So in a week dominated by bullshit about Supreme Court decisions on high-profile First Amendment cases, various ludicrous attacks on abortion, and slaughter on the shores of the Mediterranean, the media reaction to the riveting personal deterioration of actor Charlie Sheen has been absurdly muted. But I’ll add to the chorus of ADD bloggers who can’t be bothered with this vital issue and comment instead on the 8-1 SCOTUS decision that overturned a lower-court ruling that found the Westboro Baptist “God Hates Fags” Church liable for $5 million in damages for the purposeful infliction of emotional suffering on the father of a son who was killed in combat and whose funeral was the site of one of the WBC’s many protests.
I have to say that although it turns my stomach, I agree with the ruling. I admittedly take dim pleasure in the idea that the more exposure these assholes get, the worse things will ultimately become for them because soon it won’t just be Patriot Rider bikers showing up to quietly keep the peace at such goings-on, it’ll be someone with a louder, noisier axe to grind, and someone is going to get hurt or at least seriously threatened. I don’t think the police response to such a situation would be particularly swift. As it is I believe that the WBCers planned to show up at a the memorial service in Tucson after the recent shooting rampage there, but ultimately opted out because the advance publicity led to the suggestion of focused recriminations should the Phelpses show their faces and signs. Maybe not, but these idiots are no longer known only in certain U.S. circles, and I think that after a decision that upset a lot of people this morning it’s not going to be long before the WBC, peaceful though they may be in carrying on their demented mission, had better count on some real protection from harm. As it is a loose conglomerate of hackers going by the novel handle of “Anonymous” has gained access to their Web site, although this may be partly by design…come to think of it, this does sound a little Sheenian already.