Opinion » Shredder

Sound judgment?

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I love a parade, the tramping of feet, I love every beat I hear of a drum, that rat-a-tat-tat, the blare of a horn, the dead baby parts and Confederate flags! I love a parade!

Did you happen to see this year’s Templeton Fourth of July Parade? So patriotic! Red, white, and blue bunting all over the place, waving stars and stripes, the Statue of Liberty atop baby doll parts, photos of a fetus, and a sign reading “This is your Holocaust. End the Global Abortion Holocaust.”

Wait! WTF? In a Fourth of July parade celebrating ’Merica’s B-Day?

Apparently, the Abolitionist Society of San Luis Obispo—an anti-choice group that also opposes in-vitro fertilization, embryonic stem cell research, and certain forms of birth control—designed the float and lied their way into the parade.

Wow, so noble from an organization that proclaims to be doing God’s work. I guess God’s work includes forcing women to have babies they don’t want or can’t care for, keeping infertile couples from using science to conceive a child, rejecting scientific research that can save the lives of the living, and limiting the types of birth control that might prevent unwanted pregnancies that lead to abortion. I guess I missed those Bible verses during Sunday school.

You know, no one likes abortion, but may I please point out that human life isn’t exactly rare. There’re more than 7 billion of us running roughshod over the planet, destroying the environment, sucking up all the finite natural resources, and basically being total assholes to one another. Seems to me, abortion is the least of our problems.

The bottom line is: Groups like the Abolitionist Society are not pro-life; they’re pro-birth. After you’re born, you can go fuck yourself.

The Kiwanis Club of Templeton, which organizes the parade, has been getting a lot of heat about the float, but they say the Abolitionist Society lied about their float’s theme on their application. The Kiwanis also tried to keep the float out of the parade when it showed up and they saw that it looked like a rolling horror movie.

On the parade application, Abolitionist Society Director Danny Ehinger described the float’s theme as “Where the Spirit of God is There is Freedom—Let Freedom Ring!” Huh? Is that a sentence? Commas are important, Danny boy. How about this? “In God’s Spirit Resides Freedom—Let it Ring!” Way more eloquent, amirite?

On the app, Danny described the float as “a juxtaposition between the freedom we hold in our ideal and the freedom that is still being withheld to so many around the world.” No mention of abortion, eh? Danny, you should admit you’re a sneaky, conniving little zealot. Jesus may love you but everybody else thinks you’re an asshole. 

While I don’t blame the Kiwanis, I bet they’re going to be a wee bit more stringent in their parade admission policies as well as become better at visually disqualifying a float for entry if it’s deemed inappropriate.

Kiwanis member and Parade Director Bill Pelfrey said when he first looked at the organization’s website, it appeared to be an anti-slavery site. Maybe the Abolitionist Society changed their site, but when I looked at it, it was pretty freaking clear that it’s all about abortion. These abolitionists are the same douche bags that gather outside SLO’s Planned Parenthood to make women already struggling with a difficult decision feel worse about themselves. 

Meanwhile at the same parade, the SLO4Wheelers, a group of off-road enthusiasts, also caught heat after one of their vehicle entries was sporting a big ol’ Confederate flag. What better way to celebrate America’s birthday than by flying the flag of the group of rogue states that tried to secede from the Union, leading to the bloodiest conflict on American soil?

What’s up, SLO4Wheelers? Couldn’t you find a Nazi flag? Nothing says, “Happy Birthday, America,” like a symbol of hatred! Sigh.

To their credit, SLO4Wheelers’ President Tom Burt has apologized profusely, claiming ignorance and pointing out that the vehicle in question wasn’t even a group member’s but that of a guest of the club, and that the guest apologized, too. 

Everyone’s feigning ignorance, claiming they didn’t think it was a big deal or didn’t notice it? Really? I’d like to challenge this club to a Where’s Waldo competition, because they clearly can’t see past their monster truck tires.

Expressing your disapproval of abortion or flying a symbol of hate is free speech, and I defend you knuckleheads’ right to express your ignorant, hateful, bullshit messages, but this was a freaking Independence Day parade organized by a philanthropic and service club that raises nearly $100 million a year nationwide to help communities and families. There were parents and little kids there to celebrate American freedom, not your freedom to act like asshats. 

If you want to host your own parade against abortion or in favor of slavery of blacks, go ahead. Pick a date, fill out the application, and have your parade. My guess is all the people who came to Templeton’s Fourth of July parade will not attend. That’s also their choice, and you took it away from them. 

The Shredder loves a parade and free speech. Send ideas and comments to shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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