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protest group from hell for military families

Posted by on Apr. 1, 2010 at 7:11 AM
  • 12 Replies

http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20100331/ts_csm/291560

Dad of a fallen Marine perseveres against protests at military funerals

By Gordon Lubold Gordon Lubold - Tue Mar 30, 8:09 pm ET

Washington - A father of a Marine killed in Iraq says he won't pay the legal fees of a protest group who picketed at his son's funeral in 2006 - at least not until he hears from the US Supreme Court on the matter.

[Update from The Newsroom: Bill O'Reilly has offered to foot the bill.]

Albert Snyder, whose son, Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, was killed in Iraq, learned Friday that a federal appeals court is requiring him to pay more than $16,000 in legal fees to the Westboro Baptist Church, a Christian fundamentalist group that demonstrates during military funerals to gain attention for its antigovernment, antihomosexual message. The group rallied at Matthew Snyder's funeral in March 2006 in Westminster, Md., chanting antigay slogans and carrying signs such as "Thank God for dead soldiers," says Albert Snyder's attorney, Sean Summers.

The group was protesting about 30 feet from the church's main entrance, and Mr. Snyder had to enter through a separate entrance, Mr. Summers says.

Snyder subsequently sued the Westboro group for emotional distress and won a $5 million judgment. But on appeal, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed, finding in favor of protecting the protesters' free-speech rights. About three weeks ago, the Supreme Court agreed to take the case and is expected to hear it in the fall. (Last year, the high court had declined to take up the issue.) Meanwhile, the circuit court has ordered Snyder, a salesman, to pay the church's court expenses.

Snyder, of York, Pa., told Fox News on Tuesday that he would not pay the Westboro Baptist Church "until I hear from the Supreme Court."

"It's fair to say that they are not getting any Christmas cards from Mr. Snyder," adds Summers, in a phone interview. "He obviously thinks they are despicable and doesn't understand why they would target him."

The Westboro group has been protesting at military members' funerals for years. The church leader, Fred Phelps, preaches that American deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan are punishment for the nation's tolerance of homosexuality. (He was among those banned from Britain last year for fostering hatred or extremism.) The protests have nothing to do with the fallen service members' sexual orientation, and the church says its protests are held within a "lawful distance" of the funerals.

Ultimately, say some, the church protests are a matter of constitutionally protected free speech.

"I really don't see that [the protest] was a violation of the First Amendment [principles]. It was a violation of decorum and good taste and all sorts of other things, but not a violation of the First Amendment," says Charles Gittins, a civilian lawyer in Virginia.

But Summers argues that his client's right to peaceful assembly and freedom of religion were infringed by the protests and that, unlike at a public park where people are free to express themselves, a funeral setting draws a "captive audience" that requires attendees to be in a particular location - they can't simply walk away.

Westboro Baptist Church, which is based in Kansas, plans to protest in Florida on Wednesday, outside a funeral for a Marine killed in Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan on March 22.

"Military funerals have become pagan orgies of idolatrous blasphemy, where they pray to the dunghill gods of Sodom and play taps to a fallen fool," states a press release posted on the church's website, announcing the rally at a memorial service for Lance Cpl. Justin Wilson. At the bottom of the press release are printed the words "Thank God for IEDs," referring to the roadside bombs that have killed thousands of troops in both wars.

 

I turned on my computer this morning to check out the weather for DH before he left for work and this was a headliner report on yahoo. It turns my stomach to think about these poor families and their loss of a loved one and then these people showing up thanking god for their death. I think enough is enough in being in the war however i stand up for our troops and support them 100%. My dh is airforce and ive watched his friends come and go to Iraq and other places and how it affects them and to add a loss of a friend or family member. I hope the dad wins his case. His sons funeral was targeted and ruined along with other families this group has protested to. While i do believe everybody has the right to use and honor the first amendment i think they are rude and cruel and using the first amendement in a way it wasnt intended. These soilders put their lives on the line protecting our freedoms, how can they thank god for road side bombs and the death of an american soilder...

by on Apr. 1, 2010 at 7:11 AM
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Replies (1-10):
ashli488
by on Apr. 1, 2010 at 8:07 AM

seriously. its sad to know that these MFs are doing something like this to  the people who defend them and their country. I know if they were to do this me if my husband died over there theyt wouldnt be walking away and id be in jail...i cannot stand ignorant stupid f**kers...

jennypinfargo
by on Apr. 1, 2010 at 8:08 AM

Really I have been follwing this story and I can not believe how horriable people can be!!

MommaSteph85
by on Apr. 1, 2010 at 8:11 AM

 I read this in the newspaper the other day. It pisses me off. I understand that they have different beliefs. Everyone does. But do they honestly have to go that far? If anything ever happened to anyone I know and they showed up to the funeral. I WILL go to jail.

I am a breastfeeding/formula feeding, circumcising, non- flu vaxing, spanking when needed, baby wearing, co-sleeping, Marine wife, proud momma of 4 boys, 1 girl, and 1 step son.

Aslen
by Silver Member on Apr. 1, 2010 at 8:17 AM

I personally say to the WBC.... YOU'RE WELCOME! I'm a veteran....whenever I put my uniform on, I put my life on the line to defend their right to spew hatred. They are the BIGGEST form of hypocrite, and the farthest thing from a Christain you can get.

afrw2007
by on Apr. 1, 2010 at 10:13 AM

it just made me sick reading this but dh and i couldnt stop until the end. i hope they loose the court case.

MrsLavender
by on Apr. 1, 2010 at 10:15 AM

I hope they lose. Those fuckers are SICK.

jeweldog
by on Apr. 1, 2010 at 10:17 AM

Truly sad that they protest at the funeral of a fallen military member who died PROTECTING their freedom of speech!  They have no respect nor morality if they do this.  It should be legal for the family to shoot them.

3jaysmama
by on Apr. 1, 2010 at 10:23 AM

I agree 100%!

Quoting jeweldog:

Truly sad that they protest at the funeral of a fallen military member who died PROTECTING their freedom of speech!  They have no respect nor morality if they do this.  It should be legal for the family to shoot them.


tanya_marieh
by on Apr. 1, 2010 at 10:27 AM

  I've been watching these crazy people for quite a while.  They hate the us also.  Their website are actually godhatestheusa and godhatesfags they are horrible.  I just don't understand.  If they hate the us and what it stands for so much why don't they just MOVE.

mom2bsoon83
by on Apr. 1, 2010 at 10:46 AM

I'm sure they'll burn in hell for their demonstrations....hypocritical bastards.

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