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Can you beleve this

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by David Tarantino, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. Mar 2, 2011 at 8:47 AM
    #1
    David Tarantino

    David Tarantino [OP] Well-Known Member

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    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the First Amendment protects fundamentalist church members who mount attention-getting, anti-gay protests outside military funerals.
    The court voted 8-1 in favor of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan. The decision upheld an appeals court ruling that threw out a $5 million judgment to the father of a dead Marine who sued church members after they picketed his son's funeral.
    Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the opinion for the court.
    Justice Samuel Alito dissented.
    It was a huge victory for a group whose antics have outraged many, including veterans groups, according to NBC News' justice correspondent Pete Williams.
    While the protests were painful, the majority wrote that the Constitution protects even hurtful speech on public issues.
    "What Westboro said, in the whole context of how and where it chose to say it, is entitled to 'special protection' under the First Amendment," Roberts wrote, "and that protection cannot be overcome by a jury finding that the picketing was outrageous."
    "Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and — as it did here — inflict great pain," Roberts added.
    'Thank God for dead soldiers'
    Matthew Snyder died in Iraq in 2006 and his body was returned to the United States for burial. Members of the Westboro Baptist Church, who have picketed military funerals for several years, decided to protest outside the Westminster, Md., church where Snyder's funeral was to be held.
    The Rev. Fred Phelps and other family members who make up most of the Westboro Baptist Church have picketed many military funerals in their quest to draw attention to their incendiary view that U.S. deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq are God's punishment for the nation's tolerance of homosexuality
    They showed up with their usual signs, including "Thank God for dead soldiers," "You're Going to Hell," "God Hates the USA/Thank God for 9/11," and one that combined the U.S. Marine Corps motto, Semper Fi, with a slur against gay men.
    The church members drew counter-demonstrators, as well as media coverage and a heavy police presence to maintain order. The result was a spectacle that led to altering the route of the funeral procession.
    Several weeks later, Albert Snyder was surfing the Internet for tributes to his son from other soldiers and strangers when he came upon a poem on the church's website that attacked Matthew's parents for the way they brought up their son.
    Soon after, Albert Snyder filed a lawsuit accusing the Phelpses of intentionally inflicting emotional distress. He won $11 million at trial, later reduced by a judge to $5 million.
    The federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., threw out the verdict and said the Constitution shielded the church members from liability.
    Forty-eight states, 42 U.S. senators and veterans groups sided with Snyder, asking the court to shield funerals from the Phelps family's "psychological terrorism."
    While distancing themselves from the church's message, media organizations, including The Associated Press, urged the court to side with the Phelps family because of concerns that a victory for Snyder could erode speech rights.
     
  2. Mar 2, 2011 at 8:54 AM
    #2
    MxRacer190

    MxRacer190 Well-Known Member

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    You can't pick and choose what to protect in the constitution. It's all or nothing, and this is sadly one of their rights that needs to be protected.
     
  3. Mar 2, 2011 at 8:55 AM
    #3
    Lost_Humanity

    Lost_Humanity Bad decisions make great stories.

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    Unfortunately, the 1st Amendment of the Constitution defends the right to Free Speech. While I feel that this is the most important of all our rights, it is shameful that people like the Westboro Baptist Church hide behind it.

    I support their right to speak freely -- but I wish they would shut the fuck up.
     
  4. Mar 2, 2011 at 8:57 AM
    #4
    MxRacer190

    MxRacer190 Well-Known Member

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    x2. They're giving true Christians a bad name.
     
  5. Mar 2, 2011 at 8:58 AM
    #5
    David Tarantino

    David Tarantino [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yes yes i know but its not right
     
  6. Mar 2, 2011 at 9:01 AM
    #6
    MxRacer190

    MxRacer190 Well-Known Member

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    Neither is building a Mosque at ground Zero, but it's legal.
     
  7. Mar 2, 2011 at 9:01 AM
    #7
    Yoytoda

    Yoytoda The Little Truck That Could

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    that really sucks but i have to agree their rights should be protected. I think that the rest of the US should go to their church and out cast them from our nation. force them out. If they hate america so much then maybe they can appreciate someplace else. no apprciatinon for those dead soldiers that allow them that freedom of speech...
     
  8. Mar 2, 2011 at 9:06 AM
    #8
    mjp2

    mjp2 Living vicariously though myself Moderator

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    The upside of all this is that the 1st Amendment does not protect them from the consequences of their rhetoric.

    They can say whatever they want, but so can everyone else.

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    I love the counter-protests. :)
     
  9. Mar 2, 2011 at 9:09 AM
    #9
    derekabraham

    derekabraham Living vicariously through everybody

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    I love how the little kid in the last picture has no idea what's going on. :p
     
  10. Mar 2, 2011 at 9:09 AM
    #10
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    x2, I support the saying, "stand behind our troops or feel free to stand in front of them!"

    If these people are that anti-American, I say send them off, get the f-out! I think they should get arrested for the Thank God for 9/11 signs for suspected support of a terrorist group then take their time interrogating each and every one of them. It'll at least shut them up for a little while if they're in a holding cell.
     
  11. Mar 2, 2011 at 9:11 AM
    #11
    BryWi

    BryWi Psalm 109:8

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    Below is a passage on the same plane as many of your posts.

    A quote from the movie "An American President". I always thought this summed up the dichotomy of freedom pretty well:

    "America isn't easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, 'cause it's gonna put up a fight. It's gonna say "You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country can't just be a flag; the symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the "land of the free"."
     
  12. Mar 2, 2011 at 9:12 AM
    #12
    mjp2

    mjp2 Living vicariously though myself Moderator

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    Actions like that are how they continue to fund their activities. They have lawyers in the family and sue any town, company, organization, or person that attempts to silence their message or attack them in any way.

    Compensation from a wrongful imprisonment suit would keep them in business for a good long time.
     
  13. Mar 2, 2011 at 9:14 AM
    #13
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    Unfortunatly, you are 100% correct... which is why I stay out of politics and political debates. I have a strong feeling of what I feel is right and wrong but the politics behind it are very complicated. You may think you're helping the situation but you just end up supporting the very thing you tried to destroy...
     
  14. Mar 2, 2011 at 9:16 AM
    #14
    90YotaPU

    90YotaPU The Messiah

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    Absolutely amazing. While I understand the purpose of freedom of speech, the judges have to use a little common sense. This country is going down the tubes and fast. I can't believe nobody from the funeral didn't kick one of the arses. That woulda been first on my agenda.
     
  15. Mar 2, 2011 at 9:19 AM
    #15
    Lost_Humanity

    Lost_Humanity Bad decisions make great stories.

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    See above.

    As soon as you kicked said arses, they would sue the ever-loving crap out of you for assault. Then you'd be directly funding their campaign.

    It was an 8-1 decision, with the only dissenter being Alito. So, I think it's safe to assume that the Court kind knew where they stood heading into this one.
     
  16. Mar 2, 2011 at 9:24 AM
    #16
    Lost_Humanity

    Lost_Humanity Bad decisions make great stories.

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    in my opinion, the best way to combat these idiots is to work with the local municipalities to have counter-protests in the same vicinity.

    Ideally, the counter-protest would be afforded a spot in front of the WBC, and when the processional comes by, everyone just holds up large blank cards which obscure the others from view.

    Then, once the WBC folks get pissed and assault you, the counter-protesters can flip the script and sue them for assault. Do this a couple times and they'll go out of business.

    The trick is that the counter-protesters have to be completely peaceful at all times.
     
  17. Mar 2, 2011 at 10:15 AM
    #17
    mjp2

    mjp2 Living vicariously though myself Moderator

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  18. Mar 2, 2011 at 10:19 AM
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    mjp2

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  19. Mar 2, 2011 at 10:25 AM
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    BryWi

    BryWi Psalm 109:8

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  20. Mar 2, 2011 at 10:27 AM
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    Krazie Sj

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