Google +LinkedInPinterestYouTubeInstagramTwitterFacebook

Should the father of slain Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder have to pay the legal fees for the Westboro Baptist Church?

Yes, because if you take someone to court, you put yourself at the mercy of the court.
1% (46 votes)
Yes, because whether we agree with it or not, the church is practicing its constitutional right of free speech.
2% (74 votes)
No, because the right to free speech does not include defamation and invasion of privacy.
37% (1755 votes)
No, because the families of slain servicemembers have earned the right to have a peaceful, respectful funeral.
60% (2828 votes)
Total votes: 4703

 

View more polls

 

gunny23

April 1, 2010 - 11:22am

What are we doing? We, as a Nation, believe it is okay to mock the assignation of a great man, JFK with nudity and freedom of speech or exhibition is just wrong. It is wrong to protest at a fallen veteran's grave as the family grieves for their son who paid the ultimate price so that you could protest the very thing that secured our many freedoms to begin with. I am beside myself with disgust; it saddens me and weakens our nation. Freedom of speech is the right of all Americans, however, it comes at a price that our Veterans have paid and continue to pay each and every day that we exist as a free Nation. The burning of the flag, the ultimate sacrifice made by our military and its veterans, and yes the freedoms we enjoy should be honored and respected,but when these rights are turn inside upon ourselves and attack the very fibers of our Nation we should stamp the flames out and prosecute the individuals who violate what has been paid for in blood.

bry

April 1, 2010 - 3:27pm

Does this church really excess as in brick and morter or is it just in this guys mind so he can sound off and be a j**k,did he he attin a bible school to learn how to preach?? hell as a special place for him thats for sure.

g r tomko

April 1, 2010 - 3:41pm

What is especially galling is that Westboro LOST in a lower court. These judges are charging costs based on an earlier Westboro loss, and their appeal. Even the nat'l Baptist Church disavows this church group.
GRT

Revhawk

April 1, 2010 - 4:24pm

As an ordained minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ I am disgusted by the actions of this church and membership. The Bible clearly teaches that we (Christians) will be known by our love. It is evident that this church group has not read the Bible or they are interpreting it for their own agenda. They definitely are not exhibiting love. I would liken this pastor to Jim Jones for the blind devotion his followers exhibit toward him and his agenda. May God have mercy on their souls. I have not researched them but I would guess the "pastor" has never served in the military, especially in a combat zone.

logic101

April 3, 2010 - 10:53am

There are over 34,000 denominations of Christianity. Each one of these is interpreting the bible to what they believe it to say.

Each denomination is picking and choosing what verses to follow. They also decide in what context the bible verses mean.

Since you are a so called “ordained minister,” I suggest you read the bible again.

“The Bible clearly teaches that we (Christians) will be known by our love.”

Please… How about this one:

"I come not to bring peace, but to bring a sword" (Matthew 10:34)

louie23073

April 1, 2010 - 4:44pm

This is just a sad day in the United States of America these people should have been locked up.Freedom of speech? That young Marine is the reason why we have freedom of speech.

deadendbluff

April 1, 2010 - 4:46pm

Sooner or later a family member within this bizarre church group is going to die. What a beautiful time for 50,000 Freedom Riders to appear and express their "freedom of speech!" These are some real sorry, pathetic, mis-guided human beings. Doesn't say much for the judge in this case either, does it? We do have certain unalienable rights, to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This means we DO HAVE THE RIGHT to greive without interruption and defamation.

dmzsgt

April 1, 2010 - 7:26pm

I think deadendbluff has hit the perfect compromise. The LAST thing any of us should do is sink to these ??? level BUT, by attending one of their funerals makes real good sense to me and I would be glad to have me and my powerwheelchair in front.

billreiner

April 1, 2010 - 5:13pm

The freedom of speech is like the freedom to protect yourself.
While we have a right to protect ourselves, we do not have a right to use excessive force to do so.
We must not injure or kill someone when it is not required.
The right to speak is not a right to be heard, it’s not a right to get in someone’s face.
Theirs was not the "peaceable assembly" mentioned in the U.S. Constitution.

chzhead

April 1, 2010 - 5:20pm

This judge should be impeached. These sorry turds don't ever want to show up at a funeral for a service member in my area. They are disgusting human pieces of excrement. They know nothing of the bible or its teaching. How sad for America that we have the likes of this bunch breathing our air.

logic101

April 3, 2010 - 10:35am

Impeached on what grounds? Is it because of the decision? Give me a break.

If you did something to them if they showed up in your area, you would get in trouble. In the eyes of the LAW, they are not doing anything wrong.

rdickerson

April 1, 2010 - 5:25pm

How about all of us veterans go to the church and express our free speech.

jimmyo152

April 1, 2010 - 10:03pm

From a combat veteran....to another.......Now that is a real answer. Go brother!!!!

acutshall

April 1, 2010 - 5:29pm

This "church" has twisted the Constitution such that "Freedom of Speech" is now used liberally to mean any form of expression without regard for the rights of others. According to their definition, I could express my "Freedom of Speech" about my neighbor and shout at the top of my lungs with a bullhorn all night. Would anyone really put up with that? In my neighborhood, if I did something like that I would be arrested for disturbing the peace. These idiots disturbed the peace of the poor marine's family! A man that fought and died for their freedoms!!

What needs to happen is to have people picket their church during their "worship" service with signs, bullhorns, and such! They should get a taste of what they dish out! Surely they couldn't have the protesters arrested without showing just how two-faced they really are! It's too bad I don't live near them or that's just exactly what I would do.

scrollworkman

April 1, 2010 - 5:53pm

God is testing the members of the Westboro Baptist Church and they failed miserably.Please don't associate Baptists with these repugnant people.

cw2glmongan

April 1, 2010 - 6:47pm

It is sad that the freedom(s) we fought for are now used against us. As a "long in dthe tooth" military person, I can remember when this conduct would not have been tolerated, but if it did occur, we could punch the daylights out of them. If we lost, we took our lumps, and if we won, they took their lumps.
I agree, let us congregate and surround that "church" during their "services" and act similar to them and imitate their actions. Do this for several times, during their "service". However, get a permit from the city and county for santioned protest, then that
"church" cannot protest because we are legal and within the law.

logic101

April 3, 2010 - 10:27am

"...get a permit from the city and county for santioned protest, then that
"church" cannot protest because we are legal and within the law."

Guess what?

They also have their permit and are legal and within the law.

biggsbigbear91c50

April 3, 2010 - 11:09am

have talked it over with our mayor anf sshe will do her best to stop any applaction from this group. if they show up anyway our pd/sherriffs office will deal with them. . and yes most of them are vets and al/vfw members

dmzsgt

April 1, 2010 - 7:22pm

Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall years ago ruled that, "free speech is a cherished part of our system BUT that does not give anyone the right to yell fire in a crowded building." I would think common sense would prevail that it also does not allow for invasion of privacy.

logic101

April 3, 2010 - 11:32am

Wow, you quoted a nonexisted quote.

The quote is from Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.'s opinion in the United States Supreme Court case Schenck v. United States in 1919.

Holmes wrote:

“The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic. [...] The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.”

mavaughanpost75

April 1, 2010 - 7:40pm

Does not the Bible say to (rough memory) "Judge not, lest ye be judged"? If this is the case, then "pastor phelps" (I do not capitalize the letter "P" for pastor since he does not have any respect from me and the same for his name) violates everything he talks about. One has to wonder though, does anyone in his congregation have anyone in the service? What would happen if he/she/they were to be killed in the war? What then? A double standard maybe?

jude

April 1, 2010 - 7:43pm

I am a no vote on this. Wrong question, wrong answers. There seem to be so many pieces of human debris. Tommorow is Good Friday. What is it that the dying Jesus asked of his Father before he passed? He left us a tough road.

rwmorton44

April 1, 2010 - 9:02pm

At what point did we lose our common sense, does it make any sense to allow a group of ingrates to take advantage of the 1st amendment to desecrate the ceremonies for the laying to rest of a fallen hero and protector of our freedom who has payed the ultimate price. Have we degenerated so far that we allow this type of disrespect in the name of freedom of speech? I firmly believe in free speech but can't some things be off limits to this type of non-sense?

Remember your regiment.

amauck

April 1, 2010 - 9:28pm

This group started out by protesting at Gay funerals. They tried protesting at Matthew Sheppard's funeral, the young man who was a 21-year-old student at the University of Wyoming who was tortured and murdered near Laramie, Wyoming in October 1998. They carried hateful signs that said "BURN IN HELL" and "GOD HATES F@GS!" Many felt, back then, that they should be able to protest at these funerals, since it's "just gays" and "who cares about them". Now they've turned their twisted hate towards the military. Is it any different? Seriously - is ANYONE'S funeral a place for this to happen? The sacrifice of our brothers and sisters in arms, their service, their honor - those things aren't being besmirched here (they can't be) - it's their HUMANITY that is being dishonored. The same humanity that anyone - gay or straight - has, and that should be protected from vermin like these "people". Hate should not be a part of our social vocabulary.

VotingGunOwner

April 2, 2010 - 12:56pm

To answer your question, No. I did not protest when they were doing this to gays. In case you haven't noticed, this is the American Legion website here. We are the nation's oldest veterans group. We're not a gay advocacy group.

logic101

April 3, 2010 - 11:42am

We are the nation's LARGEST veterans group. The VFW is the oldest (1899).

bbz3qmt

April 1, 2010 - 9:57pm

How can this group claim to be Christian? The hate and bigotry expressed by them and their actions in beyond belief. When I read the story in Army Times, I thought about my diverse family, you name it, my family has it, veteran, lesbian, homosexual, convict, divinity student, mixed race, and on and on. So this group is attacking me. Thankfully there is a father out there willing to stand up and say enough! I challenge all of the American Legion members to send $ 10 to this father to help defray his expenses so far. He's $50,000 in the hole and his attorneys are not charging him. It will be a long haul before the Supreme Court makes a decision and we need to support him. We can not allow bigotry and hatred t0o hold sway over our mighty nation, we may have taken some lumps but don't count us out. WE are tougher than people sometimes think. Happy Easter.

jimmyo152

April 1, 2010 - 10:00pm

Something more disgusting to me is the 28 people who voted yes. I was at the funeral and this had nothing to do with free speech. The entire purpose was to disrupt the funeral of an American Hero. Not one member of the Viet Nam Vets or the Veterans of Foreign Wars voted in favor of these scum bags. Sounds like you are more concerned about gay rights then the family of this American Solder.

thomdavies2053

April 1, 2010 - 10:11pm

I am a chaplain and have probably had 5 or 6 run ins promised by these morons. They never showed or if they did they were afraid to run there mouths. The Viet Vets, Freedom Riders, and probably Hell Angels were in prominence presence. I want to say that CA has made it illegal for the morons to disrupt a funeral. Where were the police? Why weren't they doing their jobs? The family had to come in through the the back door of the funeral home? How many people saw that the head moron had a flag wrapped around his foot and he was walking on it? If the Supreme Court finds in the families favor they should sue them into bankruptcy. I seriously doubt they are incorporated so that means the individual members are responsible for the actions of the pastor and the church. We should all pay the church a visit.

bobsimon22

April 1, 2010 - 10:45pm

As for me.....they should be on the government terriorist kist and treated the same!!
These people are all insane and the government needs to step in and take action.....oh that is right, they are too busy screwing with healthcare.
Wonder what these Justices would do if this were one of their own relatives that these people would picket....bet they would change their minds...and that goes for our members of the congress and senate....bet that would change things around.

I am a
Vietnam Veteran.....and also the Father of a current Air Force Man.

Shadow walker

April 1, 2010 - 11:54pm

I am a Navy Vet and 70 yrs old, my Grandfather was a soldier in WW1, my Father was in WW11 and my son was in Bosnia. We all served our country and did so to keep our freedoms and freedom of speech is one of those rights. I am truly tired of sick demented morons taking advantage of what every service man fought for and then disrespecting the men and women who gave them the right to protest. These are the people we will stand togather against for we are the oath takers and people like this are a threat to are well being. I think maybe we should give them a vacation in a country that does not have freedom such as ours. As long as I can take a breath I will allow no one to disrespect a fallen serviceman or women, let these people protest on the own ground and just maybe they will get God slapped

foryorkies

April 2, 2010 - 6:55am

As a member of the Disabled American Veterans Organization, we always attend every funeral of every local service member that has paid the ultimate sacrifice for this great country, and we have never had any trouble with anyone protesting the funerals. If we ever do there may be other funerals that they may have to attend to. As a retired US Army Special Forces Soldier who spent 20 years active duty and then 16 years as a DOD civilian working for the US Army, I would not allow these idiots to protest and get away with what they seem to be getting away with at other funerals, we always have our chapter attend all the funerals, and we could gently remind these folks that they are not welcome to attend any funeral of a fallen hero, that they would be best for them to turn around and go back where they came from and study history and remind them that if it was not for the military they would not have the freedom of speech so they would be better served by not protesting the funeral.

Binhthuy

April 16, 2010 - 10:37am

As a veteran organization you are required to ASK if the family wants you to attend. You can provide support by setting a perimeter of respect but again it has to be at the request or permission of the family

angilan

April 2, 2010 - 7:33am

My Brother in arms; My condolences goes out to the Parents of this Veteran, but it is law that Lord God said it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him help mate for him, Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam,and he slept:and he took one of his ribs,and closed up the flesh instead thereof,and the rib,which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman,and brought her unto man,and Adam said "This is now bones of my bones,and flesh of my flesh;she shall be called woman,because she was taken out of man".
And it goes on; Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination, If a man lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death: their blood shall be upon them.
And it goes on; And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another;men with men working that which is unseemly. you wanna play,your going to pay.

VotingGunOwner

April 2, 2010 - 12:41pm

How does this justify what those looney church members are doing at military funerals?? Was it the soldier's (or Marine's) fault that Obama has rescinded the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy and seeks to integrate openly gay people into the military? How is this the fault of the average soldier killed in action? Seems to me that their anger and protetations are misplaced. They should go picket the White House.

logic101

April 3, 2010 - 11:55am

"Was it the soldier's (or Marine's) fault that Obama has rescinded the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy and..."

The "Don't ask, don't tell" policy has not been recinded.

hm1wil

June 18, 2010 - 5:21pm

9-11 “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (if you cannot prove he was homosexual then you slander).
"Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil...
Common subject is slander - put up or shut up!

rmc1815

April 2, 2010 - 11:50am

Open your eyes people. This group of money hungry whackos don't give a damn about religion. They are in this for one thing, and one thing only... $$$$. They are evil and they are preying on those that have lost a loved one. Showing up and trying to entice people to stike out at them so they can turn around and sue. That is what it is all about. Yeah... I wouldn't mind stomping them into a mudhole. But the best thing to do is stand as a barrier between them and the familes.

VotingGunOwner

April 2, 2010 - 12:36pm

I would just like to caution the Westboro Chruch with what they are doing. Emotions can run high at a funeral, and sooner or later some family member is going to "snap" and just unload on the protestors. Here in Indiana 1 of every 7 adult citizens holds a carry permit. An armed society is a polite society.

pbaeyens

April 2, 2010 - 4:38pm

You will know them by their fruits.....

They profess that they know God: but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

JJSemperFi

April 2, 2010 - 6:56pm

What does it say about the God these people believe in it they need to take such hurtful actions against those who die fighting to give them the freedom to disrespect them and their grieving families? Is their God so weak that he cannot exert his will without their help? Would they refuse the protection that a serviceman provides--- during a conflict which would jeopardize their lives as well as many others--- simply because he or she is gay?

It seems their tactics are the desperate attempts of a failing group to gain attention (not too different from what terrorists do) to ONE SINGLE aspect of their idea of a religious life. What of the other precepts such as love your neighbor, turn the other cheek and so on? Then ask not what Paul said but what is recorded of what JESUS said about homosexuality. ZIP, NADA, NICHTS, NIENTE. But Jesus did say that even speaking harshly to your brother is tantamount to murder. "The thought is father to the deed."

larrywj2

April 3, 2010 - 12:37am

My right to swing my fist ends at your nose.

Thank God for men like Bill O'Reilly. Not only is he standing for what he believes, he is also writing the check. These men paid in blood, but Bill is using the power God gave him to do good.

Protesters please, take your argument where it will have merit, instead of skreaching for the sole purpose of camera time. How many verses are there directing you against exactly the type of wasteful use of assets? Too many to list here.

Larry

Radici

April 3, 2010 - 1:14am

I have worked with people who profess to being Baptist and none of them believe or behave like the Westboro mob. Maybe the Ameican Legion members and other veterans should protest at all of their church services. Then maybe they will learn that the right ofn free speech applies to all citizens.

relfstro

April 3, 2010 - 5:55am

These people have once again twisted the First Amendment. People, the law is useless to perform justice in these matters. They know it. They count on you sitting around and saying, " what a shame", and doing nothing. Protest outside their church. Discontinue any financial support. Dont do business with anyone who does support them. Drive them from your community.You have to stand up and silence these idiots.

rfulsom

April 4, 2010 - 2:24pm

It is sad that certain parts of our nation have not learned from the mistakes in their past!

When the "National body" was threatened in 1916 (WWI) sons of our forefathers went to War to preserve our way of life, our freedoms (speech & religion) and our nation. When those that lost their lives, were buried in memorials in foreign lands or brought home in honor, the "entire" nation mourned for them.

In 1941 (WWII) the young men & women who sacrificed their lives were honored.

In Korea it was the same story!

Again in Vietnam, the difference was that the living and dead from this war were cursed at, disrespected, and called "Baby Killers! However the men and women of the Armed Forces still put their lives in danger to protect our our rights and "Freedoms".

It is a sad reflection on parts our nation that take the same "Freedoms" and twist them to dishonor the dead and our great nation!!

If you enjoy these freedoms, THANK A VET!

Peter63

April 7, 2010 - 4:10pm

all service members and there families have ernd the right to a peaceful funeral and no body should think that they have a right to disrupt the services ,and for a court to tell the farther that he has to pay the court cost for the church that shamefully dishonored his sons funeral, well one the Judge should bee removed ,too the preacher for the church should be excommunicated and not be aloud to practice the teachings any more and be run out of the country on a rail ,,what does this say about us as Americans , but that's how things are now in our country all i can say is God Help And God Save America .................

Binhthuy

April 16, 2010 - 10:35am

As a veteran organization you are required to ASK if the family wants you to attend. You can provide support by setting a perimeter of respect but again it has to be at the request or permission of the family.

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <p>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Tell us what you think