Westboro Baptist Church misses funeral


john doe
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I'm very disturbed by this. Are they seriously advocating beating people, illegally detaining them, and illegally blocking their cars in order to prevent them exercising their right to free speech? How astoundingly Soviet.

I'm not in Mississippi, or even in the US anymore, but I can assure you that if I were on that jury, I would convict all over the place.

Seriously, majorly disturbing.

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While I don't advocate beating anyone up, I do feel that is going to far. However blocking their cars to stop them picketing a funeral in my view was a great idea. The law should protect peoples right to free speech, But it should also protect people from other people disrupting funerals and other events of a sensitive nature

If no such legislation is brought in, I hope that when Fred Phelps dies, there will be a huge protest group at his funeral and maybe then they will see what it feels like. With that being said, they will just see it as the servants of Satan working against them. In fact, they would be expecting that, so it might have more impact on them if Freds funeral was not protested, as the Phelps seem to get off on conflict.

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I don't think anyone here is supporting the beating.

Does anyone remember the 'whittling and whistling brigade'? Back in Nauvoo some hired toughs had entered the city to make trouble for the Mormons. We heard about it, so when these toughs hit town, they immediately noticed that wherever they went, each one was followed by half a dozen or more young men with knives and sticks. They were just following them around whittling on their sticks and whistling. So the toughs exited the town without accomplishing whatever they had in mind.

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Everybody has the right to free speech!

Well, true in countries like the US, but hardly true for everybody. "Basic human rights" such as free speech is a relatively new notion in humanity, and certainly not universally accepted.
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I'm struggling to find the right words. Please be kind.

I am a strong supporter of the constitution. I completely agree that we shouldn't stop free speech, but when did it become ok to be disrespectful? More than ok, law enforcement has to stand by with their hands tied behind their back and watch the disrespect. I also don't believe you can legislate morality and this is a moral issue. Society can and should set the moral tone. It seems to me the people in Mississippi, while the beating was going too far, did protect a funeral from a disruptive and disrespectful "church" group and they did it peacefully.

We have a group of people traveling around the country being completely disrespectful. (who is financing their travel?) Good Grief!!! I don't have to go very far, any day of the week, and see public disrespect. Our children are watching this and other examples and each generation is becoming more disrespectful in the name of freedom of speech.

My ancestors where part of early church history. I remember hearing about the whistling brigade growing up. It was an example of how to peacefully stop someone from doing something wrong. We're a long way from just having "eyes" on someone to stop a potential problem. People don't care any more who sees them do something wrong. Just call it free speech or something else protected by the constitution.

Satan is running rampant in our world. :(

My grandfather watched a relative who was a city or county official and stake president put cow guards in county roads so that he could let his cows out to graze on the side of the roads owned by the county. My grandfather didn't agree with using public money for private gain. So.... he moved his own fence. Which made the cow guards worthless. The fence was his private property and try as the city official could he couldn't force my grandfather to put his fence back. A few years ago my Mom drove up to the old farm. The fence is still cut back from the corner....all these decades later. Nobody has bothered to put it back and most likely nobody remembers (except my family) why that fence is not squared off at the corner. :)

Isn't peaceful civil disobedience how we make changes that reflect our moral goals?

Edited by applepansy
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I found the following at Westboro Baptist Church - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

I should listen to the news more :o

Laws limiting funeral protests

In response to the protests conducted by Westboro members at Indiana funerals, a bill was introduced in the Indiana General Assembly that would make it a felony to protest within 500 feet (150 m) of a funeral. The bill provides penalties of up to three years in prison and a $10,000 fine for those found to be in violation of the law. Shortly before this bill was signed members of the church had threatened to protest in Kokomo, Indiana, at a funeral service that was being held for a soldier who was killed in Iraq. On January 11, 2006, the bill unanimously (11–0) passed a committee vote,[73] and while members of the church had traveled to Kokomo to protest, they were not seen during or after the funeral service. On May 23, 2006, the state of Michigan banned any intentional disruption of funerals within 500 feet (150 m) of the ceremony. Violating the statute would be a felony, punishable by up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine for the first offense and up to four years in prison and a $10,000 fine for a subsequent offense.[74]

On May 17, 2006, the state of Illinois enacted Senate Bill 1144, the "Let Them Rest In Peace Act", to shield grieving military families from protests during funerals and memorial services of fallen military service members. A first-time violation of the Act is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $1,500 fine and a Class 4 felony for a second or subsequent offense, which is punishable by one to three years in state prison and a fine of up to $25,000.[75]

On May 29, 2006, President George W. Bush signed into law the Respect for America's Fallen Heroes Act (Pub.L. 109-228), prohibiting protests within 300 feet (91 m) of the entrance of any cemetery under control of the National Cemetery Administration from 60 minutes before to 60 minutes after a funeral.[76] Penalties for violating the act are up to $100,000 in fines and up to one year imprisonment.[76] The bill garnered overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress with a 408–3 vote in the House, with 21 not voting, and a unanimous vote in the Senate.[76]

On January 11, 2011, the state of Arizona held an emergency legislative session to pass a bill barring protests within 300 feet of a funeral and within an hour from its beginning or end. The bill was swiftly signed into law ahead of the January 12th funeral of those killed in the 2011 Tucson shooting.

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I'm glad you posted that link, applepansy, because it definitely shows the correct way to deal with these jokers. The American public has the power to change the laws, and I absolutely support that. I would myself vote for a law which protected funerals from protests.

The problem is that these people -- assuming, of course, that this account is true and not just posturing on an anonymous internet forum -- skipped that process. They disregarded the laws that the American public put in place, and violated the WBC's legally guaranteed rights.

And the scariest part is, it wasn't just civilians, and it wasn't civil disobedience. It was the police. The law enforcement in that county said, we don't like what you're saying, and therefore we will not defend your rights; we will use the power the public has entrusted unto us to actively violate your rights, because we don't like you.

The police don't have the right to make that call. Not ever. If the police get to decide who deserves their Constitutional rights and who doesn't, Constitutional rights cease to exist, and we might as well flush the whole thing down the toilet.

I lived in the south for quite a few years, and I can tell you that there are a lot of policemen there who don't like Mormons. There are plenty of policemen who feel, deeply and sincerely, that our missionaries cause moral harm. They feel it would better society if we would stop talking and go away.

Do those deeply-held moral beliefs give them the right to barricade our missionaries into their driveways, detain them under false pretenses, or neglect to protect them from other civilians? No. We are protected exactly the same as anyone else, and the police have a legal and moral obligation to enforce our rights.

You asked, I am a strong supporter of the constitution. I completely agree that we shouldn't stop free speech, but when did it become ok to be disrespectful?

The answer is, I'm afraid, it became okay as soon as we set down the right to free speech. That's what free speech means. If we don't like it, we have the power to change the law -- but not the right to break it.

Edited by sensibility
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My thoughts have always been this when it involves rights. Rights are fine when they don't infringe upon the rights of others.

In this case, the family of the fallen Marine had a right to have a funeral for their son without it being interrupted by a group that shows disrespect for the their loss.

Am I appalled by the actions of the people in Brandon, Mississippi. Nope. I applaud them.

Just my .02.

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I like this. It doesn't seem the police actively blocked the cars; if police had done it, I would agree it's a little disturbing. But this is pure grassroots. If anyone wants to get mad at the police for not getting the towing in time, well, I can't argue with that, nor if any of the offending cars were ticketed. By the law, they would deserve it. But I dare say the drivers of the offending cars wouldn't mind getting a ticket or a tow.

But this is pure awesome.

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Mob mentality or community support?

Generally the dividing line is adherence to law. Honestly, if the cops had ticketed the illegally parked cars I wouldn't have much objection to it. The cops would have maintained their integrity as those duty bound to uphold the law and the people who placed their cars there would have done their bit of civil disobedience (though in this case their protest would be against the upholding of 1st Amendment protections).

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I think it's a shame. Solders die to protect the freedoms and rights of the US Constitution, which include Free speech and assembly and the towns people dishonor the same freedoms these members died for because they don't like what this church has to say.

Families don't have the right to a funeral without interruption. Per the US Supreme Court.

interpretation of the US constitution that these service members signed up to protect.

In an 8-1 decision (with the judges ruling the same way as they did in United States v. Stevens in 2010), the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Phelps, upholding the Fourth Circuit's decision. Chief Justice John Roberts (as in the Stevens case) wrote the majority opinion stating "What Westboro said, in the whole context of how and where it chose to say it, is entitled to 'special protection' under the First Amendment and that protection cannot be overcome by a jury finding that the picketing was outrageous."[30]

Is what they say and do good, true or right? No i don't think so.

But it is a greater dishonor to ignore the rights that people put their life on the line for and died for simply because we don't agree with what others say.

It kind of reminds me of the anti semites who hate the Jews because "they killed Jesus". They are completely missing the point of the Crusifiction and his life.

Edited by hordak
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So funerals do not have the right to be uninterrupted. Does that mean those holding the funeral MUST allow protestors or whatever? If someone chooses to protest, does the other party have any defending rights?

One can bar people from private property but that just moves them to the street, and one has to enter or exit the property at some point.

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