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Is it their right to protest, or is it an invasion of privacy?

SuzannePjamSuzannePjam Posts: 411
edited June 2006 in A Moving Train
I think it is nasty, ungodlike and a complete invasion of privacy to protest at these poor fallen soldiers funerals.

Congregation plans to protest soldier’s funeral

Church says dead soldiers are God’s punishment for homosexual tolerance

JACKSON, Miss. - Members of a church who say God is killing American soldiers in Iraq because of the United States' tolerance of homosexuality are planning a protest at Saturday's services for Army Sgt. 1st Class Clarence D. McSwain.

The 31-year-old McSwain of Meridian died in Baghdad on June 8 when a roadside bomb exploded near his convoy, the Department of Defense said.

Members of Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., have been going to funerals across the United States denouncing homosexuality and praising the deaths of Americans. The church's Web site says the group will be at McSwain's funeral in Laurel at 1:15 p.m.

"Thank God for IEDs," the Web site says. IEDs, or improvised explosive devices, is the military's term for the roadside bombs, which have taken a heavy toll on coalition troops.

"This is not the time or the place for that," said Ashley McSwain, the soldier's sister.

"This is about my brother and remembering him. They're not going to stop anything. It won't stop him from dying, and it won't stop us from crying," she said.

‘Like a shadow’
Ashley McSwain said her father, Theodis, is a minister at Gilfield Baptist Church in Alabama, and that her family knows that God would not punish her brother and family. She dismissed the tactics of the Westboro Baptist Church.

"I'll treat them like a shadow I saw out of the corner of my eye," she said Friday. "They're not even worth thinking about."

Clarence McSwain was an honor student and football player at Meridian High School. He took English classes at the University of Southern Mississippi before joining the Army 12 years ago.

This was his fifth overseas deployment and his third tour in Iraq.

Protest of the protesters planned
Members of the Patriot Guard Riders, a group of motorcycle-riding veterans who attend the funerals to form a human barricade between the church members and mourning families, also plan to attend services for McSwain.

Jason "Waldo" Wallin, deputy executive director of the Patriot Riders, said the group feels obliged to attend the funerals that are targeted by Westboro Baptist Church.

"Quite simply, we're just a bunch of average Americans letting people know that they're not alone. And to let the families know that their soldiers’ sacrifices are not forgotten," he said.

The Patriot Guard is setting up a staging area at a Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Laurel.

Ed Baker, state captain of the Patriot Riders, said in a posting on the group's Web site that police have offered bikers escorts to the services.

McSwain leaves behind three young children, including a 5-month-old son he had met only once.

McSwain was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division based out of Fort Campbell, Ky.
"Where there is sacrifice there is someone collecting the sacrificial offerings."-- Ayn Rand

"Some of my friends sit around every evening and they worry about the times ahead,
But everybody else is overwhelmed by indifference and the promise of an early bed..."-- Elvis Costello
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    the tables turned on them? Protests against their antiquated belief system? It's really rather self-serving and hateful for them to do that to the families of the deceased.
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    DCGARDENDCGARDEN Posts: 515
    Anyone who shows up at anyone else's funeral and shows so little respect for the families at their time of loss should be shot on site
    I'll keep taking punches
    Untill their will grows tired
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    chopitdownchopitdown Posts: 2,222
    it is their right...I don't think they should excercise that right but as long as we're in america and following the law they are free to exercise that right...you get the good with the bad with freedom of speech etc...
    make sure the fortune that you seek...is the fortune that you need
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    AbuskedtiAbuskedti Posts: 1,917
    chopitdown wrote:
    it is their right...I don't think they should excercise that right but as long as we're in america and following the law they are free to exercise that right...you get the good with the bad with freedom of speech etc...

    I have to agree. I think America is obsessed with "freedom". Yet, if the freedom is sufficiently unpopular - they forget the divinity of their freedom.
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    SuzannePjamSuzannePjam Posts: 411
    Marine’s father sues funeral demonstrators

    Protesters say soldiers’ deaths are God’s penalty for U.S. tolerance of gays

    GREENBELT, Md. - The father of a Marine whose funeral was picketed by anti-gay protesters from a fundamentalist Kansas church filed an invasion-of-privacy suit against the demonstrators Monday.

    It is believed to be the first lawsuit brought by a serviceman’s family against Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., whose members routinely demonstrate at military funerals around the country.

    Albert Snyder of York, Pa., the father of Lance Cpl. Matthew A. Snyder, is seeking unspecified damages. The younger Snyder, 20, died March 3 after an accident in the Anbar province of Iraq. He was buried in Westminster, Md.

    “We think it’s a case we can win because anyone’s funeral is private,” Albert Snyder’s lawyer Sean Summers said. “You don’t have a right to interrupt someone’s private funeral.”

    ‘I want it to stop’
    After filing the suit, Snyder said at a news conference that he hoped a hefty judgment would leave the church members unable to afford travel for more protests.

    “I want it to stop,” he said of the protests. “I didn’t know there were people in the world who did that.”

    Members of Westboro say the military deaths in Iraq are God’s punishment for America’s tolerance of gays. They typically carry signs with slogans such as “God Hates Fags” and “Thank God for IEDs,” a reference to the roadside bombs used by insurgents.

    The church has inspired dozens of state laws banning funeral protests, including a Maryland law that did not go into effect until after Snyder’s memorial.

    Shirley Phelps-Roper, a spokeswoman for the small congregation, said it is the first time Westboro has been sued by a soldier’s family.

    “We were exercising our First Amendment rights,” she said.
    © 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
    "Where there is sacrifice there is someone collecting the sacrificial offerings."-- Ayn Rand

    "Some of my friends sit around every evening and they worry about the times ahead,
    But everybody else is overwhelmed by indifference and the promise of an early bed..."-- Elvis Costello
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    These people are sick. Not at a funeral. Then again I will bet you if the funeral was for a soldier who's family & friends were openly against the war and they were on TV saying this Ann Coulter would be there sticking her big nose into everything. The far right wing in this country really scares me. I am glad they are in the minority. Even though they are well represented in Congress and the White House.
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    Carlos DCarlos D Posts: 638
    They shouldn't have the right.America should show some decency and arrest these scumbags.
    It may be the devil or it may be the Lord
    But you're gonna have to serve somebody.

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    prytocorduroyprytocorduroy Posts: 4,355
    I wonder if anyone has beat their ass yet. I know I would.

    The protest itself is fine (to each his own), but WHERE they are protesting is inappropriate and my God will probably send them to hell for this unbelievable bullshit. I never wish bad things on people... Well I do to these prejudice motherfuckers. I wish horrible things to happen to them. Karma is a bitch.
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    chopitdown wrote:
    it is their right...I don't think they should excercise that right but as long as we're in america and following the law they are free to exercise that right...you get the good with the bad with freedom of speech etc...
    You're right.

    but in cases like this i always follow that with "and it's our right to call them insane, zealotous assholes who are a shame to the human race".
    Come on pilgrim you know he loves you..

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    Oh my, they dropped the leash.



    Morgan Freeman/Clint Eastwood 08' for President!

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    InsaneSoupInsaneSoup Posts: 37
    Westboro protestors are a sick group of people and what they are doing is so far beyond wrong I don't know where to begin.

    I was wondering if anyone knows if there have been counter demonstrations to their demonstrations...not to just add to the melee surrounding what should be a private time for families of the fallen soldiers...but just some kind of effort to put them down.

    I'm surprised there hasn't been some violent reaction to them. I am no expert on protest or anything, but it seems that when an unpopular protest is going on, the other side is always countering it (abortion, gay rights, equal rights, etc.)....and when it gets to an issue that really hits a nerve, those get way out of hand.
    4/16/92...8/20/92...6/19/05...6/20/05...9/24/96...10/5/96...6/14/98...9/18/98...9/19/98...9/4/00...5/3/03...7/1/03...7/12/03...5/30/06...cuz everyone seems to be doin' it....please don't jump off any bridges.
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    prytocorduroyprytocorduroy Posts: 4,355
    InsaneSoup wrote:
    I was wondering if anyone knows if there have been counter demonstrations to their demonstrations...not to just add to the melee surrounding what should be a private time for families of the fallen soldiers...but just some kind of effort to put them down.

    Why don't you join me in following them only to kick their ass when they start protesting? Maybe piss or take a shit on them when they're down?
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    isn't the majority of it one church that like 90% of the members are related anyway?

    i think i heard that on Fox... that there are like 80-90 people in this and they're all from the same church... and that's when you know someone's off the deep end, when an anti-gay group gets shit on a fox show. (it was one of the guys like o'riley).
    Come on pilgrim you know he loves you..

    http://www.wishlistfoundation.org

    Oh my, they dropped the leash.



    Morgan Freeman/Clint Eastwood 08' for President!

    "Make our day"
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    InsaneSoupInsaneSoup Posts: 37
    danny72688 wrote:
    Why don't you join me in following them only to kick their ass when they start protesting? Maybe piss or take a shit on them when they're down?

    OH, man, I'm laughing my ass off! I would love to join you. Unfortunately, I really can't risk my job with an arrest, but I would support your leadership of a
    Protecting Respect for Others' Funerals group. (Or just hiring some thugs...KIDDING!)
    4/16/92...8/20/92...6/19/05...6/20/05...9/24/96...10/5/96...6/14/98...9/18/98...9/19/98...9/4/00...5/3/03...7/1/03...7/12/03...5/30/06...cuz everyone seems to be doin' it....please don't jump off any bridges.
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    prytocorduroyprytocorduroy Posts: 4,355
    InsaneSoup wrote:
    OH, man, I'm laughing my ass off! I would love to join you. Unfortunately, I really can't risk my job with an arrest, but I would support your leadership of a
    Protecting Respect for Others' Funerals group. (Or just hiring some thugs...KIDDING!)

    Yeah I'm not serious, but man it sounds ecstatic! I'd love to do it consequence free. Maybe I could get the pigs on my side for this one ;)

    Think I'd get good karma points on this one? ;) I think I'd get double or triple ;)
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    catefrancescatefrances Posts: 29,003
    i think it's an absolute lack of respect to protest at a fallen soldiers funeral.
    what the hell is wrong with people that they can not allow a grieving family some dignity at an already difficult time.
    shame on you protesters
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    InsaneSoupInsaneSoup Posts: 37
    danny72688 wrote:
    Yeah I'm not serious, but man it sounds ecstatic! I'd love to do it consequence free. Maybe I could get the pigs on my side for this one ;)

    Think I'd get good karma points on this one? ;) I think I'd get double or triple ;)


    The gods would be proud.
    4/16/92...8/20/92...6/19/05...6/20/05...9/24/96...10/5/96...6/14/98...9/18/98...9/19/98...9/4/00...5/3/03...7/1/03...7/12/03...5/30/06...cuz everyone seems to be doin' it....please don't jump off any bridges.
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    prytocorduroyprytocorduroy Posts: 4,355
    InsaneSoup wrote:
    The gods would be proud.

    Not their "god" ;) I don't like their "god". It's a dickhole on wheels.
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    decides2dreamdecides2dream Posts: 14,976
    chopitdown wrote:
    it is their right...I don't think they should excercise that right but as long as we're in america and following the law they are free to exercise that right...you get the good with the bad with freedom of speech etc...

    agreed.


    it is in extremely poor taste imho, but sure, they do have the freedome to do so. it's just sad. :(
    Stay with me...
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    danny72688 wrote:
    Not their "god" ;) I don't like their "god". It's a dickhole on wheels.
    Their god was actually a pretty cool dude.

    it's what they turned him into that i hate...
    Come on pilgrim you know he loves you..

    http://www.wishlistfoundation.org

    Oh my, they dropped the leash.



    Morgan Freeman/Clint Eastwood 08' for President!

    "Make our day"
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    chopitdownchopitdown Posts: 2,222
    agreed.


    it is in extremely poor taste imho, but sure, they do have the freedome to do so. it's just sad. :(

    i agree it is EXTREMELY poor taste to protest at the funeral.
    make sure the fortune that you seek...is the fortune that you need
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    It may be covered under freedom of speech, but they are doing it at the wrong venue. It is disrespectful and tasteless. How do they know these fallen soldiers necessarilly agreed with what was going on in the Iraq War? These people have their rights, but they should not take it to a funeral. They are flat out horrible human beings, there is no other way of looking at it. I don't usually use that term loosely, but these are just horrible people. They need to learn when they've taken their fucking protest too far. Whether you agree with the war, those soldiers still put their asses on the line to protect the people who are protesting. These protesters absolutely disgust me. Hate the war, not the soldier.
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    I hate to lie in the gutters to get to their level. But for indulgence sake, if I were to act as dispicably as those morons, I'd wish an anal raping on each of them.
    Want to be enlightened, like I want to be told the end.
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    This is just sick. Absolutely disgusting. How can any christian bring themselves to desecrate a person's funeral like that? I really can't believe people believe something can actually believe something as twisted as god is punishing people for accepting gays by killing soldiers?? These people are going to hell, how can they even call themselves a christian? I wish these people would just keep their nose out, they can never just let and let live. In something quite separate but related, I heard on the news British government officails were meeting with the pope to discuss abortion regulations. What the fuck has it got to do with the pope??? Religion should never mix into law, think about the millions of non catholics out there that are potentially being alienated by the fact that our laws may be changed to suit a religion they do not follow? It really does take the bloody biscuit.
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    They're just Sharia cunts without the headscarves and with foreskins. Burn 'em all.
    A restaurant with a smoking section is like a swimming pool with a pissing section
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    soulsingingsoulsinging Posts: 13,202
    i think these people are asking for a waco-style intervention.
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    know1know1 Posts: 6,765
    danny72688 wrote:
    I wonder if anyone has beat their ass yet. I know I would.

    The protest itself is fine (to each his own), but WHERE they are protesting is inappropriate and my God will probably send them to hell for this unbelievable bullshit. I never wish bad things on people... Well I do to these prejudice motherfuckers. I wish horrible things to happen to them. Karma is a bitch.

    Violence is worse than protesting.
    The only people we should try to get even with...
    ...are those who've helped us.

    Right 'round the corner could be bigger than ourselves.
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    know1 wrote:
    Violence is worse than protesting.

    Depends who gets the violence and what people are protesting for. Protesting leads to violence. What happened in Germany started off as a bit of protesting. Al-Qaeda started off as a bit of protesting. The Klu-Klux-Klan started off as a bit of protesting. There is no unconditional right to protest nor should there be.
    A restaurant with a smoking section is like a swimming pool with a pissing section
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    know1know1 Posts: 6,765
    Depends who gets the violence and what people are protesting for. Protesting leads to violence. What happened in Germany started off as a bit of protesting. Al-Qaeda started off as a bit of protesting. The Klu-Klux-Klan started off as a bit of protesting. There is no unconditional right to protest nor should there be.

    No - it makes no difference what the protest is about. Violence is worse than protesting.

    These people are obviously very sick and I could not possibly disagree with their motives anymore than I do, but I do not support taking away their right to protest.
    The only people we should try to get even with...
    ...are those who've helped us.

    Right 'round the corner could be bigger than ourselves.
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    know1 wrote:
    No - it makes no difference what the protest is about. Violence is worse than protesting.

    These people are obviously very sick and I could not possibly disagree with their motives anymore than I do, but I do not support taking away their right to protest.

    Then protesting is protesting, whether you're protesting for people to be killed for being gay, or protesting for people to be killed for glorifying homophobic killings.
    A restaurant with a smoking section is like a swimming pool with a pissing section
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    soulsingingsoulsinging Posts: 13,202
    know1 wrote:
    No - it makes no difference what the protest is about. Violence is worse than protesting.

    These people are obviously very sick and I could not possibly disagree with their motives anymore than I do, but I do not support taking away their right to protest.

    the supreme court has upheld restrictions on various forms of protest based on their tendency to provoke or incite violence. it's called the "fighting words" doctrine. you can't yell fire in a movie theater. you have to maintain certain distances from abortion clinics. i think harassing a bereaved family who lost a loved one with signs saying "thank god for ied's" could pretty easily and comfortably fit under the fighting words and inciting violence response. they should be shut down or dispersed or learn to protest/demonstrate respectfully.
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