Father of slain Marine wins case against funeral protesters

Discussion in '2007 Archive' started by carpro, Oct 31, 2007.

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  1. carpro

    carpro
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    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal-westboro1031,0,7191706.story

    Father of slain Marine wins case against funeral protesters
    Pa. man awarded $2.9 million in compensatory damages

    By Matthew Dolan | Sun reporter
    3:56 PM EDT, October 31, 2007


    Albert Snyder of York, Pa., the father of a Westminster Marine who was killed in Iraq, today won his case in a Baltimore federal court against members of Topeka, Kan.-based Westboro Baptist Church who protested at his son's funeral last year.

    The jury of five women and four men awarded Snyder $2.9 million in compensatory damages. The amount of punitive damages to be awarded has not yet been decided. The jury deliberated for about two hours yesterday and much of today.
     
    #1 carpro, Oct 31, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 31, 2007
  2. Salty

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    I am not one usually for big awards, but in this case, I will make an exception. Hopefully this award will stop this unnecessary protest.

    Sgt Salty
     
  3. webdog

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    I don't think they will have enough after they sell off ther trailers...
     
  4. billreber

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    The really sad thing is that the news media today have been playing a recording of one of the Phelps family, stating again their misguided theology. This will lead to other churches being accused of believing the same biblically poor concept, that God is "punishing America for supporting homosexuality".

    Have we spent too much time concentrating on ONE sin? God abhors ALL sin. Even the sin of hating our brothers and sisters, such as this misguided group has done. Yes, He even hates the sin I am prone to do!

    Bill :BangHead:
     
  5. EdSutton

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    Well no, but add that to the cost of fuel and/or plane tickets they can save, and that should about get it, hunh! :rolleyes:

    Ed
     
  6. EdSutton

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    Seriously, while I think the actions of the "Westboro Baptist Church" are acts of sheer idiotic lunacy, to say the least, I definitely hope this decision is overturned in about 30 seconds by the Court of Appeals. If it is allowed to stand, how long will it be before some 'unpopular' beliefs of another church are trampled on, under some guise of "personal privacy", "public policy", or something similar?

    The photo shows the 'protesters' standing on a public sidewalk, on a public street. I saw the video, as well, on the web site. I did not see any physical confrontation or harassment of any sort, aside from the placards. And I have seen much more offensive protests, in my lifetime. That's good enough for me.

    This jury completely trashed the first Amendment to the US Constitution, in an effort to silence some dissent. And that is far more reprehensible than anything the Westboro Baptist Church did, even though the church has managed to elevate "boorish and uncouth" to an "art-form".

    The results of such defective thinking started 50 years ago, with reaction to Joe McCarthy. It just keeps getting worse, and is one more nail, if unchecked, pounded into the coffin of liberty. Already, 22 states have passed laws because of this idiocy of Westboro.

    Pound! Pound! Pound!

    "Toss me another hammer, Your Honor!"

    Ed
     
  7. Ex-Fundy

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    They are appealing:

    Via CNN

    I still say nothing a .357 wouldn't cure. :mad:
     
  8. Salty

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    There is a law that states protester must stay so many feet away (someone have the link?) My goodness, let a family have its final grief in private.

    Remember there are limits to the First admenment. You can not yell fire in a crowed theater or (now) picket a funeral!
     
  9. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
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    The Phelps are wrong and abhorrent. I am concerned about this judgement.
     
  10. Brother Bob

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    All this attention will only serve to make them bolder. I understand it but if will boost them, they are getting more exposure now than they could of ever did on their own. If they have no money in the bank, which I doubt, then there is nothing they can take. I doubt they can take the building.

    The man is crazy as far as I am concerned, but this world if full of dingbats, such as when the Lord was tried before the people and they said "slay him", over jealous and envy.

    BBob,
     
  11. Friend of God

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    I think their self-proclaimed designation of themselves as a "church" could be successfully challenged in court.

    Under their belief of what a church is when I say grace at the dinner table with my family then I am just as much of a church as they are.

    Let the IRS go after these fools. Phelps' daughter [an attorney] claims she only has $306.00 to her name, and the "church's" funding comes primarily from tithing. Everybody who believes that stand on your head...hmmmm, I don't see any feet in the air.
     
  12. Ivon Denosovich

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    The problem here is public property. The family has a right to a peaceful funeral and Phelps has ever right to disturb it. Simultaneously. When both sides sides equally own something then both have equal claim to making rules, even conflicting rules. Were sidewalks to be privatized or were citizens allowed to opt out of paying for them, then I would have no problem with this ruling.
     
  13. Palatka51

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    My concern is that folks like these are what's going to be a spearheaded push for the licensing of all "mainline" churches.
     
  14. Ivon Denosovich

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    If this was the free market (as opposed to the govt) regulating speech none of us would be concerned. But forcing someone to pay for something that they can't equally "use" for their own ideas is wrong.

    Or so says Jefferson:

    But at the cost of freedom of religion no doubt. Would you really want three Roman Catholics deciding what constitutes a true church? And those are the conservative justices!
     
  15. Agnus_Dei

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    Here’s how I look at it and maybe it’s just my biasness, but I proudly served my Country and it pains me to hear some idiots causing more undue stress on these parents who lost their son by protesting. I’m all for freedom of speech and freedom to protest, but a FUNERAL, somebody’s death? Give me a freakin break people! What’s there to PROTEST? NOTHING! They deserve to be sued, they deserve to have to pay every penny and I’d demand there deed and bulldoze their “church” and build a memorial to all our fallen soldiers.

    Christ commanded us to LOVE one another and to comfort those that need comforting. These people are a pitiful excuse for Christians.

    Where’s the outrage among other Independent Fundamentalist? Where’s the united front among Evangelicals against these ‘Baptists’? Is it b/c the kid was Catholic and so are his parents and only a Catholic had the balls to stand-up for their son? Get over yourselves! (Maybe there’s outrage, but I’m not seeing it publicly).

    May God grant me the strength to keep from running over these idiots in my truck if they were to ever stage a protest at my son or daughter’s funeral.

    That’s all I have to say about that.

    ICXC NIKA
    -
     
  16. Alcott

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    Okay, you luvvvvv them; we see that.
     
  17. Palatka51

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    May I be Counted as standing with you, Sir?
     
  18. Agnus_Dei

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    Hence I said may God grant me the strength....but I can luvvv 'em and still be temporarily insane as I’m running ‘em over.
     
  19. EdSutton

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    No such law except (apparently) at the state level, as I posted.

    MD just passed a law to prohibit such protests within 300' of a funeral. That is the length of a football field.

    According to the article given in the 'link', the Westboro Baptist Church was 'protesting' at a distance of 1000', or more than three times the distance that was been enacted by MD. That is almost 2/10 of a mile away.

    According to the testimony given in the court, Mr. Albert Snyder, plaintiff and father of slain Marine Matthew Snyder, testified he never saw trhe content of the signs as he entered the church. Do you think that might have been because it is extremely difficult to read a 3X3 foot sign at a distance of 1000'? I seriously doubt I could have ever read a sign of those dimensions at half that distance, clearly.

    According to Mr. Snyder, he became ill upon seeing the "protest'. I once again, suggest that unless told, Mr. Snyder could not have reasonably known this was a "protest" at a distance of 1000' with four adults and three children standing on a street, even holding 3X3 signs and 'singing'. A six foot tall adult, with a 3X3 placard above his or her head, at a distance of 1000' appears to stand less than 1/2" tall.

    Mr. Snyder also testified that he read the signs for the first time during television news reports later that day. Well, Duh!

    I said before that I considered the actions of Westboro as "sheeer idiotic lunacy" and reprehensible, and I agree with another, who called them "abhorrent". None of that changes the fact that I believe they were within the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. Had they been standing within three feet of the Snyder family, screaming, yelling, and interfering, I might have a different view of "invading privacy".

    But not at 1000' and via Television reports! Or is the only freedom here accepted the "freedom of 'politically correct' speech", by some? I guess the rest of the First Amendment is only applicable when it is not upsetting someone's feelings.
    What part of "no" don't you understand, here? Is it the "n", the "o", or the space in between? My original post stands!

    Ed
     
    #19 EdSutton, Nov 1, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 1, 2007
  20. Alcott

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    Let's see if this ruling sets a precedant that is applied consistently; such as, can a labor union be sued for equivalent amounts if it pickets and protests right by a company, thereby inflicting emotinal distress on the stockholders and management? And I'm sure when G.W. Bush is out of office wherever he goes he will be followed by protesters, much as Nixon was; how much distress can he claim if that proves true? And then, how about his Westboro 'church' itself? I'm sure it is and will be protested against, if it has a specific location-- can they get that same money back if so?
     
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