A couple of days ago, on the one year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub massacre, Daniel Maguire was among the large crowd mourning the loss of the 49 victims.
He wasn’t there to join them in grief, though. He was there to remind the crowd that homosexuals would burn in Hell. With more offensive language.
— Michael Lopardi (@MLopardiWFTV) June 12, 2017
You can see the police escorting him out of there, in large part for his own protection. He had a right to free speech, just as Westboro Baptist Church does, but the police also need to keep the peace and protect the safety of everyone there, including Maguire. Even after they moved him away and created a safe space for him to protest, he resisted and tried to go back to the scene.
He was later arrested for his behavior.
“Noticing the hostility of the situation, and the increasing volume of the crowd, I asked the sign holder if he would walk with us to the north to get him out of the crowd,” Sgt. Jerry Goglas wrote. “He stated, ‘Aren’t you here to protect me?’ I advised him that although I was there to keep the peace and protect all persons involved, the crowd was very emotional and becoming increasingly hostile towards him.”
The officers walked the men to the auto detail shop next door and said a place for them to protest the Pulse event would be designated.
One of the men, Daniel Christopher Maguire, 36, of Ruskin, tried to go back onto the Pulse property, Goglas said.
Officers tried to stop the man, but he kept trying to walk toward the club, Goglas said. Officers had to push him back and put him in handcuffs.
So this wasn’t a free speech issue anymore. This was a guy yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater in addition to refusing to follow orders. Nevertheless, his wife Jasmine Maguire created a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for his bond. It was later taken down (presumably by GoFundMe) but it’s been put back up at a different crowdfunding site. Here’s what Jasmine wrote on the original GoFundMe page and then pasted on Facebook.
My husband Dan was jailed for practicing his faith…
Hi everyone. At the suggestion of the church, I am starting a crowdfunding page to help cover bond, (still undetermined) and any other related expenses. Dan was jailed today for practicing his faith. He was arrested this afternoon while trying to enter a free, public event on public property. They were physically restrained from entering the event because the authorities did not like the shirts they were wearing and they did not like the message they were speaking. All true Christians should support Dan and support (whether in word or deed) those who follow the dictates of the bible to preach the Gospel.
All those who are not Christians should also support Dan (whether in word or deed) because you support the freedoms given to us by our constitution. And because some day, you may want to exercise your right to assemble, your freedom of speech or religion according to your conscience. You should support and look to protect Dan’s right to exercise his belief and speak of his convictions, in that way you are not only supporting and preserving Dan’s rights to live out his beliefs, you are ALSO supporting your rights to do the same in whatever convictions you hold.
First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.
Her entire premise is wrong, though, and not just because all those groups at the end were actually being persecuted.
Maguire wasn’t “jailed for practicing his faith.” He was jailed for disturbing the peace and going against the officers’ orders. If he wanted a place to protest, they gave it to him. He just didn’t like it. (For what it’s worth, Westboro Baptist Church, when protesting funerals, can’t just stand next to the coffin. They must be a certain distance away from the crowd. Same with anti-abortion protesters outside Planned Parenthood.)
Here’s the good news: That fundraising campaign hasn’t gone over very well. In three days, Jasmine Maguire has raised a grand total of $0 of the $1,000 she was seeking. It’s almost like people don’t think it’s very Jesus-like to pour salt on the wounds of grieving people…
Meanwhile an alternative campaign that was “inspired by Daniel Maguire,” with the intention of showing that “Love Will Always Triumph Over Hate” and with all proceeds going to the onePULSE Foundation, has raised more than $1,000 in the same time period.
The Pulse victims were killed by a radical Islamic terrorist. But it’s Christian extremists who continue to mock and celebrate the deaths of dozens of innocent people.
If there’s a silver lining in all of those, it’s that so many people are pushing back against faith-based bigotry no matter what form of mythology it takes.
(Thanks to Sarah for the link)