Jury Awards Father In Law Suit Against Westboro Baptist Church

October 31, 2007

In March 2006, Albert Snyder of York, Pennsylvania was grieving the death of his son, Marine Lance Cpl Matthew Snyder in Iraq. At the funeral, a demonstration was held by the fundalmentalist church from Topeka, Kansas, Westboro Baptist Church. As we all know, Westboro Baptist Church members have made national media at various times for their vulgar and downright disrespectful behavior at the funerals of our Fallen Heroes. They typically picket the funerals holding signs that state things like “Thank God For Dead Soldiers” and “God Hates Fags.” They claim that they protest, because of the our country’s tolerance for homosexuality and that they feel is the reason that the deaths of Soldiers have occurred. Frankly, these pigs disgust me, I don’t care that they live in my home state. They are vile, cruel and disgusting people.

So it was with great pleasure when I found out today, that the law suit Mr. Snyder brought against the church, for unspecified damages after their picketing of his son’s funeral is only just and right. It was announced today that Mr. Snyder had been awarded nearly $11 Million in a verdict by a jury against the church. The jury first awarded $2.9 million in compensatory damages. Later in the afternoon the jury returned with it’s decision to award $6 million in punative damages for invasion of privacy and $2 million for causing emotional distress. After the verdict was announced, US District Judge Richard Bennett spoke.

“The size of the award for compensating damages far exceeds the net worth of the defendants.”

Because of the actions of the members of Westboro Baptist Church, a number of states across the nation have passed laws in regards to funeral protests. Congress as well, as passed a law that prohibits such protests at Federal cemeteries. The lawsuit by Mr. Snyder, filed in Maryland, is believed to be the first filed by family members of a fallen servicemember.

According to the verdict that was read, the church and three of it’s leaders, Rev. Fred Phelps and his two daughters, Shirley Phelps-Roper and Rebecca Phelps-Davis, were found liable for invasion of provacy and the intent to inflict emotional distress. In his law suit, Snyder claimed that the protests intruded upon what should have been a private ceremony and sullied his memory of the event.

Church members testified at the hearing. They said that they are following their religious beliefs by spreading the message that the deaths of Soldiers are due to the nation’s tolerance of homosexuality. Their attorneys argued on their behalf, that the burial was a public event and that even abhorrent points of view are protected by the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of speech and religion. After the verdict, the judge said that the church’s financial statements, which were earlier sealed, could be released to the plaintiffs.

Prior to the reading of the verdict, church members staged a demonstration outside the federal courthouse. Founder and minister of the church, Fred Phelps, held a sign that read, “God is your enemy” while his daughter, Shirley Phelps-Roper stood on an American flag and read a sign that said, “God hates fag enablers.” As per usual, when they protest at funerals, the church members sang “God Hates America” to the tune of “God Bless America.”

Growing up in Kansas, I recall hearing news about the exploits of this crazy groups of whackos. I have yet to understand their twisted version of what they call Christianity. The things that I was taught as a child about Christianity, are completely opposite of the hate-filled rhetoric that these disgust people spew. Mr. Snyder sobbed as he heard the verdict being read. I am so glad that Mr. Snyder finally found a small bit of solace, in the jury’s verdict today. I hope that parents of other Fallen Warriors, will follow the lead of Mr. Snyder and let these evil people know that they’re not going to stand for this type of behavior. I commend the jury for doing the RIGHT thing, by stating very clearly that this type of behavior won’t be tolerated.

Yahoo News


85 Responses to “Jury Awards Father In Law Suit Against Westboro Baptist Church”

  1. jpe on October 31st, 2007 6:53 pm

    Twisted version of christianity? Which part? The part that says homosexuality is a sin? Or the part that says America will be judged by God? Both are pretty central to right wing christianity, I’d think. We hear both out of Dobson, Falwell, etal, regularly.

  2. Katie Fitzpatrick on October 31st, 2007 6:58 pm

    Thank you for your well-written post on the award for Mr. Snyder against this organization that guises itself as a “Baptist Church”. Hopefully it will send a clear message to this hateful group.

  3. Terri on October 31st, 2007 7:10 pm

    Yes jpe, twisted. I was never taught the hatred that these so-called Christians spew forth. When you step over the line and began teaching hate in church, then that’s twisted.

  4. Terri on October 31st, 2007 7:11 pm

    Thank you Katie for stopping by. I agree, that hopefully this verdict will send a clear message to these hateful, twisted group of people.

  5. Stephen on October 31st, 2007 7:47 pm

    I’m the father of a soldier in Iraq and I’m so grateful that a court has finally punished these people for their acts of hatred. I don’t agree with the homosexual lifestyles but I don’t hate gays. I don’t agree with the war in Iraq but I respect the men and women who choose to serve in the military. I believe that everyone has a choice and whether right or wrong in my eyes it’s not my place to judge them. This is up to each of our Gods. Hatred only spawns hatred. Thanks for your story. It needs to be heard.

  6. Jason Beverly (SPC USA, Honorably discharged) on October 31st, 2007 7:55 pm

    I am not prone to right wing rhetoric. However, what I am about to say is far left of these hate-mongers so twisted by fear and / or repugnance they are out to disgrace the names of those who gave thier lives so that people in this country, however wrong, are allowed to have their say in an appropriate setting.

    If they are so uptight about gays and America’s tolerance of them, why don’t they all move to Iran? According to their president, they are no gays there after all.

    They totally got what they deserved, except perhaps lacking the treatment they’d feel were they to actually move to Iran and try to stage protests there anywhere near this brazenly disrespectful.

  7. Terri on October 31st, 2007 8:27 pm

    Thank you both for stopping by. Jason thank you for your service and your sacrifice for our Country. I couldn’t agree with you more. Stephen, please share our gratitude with your son, for his service. I honestly feel that these people are so caught in hatred, that they’ve forgot what being a Christian means. I feel strongly that it’s not their place to judge anyone, based on their religious preferences, their sexual orientation… on anything for that matter.

  8. Leta on October 31st, 2007 9:31 pm

    TRUST me when I write that I, in NO way, agree with their TWISTED version of Christianity. NO WAY.

    However…their beliefs are ONE thing. TOTAL disrespect for a fallen hero AND their family at the funeral is SOOOOOO out of bounds I can’t find words to describe it.

    If they wanna spew their TWISTED beliefs they can buy a TV station or radio station or newspaper or whatever but NOT, NOT, NOT at a funeral of one who gave their life for this nation.

    NOT even at a funeral for ANYONE.

  9. Bruce on October 31st, 2007 11:15 pm

    It is real funny that these nit-wit, nutjobs calling themselves a church would hide behind the first amendment. The very same constiturion that our American military personnel have sworn to fight, and die for. I have a son in the military, and if something happened to him, and these jackasses protested at his funeral. There would be a wrongful death suit, and it would be against me.

  10. Terri on November 1st, 2007 4:36 am

    I know the feeling Bruce. They don’t ever even stop to think that they wouldn’t have the right to spew their hatred, if it weren’t for our Troops and Veterans.

  11. Sarah on November 1st, 2007 6:35 am

    It makes me feel good that these people finally get this kind of response.
    It doesn’t matter what they are saying. There are laws in place to stop this kind of thing. It is still against the law to shout “Fire” in a crouded theater in the United States.
    I have been to several military funerals. I am one of the people that stand in the hot or cold weather and hold up a 3′X5′ American Flag, to help hide the hate groups’ signs, in order that the family might grieve with respect. If you wish to do something that supports your pride. Go to a military funeral and take your American flag, work the flag line, and you will not be alone.

  12. Terri on November 1st, 2007 6:45 am

    I agree Sarah and do so at every opportunity. I’m so grateful for the Patriot Guard Riders and those who are willing to stand tall, as a buffer between the grieving families and these hate mongers. Thank you Sarah for what you do!

  13. Melanie on November 1st, 2007 7:17 am

    I went to the Westboro website to see what type of things they preach. I am stunned by their actions, their hatred, and their beliefs. The thing that struck me as incredible is they profess to follow the bible - yet they don’t even follow God’s commandments. They celebrate a Sunday sabbath which is nowhere in the bible. Maybe they should quit looking for hatred, killing and blood spilt in the bible and start reading the entire bible rather than just picking and choosing what they will believe from it. The bible says there will be many that come to deceive and destroy in the last days. God has a special place for these types which also is fully disclosed in the bible.

  14. PV2 Clark on November 1st, 2007 7:37 am

    This was a very well written article, and I am glad I found this site. I am currently stationed at Ft Hood awaiting deployment and I couldnt be happier. In the case of the church mentioned I think they will reap what they sow if you catch my drift. Taking God’s word like that and twisting it to fulfill their own needs to make a headline. I commend them on creativity, but honestly I’m disgusted with the fact that they use the scapegoat i.e. Soldiers or me to say that if I die in Iraq it was because god hates homosexuals! I like to believe that if I die overseas it will have been for the protection of my family. The security of our nation. I’d die because I swore. I took an oath to defend my country from ALL enemies both FOREIGN and DOMESTIC! That is a big commitment right? We are entitled to our last rights by god not by the state. So I say the good thing that came from all of this is Congress has passed or is passing a law forbidding protesting of federal ceremonies “funerals” which is great! thank you for allowing me to become a member of the military and trusting me with your freedom. I am PROUD to serve you!!

    PV2 clark

  15. Carolyn on November 1st, 2007 7:45 am

    I am a Bible believing Christian, a true one. I am not for what these people did. God does not hate anyone, he loves us beyond what we could ever imagine, whether we choose to believe in him or not. He does, however, hate the sin of homosexuality. It clearly says that. We are all to love one another, whether we believe what they live or not. People who think everyone should except homosexuality (or abortion, etc) should be ‘tolerant’ and respect those that think it is a sin.(that is my right to believe) This is an extreme case, and should not be looked at as what all Christians are behave like or what we all believe. The Bible says that unless we repent of our sins (doing things God does not approve of) we will face an eternity without him.(in a lake of fire, Hell) As for God hating the US, that is so wrong. He has protected us since day one. The US was build on the foundations and principles of the Bible, and He longs for us to come back to Him. We are looking at judgement if we do not do that. Other countries have not been blessed as we have, and our blessings are slowly being taken away because of our disobedience.

  16. Terri on November 1st, 2007 7:47 am

    I so agree Melanie. In many ways, they remind me of the terrorists that our Troops are dealing in Iraq. They take the Bible and twist what it says to suit their twisted agenda. Scary bunch.

  17. Terri on November 1st, 2007 7:49 am

    PV2 Clark, thank you for serving our country. If you ever get up to the housing office at Fort Hood before you leave, don’t hesitate to ask for me. My office is in their area. I would be honored to shake your hand and tell you Thank You in person.

  18. Leta on November 1st, 2007 7:59 am

    Terri, If PV2 Clark makes it over there give him TWO hand shakes - on from me please.

    PV2 Clark - There’s no one on earth I trust more with my safety, security and freedom that you men/women in uniform. And, just to prove how darned amazing you all are in so many ways you’ve done it - thanking US. The thanks ALL goes to each of you. Believe me

  19. Paul on November 1st, 2007 8:03 am

    Thank God for the court system.

    While I personally do not think it’s appropriate to thank God for institutions like the courts, I do want to think someone for imposing a “checks and balance” on the public actions of Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church.

    They can believe what they want.

    But they can’t do anything they want …

    … without realizing the consequences of the society in which we live.

  20. Terri on November 1st, 2007 9:24 am

    I sure will Leta. I hope he does stop by. I’m looking forward to meeting him.

  21. DREY on November 1st, 2007 9:26 am

    It sickens me that people use misquoted and misguided ideology in the name of God. Do these people actually READ the bible? Judge not lest you be judged? Treat others like you would like to be treated? The greatest commandment of all is to Love God and your neighbor?

    The lawyer had the audacity to bring up the 1st amendment and free speech. What about the right to privacy? What about just common respect for people who have served our country and died?

    I hope the appeals court upholds the cash award. These people need to know that not only are they scripturally misguided but that their are earthly consequences to trampling on the rights of others.

  22. Alyzza Martin on November 1st, 2007 9:51 am

    You can either support freedom of speech, which means allowing even the most heinous points of view to coexist with more benign ones in every public venue (including sidewalks in front of churches where funerals or being held), or you can oppose freedom of speech.

    Those who claim to love freedom and yet rejoice at this verdict are playing a double game here, and one that is likely to backfire: Every precedent can cut both ways. This one, if it stands, will almost certainly end up hurting the very people it was meant to protect.

  23. Terri on November 1st, 2007 9:59 am

    I have to respectfully disagree with you Alyzza. What these people are doing is just plain WRONG. When you cross the line of basic human decency and infringe on the rights of the families of our Fallen Heroes, then you’ve gone too far. They have crossed that line numerous times. Those families have the right to their privacy and these people are infringing upon that right.

  24. Leta on November 1st, 2007 10:18 am

    Terri - you are nicer than I on this. I’m not sure sure I can “respectfully” disagree with Alyzza.

    I would like to know if she has PERSONALLY and me PERSONALLY known or attended the service of a fallen hero when the Westboro creeps were there. I guess I’d also like to know how she would feel if a member of her family passed away at all and there were people standing outside with signs and screaming the ugly/vile things that Westboro does.

    I am absolutley about free speech. I am absolutely SICK and TIRED of people taking ADVANTAGE of a right because we have it.

    It’s not like Westboro hadn’t been asked, implored, beseached to GO AWAY with respect to their attendance at these funerals.

    And…because I just cannot resist…one has to wonder how it would play out (and for how long) if Westboro were to have this practice at funerals for professional athletes, politicians, the hollywood crowd, etc. Hmmmm…

    The ONLY respect I car two hoots about in this situation is the RESPECT of the fallen hero and his/her family. PERIOD!

  25. Terri on November 1st, 2007 10:43 am

    Amen Leta, Amen. The Westboro idiots have went past decency and freedom of speech, because they are infringing on the rights of the families to mourn their fallen Heroes.

    I’ve always said, if they feel that things are so horribly wrong here in the United States, then they need to pack up their shit and get the hell out.

  26. Connie on November 1st, 2007 11:22 am

    No one is telling Westboro Church to SHUT UP. If we did that, then we would not have the right to say they are horribly twisted and have perverted the Gospel. What transpired is a lawsuit based on Phelps’ and his followers disorderly conduct. There is a time and a place for everything. Fred Phelps has every right to picket where he wants when he wants. Well, let me tell you he also has the right to enjoy having to fork out $11m because someone else got pissed and took him to court. There are consequences, freedom of speech doesn’t plug freedom from all consequences. P.S. Courts have a way of getting what they decree the plaintiff is owed, its called execution of a court order, they will probably grab his assets, his house, his car, his land, and his bank accounts, oops, guess that means he and his group of fellow churchgoing retarded gangbangers (oops can I say that) won’t be picketing funerals for quite some time….

  27. J from ireland on November 1st, 2007 11:22 am

    i first saw this news story on fox news and it made me sick to the core of my soul. i felt so bad for this poor fallen soldier and his dad. pro or anti war soldiers should be commended and respected for the very tough job the do.
    to picket a funeral is so immoral i cant find the words.
    these guys are like the damn terrorists: twisting religion and making out that god is on there side to suit thier own hate-filled agenda.

  28. Leta on November 1st, 2007 11:41 am

    J from Ireland - AMEN! I had the honor of supporting a few coalition troops from “near” your part of the world this year. A real pleasure it was. We ARE all in this together and the likes of the Phelps bunch just need to GO AWAY.

    Connie - I ABSOLUTELY agree with you. With ANY freedom comes responsiblity. Way too many step over the line and all of this politically correct BS has only made it worse. I know how to say “HELL NO!” See how easy that was. If only more would practice it.

    I hope and pray that the courts move swiftly to secure the assets of Westboro. Then again…where have they been getting all the money for all of this travel anyway? Hmmmmm

  29. Twana Blevins on November 1st, 2007 12:04 pm

    As I read this last night I was exceedingly happy.

    Now this is worth celebration!

    I hope the celebration continues on, with others standing up and confronting these vile people’s evil actions in our courts.

  30. Twana Blevins on November 1st, 2007 12:06 pm

    Well that comment came out wrong.

    I hope the celebration continues on, with others standing up and confronting these vile people’s evil actions.

    Court looks to be a good way to go.

  31. Jim on November 1st, 2007 12:15 pm

    Gods Judgment against this Country is inevitable and No amount of Flag waving, political correctness, double-speak and phony pontification of freedom for all BS is going to hide it’s sins,….

    Prepare for your doom,… martial Law is coming soon and The thing in the Whitehouse will reveal his true satanic objective.

    I Thank god for dead soldiers,… You would think that thousands of dead soldiers being sent back to the United States Corporation would be enough to wake up a nation, But No, you would rather believe the fascist propaganda fed to you by a corporation owned news media and be lulled to sleep with false notions of safety and peace and of course what the your favorite whores Britiney Spears and paris hilton are doing … you are all doomed sheeple.

  32. Mort on November 1st, 2007 12:16 pm

    Yes, let them “protest” in Iran. Forget freedom of speech. They would be persecuted since they don’t believe in the Quran and are considered Infidels by those people.
    There is no separation of church and state there.


    In my opinion, a funeral is a religious rite. Therefore, first amendment protection is thrown out due to separation of church and state.

  33. Terri on November 1st, 2007 12:16 pm

    Yes it does Twana and I hope that many more families will follow Mr. Snyder’s lead in standing up to these people.

  34. Alyzza Martin on November 1st, 2007 12:20 pm

    My understanding is that the members of Westboro Baptist Church conduct their pickets on public property, in full view not only of mourners but of passers-by as well. In other words, they aren’t violating anyone’s right to privacy. They’re not in a private space. This court decision had less to do with actual violations of the law by WBC members than with the unbridled sentimentality of the jurors. In other words, these people ruled with their hearts and not with their heads.

    As to this fluffy talk of human decency, I don’t think that highly variable ‘standard’ should be cited at all. I’d hazard a guess – and I’d lay money on it, too – that most of you didn’t take any notice of the WBC until they started picketing soldiers’ funerals. When they confined themselves to the funerals of homosexuals, they got a lot less press and a lot more support. It looks to me like this common vendetta against them has less to do with how indecent it is to picket a funeral than with the types of funerals they picket. (For more on that, go here: http://www.therighttobewrong.net/august_21_2007.pdf)

    A “standard” applied so unequally is not a fair measure at all, but merely an excuse for injustice.

    Now, as for Leta’s question about whether I’ve ever been to a funeral where the WBC has protested, the answer is no. I can’t imagine how such an experience would change my view of things, however; given my low opinion of the maudlin sentimentality that crowds these discussions.

    And it would be wildly out of character for me to feel any differently if WBC members were protesting at the funeral of someone I loved.

    Sorry Leta, but you’re either for freedom of speech or you’re against it. You can’t be for it except when people “take advantage of it” in a way you don’t like. You can’t claim that with freedom comes the responsibility not to piss (a few or even a great many) people off.

    It doesn’t matter one whit whether you respect the WBC or not; what matters is whether you’d be willing to defend their rights regardless of how you feel about them personally.

    Enjoy your “victory” while you can; this is the sort of precedent that can easily come around and bite you in the backside.

  35. Terri on November 1st, 2007 12:24 pm

    Well I figured that eventually some of the “crazies” from WBC would meander over this way. Jim, it seems that you perhaps are the one who has believed, lock, stock and barrel the propaganda that’s been fed to you. Myself, I tend to think for myself, believe what I believe, due to life experiencese, observations and lots of reading and digesting information I find. I for one, never turn on my television and could give a shit less what the “plastic people” in Hollywood are doing and I feel that the media’s facination with them is ridiculous and sickening. So, before you start making judgement and ASSumptions about people, perhaps you should find out a bit more about them.

  36. Terri on November 1st, 2007 12:27 pm

    They only do so now Alyzza, because most states now have laws saying that they cannot protest within a specified number of feet from the church or cemetery. In the past, they have gotten right up in the faces of the families, walked into the churchs spouting their vile garbage, etc.

    Our Troops fight each and every day to defend the rights of EVERYONE in the US, including the creeps from WBC. Freedom of Speech, as I said earlier, crosses the line when it infringes upon the rights of others, which has been held up in court, time and time again. They have infringed upon the rights of others.

  37. Terri on November 1st, 2007 12:28 pm

    Growing up in Kansas Alyzza, I was well aware of WBC, many years ago, before the wars began and the hate-filled garbage they’ve spewed in my home state for many years.

  38. Terri on November 1st, 2007 12:29 pm

    They’ve also had the audacity to picket at the funerals of children who were killed in school shootings. And that’s okay with you?

  39. Leta on November 1st, 2007 1:04 pm

    OK Alyzza - I just have to ask…from a constitutional stand point we are given Freedom of Speech. Yes? Agreed? And you feel as if there are no boundaries on Freedom of Speech. Right? Or at least there should be no boundaries. Am I correct so far?

    I, on the other hand, also believe in Freedom Speech. However, I believe that, as I said before, with any freedom comes responsibility. With responsibility there can be consequences. Are you still with me? For example - I believe that anyone in this nation can stand up anywhere at anytime they want to and say anything they wish about, let’s say, President Bush. Yep, I DO believe that. And I don’t think there should be any consequences UNLESS what they had to say can be proven as an absolute direct threat to his physical well being. HE made the decision to run for office - with that comes “unpleasant” instances.

    I also believe people have the right to assemble, protest, etc. in public places. HOWEVER, attempting to or being successful in causing a grieving family to run a gauntlet in order to have access to a facility for a funeral is WAY out of bounds from a MORAL standpoint.

    Oh…what’s the point. People whose morals are thin at best, people who are arrogant and self serving will never even attempt to understand, as my grandmother so often said to me, “there is a time and a place for everything.” Often she reminded me that whatever I was doing or saying was being done in the wrong place or at the wrong time.

    Just OOOOOOOOONE more question Alyzza…there are many, as you know, freedoms “granted” to us. Now, I think I recall you making the point that freedom is freedom and there shouldn’t be any restrictions. Was I right?

    So….how ’bout that RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS? I’m kinda thinkin’ we’ve put some restrictions on that via laws haven’t we? Oh for shame!!!

    Jim - you aren’t worth my time.

  40. Terri on November 1st, 2007 1:22 pm

    The rights we have according to the Constitution all hinge on the premise that they do not infringe on the rights of others. That’s the key issue in this particular situation. These people have and continue to infringe on the rights of other people and now they’re being made to pay for that infringement.

    Not to mention the fact that Shirley Phelps-Roper should have been arrested for desecrating the American Flag (which by the way Alyzza, is against the law). Authorities in Nebraska, arrested her for doing so, as well as having her 10 year old child do the same. It’s just too bad that authorities in Kansas haven’t done what they should have done years ago, and committed Phelps and his wacko group of crack-pots to the Larned State Hospital (State mental institution in Kansas), for some of the stunts they’ve pulled over the years. In my opinion, that’s exactly where they belong.

  41. Alyzza Martin on November 1st, 2007 1:30 pm

    TERRI SAYS: Growing up in Kansas Alyzza, I was well aware of WBC, many years ago, before the wars began and the hate-filled garbage they’ve spewed in my home state for many years.

    I never said you weren’t aware of the WBC, Terri; I accused you of failing to take notice. There’s a subtle but profound difference here. The churches in Topeka have been aware of the WBC for 17 years, at least, but how many of them took notice before WBC picketers showed up on their own doorsteps?

    Many folks were aware that the WBC picketed the funerals of homosexuals, but how many of them took notice? And how many of those took action in the form of counter-protests?

    The failure to take notice of cruelty is just the same as approval. So many people, then, heartily approved of the WBC before that group turned on them. So many people were content to remain silent just so long as it was only the gays being targeted.

    But when the WBC turned on soldiers, on kids killed in school shootings, or even on Ruth Graham and Jerry Falwell, many of those same people started crowing about community decency standards.

    That ship sailed over a decade ago. One can’t fairly appeal to community decency standards now if he never worked to uphold them before.

    You - perhaps not you specifically, Terri, but you in a more general sense – helped make the WBC what it has become. First you did it through silence, and now you’re doing it through an unequal application of “decency standards.”

    Sure, I’d still disagree with the standard if such a thing existed, but at least I’d have to acknowledge there was a standard that had been fairly and consistently applied over the years.

    TERRI SAYS: They’ve also had the audacity to picket at the funerals of children who were killed in school shootings. And that’s okay with you?

    It’s “okay” with me in the sense that I don’t think anything can be done about it without damaging the integrity of the US First Amendment. Personally, I wouldn’t consider it a fair trade – my freedom of speech being eroded just so a bunch of people with whom I disagree can be stripped of theirs.

  42. Steve on November 1st, 2007 1:59 pm

    I am agnostic. These and other people waste their lives away believing in someone who hasn’t even shown any proof of his/her existence. Instead of hating/fighting/killing/dying for this person why don’t you spend more time coming together and actually figuring out if he even really exists or not? I mean, it’s not that I don’t believe in a God/gods it’s just that there is no proof, at all. Anywhere, everything that has happened in the history of mankind that is religiously based is feasibly created by humans and humans alone. And yeah, those retards from Kansas don’t have the moral right to do what they have been doing. In all honesty, I don’t know what I’d do if I saw one of those pickets in person. My truthful thoughts is that I would just want to kill every last one of them, albeit that fact that they have kids; traumatic, but we can fix that. I could carry on and on forever about this topic but all in all those bastards are just hypocrites who bash on America and it’s tolerance for homosexuals, they are the kinds of people who tear us apart, they are the ones that ruin society, those people should have their hands severed and their voice boxes removed from their throats so they may never again display their sick, twisted, immoral, ‘Christian’ beliefs.

    And I know what I said in that small article is extremely violent but it’s safe to say that many, many people were also thinking the same thing. I’m not saying go out and do it you idiots but, that’s just how angry these people make me and others, it’s ridiculous. Simply ridiculous.

  43. Terri on November 1st, 2007 2:00 pm

    How many of them took notice? Quite a few actually. They were in and out of the news for various things over the years in Kansas. Plus, considering that I worked as a Police Officer, I was VERY well aware of them and what they did, and you can bet we paid attention to them and what they were doing, throughout the state. They’ve tread the line of breaking the law for many, many years and we didn’t idly sit by. One person that I know of, took things into his own hands, instead of relying on the law, and for him, it resulted in criminal charges against him, which it should have, because he broke the law. However, I can understand his frustration with them, as well. You see Alyzza, you make ASSumptions about me, without knowing a thing about me.

  44. Alyzza Martin on November 1st, 2007 2:00 pm

    LETA SAYS: OK Alyzza - I just have to ask…from a constitutional stand point we are given Freedom of Speech. Yes? Agreed? And you feel as if there are no boundaries on Freedom of Speech. Right? Or at least there should be no boundaries. Am I correct so far?

    Nope. I think there should be some restrictions on speech. For example, uttering threats should be and is curtailed. Libel should be and is curtailed. Not only that, but those two forms of speech have always been verboten in modern times. They’ve always been actionable, and they’ve always been curtailed.

    It’s never been a matter of, “well, it was okay for so-and-so to libel everyone in sight for ten years, but now that he has chosen a politically sensitive group, it’s not okay anymore. Now, we’re going to sue him so bad he won’t be able to buy food anymore.”

    LETA SAYS: I, on the other hand, also believe in Freedom Speech. However, I believe that, as I said before, with any freedom comes responsibility. With responsibility there can be consequences. Are you still with me?

    That depends. Are you going to continue with your condescension? Because I have tons of other people I’m arguing with at the moment, and can only take so much time for one who talks down to me.

    LETA SAYS: For example - I believe that anyone in this nation can stand up anywhere at anytime they want to and say anything they wish about, let’s say, President Bush. Yep, I DO believe that. And I don’t think there should be any consequences UNLESS what they had to say can be proven as an absolute direct threat to his physical well being. HE made the decision to run for office - with that comes “unpleasant” instances.

    Then your beliefs are not internally consistent. You believe some things can be protested anywhere at any time, but not others. I could just as easily argue that soldiers volunteer for duty, and with that comes the sorts of political entanglements that bring out protesters.

    LETA SAYS: I also believe people have the right to assemble, protest, etc. in public places. HOWEVER, attempting to or being successful in causing a grieving family to run a gauntlet in order to have access to a facility for a funeral is WAY out of bounds from a MORAL standpoint.

    Your personal morality, even if it’s shared by millions of people, is not in itself sufficient grounds to justify the creation of a law.

    LETA SAYS: Oh…what’s the point. People whose morals are thin at best, people who are arrogant and self serving will never even attempt to understand, as my grandmother so often said to me, “there is a time and a place for everything.” Often she reminded me that whatever I was doing or saying was being done in the wrong place or at the wrong time.

    Your grandma’s folk wisdom, however good it might be, shouldn’t form the basis of a law.

    LETA SAYS: Just OOOOOOOOONE more question Alyzza…there are many, as you know, freedoms “granted” to us. Now, I think I recall you making the point that freedom is freedom and there shouldn’t be any restrictions. Was I right?

    Just OOOOOOOONE more answer, Leta: No, you weren’t right.

    LETA SAYS: So….how ’bout that RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS? I’m kinda thinkin’ we’ve put some restrictions on that via laws haven’t we? Oh for shame!!!

    Two things:

    One – Guns are designed to kill stuff. That’s why they exist. Speech, on the other hand, has many different uses. And since the WBC never made personal threats at those funeral protests, these two issues are not even remotely related.

    Two – I don’t agree with many restrictions on arms-bearing. Anyone not convicted of a violent crime, or who has not been deemed incapable of making his own decisions, should be allowed to have as many guns as he damn well pleases. There should be few restrictions on type, as well.

  45. Terri on November 1st, 2007 2:07 pm

    Steve I fully understand how you feel and can honestly say I’ve had those thoughts myself. You’re right when you say that they’re the type of people who tear this country apart. And yes their behavior is totally ridiculous.

  46. Alyzza Martin on November 1st, 2007 2:08 pm

    Well, Terri, I can see how your having worked as a police officer could put a damper on any overtly anti-WBC activities. You, of course, would have been called upon to uphold the law with impartiality. So no, I suppose my criticism couldn’t apply to you.

    I am curious, however, as to how you could tell when a person tool notice as opposed to merely sitting back. Did they counter-protest? Did they work to catch actionable law-breaking?

  47. Terri on November 1st, 2007 2:17 pm

    As I said, there’s one guy who took action against this group into his own hands and ended up in jail. Many many people made reports and complaints against these people over the years. Sometimes resulting in charges and sometimes not. The responding police officer’s duties were to ensure that the law was enforced, regardless of who was breaking the law and regardless of their feelings towards what these people did or do. Some would counter-protest or tear down their signs that they tacked around. Others unfortunately, are like many people in our Country, they walk away and don’t do take action. That’s a problem in this country regardless of what we’re talking about. I could cite countless instances of crimes occurring that people ignored because “they didn’t want to get involved.”

  48. Steve on November 1st, 2007 2:18 pm

    But seriously, now that the stress and anger of a long day has been dissipated.

    All I have to say to everyone is-

    Peace and love, no matter where you’re from, who you are or what you believe.

    Trust me, that post above ain’t me. That shit’s the nega-Steve.

    You people waste time and energy in this bickerin’, period.

    Call it what you want: talking, debating, bickering, fighting, arguing, etc.

    I don’t care, get over it.

    You can’t argue against me because nothing I have said is wrong, it’s set in stone.

    For all your sakes, go do something constructive.

    All of you just chill and live life.

  49. Terri on November 1st, 2007 2:20 pm

    Believe me Steve, I do plenty constructive in my life. I devote a large portion of my free time supporting our deployed Troops, I ensure that news of what’s really occurring in Iraq and Afghanistan is gotten out, since the media won’t. I work with Soldiers and their families every day, to ensure they’re getting the best services possible and I also volunteer my time at BAMC when I have the opportunity to go to San Antonio. How about you?

  50. Steve on November 1st, 2007 2:26 pm

    “large portion”

    Donate it all.

    And as for me?

    I don’t waste my time.

    Like now, goin’ out to serve my purpose as a friend to my friends.

    It may be insignificant at a certain standpoint, but my calling is to be there for the people who care about me and love me and that’s what I do for them. That’s all I need to do. And anyone out there that needs my help? All they gotta do is ask me.

    Peace, everyone.

  51. Terri on November 1st, 2007 2:30 pm

    I don’t waste my time either. What time I don’t spend at work, or at BAMC, or supporting the Troops, I spend here, making sure the information about what’s occurring that effects our Troops, what our Troops are accomplishing, gets out there. Giving my time and energy to the military and their family members is what I do, 100%.

  52. Twana Blevins on November 1st, 2007 2:57 pm

    Terri how much can I post in words? I’ve been waiting to confront these people (Jim) for quite a while. This will be good.

    I will wait to hear from you if I’ll have to break it into several posts.

  53. Terri on November 1st, 2007 3:08 pm

    As many words as you want Twana. Have at it!

  54. sad about it on November 1st, 2007 3:32 pm

    I just read about this in a college newspaper and had to go to the WBC website to see what it was about…all of this just saddens me. It saddens me that there are children being raised to believe in hatred and not love…it saddens me that soldiers who faught [and if you go back far enough in history, almost all (if not all) of us have a loved one who faught in a war] for a freedom, or a right, that they believed in or supported…not necessarily for themselves but for others [for us], are being desecrated. These people [relatives] gave selflessly to us, and those that currently serve continue to give. They deserve to be commended and loved.

    Thank you to those who serve, we love and support you, and God loves you too.

    For those of you who believe in the WBC, though your website sickens me and makes me really sad, I pity you. May God save you.

  55. Terri on November 1st, 2007 4:07 pm

    I know what you mean, sad about it. The hatred that this group of people preaches is beyond disgust. What’s really frightening is that they’re teaching their children this twisted hatred as well.

  56. Twana Blevins on November 1st, 2007 4:14 pm

    Jim, I am a Christian and I am going to show all who read this that you and your hateful group are not Christians. You are of your father - Satan. I will use scripture to show you are not true children of God.

    Matthew 7:15-23 This is Jesus speaking…

    Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits (I will share the Christian fruits a little later). Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit and, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown in the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

    Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

    Galatians 5:13-

    For you brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another.

    I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law.

    Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, HATRED, CONTENTIONS, jealousies, OUTBURST OF WRATH, SELFISH AMBITIONS, DISSENSIONS, HERESIES, ENVY, MURDERS, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past , that THOSE WHO PRACTICE SUCH THINGS WILL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

    But the fruits of the Spirit is LOVE, JOY, PEACE, LONGSUFFERING, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, SELF-CONTROL. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with it’s passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become CONCEITED, PROVOKING ONE ANOTHER, ENVYING ONE ANOTHER.

    Now Jim if you are a child of God you are to walk in the Spirit and also live the fruits of the Spirit. Obviously everyone can see your group is not in the Spirit.
    Your group is in the flesh.

    There are ethics of God’s family. The new life comes to sinners as a gift of God’s free grace and must be expressed in a new lifestyle. Those who have received grace must be thankful; those who are greatly loved must show great love to others; those who live because they are forgiven must themselves forgive; those who know God as the lovingly heavenly Father must accept His providence without bitterness, honoring Him at all times by trusting in His protecting care. In a word, God’s children must be like their Father and their Savior and be utterly unlike the world. (Matt. 5:43-48; 6:12-15; 18:21-35; 20:26-28; 22:35-40)

    I have gone to your website and I was horrified to see you claim to be of the reformed faith (Calvinist Views.) Why was I horrified by that - Because I am of the reformed faith in the calvinist views and I would not want anyone to think your churches teachings truly reflect on the doctrines of the reformed faith. If you tried to come to my church you would be under church discipline in a second. So for anyone reading this - please do not let the Westboro style give you the idea that is what reformed churches are about. It’s not.

    From the scriptures that I’ve quoted we can all see you are not Christians. YOU DO NOT HAVE ANY OF THE FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT.

    Jesus also gave us the beatitudes:

    Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they shall be comforted.
    Blessed are the MEEK,
    for they shall inherit the earth.
    Blesses are the MERCIFUL,
    Blessed are the PURE IN HEART,
    Blessed are the PEACEMAKERS,
    Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    Did you catch the last one? who are persecuted for righteousness sake?

    It does not say blessed are those who persecute others!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Therefore your actions tell me and all others - you are not God’s child. You are Satan’s child!!!!!!