Searsport Student Takes On Kansas Church Protests Of Soldier’s Funerals
A Searsport High School student is trying to put a stop to actions of a controversial church group from Kansas. The group’s drawn national attention for protesting outside the funerals of soldiers killed in action.These types of protests have outraged many including Zach Parker, a senior at Searsport High School. “I was infuriated yeah. I was infuriated about what they were doing,” he says. When Parker’s class was asked by a teacher to find a political or social issue and act on it he didn’t have to look far. Parker proposed a bill that would make these types of protests illegal, saying they violate, among other things, disorderly conduct laws. Now he wants to hear what you think. “So the bill proposal is sitting on my desk and it’s waiting for public opinion and we’ll go ahead with a seminar I planned on January 5th,” he says. “People can go ahead and comment on it and I will take all of those comments and I’ll revise the bill one more time. Then I’ll go ahead and send it to Senator Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe’s office as well as Mike Michaud.”Word of Parker’s work has reached all the way to Kansas. Parker received an email from a representative of the Westboro Baptist Church condemning his actions. The email reads in part:”You must be living in a painful Spiderman movie if you think that you can change or stop god from killing soldiers, or stop his people from standing on a public right of way to help you connect the dots from that wrath of god…your parents utterly failed in their duty to you and god says that is for the simple fact that they hate you….we don’t care what you deliver to rebels, until our testimony is complete, you will never stop us from putting the plain standards of god right in your face…”Parker says the email also said members of the church plan to be at Searsport high school the night of his public forum to protest. So what would he say to them? “I’d be civil,” he says. “I’d ask why do you do this and what do you think you’re trying to get across? Is this really showing God’s love? Because this really isn’t showing god’s love in my book.”For the record Parker’s teacher gave him a perfect score, a 4.5, on his project.