Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Westboro Church Found Guilty of Being Stupid

Westboro Baptist Church and the Rev. Fred Phelps were slapped today with $10.9 million penalty for being stupid ( update: $2.9 million in compensatory damages plus $8 million in punitive damages.) It's about time, too. Phelps and his inbred family have been desecrating the funerals of the Honored Dead for too many years while hiding behind the First Amendment's rights to free speech and religious freedom.

The Southern Poverty Law Center set the example in 2ooo when they successfully sued an American neo-nazi group who also claimed First Amendment rights as a church to conduct hate fests and spew their filth. That group was put out of business and had to sell all of their real estate to meet the judgement.

Kansas church liable in gay Marine funeral protest
Wed Oct 31, 2007 4:21pm EDT
By John Hurdle

BALTIMORE, Oct 31 (Reuters) - A jury on Wednesday ordered a Kansas church to pay $2.9 million in compensatory damages to relatives of a gay U.S. Marine after church members cheered his death at his funeral.

The jury in federal court determined that the Westboro Baptist Church based in Topeka, and three of its principals had invaded the privacy of the dead man's family and inflicted emotional distress when they protested at his funeral last year.

The soldier's death was God's punishment on America for tolerating homosexuality, the church's members said.

Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder died in combat in Iraq in March 2006. The Westboro Church was sued by his father, Albert Snyder of York, Pennsylvania. The case was the first civil suit against the church, which has demonstrated at some 300 military funerals in the last two years.

The church, which is unaffiliated to any major denomination, is headed by Rev. Fred Phelps who has been waging a one-man war against homosexuality for years. Most members of the church belong to his extended family.
Like Al Capone found out, you can't escape the long arm of the righteous law. Capone was guilty of numerous murders, but evidence was sparse. So the Feds got him on tax evasion. Westboro Church was well within it's rights under the First Amendment vis-a-vis the government, but they afoul of the rights of the individual citizen and their right to privacy.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.


don said...

There really is no limit to the depths of depravity is there?

Gayle said...

This is good news indeed, Indigo. I'm so glad they finally got what's coming to them. Well, part of what's coming to them anyway. They've caused so many people so much grief I honestly think a jail sentence wouldn't be out of order for these folks. I know - "Freedom of Speech" and all that, but it's being abused big time. There's got to be a line in the sand drawn somewhere!

Indigo Red said...

You're right, Don. Depravity can go as far as it's allowed. We have to decide when it stops.

The Bill of Rights, Gayle, apply between me and my government, not between private individuals - you and me. Freedom of Speech is primarily polical speech rather than everyday common discourse. There are numerous laws restricting private speech - yelling fire in a crowded room, slander, libel, obscene language in public, speech that has the expectation of a violent response, etc. When direct at the gov't. most of this speech is legal, but when directed at private individuals it is not.

The Westboro Church claimed the right of speech because it is in fact political in nature, but the kicker is that the speech was not directed at or to a government entity but at private individuals on private property. Their action violated other rights - the right of peacable assembly, the right of privacy. A funeral is a private affair and the families have an expectation of privacy. Essentially, an individual's right end where another's begins.

The court decided correctly without doing any damage to the rights of the rest of society.

Disgusted in the Midwest said...

This guy and his whole flock of morons will be burning in Hell someday too.
They hide behind the First Ammendment, because they are too cowardly to admit they are hateful people. I don't agree with any of their mission statements and how they treat dead soldiers families. They say God is punishing the U.S. because of FAGS, I wonder if he is a closet know "he who barks loudest"

Mike's America said...

Phelps daughter was on television a while back and I swear the hairs on the back of my neck rose.

These people are certainly the spawn of the devil.

I hope that the families of other fallen soldiers take the cue from this Marine's father and sue these satanic cultists until they are driven into poverty.