Or are they? That's the problem with anonymity and a free-form organization that isn't an organization...how do we know which announcement represents them or if there's a 'them' to represent? It's pretty silly, really.
Let me be perfectly clear:
The activities of the Phelps family and their Westboro Baptist Church are some of the most vile, repugnant and disgusting exercises of free speech in history.
That said, they've recently been warned by Anonymous that:
"ANONYMOUS cannot abide this behavior any longer. The time for us to be idle spectators in your inhumane treatment of fellow Man has reached its apex, and we shall now be moved to action. Thus, we give you a warning: Cease & desist your protest campaign in the year 2011, return to your homes in Kansas, & close your public Web sites.
Should you ignore this warning, you will meet with the vicious retaliatory arm of ANONYMOUS: We will target your public Websites, and the propaganda & detestable doctrine that you promote will be eradicated; the damage incurred will be irreversible, and neither your institution nor your congregation will ever be able to fully recover. It is in your best interest to comply now, while the option to do so is still being offered, because we will not relent until you cease the conduction & promotion of all your bigoted operations & doctrines.
The warning has been given. What happens from here shall be determined by you."
Even some of my friends are rooting for Anonymous...after all, the Phelps clan is beneath contempt.
I'm not rooting for Anonymous, and I'm shocked that any thinking person is.
Despise the Phelps' protests all you like, but they are operating within the law and have repeatedly gone to court to protect the freedom of speech that we all enjoy. Anonymous, on the other hand, seem to have appointed themselves as the moral conscience of the planet and have decided to dictate what sort of free speech should be permitted.
This group of anonymous hactivists are not only breaking the law, they're attacking free speech while claiming to revere it. They've taken it upon themselves to be the sort of Orwellian authority that one would presume they'd be opposed to.
They're hypocrites - and dangerous ones.
I really don't like coming to the defense of the Westboro Baptist Church and yet I'm forced to do it over and over again because well-meaning but misguided people stupidly attempt to attack them for exercising the same freedoms that the rest of us are exercising.
Now, this blog may vanish tomorrow - but I won't be cowering to terrorist threats just because they're made against someone I despise.