Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Snyder v. Phelps


Big argument in our U.S. Supreme Court today. This matter charges the black robed 9 with the difficult question of whether a lower court verdict of 5 million dollars for intentional infliction of emotional distress should be reinstated against the kooks and religio-whack jobs at Westboro "Church." The members of this organization picketed the funeral of Marine Lance Corporal,Matthew Snyder with signs like the ones pictured above. Certainly our 1st Amendment rights are of extreme importance. But what of the rights of the Family to bury their son in peace and free from harassment? Justice Ginsburg frames the issue as whether Freedom of Speech rights must tolerate "exploiting this bereaved family."
As for the "protestors"...I cannot fathom how they rationalize their behaviour as Christian...they take the position that our soldiers killed in the Mid-East theatre are dead because of Divine retribution for our Country's myriad sins and wickedness; like tolerating homosexuals and abortion. This distraught father wanted to bury his son and he had to deal with these jack-asses....part of me wishes the local police had taken a fire hose to these misguided, pseudo Christian , publicity hungry swine when they showed up to picket the somber occassion of the bureal of a fallen soldier.
From a profesional perspective, I am very interested in how our High Court reasons their way thru this mine field of a case.

12 comments:

JMW said...

Whenever I hear about this man and his followers, I get so angry! After everything these soldiers do for our country, including giving their lives, then their families must deal with this insanity. And, it IS insanity. Boy, will Phelps be surprised on Judgement Day. "What do you mean I'm not getting in?!" :)

Anonymous said...

Mr. MLS, I concur with you regarding these crackpots and look forward to your professional perspective on the outcome. However, what should one look for in an authentic Christian? Might not Christianity as a moral and ethical compass be much improved upon?

Regards,
Hilton

"Don't wait for the last judgement- it takes place every day."
Camus

Main Line Sportsman said...

Anon, To reply to your rhetorical query, I would borrow a line from Woody Allen's movie "Hannah and Her Sisters." A character played by Max Von Sydow states: " If Jesus were to come back today and saw all the things that were done in his name, he would never stop throwing up."

Jay said...

I'm pretty much a free speech absolutist, but freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom to harass. Protesting a private funeral isn't the same thing as protesting the government.

Of course there's two sides to the debate. Can people sue in civil court for damages and can the government ban the protests. I would say yes to the first one and no to the second. But, I'm no expert.

Darrin said...

I agree with Jay. There's a big difference in freedom of speech and desecrating the sanctity of a funeral. Whatever happened to respect for the dead?

Keith said...

I am so disgusted by this Phelps look and his crazy church. These people are subhuman. They make me sick and angry. It disturbs me so much that they are doing their vile protests at the funerals on the honorable soldiers who gave their lives for this great country of ours.

ADG said...

I heard a spokesman...and that's being beyond generous...for that bunch of wackos and it made me sick. I'm a free speech First Amendment guy and who knows how the Court will net this out. What I'd do is shut them down/up every time they assembled...doing so under some bogus...disturbing the peace/unruly whatever ordinance, knowing that a judge would throw it out. But at least the funeral could proceed unfettered...my flimsy approach but what else is there to do?

Pearl said...

It's an embarrassment, and I am grateful that it is not on my docket!

Pearl

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

It is difficult for me to identify the 'good guys' in this scenario. It seems to mee they are all wicked in their own way. The group protesting the funeral of this Marine...the group promoting and celebrating deviant sexual behaviour...the group slaughtering innocent people in the Middle East...or the group sending young men and women to the Middle East in the first place. America is so owned, you don't even see it.

Genuine Lustre said...

I'm the mother of a soldier, and I still don't know what to think about this situation. Good point, Jay, about demonstrating at a private event.

The Patriot Guard motorcycle group always tries to be present at military funerals, to form a barrier between the family and these crazies. God bless 'em.

Reggie Darling said...

As a patriotic, church-going American I consider the cloaking of this crackpot behavior under the guise of Christianity to be repellant in the extreme. I'm with Jay on this as far as what the Constitution protects concerning free speech. I also agree with ADG that these nuts should be socked with whatever charges can be justified, such as disturbing the peace, etc., until they give up their vicious, attention-seeking antics.

Oh, and it would help if the MSM wouldn't give this Phelps creep any air time. The pathetic rantings of the crazy is not newsworthy, in my view, but rather the manifestation of a psychotic condition that merits medication, if not a straitjacket and a well-padded room.

PS, came via The Daily Prep and Maximinimus...

Anonymous said...

Just because it's legal doesn't mean it's honorable.