Westboro Baptist Church

View Poll Results: Should Westboro Baptist Church be allowed to continue their hateful protests?

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  • Yes

    14 21.21%
  • No

    49 74.24%
  • Not Sure

    1 1.52%
  • Dont Care

    2 3.03%
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Thread: Westboro Baptist Church

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Flint, Michigan

    Exclamation Westboro Baptist Church

    Many of us know who these clowns are, and many of us Dislike what they do, but what they do, may be constitutional, ie, freedom of speach, and right to assemble, but where does all of that stop? Should we protect a**holes like this or not?

    Scenarios like the one I am going to paint for you, have happened hundreds or thousands of times, for those who have fallen to protect our rights, protect our freedoms, although sometimes they dont directly protect our freedoms, theyre the reason why we can sleep at peace at night without IEDs blowing up in our home land, or taliban flooding our streets.

    Heres the story, tell me what you all think:

    Westboro Baptist Church Wins Supreme Court Appeal Over Funeral Protests

    If the link doesnt work, I have it here for you all.

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    stumble WASHINGTON The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the First Amendment protects fundamentalist church members who mount anti-gay protests outside military funerals, despite the pain they cause grieving families.

    The court voted 8-1 in favor of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan. The decision upheld an appeals court ruling that threw out a $5 million judgment to the father of a dead Marine who sued church members after they picketed his son's funeral.

    Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the opinion for the court. Justice Samuel Alito dissented.

    Roberts said free speech rights in the First Amendment shield the funeral protesters, noting that they obeyed police directions and were 1,000 feet from the church.

    "Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and as it did here inflict great pain. On the facts before us, we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker," Roberts said. "As a nation we have chosen a different course to protect even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that we do not stifle public debate."

    Alito strongly disagreed. "Our profound national commitment to free and open debate is not a license for the vicious verbal assault that occurred in this case," he said.

    Matthew Snyder died in Iraq in 2006 and his body was returned to the United States for burial. Members of the Westboro Baptist Church, who have picketed military funerals for several years, decided to protest outside the Westminster, Md., church where his funeral was to be held.

    The Rev. Fred Phelps and his family members who make up most of the Westboro Baptist Church have picketed many military funerals in their quest to draw attention to their incendiary view that U.S. deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq are God's punishment for the nation's tolerance of homosexuality.

    They showed up with their usual signs, including "Thank God for dead soldiers," "You're Going to Hell," "God Hates the USA/Thank God for 9/11," and one that combined the U.S. Marine Corps motto, Semper Fi, with a slur against gay men.

    The church members drew counter-demonstrators, as well as media coverage and a heavy police presence to maintain order. The result was a spectacle that led to altering the route of the funeral procession.

    Several weeks later, Albert Snyder was surfing the Internet for tributes to his son from other soldiers and strangers when he came upon a poem on the church's website that attacked Matthew's parents for the way they brought up their son.

    Soon after, Snyder filed a lawsuit accusing the Phelpses of intentionally inflicting emotional distress. He won $11 million at trial, later reduced by a judge to $5 million.

    The federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., threw out the verdict and said the Constitution shielded the church members from liability.

    Forty-eight states, 42 U.S. senators and veterans groups sided with Snyder, asking the court to shield funerals from the Phelps family's "psychological terrorism."

    While distancing themselves from the church's message, media organizations, including The Associated Press, urged the court to side with the Phelps family because of concerns that a victory for Snyder could erode speech rights.

    Roberts described the court's holding as narrow, and in a separate opinion, Justice Stephen Breyer suggested in other circumstances, governments would not be "powerless to provide private individuals with necessary protection."

    But in this case, Breyer said, it would be wrong to "punish Westboro for seeking to communicate its views on matters of public concern."

    Margie Phelps, a daughter of the minister and a lawyer who argued the case at the Supreme Court, said she expected the outcome. "The only surprise is that Justice Alito did not feel compelled to follow his oath," Phelps said. "We read the law. We follow the law. The only way for a different ruling is to shred the First Amendment."

    She also offered her church's view of the decision. "I think it's pretty self-explanatory, but here's the core point: The wrath of God is pouring onto this land. Rather than trying to shut us up, use your platforms to tell this nation to mourn for your sins."

    Although we can say what we want, and protest pretty much what we want, should we allow these heartless animals to continue this shameful behavior? If you were at the funeral of a friend, relative, son, daughter, father, grandfather, or just someone who happened to die in one of the many school shootings, and these guys appeared, what exactly would you do?

    Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you, Jesus Christ and the American Soldier....One died for your soul; the other for your freedom.

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Creswell, Oregon
    It's unfortunate that the court rulled the way it did. Part of being a free nation is personal resposibility. Look at what is protected as art. I don't understand why other Baptist churches are not putting pressure on them to stop. But then again the media is not draging them down as well. God gave us a free will to make our own decissions in life. I for one don't believe he will directly intervene as they seem to think he is directng them to act this way. In my opinion saying God hates the USA is a way to justify their actions. They will be before that judge some day.
    "You can get a lot accomplished if you don't care who gets the credit" - Ronald Reagan

  4. #3
    While I personally feel that what they do is despicable, I think that the first amendment is no less important for me to protect than my second amendment rights. You can't use the argument that your second amendment rights can't be limited or infringed upon and then call for first amendment rights to be restricted. It's unfortunate that the media, public, and politicians don't understand that.
    You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Greenwood,South Carolina
    I think your rights end when thay trample on my right to lay my child to rest in peace.Protest and march till you are blue in the face if you want to but you don't have to do it at a funaral for some ones son or daughter.
    "The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that is good." - George Washington

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    South-east Michigan
    Does the law require that they be protected?

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    MA, Away from the liberal loonies...
    Perhaps it will come to an end when some parent of a soldier who died in combat, confronts one of these indignant arseholes and snaps. Perhaps doing the unthinkable. If I were on a jury hearing this case... Hummm, Gonna have to think long and hard about that...
    You can give peace a chance alright..

    I'll seek cover in case it goes badly..

  8. #7
    Me's think's them is scumbags!!!!

    I agree with Masshole, Jury nullification is alive....

  9. Media

    If these sub humans, did not get any airtime on tv or radio, and were ignored by the press, they would disappear.

  10. #9
    The Westboro Baptist Church could very well be the ultimate example of biting the Constitutional hand that feeds you. It is their right, as annoying as it is.

    Maybe the Westboro Baptist Trolls would be a more appropriate name for them.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    MA, Away from the liberal loonies...
    Quote Originally Posted by father-of-three View Post
    The Westboro Baptist Church could very well be the ultimate example of biting the Constitutional hand that feeds you. It is their right, as annoying as it is.

    Maybe the Westboro Baptist Trolls would be a more appropriate name for them.
    It is a right they have... They had best expect reprisals... Especially from grief stricken and emotionally compromised parents and family members... Just saying...
    You can give peace a chance alright..

    I'll seek cover in case it goes badly..

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