Thursday, November 01, 2007

Get Thee Behind Me Satan (And Pay $ 10.9 Million)

From the Baltimore Sun comes this story:

A federal jury in Baltimore awarded nearly $11 million yesterday to the father of a Marine killed in Iraq, deciding that the family's privacy had been invaded by a Kansas church whose members waved anti-gay signs at the funeral.

It was the first-ever verdict against Westboro Baptist Church, a fundamentalist Christian group based in Topeka that has protested military funerals across the country with placards bearing shock-value messages such as "Thank God for dead soldiers."


As usual, the BalSun wants to slip in a subtle dig, by referring to this bunch as a fundamentalist group. I am very far from being a fundamentalist Christian. In fact, they would likely refuse me admittance, if they knew my personal theology. But I have to say, there is nothing fundamental about wishing death upon people. Even the most fundamental of churches I know of, do not act in this manner.

This bunch is nothing more than a vile group of hatemongers.

Nevertheless, it's a good day for justice. It's also a good day to make a bid on a church building that will likely have to be put up for sale in Topeka Kansas, soon.


Addendum: AICS of The Logic Lifeline has pointed to this post from a couple of years ago, which I find interesting. (The blogger at this site, linked to this piece, as her evidence.)

Amazing how someone can support someone on the opposite side of the fence, on the subject of gay rights. Also amazing is, how one can accept support from a hatemonger.

9 comments:

Greg said...

LAS: good point about what "fundamentalist" means. A fundamentalist Christian would likely give most of his money to charity, be an extreme pacifict, etc. They certainly wouldn't protest funerals with signs like "God Hates Fags." Interesting observation, therefore, on the choice of language by the newspaper.

As to this "church," is there a more vile group of people in America? They always show up with their kids and have them shout the same hateful comments. What a scary group of people. I'm shocked no one has resorted to a little vigilante justice.

Straight forward legal justice seems to have worked wonderfully, in this case.

Mustang said...

According to Mr. Al Snyder (Matthew’s father) who appeared on Faux News this morning, the defendant asserts that they do not have $11 million (acknowledging only $1 million in assets), but they never the less intend to continue their campaign. Mr. Snyder doesn’t want the money — he wants this hate-group to stop what they are doing. Like Greg and yourself, it is hard to imagine people who are so full of venom. And yes, they are teaching this tripe to their children in order to grow subsequent generations of idiots. If anything, this country does not need any more idiots.

I went to the to leave a message of congratulations and a personal note, but the only way to reach Mr. Snyder is through his attorney. Oh well.

Mark said...

okay here's some advocatis diaboli...and I don't know all the facts of the case and I agree these are vile, ignorant, hateful, stupid jackasses who in a less polite society would have had their faces smashed long ago...I wish I could do it.

That being said, is there a law stating right to privacy that applies here? It seems that these people were on public grounds outside the funeral procession and cemetary holding their signs and shouting their sh*t. I know 'free speech' is a tired phrase these days but weren't they using it? Please educate me in this case.

I'm not going to complain on this one too much. These people deserve what's coming to them in a metaphysical sense, if not in a legal sense. They suck hard.

I'd much rather stick up for "bong hits 4 Jesus' boy. At least he was funny.

Re: fundamental christianity. It stinks, IMO. So does liberal christianity for that matter. It's been a repressive force for so many people for so long. And has done more harm than good. Again, in my opinion. I'll respect that another can have differing views....but I'll not necessarily respect them.

Well that's a bummer comment. How about the Colts/Pats game? Go Colts

LASunsett said...

Greg,

//They always show up with their kids and have them shout the same hateful comments.//

Mustang,

//And yes, they are teaching this tripe to their children in order to grow subsequent generations of idiots. If anything, this country does not need any more idiots.//

This is the sad part of it all. Each subsequent generation is that much more of, whatever they were taught to be. If they are taught perverted doctrine, they are going to develop more perverted doctrine with each subsequent generations, only it will be more so.

According to the KJV Bible, Christ, Himself, said in Mt. 23:15

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

This is the essence of the Westboro Baptist Group. The same could be said to them.

LASunsett said...

Hi Mark,

//is there a law stating right to privacy that applies here? It seems that these people were on public grounds outside the funeral procession and cemetary holding their signs and shouting their sh*t. I know 'free speech' is a tired phrase these days but weren't they using it? Please educate me in this case.//

Well. Greg can correct me if I am wrong (and I seriously hope he does).

But, this was argued using the "right to privacy" strategy. All you need in a civil suit is persuade the majority of a jury to believe that this family's rights were infringed on. Free speech in this case would irrelevant.

I support their right to be stupid, just as much as I support the right to say, they are stupid. I don't support their right to infringe on the rights of another person, whether it's on public property or not.

Apparently, neither did this jury.

Rocket said...

My Oh my!

What have I been missing

I had heard of this group vaguely but didn't delve into the deeper aspects of their existence. I've checked them out on Youtube and their site and my opinion is as long as this kind of bigotry gets airtime, new groups will be spawned every day pushing the envelop further and further much as we see in the entertainment business at the moment. (The level of Hollywood manicured irresponsibility is frightening). It's cool to get busted on DUI and can do marvels for a slumping career. I fear one day the envelop with burst.

It all comes back to the eternal question of 1st amendment.

These nutjobs are looking for their 15 minutes of fame and seem to be getting it with today's technology. Quite sad I must admit that this is the only way some people have getting their message across. Equally sad that the media believes that there is such a message.

Yet everyone is afraid to touch the 1st amendment. Hey! democracy means hard work. EVERYDAY!

In a year or so one of two things will have happened. Either they will have dropped out of site or they will have deep sixed themselves like Jim Jones.

Unfortunately I fear Britney and Paris will still be around!

LASunsett said...

Rocket,

//It all comes back to the eternal question of 1st amendment.//

Yes, this amendment is misused by many. in instances where it has no bearing, whatsoever.

That said, I will say this: This group has the perfect right to say what they want in their pulpit. They have the right to protest the government whenever and wherever, provided they obtain the proper permits and it isn't an infringement on other private citizens' lives.

In fact, if someone were trying to stop them from doing these things in the proper manner, I would defend their rights, no matter how insensitive, ignorant, and abhorrent their belief system is to me. But, when a group of any kind tries to hide their hatred under the guise of freedom of speech and religion, while intentionally and hatefully trying to inflict pain on private citizens, I cannot/will not sit idly by and allow them to abuse these two rights that are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, to do it.

You are correct to suggest that these putrid windbags only want publicity. And they are getting it. But as more states outlaw this kind of thing, they may get more of it (albeit from their criminal trials and incarcerations), if they are dumb enough to continue to pursue this abomination they seem to love to commit. Not only that, if civil judgments keep piling up, they will never be able to accumulate anything of real value and will die penniless and wrong.

All_I_Can_Stands said...

Let's not forget that Fred Phelps, the Pastor of this vile bunch is an Al Gore Democrat:

http://mobyrebuttal.blogspot.com/2005/08/despicable-rev-phelps-al-gore-democrat.html

Mark said...

I guess being a civil suit it can't be complained about??? I like that they were sued for defamation. That seems to be valid.

I really need to take some law classes and learn a thing or two about some things...