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High Court Backs Anti-Gay Protesters Who Picketed Military Funeral

March 7, 2011 by  

High court backs anti-gay protesters who picketed military funeralThe Supreme Court has ruled in favor of an anti-gay church in Kansas that was sued for protesting the funeral of a United States Marine. The nation's highest court upheld a Federal appeals court decision, which stated that the protesters were protected by the 1st Amendment's freedom of speech clause.

The justices voted 8-1 on March 2 in favor of the lower court's decision to throw out a $5 million victory for Albert Snyder, who sued the Westboro Baptist Church after its members picketed his son Matthew's funeral, holding signs that read "God Hates Fags," and "You're Going to Hell."

"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," the Supreme Court stated, quoted by CNN. "On the facts before us, we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker."

Although Matthew was not gay, the church protests high-profile funerals — such as military personnel and celebrities — in order to send the message that God is punishing America for condoning homosexuality. According to NPR, the group originally planned to protest the funeral of 9-year-old Christina Green, one of the victims of the Tucson, Ariz. shooting on Jan. 8.

However, Arizona legislators quickly approved a law that prohibited protesters from being within 300 feet of a funeral. In addition, a local radio station promised the church airtime in exchange for a pledge not to picket the ceremony. 

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  • Kinetic1

    You want to talk about scum bag thugs, these “good, God fearing folks” are among the lowest. I support their right to their own opinion, and the right to voice that opinion, but to attack the families of our fallen soldiers just for the publicity, that is about as far from Christ’s teachings as you can get.

    • soldier

      Fortunetely, not all of us respect the tyranny of God. I guess God is the only allowed to have a dictatorship over us. I am sure you would love a pure Christian society where all non-christians are consigned to Hell to burn forever and ever.

      • Kinetic1

        I would love? Given that the Westboro Baptists are supposed to be a Christian group, the beliefs of other religions (or non-religions for that matter) are clearly unimportant to them. It only seemed logical that I compare their actions to those espoused by their savior. Why would you distort my comment to suggest that my views are as narrow as theirs?

        • http://?? Joe H.

          Kinetic,
          I never thought I would ever say this, but I agree with your first post!! The only thing is you are insulting scum when you compare theseso-called beings to scum!!

      • http://marcum1@wildblue.net coal miner

        Soldier,
        2
        I like to see all religions go.God is nothing,but a myth and has no place in a civilized society.These religious christian nuts are calling the shots.
        Here is what Albert Snyder,the father said;
        “My first thought was that eight justices don’t have the common sense that God gave a goat,” he said. “We found out today that we can no longer bury our dead in this county with dignity.” My Snyder,I agree with you.

        • meteorlady

          I live in a community with many many churches. The people here are kind and helpful. They are respectful of others, their children are good in school and in the community. We have very little crime. To say that religion does not have a place in our society is wrong. It does and it will always have a place. Most all people here work for charities without pay, to get people on back on their feet. That’s what’s wrong in this country, we have given up all that to the federal government.

          While I don’t attend a regular church, I firmly believe that these churches do good in my community and that they are not fanatical like the church we are talking about. Without them there would be a huge hole here.

      • barbm

        soldier, this is america where you can believe or not as you please. what i’d like to see is a little class. i’d fight for their 1st amendment right to free speech, but they’re intruding on people’s grief. regardless of their sexuality, the soldiers gave their all as did their families. that should earn them a bit of respect – both the soldiers and their families. there’s nothing stopping people who don’t agree with them from picketing in protest of their protests and in support of the deceased and their grieving families and friends.

    • Robert Smith

      They remind me of abortion protesters.

      They are soooooooo christian.

      Rob

      • meteorlady

        Really? I am totally against abortion – there are too many options – and I’m not a member of any organized church in my community. If a person wants to play, use birth control. If a person gets pregnant, use adoption. It’s pretty simple. What if you parents had felt the same when you were conceived? I will, however, defend a person right to have an abortion because they may or may not have the same belief system that I do and my rights to believe it’s wrong may not extend to them.

        • barbm

          yeah, but those of us who don’t believe abortion is right shouldn’t have to pay for it.

          • Emma

            It is absolutely a woman’s right to choose exactly what happens to her body and not the choice of anyone else. If someone has the personal belief that abortion is wrong and wants to force those beliefs on other people, they should keep in mind the trying effects of childbirth on the body and the fact that not all people are financially equipped to take proper care of a child. Unless abortion protesters are willing to care 100% for a woman and her child, they do not even begin to have jurisdiction over her body. As to the topic at hand, while the 1st amendment right allows every American the right to speak freely, the actions of these protesters should be condemned as completely disgusting and as something that blasphemes the Christian belief system that they supposedly follow.

          • Robin from Arcadia, IN

            Barb M… I agree. A woman does have a choice. She choose to have unprotected sex and that shouldn’t be a tax payer problem. If the government was forcing her to be sterilized, I wouldn’t agree with that either.

          • independant thinker

            “It is absolutely a woman’s right to choose exactly what happens to her body and not the choice of anyone else.”

            And that right starts with the right to say NO or “no birth control no sex”.

          • Robert Smith

            And that birth control is often from Planned Parenthood.

            Too bad they are being kicked. They prevent more abortions than anyone with their education and prescriptions, etc.

            Rob

    • Chris

      It’s not a matter of free speech. It is a matter of common decency and humanity. Is there no civility remaining in the good old US of A?

      • libertytrain

        Chris – I believe there is very little civility and common decency left in this Country, perhaps world. Sad.

        • http://deleted Claire

          libertytrain–I echo your comments.

        • http://?? Joe H.

          libertytrain,
          As do I!

      • soldier

        In North Korea, all the people are very civil and decent toward their rulers. If not, they are swiftly dealt with. Feel free to move to North Korea.

        • s c

          Soldier, I’d like to know how many members of that “church” are veterans. I’d like to know how many family members or friends have kids in the military. Also, I’d sure like to know if the ‘founder’ of that “church” is a veteran.
          If there are any vets in that “church,” then it’s just a matter of time before they turn on their members and treat them the same way they treat the rest of America. In other words, there is a strong possibility that the “church” in Topeka will literally consume itself. Maybe that will help real estate values increase there. Gotta have standards, eh? Sounds like the handwriting may already be on the wall.

          • karolyn

            sc – From what I’ve heard, there are only 100 or less people in the congregation, and many of them are family. I havent’t heard of any of them veing veterans. Mostly who you see protesting ar women and kids.

        • barbm

          are you really a soldier or just a pretender? we are one nation under God. there are a lot of countries out there that aren’t, so may i offer you the same option? you go to one of them.

          • Robert Smith

            from barbm: “we are one nation under God.”

            Only since the ’50s when it was put into the pledge during the hysteria about them there godless commies.

            It was a propaganda coo and nothing else.

            Rob

      • Kinetic1

        Chris,
        Unfortunately there is no way (at least none that I can think of) to regulate civility without abridging our freedoms. I afraid that the thirst for recognition and power, no matter how righteous the purpose, will always bring out the worst in some people.

    • Barbara

      According to this group of bullies every soldier is gay?! Why then do we need the ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ legislation.
      One of these theories has to be wrong.
      This is not a church it is a group of opportunists who have found a way to make others pay their expenses – lawsuits.
      I understand the Supreme Court protecting the first amendment rights but there should also be a right not to have to listen to offensive rhetoric.

      • karolyn

        No – their view is that a country that supports gay rights deserves to have it’s soliders killed.

        • Robin from Arcadia, IN

          Wow! Now it is perfectly clear and makes so much sense! Not!

    • independant thinker

      I think the Supreme court blew it on this one. The lawsuit was not filed over the protest themselves but rather was filed because of a blog by one of the members of the “church” that directly attacked the dead soldier.

      • Robert Smith

        I think Congress blew it on DOMA.

        Rob

    • James

      Kinetic1, Concerning Old Testament Law, Jesus said: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law…For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Mt. 5:17-18). ‘Jot’ means the smallest letter and ‘tittle’ means a mark of punctuation. That certainly includes Leviticus 20:13, which was a capital offense. Concerning forgiveness of sins, John wrote: “If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death; I do not say that he shall pray for it” (I John 5:16).

      • Robert Smith

        Quit quoting religion on those of us who don’t believe it. It isn’t an argument except for true believers and they CAN NOT establish their religion as a state religion.

        Rob

        • James

          Robert, I wasn’t quoting ‘religion’ I was quoting the Bible. If you’re not interested, don’t comment on it. There are those who do place stock in it, and need to be reminded what it says.

  • http://deleted Claire

    I support the freedom of free speech, the right to express an opinion. I do NOT approve of protesting at funerals, whether the person that is being put to rest is gay or not. What about moral decency? Whatever happened to courtesy and the respect that should be given at a funeral? The entire situation is shameful and disgusting.

    • Robin from Arcadia, IN

      Claire… My feelings exactly! What has happened to respect for fellow human beings, especially at funerals? I sincerely wish they wouldn’t use Christianity in their protests. Christians do not take an active part in this type of behavior. This is NOT Christianity. I hope at some point they realize how hateful and hurtful this is to people who are grieving. This people are to be pitied that they cannot see how harmful their behavior is, not only to the families, but to themselves!

      • soldier

        1. Counter protess at their funerals, picket their churches etc. Use yur free speach to fight back.

        2. Hold a secret funeral if it bothers you so much.

        3. What if people are offended by your funeral? There are people who have to walk by and look at all the clowns dressed in black. Some cultures, hold parties instead of crying at funerals. What about their “feelings”? What about their “offense”.

        4. If you don’t like freedom of speach, you can always relocate to North Korea. I hear the people love King Jong Ill.

        • Kinetic1

          Wow soldier, bad hair day or are you just looking to stir things up?
          I agree with your thoughts on free speech, though I believe a counter protest would just make things worse for the families. As for the rest, the courts did what they had to. It’s going to be up to the local municipalities to regulate how we can respect both the rights of those attending the funerals and those looking for attention.

        • meteorlady

          Counter protesting something like this is just adding to the stress of the situation at the funeral. I believe in freedom of speech. These people are irresponsible and out there on the fringe and they are not very nurturing or caring for a religious organization.

          • karolyn

            Atually, there have been funerals where a patriotic biker club has shielded the families from these wackos.

          • http://?? Joe H.

            karolyn,
            there have also been the “angels” that have large white “wings” that block the families from having to view these animals!

        • Robin from Arcadia, IN

          soldier… What is your problem? I am not against freedom of speech. I am more against disrespect and rudeness! This country is the greatest country in the world, but it isn’t just because of the Bill of Rights. The people who make our country great, look out for each, help each other, respect each other. They are the backbone of this country.

        • karolyn

          Do you belong to that church? Strange!

        • http://deleted Claire

          soldier–I do not know what has made you so bitter. Clowns dressed in black? Sorry, buster, but you may have a different attitude when you pass from this world. Here, I’ll give you something to chew on–when I pass this world, inside my casket will be the urns of all my dogs. Now you can harp all you want about that!!

        • http://deleted Claire

          soldier–BTW before I get back to work–if I ever see a crazy group protesting at a funeral, you can bet your rump I will give them a picee of my mind, maybe more. Enough of the sicko stuff.

      • Average Joe Patriot

        I think I’m with you, Robin, if I get where your’re coming from. I’m what they call quite straight, yet have known and worked with many so-called “gays” all my life. Americans.

        They have every right to serve our nation. Anyone who doesn’t get it has no right to dishonor them. Throughout the history of the planet, we’ve had women who preferred women, and men who preferred men, and a sensual mix between. Many are both, I’ve observed. So, what?

        It’s been happening, big deal.

        All of these people have fought in wars to protect their nations. Many have died.

        No nation should turn down their citizens, of any gender, sexual preference, color, or creed…these are citizens. American soldiers are soldiers, fighting for us (even if our politicians lied them into it).

        Cut the crap, people. Honor our dead, whether they died for an honorable cause, or thought they were dying for you, with your plastic Chinese-made flags on your front porches. Whatever their sexual inclinations, they thought the died for their families, and for you.

        Cut the nonsense.

      • James

        Robin, read my above comment. christians are supposed to speak out about God’s Law, and its consequences. Read Matthew 5:19 (the part I didn’t quote).

        • Robert Smith

          You sound so much like Fred Phelps.

          How christian of you.

          Rob

          • James

            Robert, Who’s Fred Phelps?

    • Robert Smith

      I don’t know…. Ummm why don’t you ask samurai?

      Is calling someone a “moron” christian? He claims it to be.

      Rob

      • James

        Robert, Aha! You do a little of what it says.

    • libertytrain

      I do as well Claire; and this Supremes decision has made me ponder pretty deep and hard. I think the problem is we crossed some sort of boundary into an uncouth and foul behavior years ago and we can’t go back. SO many protests of so many kinds have become hateful and mean spirited toward the people they are “protesting” and have created more of a circus atmosphere of an ugly freak show around the major issues/people being protested.

      • http://deleted Claire

        libertytrain–I have often “wondered” about the sanity of the Supreme Court and a lot of their rulings. I also feel the same way about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Fed. (Look out–these comments will start a firestorm.) I am very suspicious of all of them. And in time, although I may not be here, we shall find out the method to their madness. My concern is dictatorship–from all of them, not just a certainparty. Sorry- I am on my lunch hour- I kissed all my dogs, gave them their treats and now back to work. Thank God my husband is home with them.

        • libertytrain

          Claire, I just plain don’t know. I don’t always agree with their “calls” – perhaps in time we will understand. I almost understand the Westboro call, though those people are literally crazy in my mind, I almost understand the point they (Supremes)were trying to make, almost.

        • James

          Claire, Supreme Court justices aren’t gods who decide what is right or good for us their sole purpose is to determine whether an act of Congress is constitutional or not, whether they have stayed within the bounds of the powers that were delegated to them in Article I, Section 8. However, they have gone beyond that role, and added some powers of their own, for example, Roe v. Wade, Lawrence v. Texas, etc.

  • Mick

    I can’t believe that the supreme court actually call the actions of these miserable repulsive people free speech, are there any limits to certain actions to what people can do in the name of the first amendment.I am stun about this type of so call liberty.

    • TIME

      Mick,

      This is what the 1st Amendment is all about. FREE SPEECH.
      If you shut down just one person then you open the door to everyone’s voice being shut down.

      I am not saying you nor anyone has to agree with these peoples opinions. BUT – “You must all agree that FREE SPEECH and all the amendments are there for YOUR protection.”

      So stop the NWO and Marxist types by exposing the “TRUTH” about their agendas. Don’t shut them dowm by takeing away your own rights.

      Now lets all get busy and stop the FCC internet kill switch issue. Or else there will be ramification that will insure that NO ONE has FREE Speech.

      Don’t let the NWO & Marxist use you as a TOOL for your own defeat, and enslavement.

      • Mick

        TIME says:
        March 7, 2011 at 7:40 am
        Mick,

        This is what the 1st Amendment is all about. FREE SPEECH.
        If you shut down just one person then you open the door to everyone’s voice being shut down.

        I am not saying you nor anyone has to agree with these peoples opinions. BUT – “You must all agree that FREE SPEECH and all the amendments are there for YOUR protection.”

        So stop the NWO and Marxist types by exposing the “TRUTH” about their agendas. Don’t shut them dowm by takeing away your own rights.

        Now lets all get busy and stop the FCC internet kill switch issue. Or else there will be ramification that will insure that NO ONE has FREE Speech.

        Don’t let the NWO & Marxist use you as a TOOL for your own defeat, and enslavement.

        &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
        TIME ,,, I see your point however there are limits in life and the actions of these people exceed the limits of free speech in my view.
        Do you think this court would allow someone saying that they would like to hurt or kill the president or somebody as important, I think the court would consider that a threat instead of free speech and the autorities would on this person like stink on shyt…………

        • TIME

          Mick,

          Yes in a word, you and all people should be able to say what ever they wish with out any worry of reprisials and or taking away of one FREEDOMS.

          I am not saying I agree with their behavior, nor am I saying that I find it within reason.
          But to act in a way that takes away what the Service persons have shead their blood for is a CRIME beyond any words I can I post.

          We all have to READ the Constitution and Bill of Rights and fully understand what they mean to your way of life.

          A Form of Freedom never granted any Humans since TIME began.
          In so far as our TIME thats 5000 years on the flat line and only a tad over 200 Years where Man has had FREEDOMS like No others have ever known.

          I Beg you all PLEASE WAKE UP.. Don’t let the NWO and MARXIST take away from all of us what we take for granted now.
          Do any of you really wish to go back to being SLAVES to the State / King / RULERS?

          • Mick

            TIME says:
            March 7, 2011 at 8:00 am
            Mick,

            Yes in a word, you and all people should be able to say what ever they wish with out any worry of reprisials and or taking away of one FREEDOMS.

            I am not saying I agree with their behavior, nor am I saying that I find it within reason.
            But to act in a way that takes away what the Service persons have shead their blood for is a CRIME beyond any words I can I post.

            We all have to READ the Constitution and Bill of Rights and fully understand what they mean to your way of life.

            A Form of Freedom never granted any Humans since TIME began.
            In so far as our TIME thats 5000 years on the flat line and only a tad over 200 Years where Man has had FREEDOMS like No others have ever known.

            I Beg you all PLEASE WAKE UP.. Don’t let the NWO and MARXIST take away from all of us what we take for granted now.
            Do any of you really wish to go back to being SLAVES to the State / King / RULERS?
            ((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((
            TIME ….It is hard to argue with your logic but if you take a close look at the supreme court rulings lately they’re seem to be far away from what the constitution really state..
            I may be dense to some but I think I woke up to the fact that I see the way it works instead of the way it should work……..

          • TIME

            MICK,

            The SC has in fact made many ruling since 1900 that are based on other factors than the only source they should judge law / Justice on.
            That being “the Constitution & the Bill of Rights.”

            Saddly what I have stated in the past is again center point on this issue. the Doucments that we are based on have been set aside for what is known as “Case Law,” as well “Court,” where there are two ways of dealing with Justice.
            The first is – he who has the deepest pockets. Second is – arbitration of what is based on Compromise by the strong to give to the week to make Equal and Whole. Thats just so wrong.

            And saddly all the issues we face today stem from these very issues. Again we come back to the “Progressive Movement” who are in fact no differant than Marxist nor Socialist nor Dictators of Law and behavior.
            Again 5000 years has shown these forms of Governance as complete failures.
            In just the 20th Century these forms of Governance have displayed their methods of dealing with issues that they find non agreeable to their mind sets with mass killings that number in the Hundreds of Millions of people.

            We must get back to the basic’s of our LAWS, and stop with the Preversions of the Progressive movments inroads to destroy our way of life, that is rooted in FREEDOM to Fail, as well as Freedom to Prosper. We must take root in the true meaning of GODS words, not the perversions that we see noted as GODS word from media and other preverted formats.

        • soldier

          I beleive that the Supreme Court ruled in the past that generalized threats are actually considered free speech and protected rights. For example, if I get on a soap box, and I say “all blackies should be consigned to the gas chambers”, of “all Jews need to be gassed”, this is ok. If I make a SPECIFIC threat against someone such as, “I am going to show up at Barrack Obama’s speach and slaughter him with an AK-47″, then that is not free speech but a credible threat.

          Free speech must be protected no matter how offensive or disgusting to you. As long, as violence is not manifest, then it must be protected. I am sure you would be singing a different tune, if someone regarded speaking about gun rights as “horribly offensive” as talking about killing cracker babies as the New Black Panthars have. Remember, freedom of speech also means freedom to ignore.. Now if the Black Panthars actually start going door to door and slaughter your white babies, I will be teh first to go to war and man the 50 cals so to speak.

          • Mick

            soldier says:
            March 7, 2011 at 8:05 am
            I beleive that the Supreme Court ruled in the past that generalized threats are actually considered free speech and protected rights. For example, if I get on a soap box, and I say “all blackies should be consigned to the gas chambers”, of “all Jews need to be gassed”, this is ok. If I make a SPECIFIC threat against someone such as, “I am going to show up at Barrack Obama’s speach and slaughter him with an AK-47″, then that is not free speech but a credible threat.
            ********************************************
            soldier ,,,,This freedoom of speech issue has many confused..I do consider you arguement as valid but deep down the credible threat you’re referring to is composed of nothing but words.
            Many in our society have received threats over the phone or otherwise and reported it to the authorities to get their help only to be told that until something concrete comes of it ,their hands are tied,so why should different rules apply to the president ……

          • Kinetic1

            Mick,
            To the best of my knowledge, even a spoken threat against the President is not enough to get you sent away, but it is enough to launch at least a cursory investigation by the secret service. As for your neighbor, if you can show a pattern of actions that would validate your fears regarding a threat of death, that too should get some attention, but we can’t run around investigating every person who shouts “I’m gonna kill you!” in a moment of anger. If so, the police would have their hands full just looking into our kids.

        • meteorlady

          Where is the “Limit” of free speech? Where does it start and end? When do you stop adding limits?

          • Mick

            meteorlady says:
            March 7, 2011 at 9:28 am
            Where is the “Limit” of free speech? Where does it start and end? When do you stop adding limits?

            **************************
            meteorlady…That was exactly my point. some lines have to be drawn,,,,,,,,

      • Sandy

        I will never understand how these people are allowed to do this. Freedom of speech??? Yeah right. There’s a difference between freedom of speech and straight-up harassment of the grief stricken. I’ve been told to shut up by cops and other authority figures for ALOT LESS. Don’t tell me “Oh, they have the RIGHT to say whatever they want.” Ok, sure…but NOT in the faces of people who’ve lost loved-ones that died so these morons can stand around with their little picket signs screaming in the faces of the greiving that their lost loved-one is buring in Hell and that he/she deserves it. What about the rights of the family to be able to go through the grieving process in private with some sense of peace??? Don’t they have that RIGHT???

        • soldier

          You have a right to privacy in the comfort of your own home, not so much in a public cemetary. You want privacy at your funeral, then have inside a private church or your home and stay out of a cemetary where other people have to see your funeral.

          • Kinetic1

            Or, bury your loved ones in a private cemetery where the actions of these people can be restricted to outside of the grounds. It won’t shield anyone completely, but at least they will have limited contact.

          • karolyn

            They were not in the cemetery but down the street I believe.

          • Vigilant

            At this point I have read over 100 postings and have yet to see anyone get it right.

            Personal Liberty News Desk has once again not told us the whole story, and once again people on both sides of the issue have taken off on tangents without researching the facts of the case.

            First, everyone (except karolyn) has made the assumption that the protest took place at a funeral. It did not. It was some distance from the funeral, and the soldier’s father did not even know about it until he saw it on the news that evening. They could have been in Alaska for all he knew.

            To partially quote Justice Roberts’ majority opinion, “Westboro addressed matters of public import on public property, in a peaceful manner, in full compliance with the guidance of local officials. The speech was indeed planned to coincide with Matthew Snyder’s funeral, but did not itself disrupt that funeral, and Westboro’s choice to conduct its picketing at that time and place did not alter the nature of its speech.”

            “In full compliance with the guidance of local officials” means they were allowed no closer than a certain distance (I believe it was 1,000 feet) from the funeral. What part of “the speech…did not itself disrupt that funeral” do you not understand?

            So there you have it. I enjoin Personal Liberty News Desk and every one of you to get your facts straight before you jump on your horse and ride off in four directions at once.

          • http://?? Joe H.

            Vigilant,
            At least two of the protests have been with in 100 feet of the entrance of the cemetary. They were before the communities started banning them from within 1000 feet of the entrance. I like the idea of the bikers blocking them and I hope one of them decides to get physical with one of the bikers!! I’d almost pay to see that!!

          • Kinetic1

            Vigilant,
            You are correct as to the details of the protest ruled on in this decision, but Westboro Baptist is known for being as up front and in your face as possible. Now that municipalities are setting limits, these protesters are often kept from directly interacting with those who are attending the funeral, but it has not always been that way. I think you are being a little disingenuous when you ignore the protester’s agenda and their most common actions, and then criticize everyone for not limiting their opinions to the details of this one incidence.

          • Vigilant

            Kinetic,

            Most everyone on this site knows my sentiments when it comes to the “protester’s agenda and their most common actions..” I find what that group is doing despicable to the nth degree.

            But the subject of the article, and the case before the SCOTUS, was a ruling on a particular incident, and the actions of the group were found to be within the law. It was not a case of “in your face” protest, it was not a case of the group crossing the boundaries established by the local ordnances.

            As long as that group of idiots abides by the law, there is nothing we can (or should) do beyond getting the laws changed to outlaw that type of behavior.

            The subtlety of my argument may escape a lot of people: I was not “criticiz[ing] everyone for not limiting their opinions to the details of this one incidence.” I was criticizing Personal Liberty News Desk for not reporting the whole story, by leaving out critical details about the incident. In leaving out those details, they caused posters to assume that the idiots were at the funeral and in the face of the funeral-goers. Such was not the case.

            I will always call out both posters and the administrators of this site when I see journalistic shortcomings in the failures to research or divulge the truth. This is the third time I’ve taken Personal Liberty News Desk for task for either slanting statistics or leaving out information critical to the argument.

            I’m no Constitutional scholar, so I don’t know how different the majority opinion of the SCOTUS would have read if the facts of the case were different. But I do support the opinions of Scalia and Thomas, conservatives for whom I have the ultimate respect, because for them, respect for the rule of law is the highest calling under the provisions of our Constitution.

    • Billy Cooper

      WELL FOLKS LOOKS LIKE THE SUPREME COURT IS DRINKING THE SAME KOOL-AID AS OBAMA AND THE REST OF HIS GOONS IN WASHINGTON. THATS WHAT HAPPENS, WHEN PEOPLE GET SO OVER THE TOP, ON BEING POLITICALLY CORRECT. THANK GOD I AM NOT ONE OF THOSE. I TELL IT LIKE IT IS, AND IF THEY DONT LIKE IT, UP THEIR BEHIND WITH A RUSTY WIRE BRUSH.

      • meteorlady

        I disagree – they just defended your right to be on this board and posting what you believe so that we can read it. What these fanitics are doing is hateful, nasty and shows their lack of intelligence and compassion. They are not true Christians as they have no respect for the grieving parents, family and friends.

        But, again….. where does freedom of speech end? Where does it begin? If you take one things away, what about the next “offensive” thing? When does it stop?

        • http://?? Joe H.

          Meteorlady,
          this is one time I feel the families should be able to sue for mental anguish!! I’m sorry, I have friends that died in RVN and after as well, and I’d be tempted to go postal on them if they tried to protest at theirs!!

          • Robert Smith

            Going postal…

            How christian.

            Rob

          • Vigilant

            Rob,

            I think we’re all getting fed up with your crusade against Christianity. Your gratuitous comments just paint you as a fool.

          • Robert Smith

            Hi Vigelant…

            So, it’s OK for a christian to go postal?

            And, if someone points it out then it’s “anti-christian?”

            Rob

    • barbm

      yes, there are. you can’t yell fire when there isn’t one. but that’s about it.

    • James

      Mick, Yes there are limits” You can’t yell “FIRE” in a crowded theater, if there is no fire. The federal government is seeking other exceptions, they would like to make criminal, any disagreement one has with their official position on 9/11. For example, they say a Boeing 757 vanished completely in a 16 ft. diameter hole in the Pentagon. If one knows that a 757′s engines are 9 ft.in diameter, 12 ft. long, weigh 6 tons each and are 44 ft. center to center, then notices that there was no evidence that these engines struck the ground or the building, concludes the plane didn’t strick the Pentagon, and says so publicly, he could be tried for treason and sentenced to life in prison.

      • Robert Smith

        Naw, just call them the liars they are.

        I saw the video of it going in.

        A friend of mine on a bus saw the airplane go in.

        Another friend was on the scene and he saw the engins.

        That’s good enough evidence for me.

        Rob

        • James

          Robert S., I have all the DVDs available on 9-11, one which includes 5 frames from a surveillance camera film which shows the explosion, but there is no evidence of a Boeing 757 anywhere. No one saw a jet engine aircraft hit the Pentagon, if it did why doesn’t the National Transportation Safety Board release all the films available?

    • James

      Mick, you’ve missed the court’s point. The first Amendment is a bar against federal laws that abridge freedom of speech. State constitutions also say that. There are laws forbidding the yelling of “Fire” in a crowded theatre, when there is no fire, but that’s just about it. People are free to express their feelings about homosexuals, if that causes someone emotional distress he could sue in a state court and ask for damages.

  • bob

    well since they have the right to free speech as every one else, maybe the funerals of those involved in that church should be protested. lets call them derogatory names and tell them they are going to hell because god hates idots! do they not relize that if it wasnt for those who they are protesting, they would not be able to do what they do. god bless those brave men and women who defend this country!

    • soldier

      Thank you, thank you. You whiney funeral goers finally get it. Use your free speech to fight back. The Westboro baptist church isn’t afraid to spend lots of money and time to go and protest your funerals, so why don’t you put up some money and time and go protest outside their churches during every church service? Honor your fallen children slaughtered in senseless wars by at least taking the time to shut off the football and go protest these gay hate mongers masquerading as Christians.

      • http://?? Joe H.

        soldier,
        good idea, except for one thing. What are you gonna do when Westboro doesn’t issue you a permit to gather?? Happens all the time, which is why I don’t understand how they get to do it.

    • Robert Smith

      Goddess bless those brave men too.

      Rob

  • B. Holmes

    Volunteers near the funerals need to gather and out-shout them maybe using loud speakers, or maybe loud music. Surely residents of the area would approve of this action to crush the evil of this so-called Church for the few minutes of a funeral. My understanding is that they are in no way a Church, anyway, but an angry family who claims to know what God thinks. The Bible, God’s Word does not say that God hates homosexuals, as they claim. It repeatedly says that they will not go to heaven. Who needs them? They wouldn’t like Heaven anyway.

    • soldier

      Silly “non-agnostics”…. I have yet to hear a booming voice from the heavens telling me what I should do. That anyone would think whats written in a Bible is true when that “truth” could have been twisted and mutilated over centuries of human rule is beyond me. I guess there is just no way that the Bible could have been twisted in such a way to keep the peasants in line? LOL.

      • barbm

        if you’d rather, you can read the prophet by kalil gibran. it, too, teaches/preaches civility. i don’t think anybody has tampered with it since i was written.

        • barbm

          it, not i. duh.

    • James

      B.Holmes, You’re right God doesn’t hate homosexuals, He just wants them removed from His kingdom here (Lev. 20:13). “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven” (John 3:13).

  • http://none Scott

    Well I can’t imagine what they were thinking, other then THEY thought they had to be a Republican symbol of “free speech”… BUT are not ALL funerals, in the deepest sense of the matter, even a Presidential one a “private family affair” and unless the family agrees to it being a “public” site or event, then ALL soldier funerals should be and are private, they involve only the family and friends, regardless of the overarching “public issue” of how that person died!!!!! THIS type of lawsuit needs to keep coming up in our courts, until some COURT, some JUDGE gets it!!!! THEN maybe we can force the Supreme(ha) Court to understand that FUNERALS ARE PRIVATE FAMILY EVENTS!!!!! This church needs to be sue so many times that the lawyer fees will put IT out of business!!!!!

    • soldier

      If funerals are held in your back yard, on your private prperty, or in your private home, then you have a right to refuse entry of Westboro peeps. If you hold your funeral out in the open at a public cemetary, than you have no right to drown out the reasoanble volume voices of the Westboro baptist church. Afterall, what if I am walking in the cemetary, and I am “horribly offended” that you are dressed in black and crying when I think you should be parting and celebrating the life that was? DO YOU NOT CARE ABOUT MY OFFENSE YOU INSENSITIVE MOTHER???

      • Billy Cooper

        SOLDIER I BET YOU WAS ONE OF THOSE POT SMOKING SORRY LOW LIFES WE HAD IN VIETNAM. AND APPARENTLY YOU ARE STILL ON THE DOPE. YOU ARE A DISGRACE TO THE HUMAN RACE.

        • Kinetic1

          Billy,
          I have had issues with the tone and message of several of soldiers’ posts, but you sir are no better. “POT SMOKING SORRY LOW LIFES “? “UP THEIR BEHIND WITH A RUSTY WIRE BRUSH”? Really, do you think you’ll get anywhere with this rhetoric?

          As to soldiers’ point, even if you are holding a funeral in your back yard, you are only protected as far as your property line. Do you remember when Bush II only allowed supporters to be near his events? All those who came to protest against him were sent to a fenced area a mile away and told that they were allowed to practice their right to free speech, just not where he would have to see it. Now that may sound good in this instance, but it served to effectively silence those who opposed the Bush administration by placing them out of range of the press (who rarely went looking). Is that what we want? Would you support fencing TEA Party protesters a mile away from any event held by President Obama?

      • James

        Soldier, the issue here is the right of ‘free speech,’ especially as it pertains to religion. The Westboro Baptist Church members were exercising that right, and the Supreme Court upheld it, what’s wrong with that?

    • meteorlady

      “Republican” symbol? WTF, these people are twisted minds pretending to be religious. They are truly nut cases and I would not consider what they practice to be any religion that I have ever studied. As for political, why would you say that?

  • charles

    As I recall , in the Bible it says judge not lest ye be judged. And I. Remember from my youth people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. These people are reprehensible , and they are just as obviously publicity hounds, nothing more. Laws need to be enacted and enforced keeping these hate mongers at least 1000 feet from any funeral.

  • Loyde Williams

    In Matthews Gospel Chap.28:verses 18-20, we have the commission of The Lord Jesus Christ to His Church.No where in this Commission is there a command to villify or condemn others for their actions. If these so called “christians” want to serve God Let them do as He says.”Judge not lest ye be Judged”,Love your enemies.The Gospel,literally interpreted, is “Good News” Salvation is come. Christ Himself said “I am not come to Judge, but to save”. These Protesters have set themselves as judges over other mens lives(and Women)But havent they read that God will judge them with the same judgement they have judged others? How will that “perfect” church stand in the day when Christ will Judge His people (if they areindeed a people of God?

  • Michael J.

    The Supreme Court made the right decision.

    Twas with heads held high that the founders crafted the words and the meaning of the 1st amendment. Whilst the sour memory of living under a leaching British monarchy still lay festering beneath a thin veneer, the founders were provided with insight which drove momentum for the realization that men and later woman had the right to freely express their beliefs and convictions.

    Two centuries later The Westboro Baptist Church whose members are neither Baptist, nor form a church have defiled the usage and corrupted the meaning of this freedom of speech so feverishly sought after by our ancestors and so desperately needed today.

    So what to do? Pick and choose which types of speech are to be allowed based on personel likes and dislikes? Our founders realized that morality could not be legislated and that by granting free speech we would be subjected to seeing and hearing things that which we do not always find tasteful, but as Americans we must agree to endure the sometimes radical rantings of the few in order to preserve freedom of speech for the many.

    • TIME

      Michael, GREAT Post!

      You get it, thats obviously very hard when emotions are involved, as even cool thinking people loose the basic idea of what FREEDOM is.

      And thats why we are where we are. We have a 14 Trillion dollar debt, The TSA, the Patriot Act, and your all being watched and tracked. You all asked for it, Will YOU all PLEASE WAKE THE HELL UP.

      “FREEDOM lost can never be recalimed.”

      PEOPLE STOP and think about what you say before the words leave your lips. You are playing right in to the NWO and MARXIST game like PRO’S for them.
      When you all say that these people should not be able to speak their minds we all loose.
      I beg you all to think about your words, they do have impact.

      • libertytrain

        You and Michael said what I came to the conclusion of despite not liking the methods of these lousy people

        • TIME

          Liberty,

          I agree with you its not easy to be a voice of reason let alone to see the really BIG picture all the TIME. But We must see past all the rhetoric and be strong enough to take insults and ill behavior.
          Yet still stand tall and know that we have done something as a nation that no other nation has ever done before in recorded history.
          We alone have the best form of Government ever created for FREEDOM of all.

          Its not perfect, nothing can be as we are not perfect thus we can only work within our own frame work.
          Thus we work to improve what we have, but keep FREEDOM alive so Man has something to aspire to.

          Everyone please; If people wish to give up thier freedoms we have to return to the times of the “Oppressive nature of Marxist like governments or Socialist governments” we shall never have freedom again.
          Lets all be real, niether Marxist nor Socialist governments have ever worked, just look at the last 5000 YEARS, its really quite clear what complete failures they all have been, no they didn’t use the terms Marxist nor Socialist but if you break them all down thats what they were.
          Thats not progressive thinking, its really quite the opposite.

          We Must all STAND strong and unite to expose the TRUTH,
          as “the TRUTH has NO AGENDA.”

          • http://?? Joe H.

            Time,
            what about the right of the families not to have mental anguish purposly heaped upon them by these people? This also has been upheld in courts. There have been all kinds of people sued successfully on the basis of this claim.

      • eddie47d

        There you go again Time.You say no one should play the left right game or Republican vs Democrat game because they are no different. Yet you drag in the NWO and Marxist diatribe. The Westboro Baptist Church is Conservative Christian and says many things that other Conservatives say. That places them on the right so at least be more honest about that. Too many here already muddle the line between left and right and can’t tell the difference between a rabbit and a chicken. Both sides have their evil counterparts and are blind to the hate on their own side. When the Columbine Massacre happened the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners picketed and protested at the slain students funerals. Same similarity as the Westboro Church and they are another Conservative group who wanted to shock and awe those at the funeral. Few supported the Gun Owners and thought their actions were despicable. The Gun Owners could have cared less because they got their message out. Freedom of speech,Yes. Tacky and rude.Yes Yes.

        • meteorlady

          I live in a pretty conservative area. We still respect each others’ opinions and we all pitch in and help when someone needs it. We don’t take into account political views very much. So if you believe because most people in my area attend a church that they are all right, you are terribly terribly wrong. We are all different politically. Some are more right than others, some are far far left, and some believe the middle is the answser and believe very differently. But… when someone needs something we are all there to help. We have respect for each other and each others’ views. Sorry if you live somewhere where that does not happen.

          • TIME

            MeteorLady,

            You have to over look Edwardo’s agressive stupidity, of what he demonstrates daily.
            In a way Edwardo has Van Gogh’s ear for music.

            As we all konw there is a root problem, that root is not the dogmatic political ignorance based arguments that Edwardo wants to dwell on. Yet even his knowledge of most everything he post is at best based in an agressive nature with a complete lacking of any understanding the noted Root.

            Thus I leave this last thought on Edwardo’s behavior patterns;
            “He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up.”

          • eddie47d

            How cute Time,more metaphoric drivel. You play the same left right game right along with everyone else. You only throw in uppity prose to enhance your line of reasoning.

          • TIME

            Edwardo,
            If it weren’t for all the mindless post you blast us with daily you would have nothing in your post at all of any content.

            I think this quote explains you quite well;
            “You have delusions of adequacy.”

            Some day you may grow up but I question if thats at all possible as you’re rooted in only overt delusional rhetroic.
            How bloody sad, then again you are a product of the Educational system.

        • ValDM

          The Westboro Baptist Church is neither baptist, Christian, nor conservative. They are mostly a family group that is, at the least, misguided, and at the most, looney. My husband and I have contacted them to cease these odious activities since they give ALL Christians a black eye. From now on, the term “Christian” will be left to these kooks and I will be know as a “Beleiver”.

          • James

            ValDM, are you saying God’s Law (Lev. 20:13) is looney? Jesus didn’t think so.

          • Robert Smith

            Really…

            Where did jesus address homosexuality at all?

            Rob

          • James

            Robert, In Matthew 5:17-19, Jesus said: “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law…whosoever therefore shall break on of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven.”
            I’m sure that includes Leviticus 20:13.

    • Billy Cooper

      THE FOLKS IN MCALESTER, OKLAHOMA MADE THE RIGHT DECISION ALSO. THEY FLATTENED THE TIRES ON THE VAN. HAD IT NOT BEEN FOR WAL-MART, THEY MIGHT NOT HAVE GOTTEN THEIR TIRES FIXED. OKLAHOMA FOKES RESPECT THEIR DEAR SOLDIERS AND HONOR THOSE WHO PAID THE SUPREME SACRAFICE. GOD BLESS MCALESTER, OKLAHOMA FOLKS. WESTBORO YOU ARE NOT REALLY A CHURCH ARE YOU????????

      • 45caliber

        No, I would not consider Westboro a church in any sense of the word. Basically, from what I understand, it is one man who runs the “church” and only his family attends. Others are not welcome. And – also from what I understand – all sermons are on the demon of being gay. God is simply punishing the world for man’s acceptance of this. They preach nothing else.

        A church, to me, has a minister, preacher, pastor, priest, etc. who preaches that Jesus is the way to heaven.

        • Robert Smith

          But 45….

          They proclaim themselves to be christian just like samurai, his wife, and bunches of others around here spewing hate.

          Rob

  • JDH

    If it is legal for them under the First Ammendment to picket and demonstate at the funerals of Ameica’s fallen heroes, would it not also be legal for those who find their activities abohrent and heretical to protest ou side their so called church before, during, and after each of their “religious” sevices? Maybe various patriotic, gay, and religious could take turns. How long could this group stand the type of disrespect and ridicule its members seem so willing to impose on funeral goers.

    • wandamurline

      Absolutely, as long as the protesters do not get on the private property owned by the church. Thanks to this vote, Americans still have the right of freedom of speech and assembly…that means that if you want to protest outside their church for the next 100 years, you have the right to do so. I am thankful for the court’s decision as it preserved the rights of everyone. The church is an example of a hatefilled cult who want their day in the news. It is even your right to protest them when they are at a funeral protesting…that is what makes America great. Pray that we will continue to keep our freedoms, even though we don’t like what the other side has to say or do at the time, 1st Amendment rights are necessary for all.

  • Leonard

    I tell you if it were my son or daughter that was in that casket and there were protesters the protesters would come up amoung the missing they would all be in caskets before to long that is what I call my freedom of speach I can do what these idiots can’t do I can get revenge if it came to that I wouldn’t care if there were 100 protesters there would be 100 caskets so others can protest their dying and they would be dying for what protesting while our service men and women die for their freedom what a panty waste this government has come to Right from the president down to your lawlers they are all a big waste of life and money thuis is my freedom of speach how do you like that I hate asses and that is all they are is asses that protest at funerals

  • Leonard

    The time has come to stand up against all protesters and give them the right thay should have and that is to die and every one protest at their funerals thats my way of thinking

    • Kinetic1

      Leonard,
      Do you really want to kill all protesters? Did you support the Tiananmen square massacre? If you really mean what you say, then the United States is no place for you.

      • 45caliber

        I agree – no killing. On the other hand, it would be like flag burning to me. Some time back a judge in Washington state ruled that it was a legal freedom of expression to burn the flag as a protest – but it was also legal for others to do what is necessary to put out the flag. I believe that the same thing should be offered to the family here. If a family member is upset at their signs, he should have the right to remove the signs from the funeral by any means necessary to do so.

        • http://?? Joe H.

          45caliber,
          The easiest way to put out a burning flag is with a liquid, right? so beat the hell out of the guy and let his blood put the flames out!!

          • Robert Smith

            More violence from the right.

            Rob

    • James

      Leonard, If the Founding Fathers hadn’t protested, there wouldn’t be a United States, where we have the right to speak openly.

  • wandamurline

    First, the Court did not “rule for the church”, they ruled for the citizens of America according to the Constitution. What surprised me is that Alito voted against it…the Constitution is very, very clear on this matter….EVERYONE has the right of free speech…the court vote should have been 9-0. The Court upheld the Consitution and in doing so, they again gave all Americans the right of free speech. This church is an evil, hateful and demonic cult and wants their “day in the news”. It is hurtful and hateful that they picket our soldiers, but it is their right to do so, just as it is the tea parties right to protest our government. We should be happy that the Court voted this way…if you start regulating the speech of one party, it would not be long before the Court would be regulating the speech of everyone. My hat is off to the Court.

    • James

      Wanda… Bravo! But the First Amendment didn’t give us the right, it just says: “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech.” We had the right before we created the national government.

  • DavidL

    Yes, the First Amendment protects free speech. It protects not just the speech we like,that needs no protection, but the speech we hate.I agree with the Supreme Court in this case. I also agree with the court when is rules that government CAN REASONABLE REGULATE TIME AND PLACE of this exercise of free speech. A thousand yards works for me, not 300 feet. And yes, we should counter-protest right in the face of these “Christians”.

    • eddie47d

      I agree.

  • momplayer

    WHAT A SAD DAY WHEN IT’S OKAY TO PROTEST AT ANYONE’S FUNERAL.WHEN WE HAVE SUNK SO LOW THAT WE HAVE NO COMPASSION FOR WHAT ANY FAMILY IS GOING THROUGH IN THEIR TIME OF GREIF.WHEN THEY PUT THEIR AGENDA AHEAD OF EVERYONE ELSES.CAN ANYONE TELL ME WHEN WE STOP BEING CARING AND COMPASSONATE HUMAN BEINGS TO BEING APATHIC ANIMALS CARING ABOUT NOTHING BUT OUR OWN AGENDA? THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND ONLY HOW MUCH PAIN WE CAN INFLICT ON OUR FELLOW MAN.

    • meteorlady

      Stop yelling! It has everything to do with freedom of speech. The Supreme Court just gave you your freedoms again whether you believe that or not.

      Yes they are repulsive. Yes they are rude and uncaring. Yes they will probably continue to do this, but we don’t have to take it. We have the right to show up on their doorstep and protest their behavior. Not just sit here and right now bad this is for them to do.

      • momplayer

        IT’S SAD THAT YOU SEEMED TO HAVE MISSED THE WHOLE POINT OF WHAT I WAS SAYING.

      • Robert Smith

        Posted: “Yes they are repulsive. Yes they are rude and uncaring.”

        Just like anti-abortion protests.

        Do you realize that protesters in Springfield, MA, had pictures of aborted fetuses? It’s common. The glitch was that they were in front of an Milton Bradley School. Kids started to cry when they yelled about “killing children.”

        That was offensive to me when I watched that.

        Rob

        • libertytrain

          I understand what you are saying about upsetting the children – but since you are the one saying it and have voiced such a large opinion on this subject – and the right to abort – Why are you upset about upsetting the children? I know I’d be upset for the children’s sake but really don’t understand your concern based on all your previous posts.

          • Robert Smith

            Children are born. What is inside a woman is what SHE decides it is.

            After all, if someone comes to a party at your house and decides to stay I’m sure you would call a cop to get them out(if you don’t shoot them outright).

            If what is in side the woman is a “baby” why should she be obligated anymore than you are? You invited the folks to a party. She may not have invited a “baby” (through conception failure, etc.) yet you oblige her for a duty you yourself would not bare: Giving someone everything they need simply because someone else says you must.

            Sounds to me like you should approve of total socialism. Give them something because I say so… Isn’t that what you are saying, libertytrain?

            Rob

          • libertytrain

            No, that’s not what I said. You were the one upset about the children seeing the fetuses. I don’t understand why that would upset you.

  • Jeff in OH

    See how the media gets It’s little agenda in by proclaiming Anti Gay church which has absolutely nothing to do with funerals. I am anti Queer to, but I don’t protest funerals or anything else. They want to tie this all together like your part of them if your not homosexual….

    • Kinetic1

      Jeff,
      I’m having trouble understanding your post. There’s no question but that the protesters would be nothing without the attention of the press. Were the cameras turned off I don’t think these people would continue their protests. But it seems as if you are laying blame on the press for pointing out that these protesters are members of an anti gay church. What would you have them say? The whole point of the Westboro Baptist Church protests are to decry the acceptance of homosexuality in the United States. You can’t very well blame the press for reporting the facts. Perhaps you are suggesting that the press is trying to lump all churches with an anti homosexual message into one group, but I have not experienced that. In fact, every report I have seen or heard is very specific about just who these people are.

    • Robert Smith

      Posted: “but I don’t protest funerals or anything else.”

      But you DO support the other hateful biggots who deny them equality in America.

      Rob

  • Jeff in OH

    Where are the rights of the family????? Is it just that Idiots have rights? The law is suppose to protect the rights of freedom to have a peaceful funeral without intrusion…

    • Kinetic1

      I hate to say it, Jeff, but I don’t believe that the family has any such right, at least not in a legal sense. As long as the protesters are not trespassing on private property or violating noise statutes, I’m afraid there is nothing you can do. It’s morally repugnant, especially since the funeral rarely has anything to do with the message of the protesters, but that’s our law.

    • 45caliber

      Since the courts have ruled in the past that any protests can be required to get a license from the local government and in some cases can be restricted by a distance from the location, then I would believe that it is legal for states and/or local governments to pass laws limiting the distance they can be to protest from the funeral.

      Like fifty miles or so.

  • Curtis

    As Evelyn Beatrice Hall once wrote (paraphrasing Voltaire)… “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
    That’s what all American soldiers die for, but sadly, the Westboro Baptist Church fails to respect that.

  • meteorlady

    Those soldiers died to protect the freedoms that we have today. They died to protect the Westboro Baptist church even though they didn’t know that at the time.

    With that said, I believe that the Westboro church is filled with uncaring, sad little people that are under educated and perhaps a lot crazy besides. They don’t have the courtesy or compassion to leave grieving people alone and they don’t have the intelligence to know that what they are doing is extremely upsetting to the parent of those that died defending these scums’ right to speak as they do.

    • 45caliber

      I’m certain that they do know what they are doing – and don’t care. Like most protestors, they simply want to get some attention and they know that the media will give that to them by what they are doing now. At the moment there is nothing that the government will allow to stop them either. Sad, isn’t it?

    • Robert Smith

      Posted: “Those soldiers died to protect the freedoms that we have today.”

      Really… How is Afganistan any direct threat to our freedom? They’ve been there for thousands of years more than America has been. Yet the only influence they have on us is the drug trade. We can easily kill that notion by legalizing the stuff and taking the money out of it. AND! It would be a whole lot cheaper.

      So, I’ll ask: What are our guys “protecting” for us?

      Rob

      • James

        Robert, Here, I agree. Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq were any threat whatsoever to the United States. Of the 19 hijackers, 13 were Saudi Arabians, why didn’t we bomb them?

  • Howard R Gray

    These demonstrators are absurd, they have little to commend them, and sometime soon they will be forgotten. They are wasting their time, being irrelevant, however loud, doesn’t make them relevant.

  • Earl, QUEENS, NY

    Westboro Baptist does have 1st Amendment rights, just like myself and all other Baptists, as well as other Christian denominations. Of course we can see Westboro abuses its rights. We oppose abortion, LGBT rights and the rest of the leftwing statists’ agenda. However, we are against evil, not evil doers. The Bible tells us that ‘all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.’ But our mission is to spread the Good News. Reading scriptures like John 3:16, we know that anyone who accepts Christ as savior CAN and WILL be saved. BTW, while this ruling may be right, let’s not forget something even more important. ‘Hate Crime’ laws are clearly a (disguised) violation of our 1st Amendment rights, and really need to be struck down by the SCOTUS.

    Someone sent me an e-mail the other day. This person suggested that Westboro Baptist is probably phony, not really Christian. Now I wonder if Westboro could actually be a BINO (Baptist in name only) church?? Anything’s possible. Think about it. Most Tea Partiers are peaceful and on the right side of the issues. But that won’t stop a few a few leftwing troublemakers from joining the crowds disguised as tea partiers to try to discredit and undermine the credibility of Tea Parties. Likewise, we can see that Westboro is just a handful of hate-filled nut jobs giving all Baptists a bad image. Needless to say, it’s these nut jobs, along with a few troublemakers who may show up at tea parties, that will get all the attention of the biased liberal media. As I said, I’ve attended and visited many Baptist Churches over the past 35 years, none of which were even close to being as mean spirited and hateful as Westboro. Thus we need to be wary of cults, leftists, et al, who will distort the truth concerning Christians, conservatives, tea parties, etc.

    • 45caliber

      Earl:

      From what I understand, the “church” is organized by one person. All members are simply members of his family. No one else attends and they like it that way.

      Hate Crimes are not just a violation of free speech. They are also a crime due to what you might think. If you hate something, if even in your own thoughts, then they have the right to punish you for it.

      Actually hate is far too strong a word. Hate is an all-consuming emotion that swallows up everything else. You cannot actually hate someone and love someone else. Both are all-consuming and one will destroy all evidence of the other. What they are calling “hate” is actually only a PC way of shutting someone up if they disagree with those in office. For instance, if you insist Oblama is a stupid President, then that would be hate speech and you would be committing a hate crime for thinking so (not necessarily for even saying so) – whether he was stupid or not.

    • Robert Smith

      Posted: ” oppose abortion, LGBT rights and the rest of the leftwing statists’ agenda. However, we are against evil, not evil doers.”

      Yes you are evil doers. How dare you deny freedom to anyone in America.

      Rob

  • barbm

    either you believe in the constitution or you don’t. if you do, then they have the right to free speech. we may not like it, we may see it as an intrusion on our privacy, we may know it for the classless thing it is, but you can’t let the govt have an inch or they’ll take a mile.

  • GregS

    Like many others on this Forum, I aplaud the Supreme Court Decision. As Americans who value our freedoms, as described in our Constitution, we need to step back and exercise extreme caution (not emotion) when groups like the Westboro Baptist Church get enough public attention to be judged by the High Court. I am truly convinced that this particular group is a shill, which has been set up by extremists who want to chip away at some or all of our basic rights. I would not be surprised if their real goal was to make the Supreme Court rule against them, through their shameful activities. In this way they could open up the “slippery slope” of losing our freedom of speech. Once this happens, it will be much easier for virtually anyone who is offended by something, which is uttered by another individual, to take it to the Supreme Court.

    Unless it poses a direct threat of harm or violence, the best defense against offensive speech is to ignore it completely. Countering it with other demonstrations, or taking it to court, will only fan the fire and make it worse. In my opinion, this is exactly what the Westboro Baptist Church wants to do.

  • JC

    The fact that the funeral’s of these men and women were basically accosted by people calling themselves “Christian’s” is appalling.

    However they no more represent maintstream Christianity than Jovianus
    represents any part of America. They are an obscene anomally.

    God Bless and Keep the Fallen.

  • Stan Smith

    The shoe will be on the other foot someday, When Fred Phelps or his high ranking members kicks the bucket, I hope the people and military members will protest at their funeral, Hold a sign Thank God That Idiot is Dead!! or any other offensive signs to p iss off The westboro groups, Well we have a free speech to give you a dose of your own medicine!

  • 45caliber

    I can accept that ruling. However, I don’t believe that anyone has the right to protest at a funeral – an otherwise solemn occastion. THerefore, I believe that any protest should be quite some distance from the funeral – or that the judges also give the family of the deceased the right to beat the crap out of them.

    • Robert Smith

      What about protesting at a doctor’s office?

      OH, I’ll bet that’s OK for our brand of christians.

      Rob

      • Robert Smith

        Typo…

        Should have been “your” type of christians.

        Rob

  • Raggs

    I do not agree with this so-called church at all, however I do agree with the decision to uphold our freedom…. This church is probably a cult much like the NAACP or the KKK…

    • Robert Smith

      Or Tea Party part of the Republican Party.

      Who gets to define the cult?

      Rob

  • jopa

    I believe one of the problems is the news media and their audience.The news brings these stories to listeners that have a strange craving for the strange and the bizzarre.The media moguls that use these tactics draw the larger audiences so that makes us part of the problem.What these Baptist parishioners have for an agenda I don’t know but I think we are stuck with the bad and the good.Life in America.Perhaps if we ignore them they may go away.

    • GregS

      jopa, this is one issue where we both agree. Well said!

  • beatrice

    The UPSIDE of this RULING is a GUARANTEE

  • beatrice

    The UPSDIE GUARANTEE of Judge John Roberts, JR. RULING on the 1st AMendment – is there will NEVER-EVER BE A MILITARY DRAFT in the USA again. With a ruling that supports the harrassment of Dead Service Men or Womens’ Families on ANY grounds, be they ‘gay’ or otherwise, at their private family funerals… A dead military person’s funeral, their last good-bye to this world…
    there is no way the US Military could invoke such a forced service requirement like the draft every again. I for one, would never allow my child to enlist or serve in a war for this very real possibility –that some freak, self-proclaimed, self-rightous person(s) declaring they have more rights than god to assail a mourning family at their childs funeral. The Government should make this illegal. If the military wanted to maintain any respect whatsoever. But they didn’t.
    Our country is turning into a free for all for any far-flung freak to force themselves onto other people’s personal and private funerals. It’s sick. I hope our service men and women all resign and come home.
    This Judge totally undermined the US MIlitary by this ruling.

    • Robert Smith

      I thought allowing gays into our millitary did that.

      Rob

  • b4tea

    I really think the westboro baptist are a creation of the CIA to make christian s look bad and turn public opinion against Christianity why else would they get away with what they do, example would be deerborn michigan where real christians were merely trying to pass out tracks on how to be saved, they got carted away by the cops, with what their doing if they were real christians they’d be in prison now, and I agree why aren’t the churchs out protesting against these imposters , why aren’t the real body of christ doing anything but sitting in their million dollar churchs talking about the love of Jesus? get off your butts and go overturn the money changers

    • Kinetic1

      b4,
      And what exactly would be the benefit to the CIA?

    • karolyn

      The Westboro Baptists are just a bunch of self-important people who have developed their own sect out of a misguided belief. Actually, it sounds more like a cult than a sect. They don’t deserve the airtime they get. Get real with the conspiracy theories!

  • Joseph

    Freedom of speach is important, but the rights of of a family to have a respectable funeral for their loved ones without incident is something the supreme court should have considered. A funeral is not a place for anyone to attend if they are not invited. It is a solom ritual where friends and relatives can join together for reflection and suport. I am disappointed at the supreme court’s decision and lack of compassion.

    • Kinetic1

      Again, Joseph, this is an issue for the municipalities who, in this case required that the protesters be a proper distance so as not to interfere with the funeral. The Supreme Court can not make such a judgment for all the municipalities without violating even more of our rights.

      • Vigilant

        Agreed.

  • Kathryn

    There is only one reason why we need laws in soceity
    So law abiding citizens can live in a civil soceity
    The justices were wrong in their decision
    It is not lawful to promote hate, violence and Fear
    Even though homosexuality is a deviant sexual practice
    That does not give anyone the right to cause pain and
    disrupt soceity. Just as the educational institutions
    are indoctrinating children into sexual depravtiy
    with every sexual practice and flavor, we need to fight
    this take over of parental rights and responsibility to
    protect and respect the innocents that are being used as
    pawns for political greed and lust of power and money.

    http://www.nationformarriage.org/kids
    http://www.drjudithreisman.org
    http://www.massresistance.org
    http://www.silentscream.org

    Also google

    Boston Children’s Hosptail Sex Change Clinic
    Dr. Money The boy with no P.E.N.I.S.
    The Transgenderd Janitor in the Oxford, Massachusetts
    Elementry School
    Dawn Stefanowicz Out from Under
    Obama’s Bi-Sexuality
    Planned Parenthood as this organization goes into the
    public schools and gives young girls low dose birth control
    pills so they will become pregnant, then they take them for
    an abortion, many times without the parents permission

    Teachers Unions, lawmakers and Lobbyist using our youths as pawns
    for their lust and greed of political power and monetary gain.

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