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Free speech, hate speech clash
NBC NEWS ^ | Oct. 28 | Pete Williams

Posted on 10/29/2003 5:07:11 AM PST by CSM

CASPER, Wyo., Oct. 28 — Five years after University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard was killed, touching off a national dialogue on gay rights, an anti-gay hate group wants to put up a monument to Shepard’s murder in hiss hometown. The city doesn’t want it, but it is caught in a legal tangle that involves, of all things, the Ten Commandments.

AT SHEPARD’S FUNERAL in his hometown of Casper, Wyo., an anti-gay hate group demonstrated in a park across the street, led by the Rev. Fred Phelps, a Baptist minister from Kansas.

Now members of Phelps’ group are back in Casper pushing to be allowed to put up a granite monument in the same park where they picketed at Shepard’s funeral.

The proposed monument would say, “Matthew Shepard entered Hell, October 12, 1998.”

That was the day that Shepard, 21, died of injuries and hypothermia he suffered five days before when two men beat him with a gun butt and left him to die while tied to a fence post in zero-degree weather, after meeting him at a bar in Laramie. Both of the men were later convicted.

‘GOD’S HATE, NOT HUMAN HATE’

“Our message is a message of God’s hate, not human hate,” said Marge Phelps, the reverend’s wife, also of the Westboro, Kan., Baptist Church. “And the concept of God’s hate is found in the Bible. And all it means is that people are going to go to hell if they disobey God.”

The city of Casper, home to about 50,000 residents, wants to say no but may not be able to.

The city park where the anti-gay group wants to put the Shepard monument already has a monument, this one honoring the Ten Commandments from the Bible. And under the law, if the city wants to keep this Shepard monument out, then the Ten Commandments will have to go, too.

Why? Because, legal experts say, the city unwittingly invited other monuments when it put up the Ten Commandments in a public park.

“By putting the Ten Commandments in the park, they created a sort of public forum for speech and debate,” said Tom Goldstein, a First Amendment attorney and appellate court lawyer. “And once the city does that, it can’t discriminate against other viewpoints, no matter how hateful.”

MAYOR OFFENDED BY ‘FILTH’

‘The fact that Reverend Phelps ... would come into Casper and try and put that filth under the guise of the Ten Commandments is total idiocy.’ — BARB PERYAM mayor of Casper, Wyo.

Casper Mayor Barb Peryam said she was offended by the Kansas group’s tactic. “The fact that Reverend Phelps, or Mr. Phelps, would come into Casper and try and put that filth under the guise of the Ten Commandments is total idiocy.”

Bob Crosby, president of the local Eagles Club, which donated the Ten Commandments, said the Eagles reluctantly offered the city a way out: “We would hope they would donate it back to us, and we can display it in an appropriate place.”

Now the city council must decide what to do about this monument, concerned that the Ten Commandments could be used to force the city into accepting a message of hate.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Wyoming
KEYWORDS: fredphelps; freespeech; godhatesamerica; godhatesfags; hatecrime; matthewshepard
I am not sure if this is a scam to eliminate the ten commandments from the park or if these dolts really are as hateful as they appear!
1 posted on 10/29/2003 5:07:11 AM PST by CSM
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To: Admin Moderator
I attempted to excerpt this article, however it doesn't seem to have worked. Is there any way you can fix it?
2 posted on 10/29/2003 5:08:27 AM PST by CSM (Shame on me for attacking an unarmed person, a smoke gnatzie!)
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To: CSM
"Casper Mayor Barb Peryam said she was offended by the Kansas group’s tactic"

So if rhe loons are offended who wins? Who does society make the little gods no one dare offend?
Offended is not a valid argument.
3 posted on 10/29/2003 5:11:49 AM PST by Evil Inc
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To: CSM
Fred Phelps is a carney. This is all a work. A cheap gimmick.
4 posted on 10/29/2003 5:12:50 AM PST by AppyPappy (If You're Not A Part Of The Solution, There's Good Money To Be Made In Prolonging The Problem.)
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To: CSM
I am not sure if this is a scam to eliminate the ten commandments from the park or if these dolts really are as hateful as they appear!

Both.

From what I know about Phelps, I doubt if their "granite monument" even exists. And when they're denied the "right" to put their "monument" up, they'll sue--even though Fred Phelps is a disbarred lawyer, some of his whelps are lawyers in good standing--and they love to sue.

5 posted on 10/29/2003 5:13:17 AM PST by Catspaw
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Comment #6 Removed by Moderator

To: CSM
The Horst Wessel of the limp-wristed set.
7 posted on 10/29/2003 5:15:37 AM PST by Agnes Heep
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To: CSM
an anti-gay hate group

It's a religeous group who are vociferously against the gay lifestyle, among other things. Now, I do not agree with their methods, in fact the protest at Shepards funeral I find particularly obscene.However, the news refers to them as an anti-gay hate group ONLY to polarize a specific group of people (the gays & lesbians) & to elicit a response for them.

Being a religeous group, the news could just have easily called them an anti-adultery group,or an anti-murdering group. How about an anti theft group? IMHO.

8 posted on 10/29/2003 5:16:07 AM PST by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I will defend to your death my right to say it)
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Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

Comment #10 Removed by Moderator

To: CSM
No one would have ever heard of Matthew Shepard if not for the two thug murderers and their actions. Now he's the poster boy of the thought police. Doesn't Fred Phelps (I refuse to call him Reverend) have something worthwhile to do with his life and his church? Surely he can find hungry people to feed, folks who need a coat for a cold Kansas winter, etc. Instead, he chooses to stir the pot and fuel the flames.
11 posted on 10/29/2003 5:20:37 AM PST by auboy (Liberals believe in free speech… theirs not yours.)
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To: Puppage
Because they call themselves, "God Hates Fags". They take biblical truth and mix it with a very bad attitude. As a result the name of Christ is dragged in the dirt.

God calls us to be truthful and spread his Word, including some of the more politically incorrect and "painful" truths, - but I can't imagine him approving of exploiting people's pain, which is what this church does.

It's just downright mean to try to put up a monument stating a murdered person is going to hell. And it doesn't win anyone for Christ - in fact, it chases people away from Jesus, which is supposed to be the Christian's priority.
12 posted on 10/29/2003 5:24:22 AM PST by I still care
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To: auboy
Doesn't Fred Phelps (I refuse to call him Reverend) have something worthwhile to do with his life and his church?

From a friend of mine who lives in Topeka, no. Not that he couldn't do something worthwhile, it's that he won't.

13 posted on 10/29/2003 5:24:33 AM PST by Catspaw
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To: Catspaw
Phelps sounds like another "Reverend" who likes to stir pots.
14 posted on 10/29/2003 5:26:56 AM PST by auboy (Liberals believe in free speech… theirs not yours.)
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To: Puppage
Being a religeous group, the news could just have easily called them an anti-adultery group,or an anti-murdering group. How about an anti theft group? IMHO.

I don't think so... I've never heard of them picketing adulterers or carrying signs saying "Thieves go to Hell" and "God Hates Murderers". My impression is that they are, indeed, and anti-gay hate group. Which is fine with me, btw, though there's no reason they should be allowed to place a monument on public property.

15 posted on 10/29/2003 5:27:20 AM PST by Sloth ("I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!" -- Jacobim Mugatu, 'Zoolander')
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To: seamole
Google up "GOD HATES FIGS" for a really funny parody of Fred Phelps.
16 posted on 10/29/2003 5:28:12 AM PST by Poohbah ("Would you mind not shooting at the thermonuclear weapons?" -- Major Vic Deakins, USAF)
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To: Puppage
However, the news refers to them as an anti-gay hate group ONLY to polarize a specific group of people (the gays & lesbians) & to elicit a response for them.

They advertise themselves as an anti-gay group. That's what they promote.

And, trust me--they don't just offend a specific group of people--"gays & lesbians" is your assertion. When they showed up in Wausau, Wisconsin to picket (I can't remember if it was earlier this year or last year), they offended EVERYBODY, including my husband's family, not a gay or lesbian among them. They were disgusted with the Phelps--and that's putting it mildly.

17 posted on 10/29/2003 5:29:10 AM PST by Catspaw
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To: CSM
And don't forget Phelps and Al Gore - http://cjonline.com/webindepth/phelps/stories/110400_phelpsgore.shtml
18 posted on 10/29/2003 5:31:11 AM PST by RippleFire
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To: seamole
are they an anti-gay hate group or an anti gay-hate group?
19 posted on 10/29/2003 5:32:20 AM PST by steve8714
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To: auboy
Phelps sounds like another "Reverend" who likes to stir pots.

That's the only thing he does well. From what I've read and seen about Phelps, he's barely done a lick of work in his entire life. He's a carney, a con man.

And I really would know if Phelps' "monument" really exists. Phelps is known for telling a city/place he's showing up, stirs up the place--then not showing up. It'd be consistent with him to say he's got a "granite monument" ready to be placed in Casper, when this monument never existed at all. He's just stirring up Casper and they're falling into his trap. I just can't imagine Phelps actually spending any money on anything--except himself.

20 posted on 10/29/2003 5:33:41 AM PST by Catspaw
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To: CSM
The proposed monument would say, “Matthew Shepard entered Hell, October 12, 1998.”

Geez. How'd you like this Phelps person living in your neighborhood?

BTW, do we even need to excerpt NBC articles?

21 posted on 10/29/2003 5:34:22 AM PST by Prodigal Son
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To: steve8714
They're definitely a "We hate every-f-ing-body but us" group.
22 posted on 10/29/2003 5:34:24 AM PST by Poohbah ("Would you mind not shooting at the thermonuclear weapons?" -- Major Vic Deakins, USAF)
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To: Catspaw
They advertise themselves as an anti-gay group

THEY advertise themselves as such, or the media?

23 posted on 10/29/2003 5:39:08 AM PST by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I will defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: Prodigal Son
"Geez. How'd you like this Phelps person living in your neighborhood?

BTW, do we even need to excerpt NBC articles?"

I would like to think your first question is rhetorical, not requireing an answer from me. However, just in case: "No, I would not like him living in my neighborhood and I am not supportive of this dolt!"

To the second question: MSNBC. When I went to post, I received the "must excerpt" warning and I tried to correct the post. It didn't work.
24 posted on 10/29/2003 5:42:20 AM PST by CSM (Shame on me for attacking an unarmed person, a smoke gnatzie!)
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To: Sloth
I don't think so... I've never heard of them picketing adulterers

Probably because there's no adultering case out there that has media backing to the extent of the Shepard caes. My point is that by the media calling them an anti-gay group, which they obviously are, they get a specific group enraged.

They are more than an anti-gay group, do you really think there views, which I choose to call hate, are limited solely to gays? If NOT,then WHY are they simply/only called an anti-gay group?

25 posted on 10/29/2003 5:43:42 AM PST by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I will defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: CSM
anti-gay hate group

I like how the article gently equates anti-gay with hate.

26 posted on 10/29/2003 5:44:15 AM PST by meyer
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To: Catspaw
And, trust me--they don't just offend a specific group of people--"gays & lesbians" is your assertion.

Cat, I didn't say they JUST offended a specific group. What I was trying to get across was that by the media calling them an anti-gay group, and ONLY (as far as I have seen) an anti-gay group, that in & of itself is meant to enrage, offend, etc. THAT specific group of people.

27 posted on 10/29/2003 5:46:39 AM PST by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I will defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: I still care
It's just downright mean to try to put up a monument stating a murdered person is going to hell

WHOA! Hold on there, ISC....I am with you on that 100%. I don't think my posts even mentioned that aspect of the story.

Because they call themselves, "God Hates Fags".

They don't call themselves that, it's just what their ignorant minds believe, and what their signs espouse.

28 posted on 10/29/2003 5:50:06 AM PST by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I will defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: CSM
Yeah, my bad. I keep forgetting that NBC is now MSNBC.

Yes, it was rhetorical ;-) Guy sounds like somebody I would really not like to know.

29 posted on 10/29/2003 5:50:12 AM PST by Prodigal Son
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To: Puppage
Given my husband's family's reaction to Phelps' visit--and his family is quite conservative--Phelps and his family enraged and disgusted them when the Phelps' picketed in Wausau, Wisconsin. Now Phelps may be trying to goad gay and lesbians, but he manages to trigger great loathing in heterosexuals as well.
30 posted on 10/29/2003 5:54:09 AM PST by Catspaw
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To: Puppage
THEY advertise themselves as such, or the media?

Their website is "God Hates Fags." I'm not going to put up a link, but google that, go to their website, read what they say, download a couple of their posters (in PDF format), view their signs from their pickets.

And then go over to their other website and see how they say that the sodomites are to blame for 9/11.

31 posted on 10/29/2003 5:56:56 AM PST by Catspaw
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To: CSM
“Our message is a message of God’s hate, not human hate,” said Marge Phelps, the reverend’s wife

Ahhhh... I never knew that God "Hated"... Maybe it's an Old Testament thingie... anyway... Seems to me, the more I keep wondering if Rev. Phelps is a dupe for the Left. HE seems to do more for THEIR cause, than anything...

32 posted on 10/29/2003 5:57:24 AM PST by Chad Fairbanks (The Truth is to see The Gift)
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To: Catspaw
The proposed monument would say, “Matthew Shepard entered Hell, October 12, 1998.”

Sounds like Mr. Phelps likes to be judge, jury, and wishes he could be the executioner. With his attitude and deeds, Phelps may be Judged harshly when he appears before the true Judge.

Somehow, when it comes to the Fred Phelps of the world, the words "false prophets" keeps popping in my head.

33 posted on 10/29/2003 5:57:35 AM PST by auboy (Liberals believe in free speech… theirs not yours.)
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To: CSM
Is the ACLU representing Phelps? Sounds like their kind of guy.
34 posted on 10/29/2003 5:59:33 AM PST by Semper Paratus
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To: Puppage
THEY advertise themselves as such, or the media? </>

I'm guessing it's a self-imposed title...

“Our message is a message of God’s hate, not human hate,” said Marge Phelps, the reverend’s wife

35 posted on 10/29/2003 6:00:58 AM PST by Chad Fairbanks (The Truth is to see The Gift)
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To: Catspaw
but he manages to trigger great loathing in heterosexuals as well.

I couldn't agree more.

36 posted on 10/29/2003 6:04:02 AM PST by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I will defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: I still care
Truth. A wonderful and all important principle. Your comments are TRUTH in print. Truth is so important that it is necessary to make us free. Truth is absolute. There is sufficient deception in the public realm, to fool most of the people most of the time, some of the people all the time, and even some of the people that ought to know better.
37 posted on 10/29/2003 6:09:09 AM PST by wita
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Comment #38 Removed by Moderator

To: seamole
That's kinda what I was thinking, too.
39 posted on 10/29/2003 7:20:28 AM PST by Chad Fairbanks (The Truth is to see The Gift)
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To: Puppage
I find it interesting that they call them only an anti-gay hate group. Most groups would have a name, yet no group name is ever given. If the name of that group is Westboro Baptist Church, then print it. I do not mind a particular church being labeled as a hate group, but without a group name, the story sounds as if this is a much larger anti-gay hate group than it really is.

Five years after University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard was killed, touching off a national dialogue on gay rights, the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, an anti-gay hate group wants to put up a monument to Shepard’s murder in his hometown. The city doesn’t want it, but it is caught in a legal tangle that involves, of all things, the Ten Commandments.

AT SHEPARD’S FUNERAL in his hometown of Casper, Wyo., Westboro Baptist Church members demonstrated in a park across the street, led by the Rev. Fred Phelps.

Sounds a little different doesn't it? Instead of sounding like a large hate group, it sounds like a kooky little church in Kansas. The media knows how they made it sound and they did it purposefully.

40 posted on 10/29/2003 7:48:29 AM PST by Between the Lines ("What Goes Into the Mind Comes Out in a Life")
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To: Between the Lines
Well, their official name is "God Hates Fags" or something like that, which is why the media never uses it...
41 posted on 10/29/2003 7:57:51 AM PST by Chad Fairbanks (The Truth is to see The Gift)
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To: CSM
I'm certainly not a supporter of the gay agenda, but Phelps and his crowd are idiots. They reinforce every negative stereotype about Christianity and conservatism, and they therefore do harm to all of US.
42 posted on 10/29/2003 7:58:42 AM PST by Steve_Seattle ("Above all, shake your bum at Burton.")
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To: Between the Lines
The media knows how they made it sound and they did it purposefully.

Thank You!!! THAT is EXACTLY the point I have been trying to get across.

43 posted on 10/29/2003 7:59:45 AM PST by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I will defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: Chad Fairbanks
Well, their official name is "G-d Hates Fags" or something like that, which is why the media never uses it...

"G-d Hates Fags" is only the name of their website. If you go to that site you will see that the only names they refer to themselves as are Westboro Baptist Church or WBC.

44 posted on 10/29/2003 8:10:09 AM PST by Between the Lines ("What Goes Into the Mind Comes Out in a Life")
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To: Between the Lines
Same difference, I guess.
45 posted on 10/29/2003 8:44:35 AM PST by Chad Fairbanks (The Truth is to see The Gift)
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To: CSM
Two sided question that begs to be asked. If Phelps' church is an anti-gay hate goup what are the people that make up GLADD and the radical homosexual community? Boy Scouts?

Oh no. What have I said now?
46 posted on 10/29/2003 8:53:36 AM PST by sully777
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To: CSM
Two sided question that begs to be asked. If Phelps' church is an anti-gay hate goup what are the people that make up GLADD and the radical homosexual community? Boy Scouts?

Oh no. What have I said now?
47 posted on 10/29/2003 8:53:40 AM PST by sully777
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To: Puppage
the news refers to them as an anti-gay hate
group ... could just have easily called them an anti-adultery group


GODHATESFAGS on their signs is an act of self-labeling, I'd say.
Hates groups are as hate groups do.
48 posted on 10/29/2003 2:41:51 PM PST by gcruse (http://gcruse.typepad.com/)
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To: gcruse
GODHATESFAGS on their signs is an act of self-labeling

Agreed. However, I am sure that's one of MANY signs, for any number of lifestyles, beliefs, or religons that they disagree with. It's just that THIS story is the one they choose to go after now.

49 posted on 10/29/2003 3:33:28 PM PST by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I will defend to your death my right to say it)
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