A bit surprised I haven't seen anything on this here, but for those who may not have heard, the Supreme Court has ruled that Fred Phelps and his Westboro "Baptist Church's" protests are allowed under the First Amendment:

 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110303/ap_on_re_us/us_supreme_court_fu...

 

My take: There's no doubt these people are idiots (and I'm being polite). Totally warped. No sense of decency at all.

 

But I also believe in TOTALLY free speech. That doesn't mean speech we agree with; it also means speech that we find disgusting. I think we can all agree that the Fred Phelps cult of hate perhaps shouldn't exist. But if we start banning them just because we find them and their views to be abhorrent, then we, as a nation, are no better than any other nation that suppresses ideas and thoughts.

 

Your thoughts and opinions, of course, are more than welcome.

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Doing these protests while family and loved ones are grieving is a recipe for disaster.  I agree with the SCOTUS on this one, but have some decency and not do it at someones funeral.

Agreed Travis. Though that's not gonna stop 'em - they thrive on that. And reports indicate they're going to go after the guy who lost for $100K in legal fees. That's how they get their money to do all this crap.

 

They have no shame.

Agreed, on all points. I have hopes that they all just die out, or another extremist group destroys them...whichever comes first.

I would grudgingly side with WBC but uphold laws about protesting within a certain distance of funerals and not disrupting them. I hope the court doesn't make the family pay them money (sometimes there is a "nominal" payment when courts agree that technically someone is right, but they're still a jerk.) I would also keep an eye on them because much of what they do at least borders on harassment or slander/libel.

 

The article says that the WBC wrote a poem about how this person raised their son wrong. Now THAT I think amounts to libel.

 

I hope lots of people protest the hell out of Phelps' funeral. He's not getting any younger.

One of his kids is atheist? How intriguing.
One of the kids turned atheist (at least), others have left his cult too whether they were atheist, agnostic, or believed in a God that was less of a psychotic sociopath than the WBC's version.
The Mormons take dead people and make them Mormon on request?

And, as an aside, Nate Phelps will be in St. Louis next Thursday evening to talk about his experiences in a talk sponsored by the Gay-Straight Alliance at Clayton High School.

 

The talk takes place at 7.30 pm March 10 at the CHS Auditorium. If there's anyone in the St. Louis area who wants to go, I think that would be a great idea.

Funny thing about the "Fire in a crowded theater" argument. It was actually used by a judge to argue about the common good being at stake as he justified the incarceration of some fundamentalist Jewish pacifists who had distributed literature written I believe in Hebrew  in their own community denouncing involvement in world war 1.

Like others have said, I hate the Westboro Baptist Church, but I support their first amendment rights.  I think Nate Phelps is supposed to be on The Non-Prophets podcast in a few weeks.  He was on another atheist podcast recently as well, but I can't remember which one off hand.

Have to say Im in total agreement.

Unfortunately the bereaved family has been screwed twice by the WBC now. The first time was when the WBC fuktards protested the funeral, the second time was having to pay $116,000 in legal fees to Fred Phelps. CNN has an article quoting the father of the fallen soldier as saying ... "The worst part of this," Snyder said, "is I know they are going to use that money to do this to other soldiers."  He's absolutely right and thats got to be a major kick to the metaphorical groin. Hopefully he'll get donations to help pay the legal fees & that he wipes his ass with check before it gets into Phelps hands ;)

 

I wish people would just ignore the WBC.  They are just looking for attention and money from lawsuits.  If people would stop paying attention to them, they'd probably go away after a year or two.

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