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
Westboro has never considered the logic that the US Military didn’t allow homosexuals to openly serve during World War I.
Did US soldiers die in World War I? Why, yes. It was war.
They don’t approach this as a preaching style (duh). They simply seem to feed on the sensationalism and controversy.
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.
Yeah I think we have to go to great lengths to protect free speech. It becomes dangerous for church situations.
I wonder if the solution to this (unfortunately) is to move the services inside a church or on church property. As private property, they can be removed if ask to leave by proper persons and they do not.
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.
From everything I’ve heard, the “Rev” is pretty much senile.
Could be the family(i.e., the lawyers) is taking him-—and the country-—for a ride.
Howsabout a law that limits the fine for beating the living snot out of thsese scum to a maximum of fifty cents??
Frankly, there are no important issues that Westboro is discussing, nor are the courts discussing anything meaningful here either.
The President would be well within his rights as Commander in Chief to start picking them off as well.
Sorry-—you are barking up the wrong tree.
If Snyder had prevailed in that decision, you and I know who the first targets would be of new laws to limit free speech. WE would, that’s who. “Hate speech,” “going over the line,” being “offensive,” blah blah.
We can put up with a tiny faux church to ensure greater likelihood of free speech laws.
And you can’t seriously expect OBAMA to do anything about a bunch of Democrat loyalist lawyers!
Believe it or not the Westboro Baptist Church lost their case yesterday and America won.
Has anyone noticed that the left and homo groups do not attack this “church”? The reason is they support the church’s goal. What pray tell is that goal besides hurting the families of fallen soldiers, the answer is quite simple.
If the outcome had beemn against the church then the next step would have been for the left to stop all speech it deems offensive, this includes anti-homo speech, anti-leftist speech, anti-obama speech, in other words anything the left didn’t like.
Smile people we won, they lost.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/antiabortion-website-sued-over-death-list-1046191.html ~ The courts had already staked out their position. You and I are still staked out. Westboro misled the court. They lied about the circumstances. They lied about their standing. There’s a war on. They are target people at best.
The people absolutely won...as did the Constitution.
Of course the left was mum. They know better than we what Fred Phelps’ political leanings have always been. They have seen the same pix posed with Algore that we have.
They are running a scam to make money for themselves and to smear the military and Christians on behalf of the left.
The case reminded me a lot of the KKK’s plans to march in heavily Jewish Skokie, IL in the ‘70’s. They forced the ACLU to agree with their free speech rights and the ACLU even represented the Klan. The ACLU knew that even ugly speech is protected speech.
Even ugly speech done by fake Democrat hustlers like WBC.
Now, let’s show some spunk in out own rallies. Let’s stop pulling punches. Eight Supremes say it’s OK to talk rough in public.
As far as talking rough, I'm sure Obama's rug muncher can hold her own eh. No need to get into that contest.
Can we now enter the US Supreme Court and shout “Thank God for dead liberal judges.” Is it okay for the KKK to enter a black church and chant “Thank God for dead n________!”
I bet not.
The SC blew it. Freedom of association is also a 1st amendment right. If that right is disturbed by so-called “free speech,” the right to freely associate must trump speech or we’ll get chaos and violence.
The KKK inside the church, no.
But on a public street outside whatever distance is prescribed by local law, yes.
If any of those crazy bastards noticed the decision, they might actually try it!
They've done this repeatedly.
So far no one has killed them ~ which is why they are still in business but eventually someone will kill them.
In the meantime the USSC made sure they could collect their normal fees for their street theatre.
It's mostly Christian Conservatives and Veterans who counter-protest this cult, deeply offended by their remarks and actions.
Where are the liberals and homosexual lobby in protesting Phelps?
If there was ever an issue where Christian Conservatives, Veterans, Liberals & Homosexuals could come together, this is it.
I find what this “church” is doing to be disgusting. If they want to protest, let them be allowed to do so somewhere else and leave the family have their privacy during the funeral and burial.
I dont know about senile but he sounds like a nut case.
Not even necessary: just dress in some bed-sheets and protest an NAACP meeting. Be sure to cite this ruling in your defense after being arrested.
You know, just to pick nits, I really dislike the "flag burner" title; after all the proscribed method of disposing of the flag *is* burning. I have done so myself; just remember to cut the Union (blue part) out before you burn it.
Burning is the proscribed method of disposing of the flag.
Those guys in the sheets almost invariably have been Democrats down through history (as has the modern NAACP); no self-respecting conservative would don them even as a goof.
>Those guys in the sheets almost invariably have been Democrats down through history (as has the modern NAACP); no self-respecting conservative would don them even as a goof.
So? It doesn’t address the issue I raised which is that this ruling, like virtually all of the law nowadays in America, is/will-be applied not uniformly but selectively and, arguably, on capricious & petty governmental whim.
“like virtually all of the law nowadays in America, is/will-be applied not uniformly but selectively and, arguably, on capricious & petty governmental whim.”
Sure it is. I just take umbrage when anybody tries to suggest that the KKK in anyway relates to conservatives.
I’d rather prove your point by poking Richard Trumka in the snoot, actually.
>>like virtually all of the law nowadays in America, is/will-be applied not uniformly but selectively and, arguably, on capricious & petty governmental whim.
>Sure it is. I just take umbrage when anybody tries to suggest that the KKK in anyway relates to conservatives.
Ah, then it was just an innocent/honest misunderstanding.
>Id rather prove your point by poking Richard Trumka in the snoot, actually.
I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t be covered under ‘free speech’ but would be considered assault.
The illustration I used is better in that it isolates the entirety of the issue the USSC ruled on in such a way so as to make violations of said ruling patently obvious.
My personal exerience with unions as a foreman were that assault and property damage were par for the course for them. Their idea of “self-expression.” I was actually told that by a NLRB investigator. So, I already know what taking a swing at Trumka would bring about: the full double standard brought into play juat as in any other beef between left and right or labor and management.
I recall some examples of lefty rough stuff coming out of Wisconsin. Even a vulgar death threat. I didn’t see anybody being arrested or even questioned by the authorities, did you?
Isn’t Trumka actually a crypto-KKK guy anyway?
Beats me but I’d say that he does match the typical description of a Kluxer: overweight, overbearing, and obnoxious.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.