Friday, August 08, 2008

Westboro members blocked at the border

No_entry I read this morning that Canadian border guards have been told to bar members of Westboro Baptist Church who planning to protest the funeral of Tim McLean on Saturday. McLean, of course, is the 22-year-old who was killed and beheaded on the Greyhound bus in Manitoba last week. Yesterday afternoon they were stopped at the border and denied entry into Canada but have vowed to try other border crossings.

For the sake of the family, there is a part of me that supports this action by the government. I think most people do. I support our government’s right to decide who can enter our country and who cannot. If they are successful, however, and get in, our society, of course, guarantees the right to free speech and freedom of religion and acts like this are one of those unfortunate outcomes that are allowable under these very freedoms. I just hope they never get the opportunity to exercise these rights. The Winnipeg Police Service has said they were not planning to block the funeral protest if the group does successfully cross the border. This is a lawful response. They are prepared to be on hand if necessary, however, if things should get out of hand.

I hope that it doesn’t, as much as I could understand wanting to strike out at these hate mongers, especially if I knew or was related to Tim. But if these folks do manage to show up at the funeral, I hope that any Christians who attend will surround them, block them from being seen and pray for them. They need to know the true God of the Bible, not the hateful, shaking-with-rage deity they claim to serve.


suzanna meyer said...

I am glad that the Westboro members were stopped at the border.Our government has the duty to protect its citizens from bodily harm or from being robbed of goods and peace.Is it not equally important to protect their citizens from emotional harm as it would have been for Tim's family if these Westboro members had shown up at the funeral?There is such a thing as compassion and decency and I am proud of a country that can show that.Not everything is black and white,Glen!

Glenn Penner said...

I must disagree. Emotional harm is much too subjective to be protected against by a government. It is this very issue that lies at the heart of many of the human rights tribunal complaints lately, as Muslims and homosexuals are saying that it is their right to be protected from being offended or emotionally hurt. Legally, this is impossible to defend against.