It is my opinion that Fred Phelps is a truly sick and twisted man (quite possibly evil). I think there should be a special place reserved in hell for people like him. Taking such delight in the tragedies of war is beyond reprehinsible.
That being said, I will defend his right to protest all he wants. Sorry. I know you guys will jump all over me for this, but it is how I feel. Is it tacky? Yes. Is it insensitive? Of course! Is it protected by the US Constitution? Well, it used to be- not so sure these days.
Florida, however, has taken yet another chisel to the Bill of Rights by UNANIMOUSLY passing this bill. Jeb signed it, of course. The new law increases the penalties to include fines of up to $1000, and, get this-- up to a year in jail. I wonder, in light of something my B-I-L posted, would this effectively mean a death sentence for someone of Fred Phelps's ilk?
Also, as an additional note, get this quote from the mullet wrapper:
'We'd already had two (military funerals) in the St. Pete and Sarasota area where these protests had taken place,'' Cartlidge said. ''We'll be a beacon to the rest of the country as one of the few states that have something to prevent that.''
Cartlidge approached Rep. Bob Allen, R-Merritt Island, to sponsor the proposal, but Allen had already filed his limit of six bills. Cartlidge said Allen took the idea to Jordan, who introduced the bill through the committee he chairs.
''It's something that needs to be addressed before it gets to be a problem. I deemed this an emergency situation,'' Cartlidge said.
I wonder which comes first, emergency or crisis? Sheesh!