Skip to comments.Free speech for fruitcakes
Posted on 03/03/2011 3:11:02 AM PST by Scanian
When it comes to repugnant, it's hard to beat the reptiles of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan.
But in America, repugnance is no barrier to the conversation, a point affirmed yesterday by the US Supreme Court in a big win for First Amendment rights.
The high court sided 8-1 with Westboro and its right to picket funerals of slain military personnel.
The church preaches that combat deaths are God's punishment for America's tolerant views on homosexual rights -- and members picket funerals bearing signs that read "God Hates Fags" and "Thank God for Dead Soldiers."
When Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder was killed in 2006, the road show rolled into his Maryland hometown to pull the same stunt. An understandably furious Albert Snyder, the Marine's father, sued for defamation, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of distress.
After winning a jury verdict in a Maryland court, Snyder lost on appeal.
In upholding that ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts noted that the Westboro group had a right to disgrace itself: "Debate on public issues should be robust, uninhibited and wide-open [and] . . . speech on public issues occupies the highest rung of the hierarchy of First Amendment values."
There's no small irony in the fact that Cpl. Snyder gave his life in service of the First Amendment -- honoring the oath he took to uphold the US Constitution.
(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...
If encountering a fruitcake, keep in mind all it needs is some hot cognac poured over then to be served flambe’. All this is, naturally, the chef’s freedom of speech. /sardonic
Of course they are lying provocateurs and dirtbags-—no doubt.
But the only arguments I’ve heard against them consist of pure FEELINGS and EMOTION APPEALS.
The law was applied very impartially in the Snyder case and that is the only way to fly in American courts.
Repugnance over Westboro or sympathy for the Snyders should not and did not carry the day.
Did you hear Megyn Kelly debate O’Reilly on this last night? She was all about the LAW...O was being a touchy-feely blowhard, revealing himself as the phony liberal he has always been.
So disrupting military funerals is free speech. How about people that heckle Obama during his assemblies? Why do they get dragged away? Free speech only for the Democrat Westboro Baptist Church.
A church that consists mainly of one family. I wonder where they get their funding.
How many States still have fighting words as a mitigating factor in a physical assault?
One thing that makes me angry is people describing this as a “church”.
It’s not a church. It’s a cult.
They aren’t even conservative. They are democrats.
I posted this on my other thread on this:
“The rumor is the church consists largely of lawyers who cruise around the country in a van to show their asses at military funerals and gay events in the hope that their provocations will inspire physical attack so they can sue the attacker and the local jurisdiction where it ocurred.
I havent seen any documentation but the talk is that they have received some substantial settlement money.
Westboro may have started as a Baptist church in the 50s but it has degenerated into nothing more than a corrupt family enterprise.”
Like Islam, the idea of being a religious entity just covers a well oiled political and legal machine. They sue people repeatedly over small things. They are all lawyers, but I think they've all been disbarred over the hell they've put people through.
That doesn't stop them from repeatedly suing people, though.
They are filthy liars, yes.
But even filthy, lying, Algore supporters have a right to free speech, even if it is of the worst kind.
Otherwise, tea partiers could be shut down for imagined “hate speech” simply on the say-so of, for instance, “witnesses” Nancy Pelosi and the CBC who lyingly alleged “racism” and “spitting” outside the Capitol.
If we have to err, it’s better to do it on the side of freedom.
(Clearly, slander, incitement to riot, etc. are NOT protected but that was not at issue in the Snyder case.)
Heard on Bill Bennetts’ Morning in America today a good woman who was “trying to get her head wrapped around it” Our Military now is subject to this ‘diversity’ training (and I add are told they will accept sodomy within the ranks as ok)
yet thanks to the supreme Court those who must embrace our reprobate Commander in Chiefs perverted will must now hear the dementia from the Westboro bunch. ( That stinks) Will the Westboro bunch ever do their thang at a funeral for a supreme Court justice? NO! will they ever do their protest outside the US Capitol? NO! those protected politicians-those who live in gated communities and who never leave Sodom without a body guard always take such care that such CRAP is dumped uponthe rest of us.
And all the time hiding behind religion.
I agree with the decision although I find those cretins to be appalling. That being said, fight fire with fire! As we saw before they don’t take well to “accidents”. I can think of several ways to exercise my right to free speech to counter them.
I know conservatives are serious people and refuse to show their asses during protests like the WI union goons or Westboro non-Baptist but I would love to see some rightist group get a little funky just to find out if what is good for the goose is also good for the gander.
I mean, organize a round-clock counter-protest and make their lives hell just as they have the families of our fallen soldiers.
Actually, I always err on the side of free speech. Always. (I am one of the few that say you should be able to burn the flag).
But I think this cult makes their money off lawsuit abuse. Now it seems to me that should be reined in somehow. Remember the laundry in DC that were sued for millions because they lost someone’s pants? That’s the kind of thing they do.
A few months ago, A FReeper (sorry, I can’t recall which one) actually paid a visit to Westboro in Topeka and he reported that there IS an actual church there which offers only an 11am Sunday service.
I asked him if they had a “Visitors Welcome” sign up. At that time, they did not.
It would be good for another law suit by the church, but I would like to see the reverend get a sound beating.
The states are establishing rules for protests at funerals which did not exist at the time of the Snyder demonstration.
Maryland now has a law keeping such trash at least 1000 feet away from the funeral. That wasn’t the case five years ago.