Westboro Back In The News

Supreme Court ruling on the actions of Westboro Baptist Church.
Casket with Folded Flag. Copyright 2011 Amber Cantrell

Back in October 2010, I wrote an article about the Westboro Baptist Church. The group stages anti-gay protests at the funerals of fallen soldiers, who weren’t even gay themselves.

The group had been sued by the father of the deceased Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder. Mr. Snyder had then been granted $5 million dollars for emotional distress by the lower courts.

They had also staged protests at the funerals of Jonathan Pfender and Jeremy Doyle. According to indystar.com, they held the protests to share that they believe soldiers are dying as punishment for homosexuality. They even had the gull to hold up signs at the two Indiana funerals of Doyle and Pfender reading, “Thank God for roadside bombs!” Doyle and Pfender had died because of roadside bombs.

That was then.

Now, Westboro is back in the news because of a decision that the Supreme Court made on Wednesday, regarding the protesting.

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the church, saying that it would be taking away their first amendment right to free speech to punish the Westboro group for its protests.  This effectively allows the protesters to continue doing what they do. The decision also took away the money granted to Mr. Snyder by a lower court.

Even though the Supreme Court ruling doesn’t overturn the the state laws that require the protesters to stay back at fairly far distance, Indian’s law says they must stay back 500 ft, people are still worried that this may cause the church to do worse things.

“Now that they’ve got this under their belt, my concern is (Westboro) is going to step up their protests. And more people are going to have to live what we had to live through,” said Jeremy Doyle’s stepmother Sandy, to indystar.com.

To those at Westboro, just let people mourn in peace! Your crazy reasoning for the death of soldiers is not worth adding more anguish to the families of the deceased. Have a heart people!

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