Church's Military Funeral Protests OK Says SCOTUS. Your thoughts?

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  1. Mighty Mom profile image77
    Mighty Momposted 13 years ago

    Free speech is alive and well in America. The Supreme Court has ruled 8-1 (dissenter was Samuel Alito) that Westboro Baptist Church has a constitutional right to picket military funerals. The church contends military deaths are God's revenge for the country's tolerance of homosexuality.

    So expect more protests from Rev.Phelps and his clan.

    What do you think of this ruling? … _natlalert

    1. Greek One profile image63
      Greek Oneposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      The best and most effective reply would be to picket the houses/funerals/weddings/baptisms/places of work/high school graduations/, hair dressing appointments etc. of each and every parishioner of the church.

      For efficiency purposes, it would probably be best to pick 5 or 10 families to focus on.  Drive them nuts, then move on to the next group.

    2. lady_love158 profile image60
      lady_love158posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Free speech is one thing but what these scum do is target individuals at a time when they are already distraught in pain at the loss of their child,  and harass them in the name of God no less!! These are godless hateful, spiteful disgusting people and those that support them are no better!

      1. Susana S profile image93
        Susana Sposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Wow - I totally agree smile

        Don't the funeral goers have any rights not be harrassed? In the UK that kind of behaviour would be seen as a public order offence I believe.

    3. profile image0
      Brenda Durhamposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Horrible decision by the Supreme Court!

      But no worse than their decision to even allow the issue of gay "rights" to be put before their Court!

      It's all wrong.  It's all become a maze of political correctness and stupidity.

      Before long, everyone will have so many "rights" that infringe upon the rights of others, that people will most likely be fighting it out in the streets instead of even listening to a "Supreme" Court.
      That's what happens when the specific set of values upon which our Nation was founded, is left unprotected from the liberal axe.

    4. manlypoetryman profile image79
      manlypoetrymanposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Westboro Baptist Church is wrong in their views...and how they exploit them. God is not going to be on their side, when they cause a ginamic ruckus at the death of an honorable fallen young one. God help them, on the day they protest against the wrong family, in the midst of their grieving, who doesn't want to hear the ceremony being all about Westboro Baptist View. They may just end up starting a war, when they are trying to protest about one.

      They literally make me sick. I feel so sorry for the families that they have already protested. Now, they are going to think this court decision has given them a "green light". How awful...that they have no consideration for what the family is going through.

      1. stclairjack profile image77
        stclairjackposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        your right, i'm amazed at the restraint excesized by the families of fallen so far,.... but soon,... some ones grief will get the better of them,... and how will the media and the courts assign blame then?

        btw, itwas never about war, they arent in the buisness of promoting peace,... they are anti-gay,... and they twist in the wind which ever way they think justifies thier horible behavior.

        1. manlypoetryman profile image79
          manlypoetrymanposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          whatever...there screwed up agenda is or their brand of promoting peace philosophy is...

          A few Marine Corp and Veterans sayings come to mind.

          1. stclairjack profile image77
            stclairjackposted 13 years agoin reply to this


    5. Misha profile image62
      Mishaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      SCOTUS sounds something like cattle-us in Russian. I am biting my tongue about POTUS big_smile

    6. dutchman1951 profile image60
      dutchman1951posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      First off it is a Group of Related Individuals, calling themselves a church, very small group, and not an affiliated Baptist Church at all.

      In other words a sham collecting tax free monies and donations.

      One decentingJustice called it right, "It is not the Intention of the First amendment to allow the abuse and mis-use of speach as protected when it is used in deliberate intent to harm"

      Talk is not just talk, it points, pushes, pressures,  makes people less, and can scar and harm, and or provoke violence.

      If it is deliberately used like this, then it is used with intent to do harm. No matter how free it is.

      The Court is out of touch with street level socialism-  how people act. They are overdosed in Liberalism. A Dose of Liberalism is good, but not when you are sanctified drunk with it.

      There are limits.

  2. Aficionada profile image80
    Aficionadaposted 13 years ago

    I read that and was thoroughly disgusted.  My grandmother had a saying that covers it IMO:  "Hell is too good for them."

    The benefits of free speech need to be balanced with the maturity that is demonstrated through respect.  Otherwise freedom becomes self-destructive.  That's my opinion - I'm not pretending that it is a fact.

  3. Len Cannon profile image86
    Len Cannonposted 13 years ago

    1. That's what free speech is for. Of course, I question how much they actually believe in their cause and how much they believe in suing police officers who "violate their free speech rights" by making the m move.

    2. It is disappointing that no one cared when they were picketing the funerals of gay teenagers for years and years. I guess that's why they moved on up to soldier's funerals: more cash from law suits when bereaved members of the community get in their face.

    1. stclairjack profile image77
      stclairjackposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      right on target,... wacked is wacked.

      no one cared untill they started anoying those who thought it would never bother them,...

      its best to guard the basic rights of even your oponents,... how they are treated now are how you will be treated later.

      we need to quit feeding the beast that is thier ego and wallets,... simply turn our backs to them, and cut themoff from the att. they crave,....

      and if that doesnt work,.... well,.... we'll see what happens to ireverent self serving jay hawkers wont we

    2. livelonger profile image86
      livelongerposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I completely agree on both points.

      The good thing about letting them say such disgusting things is that people are reminded every time the Phelps clan "protests" how revolting homophobia is. That's probably why homophobes seem to be against the SCOTUS decision, not for it.

    3. profile image0
      Brenda Durhamposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      You're wrong that "no one cared".
      It just became impossible to fight the liberal agenda surrounding this issue, when they were focusing on the "gay rights" part.  Everyone including the Left should've been focusing on the fact that it's just plain wrong to picket ANYONE's funeral.  If that had happened, I guarantee ya that the Phelps gang would've been rendered ineffective by now. 
      The Supreme Court decision has only supplied more fodder for the Left to attack the Right under the guise of complaining about the radical Phelps gang.
      And obviously the reason they moved up to soldiers' funerals was because the liberal agenda kept yelling for the insertion of gay "rights" into our military.
      It makes NONE of it right.  That can even be attested to by many "gays", ones who struggle with their problems and who do NOT support the gay agenda, but are afraid to speak up about it because the liberal agenda rages on, pretending to be the voice of all those who struggle with the issue.
      People need to start actually going by their consciences and refraining from calling wrong, right, and right, wrong themselves.  Then there wouldn't be any iffiness about the decisions handed down by the Supreme Court.  But I'm very disappointed that the Court didn't have the good sense to consider those facts themselves.

      1. stclairjack profile image77
        stclairjackposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        i agree with every word,... only one problem,... people cant go with a conscience that they dont posses to begin with.

        there is no arguing with one who has no conscience,... like playing poker with a hound dog,.... you get to win but he'll still sh*t on the carpet.

        1. profile image0
          Brenda Durhamposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          But everyone does have a conscience.  They're just no longer forced to use it.  Our laws have become so lax, so "tolerant", including the law that lets people appeal State court decisions "all the way to the Supreme Court" that it has given too much authority to that Court and chipped away at the States' authority.  And therefore has also placed an undue burden upon the Federal courts.  They should be turning these cases down for lack of good reason and frivolity.
          It's like parents are sometimes.  A child asks the Mom if he can go play near the sidewalk.  The Mom says no you can't, but ask your Dad.  The kid asks Dad if he can go play outside, who, assuming the Mom actually was teaching the kid right, says okay whatever your Mom said.  The kid gets hit by a driver who swerves onto and over the sidewalk.  Who's to blame for the kid ending up in the hospital or dead?   Both parents, kicking the can of responsibility off to someone else, when in fact there should've been no question at all about just saying NO to the kid, period.
          The Legislative branches all need to be on the same page.  They all need to have the same foundation.  The "appeals" process shouldn't be used as often nor as frivolously as it is.

      2. livelonger profile image86
        livelongerposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        It's wrong to picket anyone's funeral, but it's not illegal and it shouldn't be illegal.

        1. profile image0
          Brenda Durhamposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          Why wouldn't it be illegal?
          The very concept of a "law" is to uphold what's right and punish wrongdoing.
          The only reason anyone would separate the two is because they have some sort of agenda that can use the legitimatization of one "wrong" to perpetuate a different "wrong".
          There is no confusion about what's right and what's wrong.  Only the liberal agenda attempts to insert confusion; and pressure from that has caused even those in authority to further act in ways that confuse the issues.

          1. livelonger profile image86
            livelongerposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            Why do you hate freedom, Brenda?

            1. stclairjack profile image77
              stclairjackposted 13 years agoin reply to this

              i dont think brenda or anyone else hates freedom,.... freedom is often confused with licence.
              freedom comeswith responsability,.... licence on the other hand does not.
              you are free to gamble your familys rent money away at a casino if you choose,...
              i am free to rink my house payment at the village watering hole,....
              both of these acts would be moraly wrong to do,.... but niether would be against the law.

              legality has NOTHING to do with morality,.... and we would be well served to remember that, as would our judges and legislators.

              1. livelonger profile image86
                livelongerposted 13 years agoin reply to this

                Sounds like you and I agree, and both of us disagree with Brenda.

                1. stclairjack profile image77
                  stclairjackposted 13 years agoin reply to this

                  P T Barnum would say that we all will agree on some things, and some of us will agree on all things,.... but never will all of us agree on everything

                  picketing a funeral is in poor taste,... no,.... its in horibly poor taste,.... but,...

                  i havent found the 11th comsndment stating,.. "thou shalt not have poor taste"....
                  and thank god for that, or i would have an even better seat waiting in pergatory.

                  take flag burning for instance,.... i think its in poor taste, and done at your own risk (as proesting at funerals is and should be),.... however,...

                  i want the tight to burn it if that flag comes to represent a government that no longer serves the people,.... flag burning was against the law in nazi germany,.... not here.

                  its a god given right to be a moraly twisted insensitive jackass in this country,...

                  god bless the united states of america,..... and may we all grow thicker skin.

                  1. stclairjack profile image77
                    stclairjackposted 13 years agoin reply to this

                    yes my typing skill is eclipsed only by my awsome spelling skills

              2. profile image0
                Motown2Chitownposted 13 years agoin reply to this

                I'm going to weigh in with something my mother taught me.  Her words (verbatim) were, "You can't legislate morality."  I think she was absolutely correct.  We've been trying to do so for years in this country (from BOTH sides), and it hasn't resulted in much of anything but chaos.

                In the grand scheme of things, whether you have a RIGHT to do something isn't necessarily the issue.  It's whether what you're choosing to do IS right.  Attacking anyone, and hiding behind your right to free speech - for any reason - during a time of intense grief and loss is a cowardly and despicable act.  The people who do so should be ashamed.  I can almost guarantee that the God in whose name they do this, certainly is.

                1. stclairjack profile image77
                  stclairjackposted 13 years agoin reply to this


        2. Ralph Deeds profile image63
          Ralph Deedsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          True. Moreover, aside from concern for the grieving families, the wingnuts, by their ludicrous, cruel activities, may actually be increasing tolerance of gays and lesbians.

          1. stclairjack profile image77
            stclairjackposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            he doesnt get quoted much, but richard nixon once told a campaign aid "never shoot down",... it means that those firing all the misiles are on the low end, and thier fire proves that,... shooting downward only servs to put each of you on the same level.

            i'm trying to say that i agree,... this kind of behavior out of the religion club wielding idiots only serves to give they gay and lesbian comunity further victim status,.. hardly what they were after i'm sure,... but we may be incorrectly assuming that they have though any of this through beyond 24-48 hours.

  4. Mighty Mom profile image77
    Mighty Momposted 13 years ago

    As I thought about this issue I tried to figure out how the SCOTUS could declare the church members' actions illegal.
    1. Separation of church and state? Military funerals are or are not private affairs? The deceased died in the line of duty for our government and a religious organization has no business butting in... nope. Doesn't work.
    2. Protected class under anti-discrimination laws? Nope. That doesn't work because even though the subject of their protest is homosexuality, no one is being discriminated against on the basis of actually being gay.

    Given the ruling -- 8 to 1, their freedom to spew hatred stands.
    I suppose the best way to counter them is to ignore them. Deprive their bullying flames the oxygen of media attention...

    Although one would hope that LOCAL ordinances would kick in and trump the broader "right to free speech." For example, if they needed a permit to assemble that could be patently denied by the city or county where the funeral is held....

    Anyway, it's good to see spririted and NON-PARTISAN discussion here on HP. I see this topic has caused some crossover of viewpoints. That's awesome! Hooray!!!

  5. profile image0
    Brenda Durhamposted 13 years ago

    Crossover points of view?  Where?
    I didn't see any.
    My own stance has been the same ever since I first heard anything about both sides of the story.
    And once again I got accused of hating freedom.  Emphasis on the word "hate" I'm sure was what was meant.  Whatever!
    But if there were "crossover" opinions, then okay.

    1. stclairjack profile image77
      stclairjackposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      the best ay to drive haters crazy is to throw peace and understanding at them,..... they realy dont now what to do with it,..... and hate is just a word,... its power lies only on the recieving end

      ps,... i defended you.

      1. profile image0
        Brenda Durhamposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Thank you for defending me!  Chivalry, or simple courtesy, is not dead after all!  smile

        Editing to say I guess it's simple courtesy, since "chivalry" is more a term referring to males, and I just looked at your profile and you're a woman.  Cool. Thanks again. smile

  6. Mighty Mom profile image77
    Mighty Momposted 13 years ago

    Too funny, Misha!
    You're absolutely right. SCOTUS sounds ... vaguely dirty.
    POTUS sounds like the adjective form of Putin lol

  7. profile image0
    Onusonusposted 13 years ago

    This is an extreme example of the right to free speach impeading on the rights of private citizens to grieve for their loved ones. My question is when somone decides to go on a shooting rampage at the westboro picketers, will a jury convict the person or will a temporary insanity plea prevail?

    1. stclairjack profile image77
      stclairjackposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      i love the use of the word when rather than if,.... cause we all know its only a matter of time,... i hope it never happens,... but i'm braced for it.

      when it does, they get victim status.

      thats all people realy want anymore anyway, victimhood,... the new achievement in 21st century america,.... god forbid any of us actualy do some thing worthy of praise,...

      no,.... praise is gotten through hard work and we'll have none of that,... what we all seem to seek these days is pitty,... and pitty is a lucrative buisness.

      1. profile image0
        Onusonusposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Yes I very deliberatly chose the word "When". I think that every family they picket gets the soughtafter status of victim.

  8. brimancandy profile image77
    brimancandyposted 13 years ago

    I hope the supreme court gets burned for this one.

    What would happen if the next aging president or Senator dies? Is it going to be all right for this church group to protest at his or her funeral? I'll bet that they would have their asses kicked by the secret service if they tried to pull a stunt like that.

    Shouldn't there also be a law about these people protesting on private property? I think if I was the owner of the funeral home, or cemetery, I would want to file a lawsuit against the church, for disturbing their customers. I'm also curious about what the churches who may be involved in these funerals feel about this church dumping their views on their turf?

    If I happened to own a cemetery, I wouldn't care if they were practicing their freedom of speech or not. I have right to not allow these people on or near my property. I would call the police so much they would get tired of it. And, if they did nothing, I would get together a large group of citizens together and have the do nothings removed from their jobs.

    What people should do is begin filing lawsuits against the church, until they run out of money. I think they have disrupted the lives of families enough. It is time for them to go. I would not be surprised if this was happening already.

    1. weholdthesetruths profile image59
      weholdthesetruthsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Although you didn't see it in the news,  recently, they were shouted down and ultimately gave up, when someone asked the TEA Party people to help.   They showed up in such large numbers that they completely surrounded and ultimately drowned out their protest, so they left. 

      That's how you deal with obnoxious cowards.   Rob them of their stage, and they'll go away.

      1. brimancandy profile image77
        brimancandyposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        This same group also shows up at gay pride events in various cities. And, what does the media do? They rush to focus a story on these bastards, rather than lending their cameras to show the masses that participate in the event that outnumber the church people 10,000 to 1.

        The leader of this group is nothing more than a media hound. He is so intent on being in the news, that he even has his people call the media, and let them know that his group is going to be at a certain event, and, where so that the media can easily find him.

        It's a good thing he's old, with any luck he'll drop dead, and we won't have to see his butt ugly face on TV ever again.

  9. weholdthesetruths profile image59
    weholdthesetruthsposted 13 years ago

    I have spent some quality time with Google, after having some hints shoved my way by someone. 

    Fred Phelps is a former lawyer.  He used to handle civil rights cases, then he got disbarred from Oklahoma, for perjury, no less. In this case, he carried out a vendetta against a court clerk, and in the process made false statements to the court, and ergo, could no longer practice in state court. 

    Then, for eerily similar vendetta type behavior, Phelps got banned from federal court, as well. 

    If you pick the right google words, you'll notice that Phelps spends his time suing police departments and cities, settling for money when they "deny" his request to protest. 

    This, is apparently where his monetary support comes from.  This is how the WBC (his church) is funded.  The fact is, there are apparently no more than a small handful of members, most involved in his little enterprise.

    I found hit after hit with google, each telling of suing police departments all over the place, for violation of his "civil rights", and then either winning, or settling for money, to get him out of their hair. 

    It seems to me that Phelps is a con man.  Journalists say his signs are professionally manufactured, and are durable, meaning they are intended for long term use.  Phelps has a bunch of websites, each full of incendiary commentary.

    I did a small overall look at some of his commentary, and I'm convinced that it very well could be just boilerplate noise, certainly not stemming from any righteous conviction.   

    So, is Phelps just creating an online image, one so hideous, that any well meaning, but not legally savvy police department, city, or other entity would try to keep him away, for which he then sues and makes money to keep operating?  This would seem to be a very plausible theory on what's going on.

    1. Ralph Deeds profile image63
      Ralph Deedsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Interesting. Thanks.

      1. weholdthesetruths profile image59
        weholdthesetruthsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        If this is truly what he does... It would not take all that long to dry up his money supply. 

        Phelps Sr has been around for a good many years, and been a preacher for decades - or at least claims to be one.   Now, before this business of protesting funerals came to attention, he also sued for oddly similar issues to get money.   

        It is beginning to look just too coincidental to me, and he's developed for himself a means of sponging off the taxpayers, diverting money to his non-profit church...   

        Back when he was a civil rights lawyer, he was known for being brilliant, legally, and also for winning very hard cases.   The question is, who has the resources to focus on this guy for long enough, to see if his behavior has such a pattern that you can prove this to be true?   

        If so, they could intervene in his lawsuits, demonstrating it's a farce, drying up his money tree, to the point he'd have to get an honest job...

        1. Ralph Deeds profile image63
          Ralph Deedsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          What a rat!

  10. SomewayOuttaHere profile image61
    SomewayOuttaHereposted 13 years ago the OP...that's really sad now that i know about WB Church ...crazy folks.....

  11. Mighty Mom profile image77
    Mighty Momposted 13 years ago

    dutchman -- I agree. I was dismayed by the Supreme Court decision. What happened to that old saw, "My right to free speech doesn't give me license to yell "fire!" in a crowded theatre."? (or something like that).
    The tactics employed by Mr. Phelps are deplorable on all levels. Thank you, weholdthesetruths, for the sleuthing.
    The idea that he is willfully manipulating the legal system and preying on taxpayer-funded groups (e.g., police)is truly reprehensible.

    Any ideas how to stop him?

    1. Jim Hunter profile image60
      Jim Hunterposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      "Any ideas how to stop him?"

      I have a few.

      None of them very civil though.

  12. Mighty Mom profile image77
    Mighty Momposted 13 years ago

    Well, just don't go getting yourself sued or arrested, Jim!!
    With the new Google algorithm fallout, your Hub Pages pals would have a hard time raising bail for ya lol


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