Westboro Church Supreme Court Ruling

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    Mar 02, 2011 3:23 PM GMT
    CNN just reported that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Westboro Baptist Church (the "God Hates Fags" group) affirming their First Amendment rights in protesting military funerals.

    Your personal opinions on this "church" and the legal proceedings aside, I was curious...

    Does everyone here agree that the Westboro Baptist Church members are a bunch of douchebags?

    Just seeing if I can find a political topic that EVERYBODY on RJ could agree on (without it devolving into the usual name calling and snide remarks that every other political post on this site eventually becomes).

    Please don't be "that guy" that takes it there first...
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    Mar 02, 2011 4:07 PM GMT
    I agree with the ruling as much as I think that they should all be locked up in jail forever.
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    Mar 02, 2011 6:17 PM GMT
    Have to agree with the ruling.
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    Mar 02, 2011 6:18 PM GMT
    I find the following:

    1. That the Westboro Baptist Church is an evil, self righteous cult, and not in any way representative of either true followers of Jesus, or of the teachings of Christ. They are the Pharisees and lawyers of whom Jesus spoke:

    Matthew 23:13 King James BibleBut woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in [yourselves], neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.


    2. That the SCOTUS has ruled correctly regarding the WBC's right to protest.

    3. That in turn, LGBT groups have a right to encircle the WBC compound at all hours and protest/challenge the hate spewed by this profane cult.
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    Mar 02, 2011 7:45 PM GMT
    09ARMYJOCK saidCNN just reported that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Westboro Baptist Church (the "God Hates Fags" group) affirming their First Amendment rights in protesting military funerals.

    Your personal opinions on this "church" and the legal proceedings aside, I was curious...

    Does everyone here agree that the Westboro Baptist Church members are a bunch of douchebags?

    Just seeing if I can find a political topic that EVERYBODY on RJ could agree on (without it devolving into the usual name calling and snide remarks that every other political post on this site eventually becomes).

    Please don't be "that guy" that takes it there first...


    Agreed. Analysis of the decision here:
    http://volokh.com/2011/03/02/funeral-protesters-win-at-high-court/

    Noteworthy: "The funeral protesters won 8–1. Chief Justice Roberts wrote for the Court. Justice Breyer concurred, and Justice Alito dissented."

    Westboro believes that America is morally flawed; many Americans might feel the same about Westboro. Westboro’s funeral picketing is certainly hurtful and its contribution to public discourse may be negligible. But Westboro addressed matters of public import on public property, in a peaceful manner, in full compliance with the guidance of local officials. The speech was indeed planned to coincide with Matthew Snyder’s funeral, but did not itself disrupt that funeral, and Westboro’s choice to conduct its picketing at that time and place did not alter the nature of its speech.

    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. On the facts before us, we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker. As a Nation we have chosen a different course—to protect even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that we do not stifle public debate. That choice requires that we shield Westboro from tort liability for its picketing in this case.
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    Mar 02, 2011 8:43 PM GMT
    Unfortunate, but free speech has its price.

    But when did funerals of soldiers (or anybody, for that matter) became "matters of public import on public property"? It wasn't a state funeral, and the cemetery could have easily been private property.