… when a sound butt-kickin’ would solve more than a few problems.
A reader of Jonah Goldberg’s leads me to reminiscing:
The entire situation that Fred Phelps causes is purely a result of our legalistic society, where rather than deal with issues in a cultural manner, we resort to the ever more burdened courts.
To be blunt, in the days of my grandfather, a good sized group of men would have peeled off from the funeral, and informed Rev. Phelps he was not welcome within eyesight of the funeral, and that it was time for him to leave. Like, right now. If he didn’t, then he would have been bodily removed, likely with a variety of lumps and bruises, from the scene and warned that if he returned, he would get a serious beating.
And nobody would have batted an eye. Any cops that were called would have exercised discretion, looked over the situation, and told Phelps “You had it coming, bub, beat it”. Any judge that Phelps petitioned would have looked at the case, told Phelps he was a horses hind end, and tossed it out of court with prejudice.
However, that was in the days when the US had pretty much one culture. Sure, lots of variations, but in 1950 a jerk like Phelps would have gotten pretty much that reaction whether he was disrupting a Marine’s funeral in Georgia, or Brooklyn, or California. Because in those days, most people believed in the same standards of behavior.
The sixties changed that. I can trace a direct line from the “Do Your Own Thing” of ’68, to Phelps standing outside of a cemetery with “God Hates Fags” signs in 2009. By smashing cultural norms, the left moved simple disputes such as this from the cultural, low-level form of conflict resolution into the legal system. And so now we have the absurdity of a mentally disturbed man petitioning the Supreme Court for the “right” to
disrupt military funerals.
Thanks a lot, hippies…
The argument is that we’ve progressed from that regressive bygone era.
H/T to Tony Woodlief.