The Westboro Baptist Church is trying to take their platform of hate and intolerance to a whole new level by planning to picket Nelson Mandela’s funeral.
Here is what they tweeted:
THANK GOD for Nelson Mandela being dropped into hell! Westboro Baptist Church booking flight to South Africa (not banned) to picket funeral!
— Westboro Baptist (@WBCSays) December 6, 2013
WBC may not get very far with their picket because free speech is limited in South Africa. According to Article 16 of the South African Bill of Rights,
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, which includes –
(a) freedom of the press and other media;
(b) freedom to receive or impart information or ideas;
(c) freedom of artistic creativity; and
(d) academic freedom and freedom of scientific research.
(2) The right in subsection (1) does not extend to –
(a) propaganda for war;
(b) incitement of imminent violence; or
(c) advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion, and that constitutes incitement to cause harm.
Judging from their Twitter stream, Westboro Baptist Church looks to be in violation of both 2(b) and 2(c). Westboro Baptist Church thinks that Mandela is in hell, because he divorced and remarried. WBC is also promising to picket the late actor Paul Walker’s funeral. In fact, where ever there is a high profile death or natural disaster, WBC can be counted on to threaten to show up and spread their message of hate and intolerance.
People have stood up and done the right thing to stop WBC protests in the past. In 2011, 300 bikers foiled a planned WBC protest after tornadoes devastated Joplin, MO. Earlier this year, Teamsters formed a human shield to block a WBC picket of Boston Marathon bombing victim’s funeral.
I doubt that the Westboro Baptist Church gets entry into South Africa. If they get into the country and are foolish enough to protest Nelson Mandela’s funeral, the potential for violence would be higher than anything that the hate group has ever tried before.
What WBC is planning proves once again that they are one of the most vile hate groups in the world, and hopefully they will be stopped.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association