Our Weird World
I've been visiting the local Unitarian Universalist fellowship on occasion, and went this morning. When I arrived, there was a guy - maybe 50-ish, who had parked on the shoulder, and was walking along the edge of the property, shouting at everyone as they parked - " here's rope and red hats for all you Communists and baby killers" . He did indeed have rope bundles ready to hand out.
A couple of the men went out and talked to him. They eventually had to call the police - who of course, claimed the guy had the right to free speech - but that he was not to enter the property at all. So this nutcase remained outside during the whole service, and took up berating people as they were leaving. I was on my motorcycle, so I pulled up close enough to him to try see what he was about. He was so non-stop babbling, he barely stopped to breathe, and didn't seem to hear me at all, and asked me how we kill babies ... "cut their faces off, their arms and legs - what ?" He literally had foamy spittle at the sides of his mouth from all his carrying on.
I'm hoping he doesn't return with a gun, or a bomb next time. He definitely qualifies as a bit scrambled in the head ! Oy.
The joys of being different !
Freedom of speech in public places is one thing, but when it crosses the line into abusing those coming and going from a building then the police should step in and at least say to someone like this, "You're crossing the line. You can protest, but you can't harass." Sounds like this guy was harassing.
UU churches get targeted often by those kind of nuts, because they have the rep of being very lefty and LGBT supportive. The threat of violence is very real as a few of them have been shot up. From what I've heard, most of them now have security plans in place for that kind of problem, but none of them would ever actually have armed guards, which I think is kind of naive these days, but the churches are too hard core pacifist to take that step.
The other posters are right, calling the cops is going to be too late to save everybody if the nut has weapons or a bomb. There comes a time when a group needs to protect themselves, tho that can be hard to decide.
He is clearly mentally ill. Some observations.
@evergreen It sounds like the police didn't want to bother themselves with arresting this man and filling in all the associated paperwork. Look at these definitions of harassment and it seems strange that the police did not know it, or weren't interested in upholding the law.
A person is guilty of harassment in the first degree when he or she intentionally and repeatedly harasses another person by following such person in or about a public place or places or by engaging in a course of conduct or by repeatedly committing acts which places such person in reasonable fear of physical injury.
A person is guilty of harassment in the second degree when, with intent to harass, annoy or alarm another person:He or she engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts which alarm or seriously annoy such other person and which serve no legitimate purpose.
Hopefully, it won't happen again but if it does, and the police are called, it might prove useful to point out these legal definitions to the policeman if they claim that this man has a right to free speech. Putting people in fear is, I think, a fairly standard offence in most civilised countries.