Monday, April 25, 2011

Mixed feelings redux

This story is making its way around the Web quickly and effectively:

Brandon, MS (©2011 Mapquest, Inc.)
Brandon, Mississippi is in Rankin County, just east of Jackson. Just recently, it was the scene of the funeral of USMC Staff Sgt. Jason Rogers, killed in action in Afghanistan.

According to, it was also something of a Waterloo for the wingnuts from Westboro Baptist.

The story actually starts a couple of days before the funeral, when one of the wingnuts decided to tell the good folks of Brandon what he was there for and just what he thought. A few minutes and one can of gen-yu-wine Dixieland whup-ass later, police responded. However, the victim couldn't identify his attacker, and the "large crowd" that had gathered around had developed a case of collective amnesia about the incident.

Now we come to the date of the funeral. The wingnuts were mostly staying at one hotel. On the day of the funeral, for some odd reason, a whole bunch of pickups with Rankin County plates were parked in the motel parking lot, right behind every car with a Kansas license plate on it. Again, police were called, but their wreckers were running behind. Before the tow trucks showed up, the drivers returned to their trucks ... after the funeral had already ended.

A few Westboro wingnuts did show up for the funeral — only to be pulled aside and questioned by police about their possible involvement in a crime. After a few hours, the police determined they weren't involved and they were released.

Again, I've got mixed emotions about something involving Westboro Baptist. They seem to be the litmus test for freedom of religion: If they're beating up the loonies this week, doesn't mean they won't be beating up the Catholics next week. And the beating was no doubt richly deserved, but still ....

On the other hand, the part of me that enjoys a nice slice of after-dinner Schadenfreude says: Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch.

Again, please pray for SSgt. Rogers and his family. Semper Fi, Marine.


  1. When someone insists on exercising their rights in an unpopular manner they should be prepared for the consequences. While tolerance may be the law of the land it doesn't follow the law will be enthusiastically obeyed, even by those who should enforce it.

    For that reason I never take for granted the sympathy of the cops when I take part in a prolife event outside an abortion clinic. You just never know what may happen, so be prepared for the worst and hope for the best. Maybe thats paranoid, I don't know.

    As for the Westboro Baptist Church, I'd have loved to be running the popcorn concession for that initial beatdown and the subsequent events.

  2. Good points. It wasn't too long ago that an older gentleman was attacked at a prayer vigil outside a clinic. Cops are human; while nowadays the vast majority of them are much more professional than they were even fifty years ago, they're still capable of letting their feelings interfere with their due diligence.

    As for the beatdown, the most distressing thought is that it probably feeds into their sense of martyrdom.