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  1. #1
    213th's Avatar
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    Thumbs up WBC sued by KIA marine's family

    The family of a Marine killed in Iraq has sued a Baptist church for picketing their son's funeral and is turning to the Internet to drum up support.
    Albert Snyder, the father of fallen Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, took the stand this week in the Baltimore trial against the Westboro Baptist Church and testified that protesters waving signs at Matthew's burial made him nauseous. He'd wanted a private service for his son.
    "They turned this funeral into a media circus and they wanted to hurt my family," Snyder said on the stand Wednesday. "They wanted their message heard and they didn't care who they stepped over. My son should have been buried with dignity, not with a bunch of clowns outside."
    The Snyder family's suit against the church whose members have picketed the funerals of military personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, claiming the deaths are punishment for the country's tolerance of homosexuality could cost close to $100,000, the law firm representing them said. That's why Albert Snyder is asking for the community's help on the Web site www.matthewsnyder.org.

    "This would be a significant financial drain on them," George Werner, a spokesman for the Barley and Snyder law firm (no relation to Matthew Snyder's family), told FOXNews.com. "They're looking for support both emotionally and financially to fund the case against the church. The family concluded that reaching out to the public would help in both ways and be very beneficial."
    Werner said it isn't known how much the litigation will cost but estimated it will be somewhere under $100,000. If the trial drags on or there are appeals, it could be more.
    "Any excess money will go to benefit veterans returning from the war in the form of a scholarship. No donations will be paid to me," Albert Snyder writes on the Web site. "Your money will be put to good use."
    The result to date has been good, said Werner in part thanks to the Web campaign though he couldn't provide specific numbers in terms of donations and traffic to the site.
    "It's another way of getting their message out," he said. "From a very broad perspective, (the response) has been very, very encouraging."
    Albert Snyder, of York, Md., is seeking unspecified monetary damages for invasion of privacy and intent to inflict emotional distress as a result of the Topeka, Kan., church's protest at his son's funeral in Westminster in March 2006.
    The church's protests have inspired several state laws and a federal law about funeral protests, but the Maryland suit is believed to be the first filed by the family of a fallen serviceman.
    Matthew died March 3, 2006, at age 20 from a non-combat-related vehicle accident in Anbar province, Iraq. His father said in press interviews at the time that his son was killed when the Humvee he was traveling in rolled over. He'd served with the 1st Marine Logistics Group in the Marine Expeditionary Force in Twentynine Palms, Calif.
    Asked Wednesday about a sign that read "Thank God for dead soldiers," Albert Snyder said he thinks about it daily.
    "I see that sign when I lay in bed," Snyder said.
    Asked about statements issued by the group that his son was raised to support the "Roman Catholic monstrosity" and then sent to fight for the "United States of Sodomy," Snyder said "they have no right to do this to people they didn't know."
    During cross-examination, defense attorney Jonathan Katz focused on obituaries and death notices and questioned Snyder on whether they said the funeral services were private. Snyder replied that the notices said friends and family were welcome, but admitted that he did not know all of the 500 or so people who attended.
    The case tests the limits of the First Amendment right to free speech.
    U.S. District Judge Richard Bennett instructed jurors at the start of testimony Tuesday that the First Amendment protection of free speech has limits, including vulgar, offensive and shocking statements.
    Bennett said the jurors must decide "whether the defendant's actions would be highly offensive to a reasonable person, whether they were extreme and outrageous and whether these actions were so offensive and shocking as to not be entitled to First Amendment protection."
    Church members said they are motivated by the fear of God and their need to warn America about its moral decay, rather than a desire to hurt anyone.
    Katz told jurors Tuesday the protests took place 1,000 feet away from St. John Catholic Church, where the funeral was held, down a hill and out of sight and hearing from participants.
    Snyder said American military personnel are in Iraq fighting for freedom of speech; "they're not fighting for hate speech." One photo showing a child holding a sign at the funeral protest was particularly disturbing, the father said.
    "I pray for their children. Their children need help. To be brought up with that kind of hatred," Snyder said.
    "My God is a loving God," Snyder said, adding later, "I don't look for hatred in the Bible."
    The church's founder and pastor, Fred Phelps, took the stand after Snyder and prompted a strong admonition from Bennett when the pastor said he had not considered whether children would see a sign carried by protesters with the words "Semper Fi Fags" and two stick figures that appear to be engaged in sodomy.
    "No, it's an irrelevancy," Phelps said.
    Bennett then interjected sharply.
    "Just answer the question, sir. Don't determine what's relevant or not relevant. You just answer the question," Bennett said.
    Phelps said he chose to use the term "fag" in the group's signs because it comes from scripture, but could also have used Sodomite or dog. When asked by Katz why the group made a "Semper Fi Fags" sign, Phelps said it was in response to the need for a warning to the country "that your wicked ways are going to be your doom shortly."
    He who has the money, signs the cheques.
    He who signs the cheques, makes the rules.
    He who makes the rules, has the power.
    He who has the power, has the money.

  2. #2
    213th's Avatar
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    213th says: WBC has committed truly horrific acts against many, mostly veterans, and I highly encourage people to support this family and their lawsuit if at all possible
    He who has the money, signs the cheques.
    He who signs the cheques, makes the rules.
    He who makes the rules, has the power.
    He who has the power, has the money.

  3. #3
    jcsdscott's Avatar
    jcsdscott is offline The short minister
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    This group makes me sick, and to do this in the name of God sickens me. I tolerate other views and I know that the truth can hurt, but to protest like this when others are mourning and hurting is simply wrong. I pray for this family as well as others.
    Romans 8:28-31

    "Anima Sana In Corpore Sano"

    The opinions, beliefs, and ideas expressed in this post are mine, and mine alone. They are NOT the opinions, beliefs, ideas, or policies of my Agency, Sheriff, County Board, or any member of my department.

  4. #4
    Ender's Avatar
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    free speech is free speech. its as important as the second amendment.

    that said, if i was a cop, and somebody did a drive by pepper spraying or paintballing, i might be more concerned with...er...helping them than catching the...er...bad guys

  5. #5
    NavLaw's Avatar
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    Those people make me sick, I can't even come up with the words to tell you how rotten they look to me.
    There is a proper place and time for protest, that wasn't the time or the place. Totaly disgusting.
    If you can't do it from a boat. Do you really want to do it?

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    If anyone finds out, I'd like to know what the final ruling is.


    WBC can, and will, rot in hell.

    Screw them.
    No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13

    "The Wicked Flee When No Man Pursueth: But The Righteous Are Bold As A Lion".

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  7. #7
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    lewisipso is offline Injustice/Indifference/In God we trust
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ender View Post
    free speech is free speech. its as important as the second amendment.

    that said, if i was a cop, and somebody did a drive by pepper spraying or paintballing, i might be more concerned with...er...helping them than catching the...er...bad guys

    Horseshit! It would be hard to find a picket sign at one of my children's funeral for any reason. It would be up the protesters ass.
    Uhhh....so since you are not a cop would you would be more interested in catching the paintballers or peppersprayers?
    Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me

    We are who we choose to be.

    R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012


  8. #8
    Illiy is offline Corporal
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ender View Post
    free speech is free speech. its as important as the second amendment.
    I disagree:

    The case tests the limits of the First Amendment right to free speech.
    U.S. District Judge Richard Bennett instructed jurors at the start of testimony Tuesday that the First Amendment protection of free speech has limits, including vulgar, offensive and shocking statements.
    Bennett said the jurors must decide "whether the defendant's actions would be highly offensive to a reasonable person, whether they were extreme and outrageous and whether these actions were so offensive and shocking as to not be entitled to First Amendment protection."

    I find : "Semper Fi Fags" "Thank God for dead soldiers" "United States of Sodomy," to be highly offensive, and I am a reasonable person, and I find them to be shocking.

    I wouldn't mind sitting on that jury...
    Last edited by Illiy; 10-28-07 at 11:18 AM. Reason: Extra words!

  9. #9
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    Unfortunately I am in Kansas where this so called church is. I wouldn't normally wish harm on anyone but if this group would disappear of the face of the earth I wouldn't be displeased. They have also picketed and protested in front or the military base I work at and to the credit of the local population there were more locals there supporting the military and family's than there were member of the Phelps clan.
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  10. #10
    213th's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ender View Post
    free speech is free speech.
    You're wrong there. I'm not going to teach a Constitutional law class here, and quite frankly, I'm not going to waste my time going in more depth then Illiy. She's 100% right.

    Example of free speech: WBC member going to Armed Forces member (or anyone else) "I feel what you are doing is wrong"

    Example of Vulgar, offensive or shocking speech: "Semper Fi Fags" "Thank God for Dead Soldiers"


    Furthermore, there's this neat little catch that applies to Constitutional rights-(this is pharaphrased as I am to tired to look it up right now) but you can't use your Constitutional rights to infringe on another's Constitutional rights and that is exactly what this cult is trying to do
    He who has the money, signs the cheques.
    He who signs the cheques, makes the rules.
    He who makes the rules, has the power.
    He who has the power, has the money.

  11. #11
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    Tuff is offline Redneckwannabepopo
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    Quote Originally Posted by 213th View Post
    213th says: WBC has committed truly horrific acts against many, mostly veterans, and I highly encourage people to support this family and their lawsuit if at all possible

    I could not have said it better.....
    http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm...ndid=197722498



    "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell

  12. #12
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    armsmaster270 is offline Ret. Sac. P.D. - 270th M.P. Co., Now with D.H.S.
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    Free speech doesn't mean hurtful speech. This family has been injured greatly. It's not like they can forget it and have another funeral. The damage is done, I hope the bankrupt the church and the so called pastor.


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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ender View Post
    free speech is free speech. its as important as the second amendment.

    that said, if i was a cop, and somebody did a drive by pepper spraying or paintballing, i might be more concerned with...er...helping them than catching the...er...bad guys
    I have rarely seen such blatant idiocy or abject ignorance of fact in an LEF post before. Sorry if my saying that is offensive to you, but I consider it far less an offense to speak truth in a forum opinion than to openly, maliciously, and traitorously incite and disgust fallen American servicemen and women's families at such a sacred time as their loved one's interrment. My comment about this post is my excersize of the First Amendment.

    WBC's actions are among the most despicable that I have ever been unfortunate enough to witness. I volunteer readily with the Patriot Riders currently just for the opportunity to physically intercept WBC's unjust, dishonorable, and morally bankrupt acts. I consider them a seditious, deceitful, and utterly spineless group of people who hide behind the very freedoms which were purchased by the blood of those they despise. Death is far too humane a punishment for members of the WBC.

    Signed,

    A family member of a fallen U.S. Army Soldier, Mosul, Iraq, 2003.

    Go fuck yourself. (More free speech)

    Countybear.

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  14. #14
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    I would like to stick all members of the WBC in a bus and send it over a tall, tall cliff. I'm a big believer in Karma and the Rule of Three, but should their church and all homes of all the church members burn to the ground from lightning strikes, I wouldn't shed a single tear and would revel in Schadenfreude. Fuck the WBC and all who agree with them.
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  15. #15
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    pc830cop is offline Just another squirrel looking for a NUT
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    Quote Originally Posted by countybear View Post

    WBC,Go fuck yourself. (More free speech)[/B]

    Countybear.
    Well said! I am getting ready for my next deployment. since 2004, 1 trip to afghanistan and 1 trip to iraq. I should be leaving in Jan 08.


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  16. #16
    PeterJasonMN Guest
    To this day I'm still surprised that no one has done a driveby paintballing (or worse).

    Junker car
    Covered license plate
    Ski masks

    It can be done!

  17. #17
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    "You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to countybear again."

    Very well said, yet again, countybear! I am certain our founding fathers never intended the concept of free speech to be so vilely misconstrued. If we were all to stand in front of WBC properties and hold signs similarly offensive to them, would they sit by and accept them as "free speech"? I think not. These people make me want to vomit. Regardless of one's feelings about sexuality (or divorce, birth control, abortion, etc.), the fact that our own men and women - our loved ones - are dying to preserve our freedom and to protect the freedom of others should be considered with great reverence rather than degraded with acts such as those of the WBC.
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  18. #18
    jmur5074's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ender View Post
    free speech is free speech. its as important as the second amendment.

    That is in the top five for most ignorant, stupid comments I have ever seen or heard.
    No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13

    "The Wicked Flee When No Man Pursueth: But The Righteous Are Bold As A Lion".

    We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he who today sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.

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  19. #19
    PeterJasonMN Guest
    Alright, I've been himming and haa'ing (if that's how you spell it) for a while now. Knowing Ender in person, this is what I believe he means:

    YES what they're saying is vile, disgusting and pisses us off.

    YES there are limits to what you can/can't say in society.

    UNFORTUNATELY, this isn't it. Trust me, *I* would love nothing more than these sick fucks to get a nice big fat judgment levied against them. But in this case, it will not fly. They are not calling for specific illegal actions, they are not doing the "Fire in a theater", and being that the SPECIFIC person they might be targeting is dead, slander/libel probably is not occuring since that person is dead.

    Everyone here probably remembers Ice-T's "Cop Killer" back in the early 90s. For those of us old enough to remember it pissed us all off, but there's nothing we could do about it, because it was protected. And that was about as vile and disgusting as things can go.

    Hell, in another thread I replied to Fernman's avatar (Cartman as General Lee) and had said "LONG LIVE THE CONFEDERUHSAH" (Line from the show). How many people out there in America would have been offended by my saying that? If I'd said that to an NAACP chapter they'd be in the news portraying me to be the next David Duke.

    Guys/gals, I hate the WBC as much as anyone else on here. But unfortunately if we have to remember there may be a time/place where OUR speech or other actions maybe hated by a majority as well. That's unfortunately the price we have to pay to be "Free".

    Now if perhaps a riot were to start at one of their next protests *innocent whistles*


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  20. #20
    Illiy is offline Corporal
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterJasonMN View Post
    Alright, I've been himming and haa'ing (if that's how you spell it) for a while now. Knowing Ender in person, this is what I believe he means:

    YES what they're saying is vile, disgusting and pisses us off.

    YES there are limits to what you can/can't say in society.

    UNFORTUNATELY, this isn't it. Trust me, *I* would love nothing more than these sick fucks to get a nice big fat judgment levied against them. But in this case, it will not fly. They are not calling for specific illegal actions, they are not doing the "Fire in a theater", and being that the SPECIFIC person they might be targeting is dead, slander/libel probably is not occuring since that person is dead.

    Everyone here probably remembers Ice-T's "Cop Killer" back in the early 90s. For those of us old enough to remember it pissed us all off, but there's nothing we could do about it, because it was protected. And that was about as vile and disgusting as things can go.

    Hell, in another thread I replied to Fernman's avatar (Cartman as General Lee) and had said "LONG LIVE THE CONFEDERUHSAH" (Line from the show). How many people out there in America would have been offended by my saying that? If I'd said that to an NAACP chapter they'd be in the news portraying me to be the next David Duke.

    Guys/gals, I hate the WBC as much as anyone else on here. But unfortunately if we have to remember there may be a time/place where OUR speech or other actions maybe hated by a majority as well. That's unfortunately the price we have to pay to be "Free".

    Now if perhaps a riot were to start at one of their next protests *innocent whistles*
    I will repost this again to further illustrate my point.

    The case tests the limits of the First Amendment right to free speech.
    U.S. District Judge Richard Bennett instructed jurors at the start of testimony Tuesday that the First Amendment protection of free speech has limits, including vulgar, offensive and shocking statements.
    Bennett said the jurors must decide "whether the defendant's actions would be highly offensive to a reasonable person, whether they were extreme and outrageous and whether these actions were so offensive and shocking as to not be entitled to First Amendment protection."

    The target of their actions is the surviving family, not the fallen.

    The first Amendment only covers so much, and as someone else posted WBC has infringed on the families rights to express their own. That is not how things work.

    There is no need for protest, there is a need for action. I would be interested in what steps can be taken by citizens who disagree with WBC to help protect the family.

    Ender's statement is his own, it illicited the response it did because of the subject matter. (His own example of the first Amendment being put to use)

 

 
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