Westboro Baptist slime in Salem NH for soldier funeral...go get'em


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Manedwolf
October 16, 2006, 11:59 AM
http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=Extremist+church+members+to+picket+NH+soldier%27s+funeral&articleId=08061426-47c6-45d0-940e-a55826878d10

Anyone able to attend, please help shield Cpl. Nicholas Arvanitis's family from these pieces of human trash...Just stand and block their view, best way. The Patriot Guard Riders will be there, thankfully, to drown out their noise.

Extremist church members to picket NH soldier's funeral

By CAROL ROBIDOUX
Union Leader Staff
11 hours, 45 minutes ago

A faction from a Kansas-based extremist group say they plan to picket the funeral of a Salem soldier killed last week in Iraq.

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church, Topeka, Kan., announced yesterday they will picket the funeral of Army Cpl. Nicholas Arvanitis, scheduled for tomorrow at St. Joseph Church in Salem.

Arvanitis, 22, a member of the Army's Army's 82nd Airborne Division, was killed Oct. 6 while on patrol with special forces.

Westboro Baptist Church has gained notoriety for its extremist public statements in which they criticize those who are fighting in the war and making claims that God is avenging them by killing Americans with Muslim-made weapons.

In response, a local chapter of a national motorcycle honor guard, the Patriot Guard Riders, also plan to attend the funeral, and do what they can to shield Arvanitis' family from the protesters, said group spokesman Quinn Golden.

"I had not heard they were going to be there, but I've been monitoring their Web site," Golden said. "We have been invited by the family to attend the funeral, and we'll be there to show our support for them, and for the town of Salem."

He said to his knowledge it would be the first time members of the Kansas church have attended a New Hampshire soldier's funeral.

"There's no way to explain why they do what they do. They're just a hate group."

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mike101
October 16, 2006, 02:07 PM
I'm thoroughly convinced that these Westboro creeps are in this for the money. They are all lawyers. What does that tell you? They get funding from somewhere. They can afford to jump on planes and get themselves anywhere in the country on very short notice. Very suspicious for a religious group.

When these cockroaches threatened to picket the funerals of the Amish girls who were murdered, the PA State Police (God bless 'em) blocked every road into town on the day of the funeral. Maybe someone
should call the NH Staties, and see if they can't do the same thing.

Now, I don't want to hear a bunch of crap about their constitutional right to spew their vile garbage. People have at least an equal right to conduct a funeral in peace.:cuss: :cuss: :cuss:

Dravur
October 16, 2006, 02:19 PM
wonderring the same thing.... where do these whack-a-moles get their cash? I am pretty sure that I cannot afford to jump on a plane to every funeral. I would be very interested in knowing who is the cash backer of these do-doo heads.

My guess is George Soros. Just because....

Axman
October 16, 2006, 02:19 PM
I have little respect for those types of human beings. It's bad enough the family has to go through a funeral, but to have to put up with this kind of disrespect...:mad:

mike101
October 16, 2006, 02:49 PM
I suspect they get contributions from every nutjob in the country who can afford to send them a buck.

As most people know by now, they are all lawyers. That's really unusual for a so-called "Religious" group. They get some of their funding from lawsuits against anyone who tries to get in their way. However, I'd bet the ranch that they get most of their funding by exploiting the real loonies out there.

When you think about it, that's pretty slick. All you need is a little legal education, some nerve, and a total lack of conscience or morals.

There was a report about them on The O'Reilly Factor, when thay were going to picket the funerals of the little Amish girls. They were planning on carrying signs that read "Your Daughters Are Whores", and "Your Daughters Are Burning In Hell". Can you even imagine such a thing, especially when it's directed at Amish children?

I don't have sufficient words to describe the utter hatred I feel for these people. I can only hope they come to my neck of the woods, someday. :evil:

Ezekiel
October 16, 2006, 03:14 PM
Merely as a point of interest, I find it inherently hypocritical that many folks here get all riled up about some Constitutional rights and not others.

2nd Amendment? We hear all that "cold, dead hands" propoganda. 1st Amendment? "Go, get'em."

Can't have it both ways, fellas. :banghead:

I say, let them picket whatever they want, ignore them, and live your life as you please. That's Democracy, baby! :rolleyes:

NineseveN
October 16, 2006, 03:20 PM
When these cockroaches threatened to picket the funerals of the Amish girls who were murdered, the PA State Police (God bless 'em) blocked every road into town on the day of the funeral.

I'd heard a little about this and though I was not surprised at all by it, I was certainly impressed.

Aggie's Revenge
October 16, 2006, 03:25 PM
Ezekiel I understand what you are saying, but those asshats crossed a line a long time ago with me. Back in the mid 90's before most people had even heard about Westboro, they happened to send my sister a death threat letter because she was doing work for GBLT groups at a univserity. I was in the Marines then and she didn't tell me this till much later. Probably a good thing as it kept me from going to prison for sure.

That line has still been crossed and I hope everyday for the hammer of justice to squash those loonies like dropping an anvil on a spider,

NineseveN
October 16, 2006, 03:29 PM
Well yes, they can say whatever they like, and we're free to criticize them as well and generally get in their way. We're not aksing for it to be made illegal to do what they do, only that if they're going to do it, we're going to get in their way. There is no competition with freedom there.

Carl N. Brown
October 16, 2006, 03:31 PM
If the Westboro crazies have a funeral, I will
stay away, and pray that God has mercy on
their benighted soul.

Alex45ACP
October 16, 2006, 03:32 PM
+1 Ezekiel.

real_name
October 16, 2006, 03:38 PM
As to where the money comes from.

Lawsuits:

One of Westboro's followers estimated that the church spends $250,000 a year travelling around the world to picket. In the 1990s the church won a series of lawsuits against the City of Topeka and Shawnee County for efforts taken to prevent or hinder WBC picketing. As a result, the church was awarded approximately $200,000 in attorney's fees and costs associated with the litigation. Otherwise, all of the church's money comes from the combined income of its congregants and money won in lawsuits against their opponents.

Tax Avoidance:

The homes share a communal backyard, in the center of which once sat an Olympic size swimming pool; Phelps Sr. previously obtained tax exemption on the cost of maintenance and water by performing baptisms there and writing it off as a baptismal font. Sometime after 2000, the pool was filled in. No official reason has been given, but two theories have developed. One theory states that, according to Topeka residents, sometime around 2000 one of Phelps Sr.'s grandchildren nearly drowned in the pool and thus it was removed for safety reasons. The other theory holds that the pool was filled in because Westboro lost, or was about to lose, its tax exemption status on it.

The compound also includes a garage separate from the houses, which is used to store an extended cab/extended bed Ford F-150 pickup truck [citation needed] used to transport Westboro's picketers around Topeka and elsewhere. It can seat between seven and ten people and carries dozens of picket signs in the back; until recently, the truck was painted neon colors to resemble one of Westboro's picket signs and was emblazoned with Westboro's well-known phrase "God Hates Fags" (in recent years it was either repainted to resemble a standard factory paint job, or a new Ford was obtained). Until 2000, Phelps Sr. had written off the cost of maintaining the garage and the vehicle's fuel costs as church expenses; that year the IRS ruled that Phelps Sr. was using the truck for political and personal purposes, not religious, and revoked the tax exemption on the truck and garage.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westboro_Baptist_Church

Axman
October 16, 2006, 03:46 PM
They can have all the first amendment rights they want. It's this line that they need to follow, "the right of the people peaceably to assemble" that they need to follow. They are not following this when they are screaming and ranting in the background, and carrying signs that contain malicious words.

CornCod
October 16, 2006, 04:04 PM
(1) Making a mockery of someone's funeral is very rude. I would never do such a thing, even to the ceremony of my worst enemy. It is morally wrong. Even a soldier that engages in imperialism by invading Iraq deserves not to be mocked at his funeral.

(2) Americans have a right to protest and picket anything they like, even with unpleasant words and noisy yelling. Most of the people that run the US think 2nd Admendment advocates are mentally ill and would be more than happy to get rid of our free speech rights and the right to assemble.

(3) Threats of harm are another thing entirely.

mike101
October 16, 2006, 05:06 PM
Yes, Mike Gallagher did give them air time. And yes, the PA State Police did block every road into town that day. It was on the local news in the Philadelphia area. I saw it, because that is where I live. The place was lousy with State Police. Know of whence you speak.

These people have the right to do whatever they want, but they do not have the right to do it right on top of the funeral. They could be charged with inciting a riot, or disturbing the peace, for example. It's not a violation of their rights for the police to keep them a decent distance from the funeral.

I'm so sick of hearing people mouth off about Westboro's rights, without any regard for the rights of the mourners to conduct a funeral in peace. Get real.:fire:

carnaby
October 16, 2006, 05:19 PM
Who will protest at their funeral when a distraught father can't take it and goes rambo on the idiots? There's irony in there somewhere.

gunsmith
October 16, 2006, 05:20 PM
A San Francisco crackhead was bothering tourist for money near my security guard post when I was working in SF.
I ran him off and he got the cops on me , they informed me "he has free speech"
and I "can't make him leave"...

I fumed for about an hour when it occured to me I have free speech too, I simply asked folks not to give him money (they were happy to oblige me)

He got the cop who came up kind of angrily and asked me what was my problem
apparently misinformed that I was making the crackhead leave (I was an Armed security guard) I told the cop that I wasn't saying anything to the crackhead just excercising my free speech by asking people not to give him money, no different really then him asking for money , is it?...the cop smiled and shrugged "free country,eh? have a good one"

I don't think a brawl with these goons is a violation of free speech, only if it is the state beating them up is it a free speech violation.
If I beat them up it's battery, the right jury might not even find you guilty.

Oleg Volk
October 16, 2006, 05:23 PM
Aren't funerals private events. If so, what keeps these folks from being asked to leave and arrested for trespassing if they do not?

scurtis_34471
October 16, 2006, 05:33 PM
And I resent the implication that any place was made lousy by the presence of Peace Officers.

Though I have to admit I've met a few lousy Peace Officers. :D

3fgburner
October 16, 2006, 05:42 PM
... in this case, their right to be total @$$holes. HOWEVER -- I will also exercise MY right to park my fat, black-clad butt and a flag between them, and people they want to disturb.

The Aussie TV reporter trying to grab Phelps, Jr's, goolies is still, IMO, one of the funniest videos on YouTube.

Aggie's Revenge
October 16, 2006, 05:45 PM
3fgburner

Let me know when your flag wears out. We will take up a collection and buy you a bigger one.

Semper Fi.

Dionysusigma
October 16, 2006, 05:55 PM
Ezekiel: Merely as a point of interest, I find it inherently hypocritical that many folks here get all riled up about some Constitutional rights and not others.

2nd Amendment? We hear all that "cold, dead hands" propoganda. 1st Amendment? "Go, get'em."

Can't have it both ways, fellas. :banghead:

I say, let them picket whatever they want, ignore them, and live your life as you please. That's Democracy, baby! :rolleyes:
A church of 26 members.

A country of 270 million.

True Democracy would've had them dead long ago... not the farcical excuse of "Democracy" we have where the minority rules. :mad:

Eleven Mike
October 16, 2006, 06:12 PM
Correct. A true democracy wouldn't have a bill of rights to protect the minority. However, no minority has a right to picket a funeral when there are plenty of other places they can demonstrate. Defending the alleged right to picket a funeral isn't broad-mindedness; it's just foolishness.

These people have the right to do whatever they want, but they do not have the right to do it right on top of the funeral. They could be charged with inciting a riot, or disturbing the peace, for example. It's not a violation of their rights for the police to keep them a decent distance from the funeral. I'm so sick of hearing people mouth off about Westboro's rights, without any regard for the rights of the mourners to conduct a funeral in peace.

mike101
October 16, 2006, 06:41 PM
And, you are absolutely right. So is ElevenMike.

Medula Oblongata- The term "lousy", means that there were a lot of State Police there. Don't pretend to be an idiot.

Also, I don't see any mis-application of the law here. Their purpose IS to disturb the peace. Why else do you think they would do what they do? They are trying to get more publicity. If they do, they can attract contributions from more sickos.

You really have no clue.:neener:

Eleven Mike
October 16, 2006, 07:25 PM
mikeburk, I'm glad you agree. I don't think there's much "sicko-contribution" going on, though.

Previously posted; Wikipedia:
One of Westboro's followers estimated that the church spends $250,000 a year travelling around the world to picket. In the 1990s the church won a series of lawsuits against the City of Topeka and Shawnee County for efforts taken to prevent or hinder WBC picketing. As a result, the church was awarded approximately $200,000 in attorney's fees and costs associated with the litigation. Otherwise, all of the church's money comes from the combined income of its congregants and money won in lawsuits against their opponents.

Ezekiel
October 16, 2006, 07:25 PM
Aren't funerals private events?

Not on public land. A Federal cemetary, or one in any part supported by the State, allows "peaceful assembly" ANYWHERE, including right on top of the "event."

No touching = legal. :uhoh:

Trying to move the protesters means you have committed a crime.

And, then, they can pay $$$ for their next "event." :banghead:

Democracy means "let them protest," and IGNORE THEM. :p

Eleven Mike
October 16, 2006, 07:29 PM
It's already been pointed out that the Phelpsies aren't peaceful. Can I hold massive bondage orgies in public cemeteries, as long as I wrap myself in the flag of dissent? Can I butcher livestock there?

If I move the protestors, get sued and have to pay them money, it is the system that is at fault, and not I.

Stevie-Ray
October 16, 2006, 07:59 PM
Defending the alleged right to picket a funeral isn't broad-mindedness; it's just foolishness.Well said. And being so rigid in your beliefs, without semblance of compassionate compromise, makes you appear at the same level of idiocy as the picketers.

mike101
October 16, 2006, 08:03 PM
From what I can gather, they generally picket the churches, not the cemetaries.

I am also not sure that anyone has the right to demonstrate wherever they please. Here in Philadelphia, where your Constitution was written, I'm pretty sure you need a permit to demonstrate. Such was the case when the Republicans held their national convention here, anyway. They were demonstrating on Independance Mall, which is a National Park (Federal Land). This is not to say that people don't occasionally stage impromptu demonstrations, without a permit. That happens too, sometimes.

real_name
October 16, 2006, 08:33 PM
http://paulashouseoftoast.blogspot.com/athumbs.jpg

http://www.andykehoe.com/assets/news%20items/fred-phelps.jpg

http://stream.paranode.com/imc/portland/images/2005/09/326080.jpg

Hey, we can protest them back can't we?

p35
October 16, 2006, 08:33 PM
I get the impression that they ANNOUNCE they are going to picket for the shock effect, and don't always show up to actually do it.

They run a law firm that apparently funds most of their activities. See http://www.phelpschartered.com/home.htm . (notice that their Latin is so bad they mistranslated their family crest. Should be "truth without fear". Latin's a little too much for the inbred.) I don't know who the clients are, but any business that uses their services could probably be persuaded to go elsewhere.

My favorite picture of Fred:
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=37870&d=1143923954

mike101
October 16, 2006, 08:34 PM
Just another thought. In these instances, the loved ones of the deceased are peacefully assembled to conduct a funeral. The Westies are assembled, non- peacefully, to disrupt that funeral, and create as much disturbance as they can.

So, who is violating who's rights here?

River Wraith
October 16, 2006, 08:38 PM
Maybe some concerned citizens can show up and...oh...I don't know...beat the hell out of them?

DerringerUser
October 16, 2006, 08:40 PM
Religious wackjobs make me angry, really angry :fire:.

The right side of me says to do anything possible to make sure these creeps dont get anywhere near the funeral. The ACLU side of me says "well, it is their first amendmant right". I do agree with the first amendmant, but religious wackjobs protesting the death of an Iraqi soldier crosses the line.

Everybody bring Kevlars, military clothes, paintball guns, and plenty of paintballs :p.


Hey, we can protest them back can't we?

YES!! Finally a good idea thats effective, but legal. Thanks.

gezzer
October 16, 2006, 08:48 PM
They should stay in Kansas with their apologist Ezekiel .

They should also rot in hell the bastards.

Tokugawa
October 16, 2006, 09:28 PM
Well we sure like to bicker about free speech, hey? I will say one thing here.
In my fathers and grandfathers time, these scum would have had the snot beat out of them This is not about politics, or religion or free speech. This is just plain and simple Bad Manners.

Kowboy
October 16, 2006, 09:41 PM
All:

I don't know why so many here get their panties in a bunch over Fred Phelps. Phelps is just the next logical step of Falwell, Dobeson and the rest of the religious right.

Remember after 9/11 when Jerry and company told us the attack was from Gays and abortionists? Why is Phelps any crazier than that?

Kowboy

noogaguns
October 16, 2006, 09:46 PM
They came to Chattanooga to protest a fallen soldier's funeral who lived just up the road in Cleveland TN 20 min. away, word got out on the radio and tv and so many people showed up to line the streets in Cleveland they had no chance to get close, then as the procession made it's way down the interstate to Chattanoga people were on the overpasses displaying banners in support of the family, when the procession got to the national cemetary in downtown Chattanooga the protesters were nowhere in sight, come to find out the members of westboro got to the airport and the taxis and buses etc. either didn't stop for them or just plain refused to pick them up. kinda held a little protest of their own!:D

Bruce H
October 16, 2006, 09:58 PM
You can speak all you want. If you get your teeth kicked out maybe you should listen to what you are saying.

akman47
October 16, 2006, 10:07 PM
Here's one of the good guys...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJ2QY_1sXCI

pete f
October 16, 2006, 10:10 PM
I just wish they would drop the Baptist part of their name. They are not related to my Religious affiliation that stresses Christ-like love.

Send 'em home.

DirtyBrad
October 16, 2006, 10:26 PM
It's a real shame when the antis use emotion to argue against the Bill of Rights.

"This is not about politics, or religion or the right to keep and bear arms. This is just plain and simple Protecting the Children."

I really feel for the families of the deceased soldiers and admire the motorcycle riders who block these idiotic and cruel "protests". Not surprising these fools were easy to outsmart.

River Wraith
October 16, 2006, 10:32 PM
Phelps can't be a Christian when what he preaches is nothing less than hate.

p35
October 16, 2006, 10:50 PM
MO you beat me to it, but that's one funny clip! There's no reasoning with these knuckleheads, so you might as well make fun of them. I love the way he runs & hides behind his loudmouth daughter/niece (hard to tell with all the inbreeding).

As I get older, I've learned that you can't trust anyone who claims they have a direct connection to THE TRUTH, whether it involves religion, UFOs, or multilevel marketing.

sevesteen
October 17, 2006, 12:10 AM
I don't support the Iraq war, but with very few exceptions, our servicemen are doing their jobs with honor. If the Westboro slime are demonstrating at a funeral, and my presence is both feasable and desired by the family, I'm more than willing to show my support for the servicemen.

trashpickinman
October 17, 2006, 01:20 AM
I may not agree with what the WBC has to say, and unfortunately I live in the same state as them, but they do have the right of the 1st amendment backing them up. I really hate their messages of intolerance, it make me very angry to listen to them, but as I've always said "I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it." I think they (the WBC) are missing the fact that the very people they are protesting, are the same people that protect their right to say the things they say. I have the utmost respect for the soldiers fighting and dying for our country. But on the same hand I can't take away someone elses right just because I don't believe what they say. As long as they aren't doing anything technically illegal, there is not much else we can do besides trying to minimize the distractions towards funerals of soldiers and other events.

Eleven Mike
October 17, 2006, 01:55 AM
they do have the right of the 1st amendment backing them up. I really hate their messages of intolerance, it make me very angry to listen to them, but as I've always said "I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."
Agreed. But the First Amendment does not protect any mythical right to disrupt funerals.


I don't know why so many here get their panties in a bunch over Fred Phelps. Phelps is just the next logical step of Falwell, Dobeson and the rest of the religious right.

Remember after 9/11 when Jerry and company told us the attack was from Gays and abortionists? Why is Phelps any crazier than that?I can see that you are not really familiar with any of the parties you're talking about. Are you aware that Focus on the Family has been picketed by Phelps, who considers them "fag-lovers"? If you'd like to see where Phelps differs from actual Christians, go to his websites and see what Wikipedia has to say about their doctrine. Well, nevermind. You don't appear to know enough about Christianity to tell the difference.

bclark1
October 17, 2006, 02:10 AM
rights are inalienable when they do not harm the innocent or trample preferred public policy. the second amendment protects the rights of law abiding citizens to keep and bear arms, is highly restricted, and widely accepted as a right that one can remove themselves from keeping through a wide variety of antisocial behavior. the first amendment ought have equal checks and balances, as it's been acknowledged since antiquity that the pen is mightier than the sword, and that causing anxiety, fear or other forms of mental anguish is an actionable offense. this should not be protected speech. and while i laud PA's men in blue for blocking the group, perhaps allowing them to protest something where peoples' views are not as polarized as with the war would have been a wakeup call to the reality that we ought have no constitutional duty to allow, let alone protect, this kind of behavior. is it clean, speaking in terms of technicalities? no. but the notion that protecting hate-speech is a necessary component of the first amendment is equally shaky, and i think reason would win out if someone bothered to put up a serious opposition the longstanding injustice of wasting resources to protect people like westboro.

mike101
October 17, 2006, 09:08 AM
Amen.

I clicked on the link provided by P35 and found their law firm's website. It cracks me up the way this nut pats himself on the back for being some kind of champion of civil rights. I guess civil rights only apply if you are not gay, a soldier, or someone who dares to speak out against them. Check it out.

Now, Ezekiel, who's a hypocrite ????

Eleven Mike
October 17, 2006, 09:40 AM
Apparently, Phelps was an honest-to-goodness civil rights lawyer at one point in time.

Ezekiel
October 17, 2006, 09:41 AM
They should stay in Kansas with their apologist Ezekiel .

Wow. That is an interesting take on things. Where should I begin?

Oh wait, there's more!

Now, Ezekiel, who's a hypocrite ????

Ubelievable.

[sigh] Recall how I indicated that the truest sense of Democracy is to ignore the loonies -- regardless of how backward, inept, egregious, threatened or imbecilic their theories may be -- and go on about your life?

I exercise such rights now. :evil:

-------------------------------

PS: Merely as a note for you Geography Majors, the vast majority of Kansas City, to include the airports, sports stadiums and major industry, resides in Missouri, not Kansas.

cyco668
October 17, 2006, 09:56 AM
"...go to his websites and see what Wikipedia has to say about their doctrine"
I did just that. I'm glad to see Bush passed the The Respect for America's Fallen Heroes Act and that at least 17 states have or are considering bans for protesting at funerals. I liked this too : "Michael Moore organized a humourous counterprotest to the church for his TV Show The Awful Truth. He followed Phelps around the country in "the Sodomobile," a pink bus filled with homosexuals"

Phelps and his "church" are Christian. His doctrine comes straight from the same book as Baptist, Methodist, and Jehova's Witness. He backs up his beliefs with passages straight from the Bible. Don't forget, God advocated genocide-men, women, child, and infant. If anyone is offended by what I just wrote, think about how Muslims feel. Over a billion Muslims are decent everday people, but a few extremist tarnish their image and the masses suffer. Christian exremist like Phelps are just as bad.

What can be done to stop him? He has rights, but so do the families of the fallen soldiers. You can't shut him down just because you don't like him. A counter protest may disrupt the funeral even further, causing more grief to the family. If it's called a "hate-crime", all he has to do is change the signs to "God Loves Fag-Haters". Someone has to come up with some pretty creative ideas to legally stop him. I liked this one: "The church recently avoided a funeral in McDonald County, Missouri due to a recently enacted law. Juvenile court authorities stated that using their children in their protests (as they often do) constituted child endangerment and the children could be put into foster homes." Can any of us come up with something like that?

p35
October 17, 2006, 10:13 AM
One other comment about their website: it says that Fred "retired" in 1986. Actually, he was "retired" by the Kansas Supreme Court- the correct statement is "disbarred for dishonesty and filing frivolous lawsuits"- in 1979. STATE v. PHELPS, 226 Kan. 371, 598 P.2d 180. Only a group out of touch with reality would try to hold him up as some sort of hero.

mike101
October 17, 2006, 10:15 AM
People don't like being called hypocrites, especially when the Whack-Job you are defending is a HUGE hypocrite. Did you bother checking out his law firms website?

As for the rest of your little rant, stick it in your ear :neener:

I don't believe that when the framers of the Constitution wrote the 1st Ammendment, they could have possibly immagined anything like Westboro. Back then, they probably didn't find it necessary to account for a complete lack of human decency.

Why don't you hop their fence and join them. :evil:

STAGE 2
October 17, 2006, 10:20 AM
The first amemdment protects speech. What it does not do is give a limitless right to speak when and where you want to. There are countless decisions that regulate the time and place of speech, and there is nothing in the 1st amendment protecting these people from harrassing funeral attendees.

Its just that simple. They can peddle their bile on any random street corner and are protected. They simply can't do it in a situation where it is likely to incite violence or intentionally harass others.

1911 guy
October 17, 2006, 10:43 AM
But keep in mind we all have the right to do a lot of things that we don't do because we have a little class and common decency. wbc lacks those. While I may agree that he has the right, I still think it's morally and ethically wrong to do so.

I have the right to flip off my boss. I don't because it's not right.
I have the right to frighten small children. See above comment.
I have the right to be rude to everyone I meet. See above comment.
I have the right to call the phelps crowd a bunch of inbred, cowardly, publicity seeking, good for nothing, worth less than the powder and lead to blow their brains out, assinine, loudmouthed, bigoted, hatemongering, gonna burn in Hell, anti-American, dumber than a bag of hammers, crooked, thieving, slandering, disrespectful assbags. And I will.

Aggie's Revenge
October 17, 2006, 10:46 AM
Amen 1911 Guy

Ezekiel
October 17, 2006, 10:54 AM
I don't believe that when the framers of the Constitution wrote the 1st Ammendment, they could have possibly immagined anything like Westboro.

I don't believe that when the framers of the Constitution wrote the 2nd Ammendment, they could have possibly imagined anything like semi-automatic weapons.

See the analogy?

Still hypocritical.

People don't like being called hypocrites

Then cease to act as one. :uhoh:

Why don't you hop their fence and join them?

Because my views would, then, be as foreign to me as yours are.

Hey, I'm not saying you're a bad guy -- or Phelps a good one -- but this isn't about what I think of higher order mammals. This is, quite simply, about the inherent hypocrisy in defending only those Amendments that make you feel warm and fuzzy. Personal opinion of the inherent humanity of Phelps and his ilk mean nothing to the argument.

You cannot have it both ways. :banghead:

Ezekiel
October 17, 2006, 10:56 AM
But keep in mind we all have the right to do a lot of things that we don't do because we have a little class and common decency.

But it's not required, so the argument is meaningless. :(

mike101
October 17, 2006, 11:06 AM
No, I don't see the analogy. We have semi-automatic weapons because of technological advancements. I'm sure the framers didn't think we would always be stuffing lead balls down the muzzle of a gun.

I'm also sure the framers didn't think society would degrade to the point where people used the First Ammendment as a liscense to behave in such an anti-social, base, indecent manner, and people just sat around and let them.

The only hypocrite I've seen in this thread, so far, is your buddy Phelps.

Lonestar
October 17, 2006, 11:07 AM
Can someone tell me why there goofballs picket soilders funerals. Do they know as baptist they would be beheaded as no-muslims if they were in Iraq or Afghanistan. They protested a funeral in Delaware almost a year ago and they were screaming something about our soliders are dying because of homosexuals in america??? I just don't get it, why do families of fallen soilders need this BS.

real_name
October 17, 2006, 11:09 AM
There's always someone willing to play devil's advocate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devil%27s_advocate) and in doing so enrage the majority into saying things that get threads locked down.

This could've been a far better discussion if we had all agreed. /winks.

Ezekiel
October 17, 2006, 11:15 AM
The only hypocrite I've seen in this thread, so far, is your buddy Phelps.

He's not my buddy, nor is such relevant.

The analogy on the Amendments is quite simple: if we say, as a nation, that we are willing to accept interpretation based upon what the Founding Fathers may have been able to anticipate, be prepared to accept such across the board.

For example, many early colonial types were here precisely because their religious beliefs were hampered in a tyrannical manner. I found it much MORE likely they could envision a Phelps-esque dilemma related to speech as opposed to generations of advancement in firearms enabling prepubescents to take down schools.

If you staunchly defend the 2nd Amendment, while consciously trying to curtail the 1st Amendment, you're a hypocrite: it doesn't matter who is shouting or shooting...

This isn't difficult. :fire:

strambo
October 17, 2006, 11:20 AM
The first amemdment protects speech. What it does not do is give a limitless right to speak when and where you want to. There are countless decisions that regulate the time and place of speech, and there is nothing in the 1st amendment protecting these people from harrassing funeral attendees.

Its just that simple. They can peddle their bile on any random street corner and are protected. They simply can't do it in a situation where it is likely to incite violence or intentionally harass others.+1 Stage 2
I agree that they should not be shut up or shut down by the government as they have 1st Amendment rights. However, nobody has the right to infringe on the rights of others. Where does their rights end and the right of the families to peaceably assemble begin? I notice the apologists did not address Stage 2's post.

Charging them with harassment and disturbing the peace (harassing and disturbing the rights of others) is not a mis-application of those laws, it is what they are for. They could go to the public cemetery before or after the funeral, make their protest and not infringe on the rights of the families or disturb the peace. The problem is this wouldn't meet their goals of trying to incite violence and disturb others. 2 things NOT protected by any amendment. Any demonstrating at a private church or cemetery is not protected by any law.

mike101
October 17, 2006, 11:32 AM
No, it isn't difficult. I'm surprised that you don't understand that the 1st Ammendment has nothing to do with allowing people to disrupt someone else's funeral. It is just not right, and Westboro is infringing on the mourners' right to conduct their ceremony in peace. It has nothing to do with free speech.

I never said they can't say what they have to say. It's just dandy by me, as long as they don't intrude on anyone else.

As I said, this is not about free speech. It's about a small minority inflicting their anti-social will on the much more vast majority, and infringing on the rights of others.

real_name
October 17, 2006, 11:40 AM
Hank:

Please edit your post, you are advocating assasination or murder.

longrifleman
October 17, 2006, 11:40 AM
One aspect of our society that has changed since the founding that would almost certainly apply is the outlawing of the Code Duelo. 200 hundred years ago someone in the family of one of these soliders would have stuck a rapier through anyone vile enough to do what the phelps clan tries to do.

All change isn't necessarily progress.

mike101
October 17, 2006, 11:45 AM
Good question. I have always wondered what their motivation was. I asked that very question the last time Westboro came up on this forum. I finally decided that it must be some kind of scam to bilk the sickos out of contributions. However, it looks like I was wrong, as has been pointed out by Elevenmike. They own their own law firm, which is where much of the money comes from.

I tend to be a bit synical when it comes to money as being the motivation for everything.

Someone suggested, in an earlier thread, that it was about Phelps needing to have power over his followers. It has also been suggested that Phelps himself, is a homosexual. I guess, if that's true, this is his way of covering his tracks, and taking denial to a whole new level. I'm afraid you'll have to ask a shrink, to get a definative answer to your question. :confused:

Ezekiel
October 17, 2006, 11:57 AM
1st Ammendment has nothing to do with allowing people to disrupt someone else's funeral...It is just not right

Your defense for saying an Amendment to the Constitution does not apply is that a particular action or activity "just isn't right?"

Let me be 100% clear: You want me to dismiss the applicability of our sacred Constitution because you say something isn't "right?" :what:

Isn't such self-important and delusional dismissal the entire reason that we have a Constitution? Hasn't Divine Right been eradicated? (sigh)

I never said they can't say what they have to say.

Then what's the issue. Do you just enjoy debate?

It's just dandy by me, as long as they don't intrude on anyone else.

Who decides that, by the way? (Is this another Divine Right episode?) Thus far, a variety of courts have upheld the rights of Phelps & Co. to do what they do.

Until a higher court determines rights otherwise -- and a few executive laws have already been enacted with limited result -- failure to support their [Phelps-co] ability to fully exercise such at funerals (if one is a staunch 2nd Amendment fan) remains inherently hypocritical. :banghead:

hankdatank1362
October 17, 2006, 11:58 AM
Well, I thought long and hard about how to edit my previous post and still get the point across.

I can't. That's as nice as I can put it. That last post WAS taking the High Road on the subject. It could have been worse.

Am I going to "assasinate or murder" the WBC? Hell no!

Would I lose a wink of sleep if someone decided to? Hell no!

We're not talking constitutionality here. We're talking basic humanity, which supercedes any government's constitutuion. These WBC nuts lack basic humanity, which therefore means their lives are worh about diddly squat.

Some people just don't deserve the right to live. It's not my choice to decide, or yours, but rather God's choice.

The Christian part of me hopes they see the error of their ways. But there's always that little part of every half-decent human that thinks "These animals shouldn't go on wasting our oxygen."

progunner1957
October 17, 2006, 12:01 PM
Clint Smith of Thunder Ranch once said, "Some people just need to be shot." I don't think that applies here, but "Some people just need to be beaten to a bloody pulp" does.

There are some things civilized, rational people just do not do under any circumstances. What the hate-filled members of this so-called "church" does is one of them.

These people are as low as child molesters, IMHO.

real_name
October 17, 2006, 12:04 PM
Hank:

I just think, as I posted earlier, that the answer is in counter-demonstration. Out number them, make the media take notice, get the country aware. Basically what the bikers have been doing.
I don't think that it's any benefit to our cause here on this particular forum if an anti reads this thread and puts two and two together and thinks we're going to go down there with guns blazing.
I do agree though in principle, if Phelps received justice in any way it would be miniscule to the suffering he has dealt to the grieving families. I've lost a child, if he had been at the funeral I would have expressed myself primally.

Ezekiel
October 17, 2006, 12:04 PM
We're not talking constitutionality here. We're talking basic humanity, which supercedes any government's constitutuion.

Respectfully, that sounds like a very dangerous slippery slope.

The entire reason that we have a Constitution is to foster a governmental environment that protects "basic humanity," in a general sense. (If it is "basic," how can it ever be anything but "general?")

Following your model, individuals are going to begin determining what is humane on a singular front. That is a bad, bad deal.

In this land, everything has to do with Constitutionality. :uhoh:

hankdatank1362
October 17, 2006, 12:13 PM
That's why I covered my <self> and said it wasn't anybody's choice to make whether they lived or died but God's.

10-4 on the beaten to a bloody pulp.

And God Bless those bikers. They are true patriots and true angels. Not to mention the have some of the best self-control ever, seeing as they have yet to stomp the snot out of the WBC bastards.

Eleven Mike
October 17, 2006, 12:20 PM
Much as I disagree with Ezekiel, et al, I must protest that many on my side (that PhelpsCo has no right to picket funerals) are reeeeally embarassing me here.

Can someone tell me why there goofballs picket soilders funerals.I'll try. They claim that God is using the violence in Iraq to punish America for being too accepting of homosexuality, but more specifically because a bomb was found on their property. Don't expect that to make sense - they also claim that God is punishing Amish girls who can't vote for statements made by the Governor of Pennsylvania. Do you see how hopeless it is to understand or argue with these nuts?

mike burke, if they want contributions, they have a funny way of going about it. Check out what Wiki has to say about them. They seem determined to alienate everyone who isn't already a member of their group.

3fgburner
October 17, 2006, 12:21 PM
And God Bless those bikers. They are true patriots and true angels. Not to mention the have some of the best self-control ever, seeing as they have yet to stomp the snot out of the WBC bastards.

Read the
Patriot Guard Riders Mission Statement

The Patriot Guard Riders is a diverse amalgamation of riders from across the nation. We have one thing in common besides motorcycles. We have an unwavering respect for those who risk their very lives for Americaís freedom and security. If you share this respect, please join us.

We donít care what you ride or if you ride, what your political views are, or whether youíre a hawk or a dove. It is not a requirement that you be a veteran. It doesn't matter where youíre from or what your income is; you donít even have to ride. The only prerequisite is Respect.

Our main mission is to attend the funeral services of fallen American heroes as invited guests of the family. Each mission we undertake has two basic objectives.

1. Show our sincere respect for our fallen heroes, their families, and their communities.

2. Shield the mourning family and friends from interruptions created by any protestor or group of protestors.

We accomplish the latter through strictly legal and non-violent means.

To those of you who are currently serving and fighting for the freedoms of others, at home and abroad, please know that we are backing you. We honor and support you with every mission we carry out, and we are praying for a safe return home for all.

Any time there's a likelihood of protesters, the mission brief at the assembly area includes orders to IGNORE THEM. Show 'em our asses and backs, and show the family our flags and salutes.

hankdatank1362
October 17, 2006, 12:23 PM
That is truly The High Road.

STAGE 2
October 17, 2006, 12:30 PM
failure to support their [Phelps-co] ability to fully exercise such at funerals (if one is a staunch 2nd Amendment fan) remains inherently hypocritical.

Baloney. Go back and read some SCOTUS case law. The government is perfectly within its rights to regulate the time and place of speech. What the first amendment speaks to and what everyone has issue with is the content of the speech.

We all know the example of shouting fire in a crowded theater. However there are many others where the court has sided with the government over people that were doing things far less abusive and harrassing than these pukes.

I don't think anyone is saying that these excuses for people can't protest. What we are saying is that they cannot do it in this particular place. The 1st amendment isn't violated by prohibiting them from protesting at funerals. They are free to give their message, and forcing them to give it elsewhere doesn't stifle them in the least. They are free to spew at their hearts content.

No single freedom is absolute, and the 1st amendment is no exception.

Ezekiel
October 17, 2006, 12:30 PM
Much as I disagree with Ezekiel, et al, I must protest that many on my side (that PhelpsCo has no right to picket funerals) are reeeeally embarassing me here.

What's there to disagree with? :confused:

I have, in no way, reported that I support PhelpsCo's message, merely that they have every right to espouse it. :(

Ezekiel
October 17, 2006, 12:33 PM
No single freedom is absolute...

I'll hold you to that, sir.

Where can we, unilaterally, begin restricting firearms that pleases you? :uhoh:

"It's all the same." :banghead:

mike101
October 17, 2006, 12:37 PM
If you are going to quote me, at least have enough courage of your convictions to finish my sentence. People who omit, to suit their own agenda, lose credibility, FAST. "It just isn't right".

Now, let's talk about hypocracy, since that seems to be your word of the week. I'd like you to visit Westboro's website, godhatesfags.com. Click on Contact Us. Kindly direct your attention to the fact that the first thing they do, is threaten you. If you threaten them with violence, they will report you to the FBI. Okay, fine. The next thing they do, is tell you that if you use obscenity, they will report you to your internet provider. Hey, what happened to that free speech thing, all of a sudden? Is it their "divine right" to decide what is obscene? So much for the First Ammendment being absolute. When they were planning on picketing the funerals of the Amish girls, they were going to carry signs that said, "Your Daughters Are Whores". Little Amish girls are WHORES!!! Is that obscene enough for you?

You have a lot of nerve calling anyone a hypocrite, when the sub-humans you are defending, are the biggest hypocrites out there.

Eleven Mike
October 17, 2006, 12:38 PM
Phelps and his "church" are Christian. His doctrine comes straight from the same book as Baptist, Methodist, and Jehova's Witness. He backs up his beliefs with passages straight from the Bible. Don't forget, God advocated genocide-men, women, child, and infant. If anyone is offended by what I just wrote, think about how Muslims feel. Over a billion Muslims are decent everday people, but a few extremist tarnish their image and the masses suffer. Christian exremist like Phelps are just as bad.


There's a whole lot I could take you to task on here. A lot of groups claim Christianity, that doesn't make them all the same. That Phelps cites the Bible doesn't align him with James Dobson any more than it aligns him with Gene Robinson, the famously homosexual Anglican bishop, or liberal Quakers. But Phelps' doctrine does NOT come "straight from the Bible," anymore than the Brady Campaign's view of the Second Amendment comes "straight from the Constitution."

Actually, God commanded genocide in certain instances. How is that relevant? As disgusting as the Westboro cult may be, they are certainly not on a par with the violence carried out by Islamic terrorists.


FYI, the Jehovah's Witnesses do not accept the same translations of the Bible that Baptists and Methodists use. They have their own.

Eleven Mike
October 17, 2006, 12:42 PM
Ezekiel, I thought I was fairly clear. I disagree with your position that there is a right to carry out hateful protests at funerals. I am embarassed by the arguments, or just plain ad hominem, used by many who are arguing against you.

I completely understand that you are as disgusted by the WBC as I am.

TCB in TN
October 17, 2006, 01:15 PM
It saddens me to see trash like this being defended by anyone. I understand the thought that the 1st Amendment is absolute, and agree in principle. In practice there should be some guidelines within which a civil society can agree to conduct themselves. Protesting at a funeral is an abhorrent an act as I can imagine. I have no problem with any local, state, or even the federal government requiring protesters to stay a minimum distance from any funeral for their protest. What difference is there between shouting fire in a crowed theater and screaming your son is a baby killer, or some other drivel. Both are done to incite trouble. The 1st Amendment guarantees your right to say what you will, it doesn't mean anyone has to listen or hear you. Put them on a street corner a mile away from the cemetary. They can spout their nonsense and no one who doesn't want to hear them has to!

Art Eatman
October 17, 2006, 01:22 PM
I guess as an Old Fart, the olden ideas are still at the forefront as regards behavior in public.

"There are some things you just don't do," my Grammaw told me. Hurting other people during a time of grief is way high on that list. If you don't like what they're doing in their funeral sevices, stay away. Respect their personal rights from your own sense of courtesy and politeness.

The only thing saving the Phelps crowd is the innate respect for otherwise rational laws about crime against person, on the part of a bunch of justifiably upset decent people.

Art

ceetee
October 17, 2006, 01:50 PM
While I can respect the ideal of "Free Speech", and the opinions of all those who espouse totally unrestricted freedom of speech, I have to ask:

What makes this any different from shouting "Fire!" in a theater? If an action is performed with the sole intent of causing a disturbance, why can't that action be punished? The speech or content is not being punished, just the action of being a disturbance...

Ezekiel
October 17, 2006, 02:10 PM
Ezekiel, I thought I was fairly clear. I disagree with your position that there is a right to carry out hateful protests at funerals. I am embarassed by the arguments, or just plain ad hominem, used by many who are arguing against you.

I completely understand that you are as disgusted by the WBC as I am.

Understood. I appreciate the assistance in helping me "get it." :)

mike101
October 17, 2006, 02:10 PM
Your Grammaw was right, and there's nothing olden, or "Old Fart" about it. Human decency doesn't go out of style. If it does, the world is in big trouble.

Hell, if that happens, we might as well all give up and move to France. ;)

Eleven Mike
October 17, 2006, 02:21 PM
I'm sincerely amazed that this thread escaped the axe of Art.

Ezekiel
October 17, 2006, 02:31 PM
If you are going to quote me, at least have enough courage of your convictions to finish my sentence.

I assure you, editing senseless diatribe is my conviction. Were I going for a rational post, I wouldn't have quoted you at all. That said, it is typically necessary to recount ridiculous arguments before eradicating them. To wit:

Kindly direct your attention to the fact that the first thing they do, is threaten you.

By indicating on their website that if you threaten them with violence or send them harrasing e-mails they will report it to the proper authorities? This is a threat?

(Are you easily threatened? If so, I would presume that your discourse with me in this very thread must be more frightening to you than a couple of disclaimers on a propoganda website that you chose to visit of your own accord!)

Hey, what happened to that free speech thing, all of a sudden? Is it their "divine right" to decide what is obscene?

Their rights are fine. Let's query the questioner: Is it free speech for you to threaten PhelpsCo with violence? Are they theatening any with violence when they protest? Truly, who's the bad guy here? In this comparison, it ain't [sic] them. :uhoh:

When they were planning on picketing the funerals of the Amish girls, they were going to carry signs that said, "Your Daughters Are Whores". Little Amish girls are WHORES!!! Is that obscene enough for you?

Do they FORCE anyone to read the signs or pay attention to their propoganda? Is any gesture from them immediately threatening and worthy of prohibitive response? In a nutshell, "no," that's not even close to obscene enough to eradicate Constitutional Rights. :banghead:

You have a lot of nerve calling anyone a hypocrite, when the sub-humans you are defending, are the biggest hypocrites out there.

You see, this where you're just NOT catching on. (Is it possible?)

I'm defending their RIGHTS, just as I would defend yours.

READ: Folks who defend the 2nd Amendment, but not others, are hypocrites.

Place yourself wherever you desire. Many are having no difficulty at all with such a statement. :cool:

hankdatank1362
October 17, 2006, 02:34 PM
So we're all agreed.

We don't like them, but they have the right to say what they want.

We all wish we had the right to wiggle their teeth.

Pray for their souls. Hope they get hit by lightning.

Ezekiel
October 17, 2006, 02:36 PM
So we're all agreed.

We don't like them, but they have the right to say what they want.

Absolutely. :(

ceetee
October 17, 2006, 02:45 PM
We all wish we had the right to wiggle their teeth.


Absolutely.

STAGE 2
October 17, 2006, 02:46 PM
I'll hold you to that, sir.

Where can we, unilaterally, begin restricting firearms that pleases you?

"It's all the same."

You are dodging the issue sir. And no, all freedoms are not absolute. There are plenty restrictions on speech, so many that it would take me the better part of the day to list them all. The second amendment doesn't guarantee me the right to own a F14 or a nuclear bomb.

If my religion calls for canibalism or animal sacrifice I can't legally practice it. Same with those religions that involve drug use. We have freedom of expression, but I can't walk naked through the park to prove a point.

Bottom line, restrictions on time and place are not restrictions on the speech itself which is protected by the 1st amendment.

Please explain to me how preventing them from protesting at a funeral instead of 12 blocks away prevents them from spreading their message to the public.

Eleven Mike
October 17, 2006, 02:46 PM
Do they FORCE anyone to read the signs or pay attention to their propoganda? Of course. By showing up at the same time and place as those attending a funeral, they can certainly be said to be forcing mourners to read and pay attention. The same can't be said for other locations, and if you can find any I'll add them to the list.

Ezekiel
October 17, 2006, 02:48 PM
We have freedom of expression, but I can't walk naked through the park to prove a point.

SERIOUSLY: Why not?

This sort of thing happens every day in America, right? :confused:

Ezekiel
October 17, 2006, 02:50 PM
By showing up at the same time and place as those attending a funeral, they can certainly be said to be forcing mourners to read and pay attention.

Thus far, the courts disagree. :(

There are plenty restrictions on speech, so many that it would take me the better part of the day to list them all.

Yet, to date, nothing SIGNIFICANT has been done to curtail this activity. As such, their rights are, definitively, in place. :uhoh:

STAGE 2
October 17, 2006, 02:54 PM
SERIOUSLY: Why not?

It may happen everyday (not where I live), but it is against the law and you will get handcuffed for it. Its also been taken to SCOTUS and they've shot it down. Being nude isn't part of the message any more than being at a funeral site is. Telling the world that fags go to hell can be done as equally well from a funeral, the steps of city hall or a number of other places. As a result its not part of the speech.

Eleven Mike
October 17, 2006, 02:59 PM
Thus far, the courts disagree. Am I not allowed to dispute their wisdom in this case?

What makes you think that Americans are strolling nude through the park everyday?

Ezekiel
October 17, 2006, 03:00 PM
Telling the world that fags go to hell can be done as equally well from a funeral, the steps of city hall or a number of other places.

So what's the argument for elevating a single location as "protected" verses all the others? The general public could, theoretically, be just as offended at a funeral, the steps of city hall or a number of other places. :evil:

Either the message is not too offensive to be seen, or it is. :uhoh:

Ezekiel
October 17, 2006, 03:03 PM
Am I not allowed to dispute their wisdom in this case?

Hey, "it's a free country." :)
(Which is, of course, my point!)

What makes you think that Americans are strolling nude through the park everyday?

Umm, what did you do in college? Me? I pushed a few boundaries... :p

mike101
October 17, 2006, 03:06 PM
You really are a desperate little fellow, aren't you?
Yeah, this thread just scares me to death. :neener:

Ezekiel
October 17, 2006, 03:10 PM
You really are a desperate little fellow, aren't you?
Yeah, this thread just scares me to death. :neener:

Well, I'm not little, I can assure you.

Recently, I've been putting on my "winter weight." :(

Desperate? You seem to have already made a judgment prior to a full analysis. Perhaps typical? :rolleyes:

Eleven Mike
October 17, 2006, 03:12 PM
Umm, what did you do in college? Actually, I added more boundaries. Part of becoming a better person. I used to say offensive and insulting things on internet forums. But, I added some boundaries to what I will say and how I will argue.

There is no question that WBC has a right to offend. They do not have a right to harass people at a funeral to which they've not been invited. Nor should I. Should I be allowed to go to a funeral of a homosexual AIDS victim and hold a sign that says: "God loves homosexuals. Let him cure you of your sexual sin."? I would hold that sign along the route of a pride parade, but I certainly should not be allowed to hold it up at a funeral.

STAGE 2
October 17, 2006, 03:13 PM
Thus far, the courts disagree.


No they don't. That the government can regulate the time and place of speech is a settled issue.


Yet, to date, nothing SIGNIFICANT has been done to curtail this activity. As such, their rights are, definitively, in place.

Thats the strangest piece of logic I have ever seen. If I don't catch a burglar in the act, then he has the right to break into my home? If I decide to not report a vandal he has the right to destroy? They have the right to speak. The government via the police can step in and move them to a distance where there is no danger of a riot. Whether the government decides to or not doesn't grant them any more rights.



So what's the argument for elevating a single location as "protected" verses all the others? The general public could, theoretically, be just as offended at a funeral, the steps of city hall or a number of other places.

I would suggest that you spend some time reading some cases on speech law because what you are arguing makes no sense. People cant shout fire in a theater not because of the message but because of the time and place. If you outside your front door you can sit there and shout fire all day long. The message is the same. The difference is the situational context.

Phelps and company are specifically targeting funerals to incite and harass. Inciting a riot and harrassment aren't speech. They can give their message in other places at which they will no doubt offend. However, the difference between a funeral and city hall is that one is a constant public forum where the exchange of ideas both good and bad are expected.

Forcing them to move elsewhere isn't stifling their speech.

Eleven Mike
October 17, 2006, 03:14 PM
You've really got him now, mikeburk. :rolleyes:

Ezekiel
October 17, 2006, 03:28 PM
Actually, I added more boundaries. Part of becoming a better person. I used to say offensive and insulting things on internet forums. But, I added some boundaries to what I will say and how I will argue.

Interesting.

I removed a lot of boundaries -- fear, repression, et al -- and have a significantly more open mind to others theories and ideas.

That said, I think you come across well.

Ezekiel
October 17, 2006, 03:44 PM
That the government can regulate the time and place of speech is a settled issue.

Yet PhelpsCo is allowed to continue, albeit with some minor modifications. It would seem to me that the weight of the courts has landed significantly on the side of the protagonists, in this case. Hence, the courts disagree with the notion of radically altering the time/place areas of their "protest." In sum, the courts have spoken.

They have the right to speak. The government via the police can step in and move them to a distance where there is no danger of a riot.

And they [government] have chosen not to. Thus validating PhelpsCo and upholding my idea of what "America" is. In sum, the underlying belief is that PhelpsCo is not a physical threat and any riot would be due to an uncontrolled response by the antogonists. (I concur.) Funeral goers should go the the funeral and ignore the sideshow.

People cant shout fire in a theater not because of the message but because of the time and place.

The time and place is the context of the message? Okay, I'll buy that. Basically, people cannot yell fire because the time and place creates a situation wherein rights to speech are overidden by the potential for public harm. (Right?) So, to deny PhelpsCo, their "message" would have to be as physically threatening (since vileness is irrelevant in your argument) as yelling fire in a packed theater.

Um...clearly, it [their message] is NOT. (For many reasons, including that it has not been defined as such by any governing body.) Any harm would be caused by an irrational response to a peaceful demonstration: thus making PhelpsCo the victim. :banghead:

Phelps and company are specifically targeting funerals to incite and harass.

I don't pretend to like it. But are they breaking the law?

The answer to that, is "no."

mike101
October 17, 2006, 03:52 PM
I had him already.:D

Ezekiel
October 17, 2006, 03:56 PM
I had him already.

Hold on, let's not get personal here. :p

Senor Phelps might come looking for us...

STAGE 2
October 17, 2006, 04:19 PM
And they [government] have chosen not to. Thus validating PhelpsCo and upholding my idea of what "America" is. In sum, the underlying belief is that PhelpsCo is not a physical threat and any riot would be due to an uncontrolled response by the antogonists. (I concur.) Funeral goers should go the the funeral and ignore the sideshow.


You keep placing reliance on the fact that the government hasn't done anything. That misses the point. Because they haven't done something does not mean they don't have the power to do it. To follow this logic would mean that because hicap mags were illegal at some point, they are not protected under the 2nd amendment.


The time and place is the context of the message? Okay, I'll buy that. Basically, people cannot yell fire because the time and place creates a situation wherein rights to speech are overidden by the potential for public harm. (Right?) So, to deny PhelpsCo, their "message" would have to be as physically threatening (since vileness is irrelevant in your argument) as yelling fire in a packed theater.

No it doesn't. If they are presenting a credible threat of violence or attempting to incite violence, the the government can move them. The gov't doesn't have to wait till punches are being thrown or a brawl ensues. The methodology of these people is such that their motives are evident. They purposefully attend funerals of soldiers in order to disturb and arouse the most emotional response possible. These things have nothing to do with speech.



Um...clearly, it [their message] is NOT.

Based on your assumption. The fact that so many here are advocating assault and/or killing them tends to contradict that.


(For many reasons, including that it has not been defined as such by any governing body.) Any harm would be caused by an irrational response to a peaceful demonstration: thus making PhelpsCo the victim.


Feiner v New York... a guy was standing on a corner advertising a socialist meeting to take place later that night as well as advocating racial equality. In a racially mixed crowd, his statements were seen to be potentially inciting. Police asked him to step down and take his speech elsewhere, or at least wait till the crowd dispersed. He refused, was arrested, and sued. SCOTUS held that the police were perfectly within their rights to prevent possible dangers to the community, and did so even though no fight or violence broke out.

Same situation. There doesn't have to be violence for there to be a danger to the public. The fact that these people are trying to combine the perfect amount of variables to create an altercation makes this case even beyond question.

johnster999
October 17, 2006, 04:19 PM
Their actions are clearly unreasonable. They violate the rights of the mourners and inflict deliberate psychological harm on them.

999

Eleven Mike
October 17, 2006, 04:34 PM
I removed a lot of boundaries -- fear, repression, et al -- and have a significantly more open mind to others theories and ideas.Yeah, I've had to do that, too.

Stage, I don't see the possible violence issue. And the socialist race-mixer seemed well within his rights to me. I guess. Phelps could start a fight just about anywhere, but I uphold his right to protest in any of the other places that protest is normally acceptable.

The problem is that Phelps makes it impossible for certain people to hold a funeral in peace. As was pointed out earlier, the mourners have a right to hold their own peacable assembly.

real_name
October 17, 2006, 05:40 PM
They are beyond our comprehension, which is why this thread is so lively.
We wouldn't act this way, even though we are free to do so.
There is no level too low that they won't sink to in their pursuit of attention for their cause. Ok, they don't think homosexuality is permissable under holy law, we got the message a long time ago Mr. Phelps. Now move along and let someone else have their 15 minutes. Really, these people protested at the funeral of Mr. Rogers.

Mr. Rogers!!

Although the U.S. Senate chose to honor Rogers for his work in children's television, the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, says they will protest his activities by also picketing the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, PBS, and WQED TV Pittsburgh on April 13 and 14.

Shirley Phelps-Roper, the attorney for the Westboro Baptist Church, explained that Rogers, as a Presbyterian minister with a television program, had a responsibility to comment on homosexuality. By not doing so, she explained that he was helping to perpetuate homosexuality, which the group says falls into the category of "whoremongery and adultery, which will damn the soul forever in hell." She added that the support some Americans have given to homosexuals has been the reason behind horrible tragedies including the September 11 attacks, the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, and The Station nightclub fire.

On May 3, 2003 Fred Phelps and his church protested outside the church during the funeral of Mister Rogers.

http://www.answers.com/topic/targets-of-westboro-baptist-church

Mr. Phelps will die at some point, and I await the party that is his funeral, I assume every pro-gay group in the world will attend.

p35
October 17, 2006, 05:49 PM
I was just thinking about the juxtaposition of the Phelps Cult and the Amish. The dignity and grace with which the Amish dealt with this tragedy was amazing. The day after it happened, they were reaching out to comfort the family of the killer while simultaneously helping their own community. One of the elders told the a reporter something like "it isn't our way to bear anger." There you have an example of the best of what it means to be religious (being Buddhist, I don't feel I have the right to say whether anyone is or isn't a good Christian). Then you have the Phelps Cult, the absolute worst perversion of religion out there today. I'm glad the Amish weren't harassed by the cult during the funerals, but what if they had been? I don't think it would have shaken their calm faith. One of the hardest lessons to learn growing up is that you can't let your own standards of behavior be controlled by what others do.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise...
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!
http://www.blupete.com/Literature/Poetry/KiplingIf.htm

Or, as the Buddha put it,

"Look how he abused me and hurt me,
How he threw me down and robbed me."
Live with such thoughts and you live in hate.
"Look how he abused me and hurt me,
How he threw me down and robbed me."
Abandon such thoughts, and live in love.
In this world
Hate never yet dispelled hate.
Only love dispels hate.
This is the law,
Ancient and inexhaustible.
http://www.angelfire.com/ca/SHALOM/dhammapada.html

Haters hate. If we hate in return, we hurt ourselves, not them. Having said which, can we stop yelling at each other?

Axman
October 17, 2006, 05:54 PM
Rogers, as a Presbyterian minister with a television program, had a responsibility to comment on homosexuality. By not doing so, she explained that he was helping to perpetuate homosexuality

Who are they kidding? What is the reasoning behind this?

real_name
October 17, 2006, 06:02 PM
So I'm not the only Buddhist shooter.
Good.

Carl N. Brown
October 17, 2006, 06:27 PM
I will ignore Fred Phelp's funeral.

The Westboros want attention--deny them what they want.

If you must do anything, join the Patriot Guard and abide by
their rules: shield the families nonviolently.

mike101
October 17, 2006, 06:43 PM
Medula- Actually, Ezekiel has been responding, so once again, you don't know what you're talking about.

The locations you mentioned, where Westboro will be demonstrating, are nowhere near me. I do not have the resourses to jump on planes and follow them all over the country. If they do decide to come to my area, I'll be there. Bank on it.

As far as "personal attacks" are concerned, you are being overly sensative. If I launch a personal attack, you'll know it.

Now, I have a simple question for you. Yes or No.
Do the people conducting these funerals have a right to do so unharrassed? If your answer is Yes, then what's your problem? If your answer is No, then you have bigger problems than not being able to spell.

I have a real problem with people who want to deny other people the right to hold a peaceful funeral.
I also have a problem with people who would defend them, without any regard for the people whose rights are really being violated.

And, Poppycock is in the eye of the beholder. I have presented perfectly reasonable arguments. People like you just can't stand it when nobody agrees with them.

Now, don't forget to answer that question, will you? There's a good fellow. :D

Glockfan.45
October 17, 2006, 07:32 PM
High Road? :uhoh:

Edit to add: Dont get me wrong I HATE Fred Phelps, and would love to see him sodomized by a large prison inmate, contracting AIDS and slowly dying afterwards, but what he does is his right. To quote a lib (Noam Chomsky) "If we dont support free speech for those we despise, we dont really support it at all".

Geronimo45
October 17, 2006, 07:55 PM
Some folks want to see a high road built on top of Phelps' corpse, methinks. Wouldn't object, myself.

Nothing Christian in harassing and name-calling, especially at funerals. I could go on and on about how Phelps blaming deaths on gays is wrong - in the Gospels, a mention of the Tower of Siloam "The tower fell over and smushed some folks. Were these aforementioned folks more no-good than others? Nope." That's a rough paraphrase, but it's still the gist of the remark.

I guess every religion has its kooks - who take a few verses and go nuts with 'em.

Eleven Mike
October 17, 2006, 07:58 PM
I have presented perfectly reasonable arguments. People like you just can't stand it when nobody agrees with them.
Mike, I think we agree on the overall point, but if you've presented reasonable arguments, I don't remember them. All I remember is that you said a lot of goofy things and weren't very nice.

Eleven Mike
October 17, 2006, 08:00 PM
Rogers, as a Presbyterian minister with a television program, had a responsibility to comment on homosexuality. By not doing so, she explained that he was helping to perpetuate homosexualityThat's priceless, really. Explaining the evils of homosexuality would have made for some interesting puppet shows.

Eleven Mike
October 17, 2006, 08:05 PM
Phelps' brand of hatred is wrong.

Hating Phelps and wishing he would die of AIDS or violence or be sodomized is also wrong.

mike101
October 17, 2006, 08:14 PM
Actually, defending people like the Westoids, Neo Nazis, etc. is quite liberal (You know, like the ACLU). It sounds like you are a lot more liberal than I am.

As far as being childish, well, I'm not the one who goes off on insulting little tyrades, now am I?

If you paid any attention to the other posts, by other members, you would see that the 1st Ammendment does not guarantee people the right to demonstrate anywhere they please. Sorry, it just doesn't. Also the Westboros are not peacefully assembling. They are there to create a disturbance.

Perhaps Legal and Political is not the best place for someone with your delicate sensibilities.

Elevenmike- If you don't remember them, go back to page one, where you quoted me as "Someone who has their head on straight".
"Goofy things"? Like what? I'm saying that these people do not have the right to intrude on a funeral, and nowhere in the Bill of Rights does it say they do.

FilJos
October 17, 2006, 08:15 PM
What they do is despicable, but essentially protected speech. I guess it comes down to the fact that they have a right to say what they want, but we have the right to oppose them. For instance, They do not have a right to be heard, hence the Patriot Riders noise. We also have the right to ignore them, and cause their eventual downfall through lack of attention.

There is nothing about WBC that is Christian in nature. They completely ignore everything Christ taught. They are kind of like one-issue-voters as well, with no argument other than "god hates fags." Come up with a new one, will ya? Oh, thats right, you don't have any other arguments, and even that one is blatantly false to even the newest Christian.

DerringerUser
October 17, 2006, 08:21 PM
w00t for michael moore!1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33-_9nOX8KM

Eleven Mike
October 17, 2006, 08:29 PM
Actually, defending people like the Westoids, Neo Nazis, etc. is quite liberal (You know, like the ACLU). It sounds like you are a lot more liberal than I am.

As far as being childish, well, I'm not the one who goes off on insulting little tyrades, now am I?

If you paid any attention to the other posts, by other members, you would see that the 1st Ammendment does not guarantee people the right to demonstrate anywhere they please. Sorry, it just doesn't. Also the Westboros are not peacefully assembling. They are there to create a disturbance.

Perhaps Legal and Political is not the best place for someone with your delicate sensibilities.Most of that is in the goofy column. I'm sure you've said a few sensible things here and there, but the majority of your comments are just an embarassment to our common position.

FilJos
October 17, 2006, 08:32 PM
The Moore video is priceless. I lol'd.

mike101
October 17, 2006, 09:02 PM
Elevenmike- In what way is that "goofy"? If you don't agree with it, fine, but goofy doesn't apply.

Medula, I respect your service in the Army. I realize you are not a Phelps supporter. However, I don't understand why you can't see that what Westboro is doing is infringing on the rights of the people at these funerals. These people aren't bothering anybody. They are just trying to bury a loved one in peace. Freedom of speech has nothing to do with it. They can have their demonstration a couple of hundred yards away, and still get their message out.

cyco668
October 17, 2006, 09:11 PM
What if the funeral was for a bad person, a Dahmer-like person? If a father held up a "Burn in Hell" sign at the funeral of the guy who raped and killed his daughter, would all of you say he has no decency and is an aweful person for being at the funeral?
I know this forum is about Phelps at a soldiers funeral, but do you think that there are times when a protest or rally at a funeral might be justifiable or understandable?

Eleven Mike
October 17, 2006, 09:42 PM
No one has said that anyone who protests at a funeral is an awful person who has no decency. Such a person is in a completely different class from the Phelpsies who literally make a career out of finding new people to hate and harass. I would still say, however, that the kind of person you describe is acting out of hatred, and that the First Amendment still does not cover such displays at a funeral. That's what public executions are for.

Are you going to retract your wholly false statements about Christianity in an earlier post?

Eleven Mike
October 17, 2006, 09:46 PM
Mikeburk,

I have no wish to be unkind. I also have no wish to go through each of your posts, demonstrating your goofiness and ad hominem and then arguing with you about it. I have no wish to discuss the matter with you; my comments were only intended to create some space between us, so that you don't discredit my arguments by agreeing with me.

C. Rabbit
October 17, 2006, 09:47 PM
Members of the WBC get hustled out of a protest area by police, a window on their van gets broken: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZGKx2pTBQc&NR

I would think that it would be legal to pass laws restricting them (and all protesters) from protesting at funerals. They could protest in the same town, but not near the actual funeral.

CR

Zundfolge
October 17, 2006, 09:59 PM
I'm thoroughly convinced that these Westboro creeps are in this for the money. They are all lawyers. What does that tell you? They get funding from somewhere. They can afford to jump on planes and get themselves anywhere in the country on very short notice. Very suspicious for a religious group.
Assuming that your opponent doesn't really believe what they say they believe but are just in it for the money or some other ulterior motive.

That is one of the biggest mistakes that people make when debating other people (not just the Westboro people but any contentious political debate).

Its exactly what the antis do with the NRA (and RKBA movement in general) ... we can't possibly really want people to be armed because its our right, its because the "gun industry" wants to make its "blood money" or the NRA doesn't really want to further the cause of RKBA, they just want to get more "Religious Right White Male Conservative Republicans" in office. Or its just Bubbas that are afraid of them [insert N word]s.



These Westboro people TRULY BELIEVE THAT HOMOSEXUALITY IS THE GREATEST SIN AND IS DESTROYING OUR COUNTRY.

Don't underestimate them ... they aren't simply hucksters looking to turn a dime, they are true believers as true in their belief as any suicide bombing Islamofascist is in theirs.

I wish they were just in it for the money ... it would be easier to get them to go away.


(now how exactly this clearly gun related discussion has gone on 6 pages is unclear to me.)

Ezekiel
October 17, 2006, 10:17 PM
I have no wish to discuss the matter with you [mikeburk101]; my comments were only intended to create some space between us, so that you don't discredit my arguments by agreeing with me.

Ouch! That is absolutely beautiful. :evil:

As was attempting to teach someone the meaning of the word "hypocrite." :cool:

ceetee
October 17, 2006, 10:23 PM
I'm torn on this issue.

On the one hand, I fail to see how requiring them to picket a decent distance away from the actual funeral or procession infringes on their rights of free speech. They have free speech. They have a friggin' website, fer Chrissake. They have newspapers printing their garbage. They make radio and TV appearances. Everyone who has even the slightest interest in current affairs knows who they are and what they stand for.

How is that infringing upon their right to free speech?


On the other hand, this smacks of Bush and Cheney and their own "free speech zones"...

I'm thinking of changing my opinion. I'm tending toward saying "Let them protest. Let them pick a fight. Let them pick their teeth up out of the sand, then let them get arrested for inciting a riot..."

Juvenile, I know... but when I was a kid, if you got too mouthy to the wrong fella, you got your hat handed to you, and you learned to control your mouth.

Ezekiel
October 17, 2006, 10:32 PM
I'm thinking of changing my opinion. I'm tending toward saying "Let them protest. Let them pick a fight. Let them pick their teeth up out of the sand, then let them get arrested for inciting a riot..."

The issue with this is that PhelpsCo will, without doubt, portray themselves as victims. Regardless of how vile their speech or signs, the person -- or group -- that throws the first punch is who will go down. It will not be the church, they're too smart for that. :(

Assault begins with contact. Anything less is an annoyance. :cool:

mike101
October 17, 2006, 10:36 PM
Nor do I care to discuss it with you. You apparently don't know what goofy means, anyway. Consider the distance created. Who cares what you think?

Ezekiel, you're the one who started this whole thing. If you can't take it, don't start dishing it out. Why is it, out of all the people who are of the same opinion, I'm the hypocrite?

ceetee
October 17, 2006, 10:41 PM
The issue with this is that PhelpsCo will, without doubt, portray themselves as victims. Regardless of how vile their speech or signs, the person -- or group -- that throws the first punch is who will go down. It will not be the church, they're too smart for that.

No doubt. Depending on the venue, though, with full video coverage to support whatever local charge equals "inciting a riot", I kind of think a bereaved father just might get off of a simple battery charge. Maybe get some anger management therapy and adjudication withheld.

I would hope, anyway.

Ezekiel
October 17, 2006, 10:42 PM
Ezekiel, you're the one who started this whole thing.

I really have no issues being the "cause" of what has been -- for the most part -- an intriguing and intelligent discussion related to Constitutional Rights, if such is what you believe. (In fact, save for your own direct involvement, I've found it to be quite stimulating.) :)

If you can't take it, don't start dishing it out.

Oh man! here.] I haven't heard that since Grade School.

I'm overwhelmed by the grotesque reversal of evolution to be found within your vocabulary. Soon, I expect a wailing "because I said so" to be followed by a loaded Pamper(tm)... :evil:

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