”.  What about this is NOT intentional infliction of emotional distress?  How can any reasonable person correlate homosexual legislation with the death of a service member?

A pure Libertarian could argue that we must acknowledge the church’s religious teaching that God specifically punishes Soldiers for perceived failures with homosexuality.  Fine, let’s also recognize Satan worshippers who need to ceremoniously sacrifice a human.  The Old Testament teaches that we should stone a person to death who is caught working on Sunday…it’s religious freedom, don’t worry about it.  Perhaps if NAMBLA decides to start a church to share a ceremonial connection between an adult and a child we should just recognize their religious right to do so.

If God is punishing the nation by killing Soldiers, then what immeasurable level of arrogance must be exercised to assume that any help is needed with that punishment?  These folks openly consider themselves prophets, but their actions clearly demonstrate that they see themselves on par with God.  How very, very dangerous.

Rights without responsibility are anarchy.  These folks would be the first to attempt to dominate the nation in the event of a catastrophic loss of government.  Their rules, their way.  Guess what…we are far from that and these folks need to be provided a solid dose of humility to remind them of that.

God Bless our fallen service members and their families!


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