Thursday, November 01, 2007

Anti-Gay, America-Hating Kooks Get Their Comeuppance

That's the only title I could come up with to describe this victory:

A federal jury in Baltimore awarded nearly $11 million in damages yesterday to the family of a Marine from Maryland whose funeral was disrupted by members of a Kansas-based fundamentalist church.

One of the defendants said the civil award was the first against the church, whose members have stirred anger across the nation by picketing at funerals for service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, often carrying placards bearing virulent anti-gay slogans. The church maintains that God is punishing the United States, killing and maiming troops, because the country tolerates homosexuality.

Unrepentant Fred Phelps is somehow undeterred, and continues to somehow see in the First Amendment the right to disturb private military funerals with hate speech:

"It was a bunch of silly heads passing judgment on God," he said. "I don't believe anyone in the courtroom knows what the First Amendment is. Religious views are expressly protected by the First Amendment. You can't prosecute a preacher in civil law or in criminal law for what he preaches."

Fred Phelps and his ungodly coterie miss the mark big time, but the family of Lance Cpl. Snyder sets them straight:

"The fact of the matter is, a funeral's private," said one of their attorneys, Sean Summers. "There was no public concern when [church members] showed up with a 'God Hates You' sign."

Exactly. This is open and shut for me. Not only are these rogues utterly hateful in their rhetoric, they do not have the right to invade private funerals with their rhetoric. For the life of me, I cannot fathom why the ACLU has taken sides with the Phelps, although if you ask some people, they'll tell you it makes perfect sense.

1 comment:

Roland Dodds said...

Couldn’t agree more. A military funeral is a private matter, and if this group wanted to protest the issues they have with America, they should have done it a few blocks from the funeral.

They are still assholes worth fighting, but I would defend their right to protest and Free Speech if they did at outside of someone’s private funeral.