You’ve probably heard about the people who go out and protest at funerals for soldiers and servicemen who died in battle. If you haven’t heard, the group behind these protests is the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas. They like to get a bunch of people together and hold up signs that say “You’re Going to Hell” and “America is Doomed” as well as some other not-so-nice phrases. Their point is that these soldiers are fighting for a nation that is anti-God and, as a result, the soldiers are also anti-God.
I had an encounter of sorts with these people a few years ago. I was a flower delivery person at a floral shop next door to the most popular funeral home in Flint, Michigan. One of our beloved soldiers was going to have a funeral there in August of 2006. In the days leading up to the funeral, we heard stories that these protesters were going to show up and do their thing.
On the day of the funeral, however, these protesters dared not show their faces. The street was lined on both sides of people carrying huge American flags and they were waving them with nothing but pride. The group had planned to meet across the street from the funeral home in the Home Depot parking lot. But that’s where a line of fire trucks just happened to park along the street so nobody could see them even if they had the guts to show up. We heard the group started to set up their protest, but they left when they saw the outpouring of patriotism that surrounded them.
While I think these people are despicable and wretched, it still begs the question: Does the government have the right to shut them down? Do they, just like everybody else, have the freedom to speak their minds even if it’s the most unpopular thing to do at a funeral? Should funeral cars filled with family members be forced to endure these verbal attacks? These are groups and issues that the funeral industry is encountering these days. Tell us what you think about the situation and if you have any viable solutions.