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The Westboro Baptist Church Just Won 1st Amendment Ruling. This Is Great News


Most folks reading this website know plenty about the Westboro Baptist Church, the organization founded by Fred Phelps to spread hatred across the land. Those who belong to the church (and most of them have surnames reading “Phelps”) have been going after everybody: Jews, gays, President Obama. Everyone is going to burn in hell, they claim, because they’re sinners supporting some evil lifestyle. Plenty of us wish they would go away, including the family of a Marine whose 2006 funeral was picketed by Westboro. But too bad: A federal appeals court just ruled their demonstrations are protected by the First Amendment. Thank god.

As despicable as Westboro is, they’ve become a veritable punchline. Their claims are so ridiculous (and their signs so catchy!; Maybe God does hate fags!) they’re actually helping the gay community brand hatred towards it as lunacy. Sure, we’d rather not have to deal with Westboro’s clan popping up at synagogues, high schools, and gay pride rallies, but if they are the opposition, we’ll gladly take it, since not many Americans want to identify themselves with their brand of crazy. (That, and Westboro helps raise cash for the gays.)

But that’s not why we’re glad to see them succeed in their court battle. Yes, it’s a terrible thing the family of Iraq vet Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder had to deal with Westboro as they were trying to bury their loved one. And we can understand what drove them to sue. It’s incredulous to think Westboro’s reason for Snyder’s death — punishment for America loving the gays — is even remotely founded in truth. But we want the right to protest and demonstrate wherever we please, too. And not as a special right, but a right for any American.

So continue branding Westboro’s followers are fanatics. THEY ARE. Just remember that they’re entitled to say horrible, repugnant things if they so choose, and we wouldn’t want anyone telling us that our message isn’t protected speech, either.

This sort of rebuttal, however, is strongly encouraged.

By:           editor editor
On:           Sep 25, 2009
Tagged: , , , ,

    • Sapphocrat

      Good — both for freedom of speech, and for us. As I’ve always said, the more publicity Westboro gets, the better: In showing the public the face of religiously-insane hatred, the Phelps clan has done more _good_ for us than any in-house publicity machine. If Fred Phelps didn’t exist, we’d have to invent him.

      Sep 25, 2009 at 9:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam

      Will anybody be surprised when it probably turns out that Phelps was raping all his children or something equally as sick?

      Sep 25, 2009 at 10:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason

      Better to know your enemy through his public stupidity than to have him banned and fermenting underground.

      Sep 25, 2009 at 10:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • HiredGoons

      Can someone explain to me the Rasta color scheme for their signs?

      Frankly, I just find them amusing and a little sad – and yes ultimately I do think they end up benefiting our community.

      Sep 25, 2009 at 11:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GayGOP

      While I agree that this is a definite win for Free Speech, in the way the Framers intended the Free Speech clause intended. However, I am worried that this will affect the results in Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, and Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress cases to basically eviscerate the claims when the person speaking is using their speech for political reasons.

      Sep 25, 2009 at 11:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian

      What Baptists shout, Catholics whisper. Christians believe and teach that homosexuality is wrong, sinful and deviant.

      We can never be equal, if we are “wrong.” +70% of Americans believe we are “morally wrong.” That’s not sexism, it’s religion.

      Sep 25, 2009 at 11:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jason

      This is both awful and hysterical.

      Sep 25, 2009 at 12:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • terrwill

      HAVE FUN WITH FRED!!! Here is a link to a site generator where you can actually post your own messages on an image of the westboro baptist church and post your own messages on their reggae inspired hate signs……….Its more fun than a barrel of rightwing nutbags!! Site tends to get busy but keep trying……http://www.says-it.com/wbc/index.php

      Sep 25, 2009 at 12:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • terrwill

      @Cam: I have had the same thoughts for years……However I think we have a severely conflicted Gay boy-in-waiting in Rev.Freddy’s Grandson Jacob:

      Here is an interview with Jacob from a previous thread:

      Asked if any love interests tempt him toward marriage, Phelps said he “never kissed a girl,” or “hugged a girl.”

      “No love interest,” he said. “Never have.”

      Asked if that may suggest that he’s a homosexual, Phelps laughed, a laugh that seemed to stop above his mouth.

      “I can guarantee I’m not a fag,” he said.

      Presented with the possibility that he may be unaware of his sexual orientation and that he may indeed be gay, Phelps conceded, saying, “I could be,” before doubling back and saying “there’s no question” that he is straight.

      “It disgusts me,” Phelps said, of homosexuality.

      “I could be” = “I already had a dick in my mouth”

      Sep 25, 2009 at 12:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B SF
      B SF

      Although I do believe strongly in the right to free speech, cities for years have been putting rules on when and where a protest can happen (cordoning off areas for protesters, etc.). I think protesting a funeral (among other extremely personal events)should be considered harassment.

      Sep 25, 2009 at 3:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz

      I find it absolutely mind-boggling that gays are constantly beaten and killed just for loving someone, yet the Phelps clan suffers no such indignity or reprisals for their messages of hatred, directed at so many groups of people.

      Makes one think, doesn’t it?

      Sep 25, 2009 at 5:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • HiredGoons

      @Jason: it’s awfully hysterical.

      Sep 25, 2009 at 6:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PopSnap


      One of the children of the Phelps Klan that escaped wrote a book or essay I believe. It was horrifying, and reminded me of what people in concentration camps in North Korea are subjected to.

      He says that Fred used to be a caring, happy man until he stated doing hard drugs & began listening to right-wing radio & televangelists and became hateful towards the Jews first, then after the GLBT movement began taking off in the early 90′s, he started hating them too. Then soldiers, blacks, America in general as well. His children, though, are the ones who suffered the most.

      Sep 25, 2009 at 10:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PopSnap


      I’ve said many times on here; haven’t you heard of the Relgious Left? How do you think we’ve been integrated so much into Western society as a cultural niche if everybody hates us? How is gay marriage still intact in New England, and people up there fiercely defend it (Maine is basically the most backwards, so it doesn’t really count).

      70% of Americans don’t believe we are wrong; I’d judge that number based on California’s prop 8 results; 52% do believe we’re wrong, while 48% don’t have a problem with us or disagree but accept/tolerate us.

      Sep 25, 2009 at 10:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • geoff

      I get the reasoning behind this, but it would still put a smile on my face if they would all just drop the fuck dead.

      Sep 26, 2009 at 1:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ChicagoJimmy

      I’m struggling with this just a bit. This was a civil suit decided on by a jury. Not quite the same as if the Phelps clan had been locked up by the police for their demonstration. Can their speech be legal and still be emotionally distressing for the folks they directed it at?

      Sure, they are allowed to say what they want, but they also suffer the consequences of making those choices, i.e. they get sued by the folks who were just trying to hold a funeral. Doesn’t the family also have a right to a private funeral? I assume the funeral wasn’t a public event. If I went to the funeral just to be in attendance, wouldn’t they have the right to ask me to leave their private event?

      I’m trying to come up with a hypothetical where I would be the protester and would have my speech suppressed by a law suit. Any help out there?

      Sep 26, 2009 at 2:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA

      Phelps is a fucktard. (Thanks Robert, for this new word in my vocabulary.)

      Sep 27, 2009 at 11:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • nikko

      Their freedom of speech truly hurts others and has consequences. Hence, if they were around me with their vile signs, I’d probably attack them.

      Sep 28, 2009 at 1:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA

      “Anyone who knows history, particularly the history of Europe, will, I think, recognize that the domination of education or of government by any one particular religious faith is never a happy arrangement for the people.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)

      If religion should be the standard to which every American is subject, then which religion? In the future, if the world’s second largest religion, the Islamic religion, is favored and the population in the Islamic community grows substantially higher, should Americans then be subject to the concepts and laws of that particular religion? If religion comes down to a vote, to which religion should the laws of the land ascribe? Buddhism? Taoism? Jefferson was so wise. Separation of church and state is good for believers and non-believers alike.

      Sep 28, 2009 at 10:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA

      Jesus never talked about gays, nor are gays mentioned in the Ten Commandments, nor in the Summary of the Law. No prophet expounds upon gays. It really wasn’t that concerning in early churches. Being judgmental is the worse offense. That’s spoken of so often that it would seem to be the more important lesson for us.
      I understand Pastor Fucktard’s concern. Jesus must not have shared this concern, as He never spoke about gays.
      Much has been learned about how the human psyche and physiological effects can alter one’s sexuality. Perhaps, all knowing Jesus was so quiet about this subject because He saw what rabbinical Paul (Saul) could not see. People have always been gay and always will be. It’s not unusual. When we leave these temporal bodies, flesh will cease, gender will cease, the only thing we will have will be a spirit, defined by how we treated others. Love endures. You’ve been commanded to love, not point fingers in judgment.

      Sep 28, 2009 at 10:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • truth

      Since we are going religious here…. How many of these protesters had sex before they were married? How many are divorced? How many have cheated on their taxes? All have sinned and fallen short. I wonder if any of these guys have ever read the story about Jesus saying if you want to stone the woman for her sin, let the first stone be thrown by the one without sin. I think Bible thumpers and Jesus freaks should only be allowed to be called that if they are strange in the fact that they love others. The only evidence that they know anything about thumping or freakin.

      Dec 10, 2009 at 1:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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