Plan to stop Baptists Protesting at Soldiers Funerals.

Discussion in '2006 Archive' started by Ben W, Apr 12, 2006.

  1. Ben W

    Ben W
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    A soldier's sacred sacrifice should be shielded from protest
    Monday, April 10, 2006

    “Thank God for Dead Soldiers,” read a repugnant sign carried at a funeral in the Lansing area March 27 protested by three members of Westboro Baptist Church, a small congregation in Topeka, Kan.

    They show up at military funerals around the country claiming U.S. soldiers are being struck down by God in vengeance for defending a nation that tolerates homosexuality.

    This hate-filled fringe group acts more like al-Qaeda than Christians, but it also disrupted funerals in Flint and Flushing with an offensive message that tests the outer limits of free speech.

    What must friends and family of Army Cpl. Nyle Yates III, 22, of Lake Odessa have felt as they filed into Grand Ledge Baptist Church at such cruel, heartless treatment for a young man who gave his life March 16 in Bayji, Iraq, when he came under small arms fire by enemy forces during combat?

    Military supporters want state legislation passed to restrict with buffer zones or ban such protests at funerals.

    U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Brighton, a veteran with a brother in the military, introduced a similar measure in Congress.

    Action can't come fast enough for veterans. Hundreds affiliated with a group called the Patriot Guard Riders, who said they were there at the invitation of the Yates family, chanted “God Bless Corporal Yates” while waving American flags.

    Many arrived on motorcycles and were joined by other military supporters appalled by Westboro's despicable message.

    The Kansas protesters left the church at 11 a.m., just as the funeral ceremony was scheduled to begin. They traveled into Lansing to protest legislation regulating their funeral protests outside the Capitol with a sign reading “Michigan Taliban.”

    The Detroit News said not every problem requires a legislative solution and praised drowning out the protesters with their own chants as a “better solution” and a “private initiative” that “honors the Constitution,” but that also sounds like an invitation to violent clashes.

    “It is a tragically poor sense of judgment that leads these individuals to conduct their protests in this manner and displays a blatant disregard for common decency and respect,” said Republican U.S. Senate candidate Keith Butler, who gave the keynote address at last month's Cass County Lincoln Day dinner. “I applaud the state House Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security Committee for passing HB 5887 and HB 5888.”

    Those bills make it a felony to be a disorderly person within 500 feet of a memorial service.

    As the Rev. Butler so eloquently puts it, “A soldier's sacrifice is sacred, the greatest gift a person can give in defense of our nation. The families of these American heroes deserve our respect and gratitude. They have also made a sacrifice for this country. I believe that the soldiers who fight and the mothers and fathers who endure are great Americans and I have the utmost respect for their courageous lives. America's soldiers fight diligently for this nation and their families deserve a chance to honor their memory with respect and dignity.”

    http://snipurl.com/p2u2
     
  2. Daisy

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    <disgust>Fred Phelps' group.</disgust>

    Well, they have their 1st A rights, too. 500 feet seems reasonable, because we cannot expect a bereaved family to have to get a restraining order in addition to all the other arrangements.
     
  3. Joseph_Botwinick

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    We just passed a law in Arkansas sticking them far away from the funeral and setting a time on when they can be there and can't be there.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  4. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards
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    I went to a Veteran Bikers site once and
    saw some pictures of the 'protest'.
    There were about ten, maybe 12 Phelp's relatives
    out protesting. 20 cops were protecting them
    from 200 veteran bikers.

    Oklahoma has a law in force now also,
    no demos at funerals.

    My solution was to let the Phelp's pay for
    their own bodyguards instead of the
    community/state providing their bodyguards.
    But that sounds pretty un-Christian :(
     
  5. gb93433

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    Those idiots forgot their Bible in Hebrews 9:27. I guess that means they are a part of their proclaimed probelem as well. What they also forgot was the fact that we have gone to war with the leaders of a country which does not permit homosexuality but does allow anarchy, torture and exectution.
     
  6. donnA

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    They showed here in Bowling Green a few months ago and we saw lots of it on the news, and I was thoroughly disgusted, it was sick the things they were saying.
     
  7. Pipedude

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    There's no First Amendment problem with banning these creeps. Free speech is restricted all of the time. You can't yell "fire" in a crowded youth group meeting, you can't harrass a man in his home (which is "his castle"), you can't do diddly-squat in a courtroom, you can't say the word "bomb" in an airport, you can't use "fighting words."

    A funeral is off limits. Let the mourners do their thing, whoever they are, and let the protesters do their thing later.

    Violaters should be enslaved.
     
  8. SpiritualMadMan

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    They already are... Just not by the Spirit of God...

    Mike Sr.
     
  9. Magnetic Poles

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    We went to war with ourselves?

    As far as Phelps, he does test my principles. I am aghast at his hate group's protests at funerals; yet I understand that popular speech is not what needs protection, but rather objectionable speech.
     
  10. ASLANSPAL

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    Phelps has successfully hurt the Baptist name and brand...baptist should have united against him a long time ago but did not and so the mass
    media brands all...sad because he does not seem to represent the many good baptists.

    Phelps could have been stopped a long time ago
    by baptist organized like the recent democracy we have been seeing in the streets.You may not agree with them(Immigrants legal and illegal) but they are representing democracy and bringing about change. I respect that and I disagree with them but they did it right with peaceful protests.

    Phelps can still be stopped by about a million baptists surrounding his church asking for change and their rightful name back.
     
  11. tragic_pizza

    tragic_pizza
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    Phelps hasn't just hurt Baptists, he's damaged the general perception of Christianity.

    Surround his church -- challenge him in any way -- and he sues. He is I think one of the few individuals on Earth beyond help.
     
  12. rbell

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    I'll just be glad when he quits siring more "church" members.
     
  13. Hope of Glory

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    I think this bears repeating. As disgusting as he is, this is what the 1st Amendment is supposed to be protecting. You cannot do real harm (libel & slander), nor endanger peoples' lives (false kidnapping reports, "fire!" in a crowded theater, etc.). But, you start limiting this because it "hurts" people, pretty soon you will find preachers being thrown in jail here for preaching against homosexuality, just as they are in other countries.

    Protest the protestors! Show up in droves supporting the dead soldiers' families. Decry the Phelps of the world. But, our Constitution has been abridged too much already; don't help it along.
     
  14. rsr

    rsr
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    Not so. Many Baptists have spoken out, including SBC President Bobby Welch. Truth is, The Church of Phelps thrives on publicity of any kind and is perfectly happy to be publicly castigated so long as it keeps the cameras on its pathetic crusade. We have reached the point that Phelps doesn't even have to attend a funeral: He just puts out the word that he's going to be there and gets plenty of publicity without having to actually go.

    I am conflicted about these laws. I certainly want the families to be able to mourn is peace, but it bothers me that a few crazies can cause such a ruckus that state after state rushes to pass laws to deal with a problem that is not widespread and represents another check on free speech.
     
  15. nate

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    It's sad. I'm glad they ban those freaks from showing up at Soldiers funerals.
     
  16. Squire Robertsson

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    Aslanspal: the last I looked the title Baptist is not copyrighted by any central body. To take the action you suggest, we'd have to be at least as organized as the Presbyterians. But then, any group in these United States can call its self Catholic whether or not it's under Papal authority.

    The Phelps flock has a persecution and martyrs complex bordering on paranois. So, it doesn't matter who comes out against them. They'll continue on. The mainstream media will be happy to play along and use them to paint the rest of use with the Phelps tar.
     
  17. Marcia

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    The title of this thread should be "Plan to stop Phelps' Cult Protesting at Soldiers' Funerals."

    Phelps is no Baptist -- he's the leader of his own cult. Most of the people in his "church" are family members.
     
  18. fromtheright

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    Maybe re-aiming their weapons in the 21-gun salute would take care of some of this.
     
  19. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson
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    You are so right. We, Baptists, have done the best we can to shun this group. What else can we do sue them for slander for calling themselves Baptists?
     
  20. ASLANSPAL

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    You can use democracy ..I think my point of mass demonstration is valid. It would show the unaware world who the real baptists are..I would be more optimistic that a million person sit in
    would bring world attention to the real good vs.
    the really bad.
     

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