WASHINGTON (WJZ/AP) — Some may think their words are hateful but the highest court in the land decided a Kansas church has every right to protest U.S. soldiers’ funerals. 

Derek Valcourt explains the ruling ends a five-year battle for the father of a Maryland soldier.

The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the First Amendment protects fundamentalist church members who mount anti-gay protests outside military funerals, despite the pain they cause grieving families.

The court voted 8-1 in favor of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan. The decision upheld an appeals court ruling that threw out a $5 million judgment to Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder’s father who sued church members after they picketed his son’s funeral.

“My first thought was eight justices don’t have the common sense God gave a goat,” said Albert Snyder, who says there’s now no barrier for the church and its protesting.  “There’s nothing stopping Westboro from going to your daughter’s wedding.”

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the opinion for the court. Justice Samuel Alito dissented.

Roberts said the First Amendment shields the funeral protesters, noting that they obeyed police directions and were 1,000 feet from the church.

“Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and — as it did here — inflict great pain. On the facts before us, we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker,” Roberts said. “As a nation we have chosen a different course — to protect even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that we do not stifle public debate.”

Alito strongly disagreed. “Our profound national commitment to free and open debate is not a license for the vicious verbal assault that occurred in this case,” he said.

“We found out today that we can no longer bury our dead in this country with dignity,” Snyder said.  “There’s still men and women in Afghanistan dying and this court has no problem with the government sending our children over to these wars, send them home in a body bag and not even have enough respect for that dead soldier to be buried peacefully.”

Matthew Snyder died in Iraq in 2006 and his body was returned to the United States for burial. Members of the Westboro Baptist Church, who have picketed military funerals for several years, decided to protest outside the Westminster, Md., church where his funeral was to be held.

The Rev. Fred Phelps and his family members who make up most of the Westboro Baptist Church have picketed many military funerals in their quest to draw attention to their view that U.S. deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq are God’s punishment for the nation’s tolerance of homosexuality.

They showed up with their usual signs, including “Thank God for dead soldiers,” ”You’re Going to Hell,” ”God Hates the USA/Thank God for 9/11,” and one that combined the U.S. Marine Corps motto, Semper Fi, with a slur against gay men.

The church members drew counter-demonstrators, as well as media coverage and a heavy police presence to maintain order. The result was a spectacle that led to altering the route of the funeral procession.

Several weeks later, Albert Snyder was surfing the Internet for tributes to his son from other soldiers and strangers when he came upon a poem on the church’s website that attacked Matthew’s parents for the way they brought up their son.

Soon after, Snyder filed a lawsuit accusing the Phelpses of intentionally inflicting emotional distress. He won $11 million at trial, later reduced by a judge to $5 million.

“They don’t have a right to terrorize families and single families out, and that’s what they do,” said Al Snyder.

The federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., threw out the verdict and said the Constitution shielded the church members from liability.

Forty-eight states, 42 U.S. senators and veterans groups sided with Snyder, asking the court to shield funerals from the Phelps family’s “psychological terrorism.”

While distancing themselves from the church’s message, media organizations, including The Associated Press, urged the court to side with the Phelps family because of concerns that a victory for Snyder could erode speech rights.

“It is everybody’s First Amendment right to go to a public spot and speak on public issues,” said Margie Phelps, Westboro member/attorney. “Who in the world is not talking about these dying soldiers?”

Roberts described the court’s holding as narrow, and in a separate opinion, Justice Stephen Breyer suggested in other circumstances, governments would not be “powerless to provide private individuals with necessary protection.”

But in this case, Breyer said, it would be wrong to “punish Westboro for seeking to communicate its views on matters of public concern.”

Shortly after the verdict, Margie Phelps reacted to the decision in a news conference.

“Our reaction is ‘Thank God and praise his name.’ Our secondary reaction is nothing has changed except this. This case put a megaphone to the mouth of this little church. We are international,” Phelps said.  “Now we’re still back to the basic proposition: the soldiers are dying for the sins of this nation.  You’ve got to put away your sins, mourn your sins or this nation’s going down.  Shutting us up wasn’t going to change that.”

“It’s been a long five years and I’m ready to put this behind me and move on,” Snyder said.

Maryland has since passed a law prohibiting picketing at funerals. Had that law been passed sooner, perhaps the case may have turned out differently.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (156)
  1. reality check says:


    1. .. says:

      why cant they just leave these familes alone, like they arnt hurt enough.

    2. MELISSA WORTMAN says:

      i cannot believe that our rights to freedom of speech has been scarred by people whom have no ability to care nor have enough respect to do thier act’s in private. it saddens me to know that in these times of need and economical down fall’s we are allowing people to hurt the one’s whom are apart of history we are a country in wich it’s name alone should speak louder than what it does UNITED STATES YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO TRUST LOVE AND CONQOUR AND WITH THAT HAVE RESPECT!

    3. Michael Ranere says:

      This makes me sick, literally sick. The freedom of speech was not meant fort his kind of abuse but to protect citizens who speak out against the government. I say we need to turn the tables on these people and torment them as much as they torment others. Any religion that supports this kind of hatred is wrong and needs to be removed from society.

    4. Donna Roberts says:

      I believe in freedom of speech, but I also believe that the Westboro Baptist Church is not worshipping the same God that I love and believe in. My God does not hate!

      1. gwolf says:

        They are a sick evil bunch and God will take care of them.

    5. Mecca says:

      I am not for the war but for a church to protest outside of a funeral for a man or woman that has fought for and gave his or her life for our freedoms is a downright disrespectful thing to do. All that family wants to do is grieve for a loved one without having to deal with what I believe amounts to spitting on that soldiers grave. He gave his life for the freedom of speech and the right to do what those protestors are doing and they dont have the respect or sense God gave them to just leave those families alone, if it wasnt for him and those like him regardless of his sexuality they would not have the right to be doing what they are doing.Do they think that God would condone the disrespect and meaness of what they are doing and the unneccessary pain they are causing the families and loved ones of thefallen soldiers? They call themselves God’s children I call them devils advocates because it takes a mean and hateful person to intentionally inflict pain on someone that lost a child or family member to a senless war.

    6. Mary Phyllis Davis says:

      I was there with Al as we buried Matthew. The Westboro Baptist Church was a disgrace. Had it not been for the Patriot Riders, things would have been much worse. The Supreme Court’s ruling is disgraceful. Not only have we lost Matthew, many of us have lost our faith in the legal system as a result of this ruling. God bless Al Snyder for being so brave in pursuing this. God bless our troops. My nephew is doing his fifth tour, and it sickens me to think that another family may have to endure what we saw and experienced that horrible day. Mary Phyllis Davis

      1. Barbara W says:

        God Bless your nephew and thank you.

    7. Rick Marks says:

      If this Court ruling protects hateful speech as long as it’s on public land then that would apply to bullying as long as it’s on public land . Would that not be correct?
      A big can of worms has just been opened.

      Rick, Vietnam Vet

    8. Linda Ruley says:

      I say that the next time a supreme court judge loses a family member, we organize a protest at THEIR funeral!!!

      1. Devin says:

        I like the attitude but don’t do it to the son, just tear the judges life apart.

      2. pigeon says:

        And we can do the same to those protesters when one of their family members die. I would have no problem packing my bags, grabbing a couple of my portable oxygen tanks and head south. Then again, no I wouldn’t – that would just put me on their level and I don’t think I could rise from being that low! I need to pray – hating is showing it’s ugly face and there’s no way Satan is going to get the best of me. God will handle this situation and them (protesters & justices).

      3. CATHY says:

        I AGREE WITH LINDA,THE NEXT TIME A COURT PERSON OR ANY PUBLIC OFFICIAL LOOSES A LOVED ONE EVERY ONE GO AND PROTEST,Freedon of speech is good as long as it is not hurting anyonembut just because you are gay,black hispanic whatever does not give you the right to interup a funeral,where are your values,they just want to be on the news

    9. sandy says:

      You know what is going to happen since the surpreme court does not want to help. Next funeral on a Miltary Funeral your going to have a Shoot Out. People are going to take action there self. You know you upset as it is. I think we are going to see some serious problems. This is very serious. Freedom of speech or whatever this needs to be stop you are very depressed when they send your child’s body back from a war in a body bag, Next family is going to snapp and I cannot say I blame them. If it was my child and they were out ther protesting, They better look out. My child was in the Miltary I just glad he is out now. I say send the protesters to Iraq or any other war zone let them see why they have there freedom,

    10. Tammy says:

      Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Is not a “CHURCH”

      “They are a “CULT” ” GOD DOES NOT HATE”

    11. Jamie says:

      Why don’t the soldier’s picket and demonstrate on every funeral that takes place at this church. I realize free speech but these soldiers are fighting for our freedom to live!

    12. Cari says:

      I am sick to my stomach that they would allow these protests to go on, they are not demonstrating freedom of speech they are harrassing and defacing each soldier that has died to protect this country. Our god is a loving and forgiving God, not one that spouts hate and uglieness. This church should be ashamed and repeant. God gave us these special people to fight and defend our country and the rights that we have. I have many people in my family that have been or currently are soldiers and I am so proud of them. To the man that lost his son and this started with may God bless you and your family, may he help you get through this rough time. There are so many people behind you. To the church that is behind this I am going to ask God to forgive you and show you the right path because you are on the wrong one!!!!!

    13. George Mouring says:

      I think this one is a no brainer. All they have to do is word the law to say they can do it, but not within one mile of the funeral itself. Constitution is upheld, and the families of these fallen hero’s don’t have to hear or see the trash protesting.

  2. nick says:

    What we have here is a scary situation. The Supreme court is making law & changing law, something that the court was not intended to do. We have a serious breech of ethics here in that Justices Thomas, Alilto, Scalia & Roberts are on speaking tours collecting money fro big wig corporations who no doubt wield a lot of power & influence. They decided the outcome of the presidential election in 2000 by voting twice & it is a bad omen to have these men who have jobs for life to be out in public flouting. Most a conservatives & young so we can expect to see more influence by these justices in favor of big business. They should operate like Lady Justice & make decisions behind closed doors & never seen. This is an absolute abuse of power.

  3. rusty buck says:

    this is what our county has come to ?when you can disrespect the dead?well if they ever show up at one of my family members funerals.i will be going to jail

    1. Richard says:

      I agree. If it happens and I am there I will share a cell with you. Freedom of speech was established so that you could criticize the government without fear of reprecussions, not to taunt grieving families.

      I believe in “God Bless America” and I can assure you that the God that I pray too does not support this churches actions.

    2. Babs says:

      Rusty buck

      I agree with you. Our country continues to go down the tank for allowing free speech to this group of hatred individuals. I truly feel bad for the family of this young man who died serving our country and to all the men and women in the arm services.

      1. Reminder says:

        Babs… you didn’t seem to have a problem slamming gay folks in. your posts about gay marriage… just a reminder…

    3. urnotfunny says:

      100% agree with you Rusty. These morons have no human kindness in them.

  4. Mary C. says:

    No, Nick, the Supreme Court doesn’t make or change law. It only interprets the Constitution, perhaps in ways and situations that its framers didn’t foresee, since they could hardly have foreseen all the conditions that exist today. As for the tasteless and cruelly insensitive behavior of that organization that calls itself a church, what ever happened to local ordinances regarding disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace?

    1. A 25 yr VET says:

      What happend to the thing about Church and State in the consitution????????

  5. Herman Glimsher says:


    1. Rick says:

      It’s called freedoom of speech you moron, you benefit from it as do I.

      1. Jennifer Warwick says:

        I understand that they have the right to Free Speech, but cant the members of our Military that are fighting and Dying to give us our Freedom, when they die can’t their familys mourn them in piece.

      2. Bryant says:

        what about being able to yell fire in a movie theater. Obviously we “can’t” do that because of the negaitve public/safety reaction it will cause. I submit what these “church” folks are doing is akin to yelling fire in a movie theater causing a negative public reaction.

      3. Olatunji says:

        What most people fail to fully understand is this: The US Military is not fighting to protect our freedoms at all. Quite the contrary. What the Military is fighting to do is invade sovereign Nations, unlawfully and to protect are “the right” of Multi-Nation Corporations to steal the natural resources of other sovereign Nations without properly compensating those Nations for those natural resources and annihilate the people of those respective Nations. This is what all of these invasions by the United States Military are all about. The unlawful taking of other Nations natural resources. It’s not about anything else. If you believe otherwise, you need to dig much deeper and do more research.

      4. hvillage says:

        OLATUNJI: Your statement implies that the KIDS going over there are going with a full knowledge and understanding of SOME of the peripheral politics at the heart of this battle… no… these kids grew up with fathers, mothers, aunts, uncles and mentors who were in the gulf war…. these people were their heroes. This is about being a patriot and a hero and giving back to the country that these Kids believe have given them everything. Whether or not the politics of it are clear to them is irrelevant. I told my brother, I don’t agree with this fight you are going to fight, but I believe in you, and I’m proud of you for doing what you think is right… just come home healthy.

      5. Adam says:

        Rick your a complete moron! I would consider these protesters and you Domestic terrorists! You are slandering the very individuals that give you all the rights that makes your day to day life much better than those who live were these soldiers are fighting. I say anyone that does not respect the very people past, present, and future that secure these rights in which everyone enjoys, you are all more than welcome to get the Hell out of our country! If you dont appreciate these rights, and honor the people that die to give them to you, you should not get to enjoy them.

  6. nkshummingbird says:

    Why dont the protesters go join the military and die and then we can protest there funerals. they should all be ashamed of themselves. usually people who talk religion are hippocritts.

  7. susan says:

    I agree with you Rusty, This world is becoming scary to live in. Now it gives those radicals permission to do what ever they want at these funerals. And Mary you are right also. The police should be there doing there jobs and if it is military then the MP’s should be there. Funerals of any type should be honored and peaceful without worrying if radicals are going to show up. What goes around will come around. They will get theirs in the end.

  8. Papi says:

    It’s a crying shame when a lunatic organization like Westboro Baptist “Chucrh” (what a misnomer) can win a case like this. I agree with Rusty Buck – if any of these idiots ever show up to picket around one of my loved ones they will wish they had stayed in the black hole they came from. That whole group ought to crawl back into that hole and pull the hole in behind them. It will serve Fred Phelps right (and his family) if pickets show up to say “good riddance” when his funeral takes place someday.

  9. Jimmy says:

    This gets me sick.

    What can we do about this?

    Our soldiers are dying for us and we let this happen. Sometimes common sense rules and we should just do the right thing.

    Just another reason to get the hell out of this country, “Free speech my ass.” This is just crazy talk.

  10. Call for Action... says:

    Not for extremism in any way, but this woman and her father (leaders of Westboro Baptist Church) need to be taken out…seriously. Cut off the head, the body dies.

    1. Jane Q Public says:

      I believe that Anonymous has a plan… we’ll see.

  11. Shawn says:

    He was only trying to bury his son. As a fomer Marine, this is a slap in the face to the Marine Corps and to all those who served. The law needs an amendment now. This is ridiculous!

  12. warren says:

    That young marine died for the freedom of America–God have mercy on those that think otherwise.

    1. Ben says:

      Or at least for cheaper gas prices…

      1. urnotfunny says:

        another a-hole speaks.

  13. from the shore says:

    We are victims of our own creation. We have spent so much time patting ourselves on the back talking about how this is a free country to the point where people do things just to try and prove how “free” they are. It is like flag burning. I don’t believe that those people hate the flag they are just daring you to stop them. Or how about people who tell the kids not to stand for the pledge. Or even idiots who think they can curse and carrying on in public and when they are arrested for disorderly conduct they want to cry freedom of speech.

  14. Greg says:

    This is a travesty of justice. I completely understand our forefathers could not foresee today’s events. The elementary way to look at it is by putting yourself in their shoes and ask what would they do if they were here today. Freedom of speech will in no way hinder what what Westboro Baptist has to say if the court would have considered the family’s right to privacy?
    ” No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” From the fourth amendment.
    I interpret this two ways both in favor of the families being protested. First the amendment’s initial intent it to place this in the States’ hands. The Supreme Court of the United States has no business exercising power over the States. Second is that the decision for Westboro Baptist was obviously one sided focusing only on Westboro Baptist’s rights. No matter what is brought before the Justices in the way of evidence I for one would expect that a Justice would weigh both sides of the case.
    With this ruling I believe that our Supreme Court today denied this military family their rights of privilege and liberty to bury their son in peace. I believe that the fourth amendment was never considered by our Supreme Court justices when delivering such an absurd decision.
    Westboro Baptist has the right to say whatever they want and if our constitution defends their hateful means and blatant disregard for the mothers of our soldiers then our soldiers brother’s ought to have constitutional protection to whip their butts until they learn their manners.

    1. Owings Mills says:

      The 4th Amendment is protection from illegal search and seizure. The 14th Amendment is equal protection.

      1. Greg says:

        You are right. The original intent was to prevent King George from issuing general warrants as it was written in the Virginia Bill of Rights. The Fourth is much more than that. It also protects OUR privacy. The original intent of United States Bill of Rights is to protect us from excessive government power. In particular from excessive Federal Government power.
        The right of petition and assembly in the first amendment is specifically written to protect the citizen’s right when petitioning the government. The amendment never addressed petition and assembly between private citizens nor does it protect the people of Westboro Baptist by allowing them to invade anyone’s privacy.
        We can write volumes on this subject. The bottom line is that OUR Supreme Court does not have the capacity to recognize a family’s right to privacy when burying their son. Personally, I do not believe this is a constitutional matter to begin with. It is much bigger than that.
        The people of the Westboro Baptist Church clearly disrespect the rights and opinions of their fellow citizens. The State courts agree to the tune of $5mil.
        If you believe the Fourth does not protect the family’s right to privacy in this matter and we have to get all constitutional about this let us cite the Ninth Amendment. We all have the right to bury our own with dignity and respect in privacy.

  15. Sheila Flanigan says:

    Aha then I can picket the WBC and call them whatever I want Call to mouths WBC has a faulty premise they are nutjobs seeking publisity for them selves. AND I’t time to leave the US
    the supreme ct has leashed hell on the innocent. whats next

  16. from the shore says:

    I love America! Stories of courageous Patriotic acts make tear up with pride.However we have to look around sometime. We tell everyone that we are the greatest country in the world yet we depend on the middle east for energy, we borrow billions from China, we can’t shake race issues. We need humility.

  17. Billiam says:

    The rage and frustration is completely understandable and I agree with those same comments, but the Supreme Court had no other choice but to rule that they have a freedom of speech, no matter how misguided or how appropriate it is, to voice what they feel is their opinion. To have done otherwise, would have created a firestorm hundreds of times worse that this. Each of us know that the military men and women put their life on the line each and every day they are in harm’s way; we know that. What we as citizens can do is take action into our own hands, and/or not give this stupid organization any more press and commentary. Put your thoughts, words and actions to good use by supporting our military each and every day. Don’t give Westboro the satisfaction of feeling as if they won – they will lose in the end.

    1. Greg says:

      The Supreme Court completely misinterpreted the first amendment in this case, all but Alito who dissented in favor of the State’s decision. The first amendment does not address citizen’s free speech towards other citizens with regard to assembly and petition. The assemble and petition portion of the amendment are clearly written to protect our rights in order to allow we the citizens to assemble and petition the Federal Government. Period.
      Plus the Supreme Court of the United States took it upon themselves to slap the State Courts in the face in doing so … this is a travesty and infringes on the State’s sovereignty. We have not heard the end of this. Look for this ruling to be over turned.

  18. Richard says:

    Sooner or later some Vet is going to plant an IED where the protestors are standing and this will be over.

    I hope I didnt give any veteran, who is grieving over lost combat buddies, any ideas. That would be horrible.

  19. oscar arvelo says:

    The supreme court especially the minority hire Clarence pubic hair Thomas should all be fired. The court is making law & not the constitution as such. i think they’re reading to many comic books like former Prez Ronnie (is my hair in place ) Regan.

  20. Rev John says:

    Rev John;
    If my son should come back in a body bag and them people show up I will spend the rest of my life in jail as well. I will be packen and as I drive by the window will come down and we will have alot of funerals . I am so mad over this Stupid people do stupid things and we have seen that there.

    1. Oh no Rev says:

      Are you not the gay rev that has been posting. Hey Rev, don’t ask and don’t tell. You mean the boys you rape don’t you?

  21. Wheres common sense when you need it says:

    Well lets see…..1000 feet = 334 yards. Heck a few good men could send them to see those dead Marines. Then lets see them talk that trash, just my opinion.

  22. scott says:

    I am proud of the motocycle club that provides cover for some of the funerals. Thank you all. Remember not to let them get to you and do not provide any publicity to them. Lawsuits are how they make money.

  23. Skye says:

    Freedom of speech is certainly something I believe in, but what they are doing is malicious and slanderous. Their rights to free speech ends where these families rights to bury their loved ones in peace begins. They are harassing the bereaved without thought for their loss and with the intent of causing emotional harm and distress. They are also making slanderous statements which as far as I am concerned is just beyond despicable for an organization that dares to use religion as it’s shield.

  24. Kathryn says:

    If the media would stop giving the protesters publicity and showing them & their signs (that spread whatever their message is) I bet many of them would quit doing it. If they must report on an incident, simply call them generic “protesters” & leave it at that. Look at the picture with this story- it shows a sign and is spreading a message for free.

    The way it is now, protesters show up at a funeral and the media shows up too and millions of people see the protesters’ message via the TV, net or papers. These people are seeking publicity, if they don’t get it, they will most likely find a way other than disrupting funerals. The media needs to stop helping them spread whatever their agenda is!

  25. Sean S says:

    WJZ: stop your unconstitutional censorship! I attempted to voice an opinion, but you would not allow it to post! It was nothing inappropriate! Just too politically incorrect for your Communist TV station!

    1. Jane Q Public says:

      SEAN: it sucks when people want to take away your rights, doesn’t it.

    2. JQP says:

      ….and by the way, this site is not public property, it belongs to WBAL (et al). If you don’t want to be censor red, then start your own blog and write whatever you want!

  26. Alan West says:

    All these comments should be forwaded to those A-Holes in the Supreme
    Court who think they are gods without having to answer to anyone for their
    They act this way because they are not elected to their jobs on the court & are
    not held accountable for their actions. Lifetime guarunteed job.
    They are in reality, nothing more but political SUCKASS’es,

  27. oscar arvelo says:

    Alan & Sean, I feel your frustration as I have been bounced more times off this site than a basketball. The clowns for life @ the supreme court are disintegrating this country & the rights of the people. They are pro business, conservative for the most part so get ready to see a lot more disgusting rulings before we can get the likes of a Stephen Beyer & Thurgood Marshall. It is pretty sad.

  28. pigeon says:

    One again I say if they show up at a military funeral I pray that those doing the 18 gun salute shoot in their direction. Wonder why the country is in such turmoil – all you have to do is look at the White House and all of our judicial systems. A good housecleaning would be in order!

    1. pigeon says:

      Sorry about the spelling error – should be Once again

      1. pigeon says:

        PS: I hope the judges and these heathens (allegedly God fearing Christians) hold hands when they burn in hell!

  29. karen says:

    These soldiers that they are disrespecting are the reason they can. Shame on them and anyone who thinks this is ok. And why is the majority (At least I hope we are) the ones who have no say. What is going on here that people give their lives and are disrespected. These Jerks need to go to another country and live where they have no freedom of speech.

  30. Michele says:

    i have a son in the Marine Corp who is in a god forsaken place and will be home shortly, but i too would like to thank the motorcycle club and the vets who always show up.

  31. Chris says:

    I think this is absoltely absurd. We are lucky to have the rights that we have but that doesn’t mean you should be able to harm others with those rights. There is not other country on this planet that would put up with the things that we do in the name of rights.
    I hope that this father can get rhough this and focus on the memory of his son.

  32. Larry says:

    I am a retired USArmy noncommissioned officer and the Superme Court decision is wrong. Freedom of speach has nothing to do with this case. This chruch has nothing to do with God. I am so disappointed in this decision and if it were possible I would move out of the United States.

  33. Sheila says:

    They are not christians, they are cowards. I love my God who is a loving God, one day they will answer for what they are doing. God Bless all the men & women who are fighting for our freedom.

    1. KenE says:

      Freedom from what exactly? The USA has been free for over 234 years now. Freedom from terrorism? None of the 9-11 terrorists were from Iraq or Afghanistan. I am not dissing the military, but I would like to know what this big threat to our freedom is since you seem to know. Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq has the power to be any sort of credible threat to our freedom.

      1. James says:

        How “free” do you think we would be if there was no military?? I can tell you, not so free and we would be speaking another language sooner than later!

      2. pigeon says:

        You are the north end of a southbound mule!

  34. Sean S says:

    Gays and gay lovers are sick! Nothing will ever convince me that anal sex is ok. After all, this is how gay men gratify each other.

    1. Amanda says:

      people that think like you make me sick. close minded a-holes

      1. urnotfunny says:

        Sean – you have lost sight of what this story is about. It’s not about anal sex, get a clue moron. It’s about a bunch of inhumane morons that heckle people and their loved ones who have lost their lives. Does that bring you back to reality or are you still stuck on anal sex? If so, move on to another story.

    2. cc says:

      What is wrong with you? People are people no matter what they choose to do. Who are we to judge? That poor family lost their son. The so called Christians ruined the last thing that they had of their son. Now the poor father has to pay all that money to a group of people who are wacko’s. There are so many other things in this world that could be protested. Why bother people at one of the worst times of their lives? That’s the “Christian” in them.

  35. Amanda Schmidt says:

    god doesnt hate anyone, we loves everyone. they obviously are not christians at all

  36. Amanda Schmidt says:

    and if they think god “hates” the usa so bad than why are they apart of this country, go move to iraq!

  37. jim says:

    If it was my son these animals would be going to the light. And yes I would go to jail but with a smile on my face!!!!!! GOD BLESS ALL OF OUR SOLDERS THOSE WITH US AND THOSE NOT !!!!!!!!!

  38. A. Jackson says:

    I am an ordained minister of the Gospel. I am truly ashamed of the actions of these people. God does not hate anyone. This is a disgrace to the Christian community, and this act was an abomination. I feel their actions were cruel, and so was their speech.

    I truly feel for this family. Their son died for this country, and this country let them down. There is no justification now, but one day all of the protesters will me the ultimate judge. By the way, His ruling is much higher than the Supreme Court’s.

  39. military mom says:

    What this church is doing is wrong, and they should be ashamed of themselves.
    who gives them the right to judge. So what if he was gay or not, we as christian’s are still suppose to love them. And when someone does something against what the bible says, you go to them with love and show them what the bible says and explain it to them.
    But protesting at funeral, all they are doing is making a fool of themselves and causing so much hurt for the families.

    Where are our rights, we are being violated when something like this happens.

    Maybe we should attend the funerals of military people who have given their lives for us and give them the respect and honor they deserve. And stand up for them and give their family support in this very sad time of there lives.

    Both of my sons are in the military, and I can tell you how much they appreciate when people come up and thank them for their service. That’s how you stand up for your son,daughter,husband,and wife.

  40. chearts77 says:

    Kudos to Justice Alito. What’s wrong with the rest of them Justice’s? What Westboro is doing is beyond freedom of speech. I call it disturbing the peace and harassment and down right sick. If they have an issue with gays in the military, shouldn’t they be picketing/protesting in DC and leave the military families alone? My heart goes out to all the military and their families. And, THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!!!

  41. John says:

    The supreme court of the United States needs to be the 2012 issue and where whether the supreme court justices that ruled in favor of disturbing the peace in regards to Westboro decision today. Whether they should be removed or not? The supreme court has gone too low and I believe the supreme court has legalised disturbing the peace.

  42. james says:

    I have been in the military for 22 year and it sickens me to think that as military members we write a blank check to the gov’t for our lives, so you can live and be free and this is how we get treated!!! Pretty soon we’re going to have a draft if the people and gov’t keep this up! And I hope all the protesters get drafted!!!

  43. Brad says:

    These people are hatemongerers under the guise of a so-called church. Sick deranged cult-like people with no other motive in life than to make others miserable. We can only hope that their comeuppance will come, if not in this life than the next. I truly feel sorry for the man who lost his son in the middle of all this controversy and he should not be responsible for playing the WBC’s legal fees in this matter.

  44. Perry says:

    wow nice to see that the US Supreme Court is anti-american for allowing those bible thumping morons to protest at military funerals, what a slap in the face to the service men andwomen. what happened to freedom from religion?

  45. Jamie M. says:

    I’m all for free speech, but is it free speech when you corner someone at a venue where they have no choice to leave? Those families have to be at the cemetery to bury their loved one, they can’t leave to avoid the demonstrators. Let the Westboro Church preach their hatred in a place where people can choose if they want to stay and listen. And let’s give less attention to their hate message and more attention to the Patriot Guard Riders who volunteer their time to honor the fallen and shield the fallen’s families from these demonstrations. Attention, even negative, is attention nonetheless.

  46. Carolyn Oster says:

    This makes me sick that we actually protect these crazy people put down our poor dead soldiers when they come home to be buried.

  47. Julie says:

    Freedom of speech is one thing, to spout abhorrent,ugly, hateful, hurtful (can’t think of enough words) rheoric during one of the most painful times in a familkes life and have the Supreme Court allow that they have the right is beyond anything I can comprehend. I would be very interested to see how any one of those Justices would feel if such malicious behavior were to take place at a funeral of one of their loved ones who had died serving, and protecting the country which they profess to love and respect. Is this how they would want their loved one to be treated after the gave the greatest sacrifice for our country?

  48. John Kotula says:

    I’m so disappointed in the eight members of the supreme court: don’t they know the difference between freedom of speech and Harassment, Badgering, Mental Persecution, Pester, Inflecting Distress, etc.???

    John of Pasadena Md

  49. Beverly says:

    I don’t disagree with free speech and I am not quite sure what these people were protesting against. If is wars on foreign turf, there are plenty of places where they can verbalize their feelings. One statement stated “God hates America”, if that is what they believe, why don’t they find a country to live in other than in America. We are a free country which means we should also have the right bury our loved ones, especially those who gave their lives to keep this country free! Can’t help but wander how those serving in the military feel. We have a volunteer if our Supreme court doesn’t support the families of military personnel.

  50. Carmen says:

    Ironic that this soldier lost his life protecting this church’s members right for freedom of speech so that they were able to harass and corrupt the dignity of the family laying their loved one to his final resting place . What a pity, and what a sin on their souls.

  51. Carolyn says:

    I find this totally disgusting, that such a small group of people can make a ruling like this. I find this very scary; it is frightening to me how this country no longer respects itself. I was taught as a child that this was a very proud country, and a very powerful country! What more can the people in charge do to defile this country?
    I said the Pledge of Allegiance everyday in school! What happened to “RESPECT” for our country, the men who give their lives for us to have “Freedom of Speech” and this is how we treat them!!!!!!
    “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
    This is about “RESPECT” “COMMON COURTESY” and “HONOR”, not about Freedom of Speech!!
    If you walk into a court room and disrespect the Judge – you are fined for contempt of court (showing disrespect for the judge or disruption of the proceedings through poor behavior!) Well in my opinion the Westboro Baptist Church is in “Comtempt”!!
    How can a church be so hateful? They speak with a God that I do not know or want to know!!
    Was this not a case of Contempt for a Soldier who gave his life for us????
    This is so sad for this country, if we cannot respect ourselves, no other country will ever respect us!
    My father served in Korea, he would flip, if he was alive, how horrible!!
    God Bless our Soldiers

  52. Marie says:

    You know what??? Until it is one of their sons or daughters they will allow these people to continue to DISRESPECT the parents, relatives and love ones of the ones who have lost their lives fighting for our country so these JERKS (and I use the term loosely) can use the excuse of the first amendment. These justices are just as guilty because the have no backbone to tell these people to back off and leave the military and any other funeral ALONE. There are exceptions to every rule …… where is the one for the first amendment.

    just now Report abuse Permalink

  53. Mark says:

    As a prior service member as well as the son of a service member missing in action I am proud to have fought for the freedoms we enjoy in the United States. Words however need to be thought out carefully. Last I checked it was illegal to incite riot. The judges should have paid close attention to what the church was saying. Any reasonable person would be angered by these words:
    ( Thank God for dead soldiers ) Whats up with that?? Seems like a little more was going on there then peaceful protest. If I were at this funeral I would have been incited….

  54. Squaregrouper says:

    I would be willing to take on the possibility of a life sentence if they protested at a funeral I attended. However, I don’t think a jury would convict someone for mowing down that entire “congregation”.

  55. Sean S says:

    Gay marriage has now made me a supporter of anti-gay protests, but I don’t really approve of the tactics of this church. Leave fallen soldiers out if it. Hopefully, I have now made a few gays and their supporters a little less hateful of me and my opinions.

    1. urnotfunny says:

      I’m the only one who commented on your ignorant remarks, so you must be talking about me. I’m not gay for your information and I don’t hate you, I just dislike how narrow minded you are making an ignorant comment about anal sex on a story that wasn’t talking about that.

    2. JQP says:

      He’s clearly gay and hurried in the closet… any psychologist who his salt can tell by his slightly psychotic prowling in the gay rights news stories.

      1. JQP says:

        my smart phone is stupid… I said: He is clearly gay and buried in the closet… Any psychologist worth his salt…etc….

  56. Chester says:

    As a veteran I can not believe the Supreme Court. This as they claim were there to insite more than protest. there words would insite any one greiving for a loved one or comrade in arms. Md has inacted a law against pickeing at a funeral,that is a step in the right direction

  57. ROYCE JONES says:






  58. sharon says:

    I am wondering how fast this churches “rights” will be defended by this same court when it is a judges son or daughter being disrespected in death . Or some politician or celebrity seems to me the real issue here was that this soldier was a nobody.
    God rest his soul and condem those who do not appreciate his sacrifice

  59. Randall says:

    I feel as if what they are doing is insulting. What if it was a member of your family ? Would you want some random people who don’t care how much of demonizing they are putting on a soul who kept you safe. Would you want that? … I didn’t think so. Its not complicated. It is common sense.

  60. Joyce Regalbuto Hogan says:

    i think it is so sad that someone who lost their life fighting for our country can not even have the respect of a peaceful funeral,

  61. Devin says:

    I think it’s ridiculous that people cannot respect eachother. Especially someone who is so young and so brave that served the people that protested against the man. The church gives the human race the worst name. It is so horrible and pitiful that you cannot open your mind and embrace diversity.

  62. Emily says:

    This story makes me sick! The Supreme Court is foolish to allow such displays against our soldiers to take place. If those people had been standing outside with signs referencing “color” than the Supreme Court would have intervened stating that it is Racism and not the freedom of speech! But I say forget “freedom of speech”!! These soldiers deserve the respect of our nation; they are someone’s child. Our Supreme Court should defend the honor of the lives sacrificed for our “freedom of speech”!

  63. richard dinterman says:

    coming from a father that lost a son in afganistan died for the country and the freedoms we have. believes that that is the wrong place to protest.thank god they didnt show up at my sons funeral 2 years later.

  64. Kimberly M. says:

    What is wrong with this world. There is freedom of speech, but this is wrong. How would you like if this happened to you. I bet you wouldn’t like it. Like the saying gose:: What gose around comes around. God is looking at you in sadness, cause he died for everybody. Show people the repect you would want and leave the families alone to be able to bury their family members in peace.

  65. Justin says:

    they are the most ignorant church in the united states i’ve ever seen and if they come to and funeral and it happen ill go the F@#k off on them and get lock up they should not be allowed to do that bottum line

  66. Barbara W says:

    The United States of America has become a very sad and moral lacking nation. From people who do not take enough pride in our nation to learn our National Anthem before singing it publicly, to being forbidden to say Our Pledge of Allegiance to our Flag before the start of a school day, to publicly demoralizing a fallen soldier and his family after they gave the ultimate gift – the life of their son!!!! What has happened to the United States of America??? Where has the pride and honor gone? Where is the back bone of our official leaders to change what is wrong and make it right?? Maybe the first Amendment should be rewritten since we are clearly dealing with an ignorance that is absolutely shameful today. Shame on the United States of America! Shame on the Supreme Court! Shame on Westboro Baptist Church for even existing!!! My heart breaks for that family and the way in which we showed gratitude for the price that their son paid for US.

    1. urnotfunny says:

      Yes, that’s because the country is being run by a bunch of bleeding heart morons that are afraid they will offend somebody, but God forbid after a soldier dies, that we give him and his family privacy from a bunch of low class gutter trash that calls themselves Christians. We don’t care that we’ve allowed garbage to protest at the funeral of a soldier. This has gone way past freedom of speech, it disgraceful! Because of their own self-hatred, they try to make other people miserable.

  67. Amelia says:

    Regardless of what this young man’s sexual prefrence was, he still served our country, and died to ensure our freedoms, and safey . I do believe that the Westboro Baptist cHurch is here in the United States , along with the rest of us!
    This young man and his grieving famiily deserved the upmost respect at that funeral ! Our country was founded on The love of God.I don’t know what God this church served , but My God commands love to all despite our differences, To use This Young Man’s Funeral to Blaspeme God has caused us all to suffer an indignation. The supreme Court may think their decision is supreme, But God forbid should a love one of theirs pass on and these protesters show up at the funeral with their digusting chants and, signs, then we will see whether they
    will bellow,”Freedom of Speech”! The Westboro Baptist Church may think they have won this round, but please be advised God is the only one that will sit in judgement, and he has the final say!! I say ti The Snyder Family, You have a lot of good moral support behind you! Please rest assured that your son served his country well, although I didn’t know him personally, I am just as proud of him as I am of my own Family members serving/have served in the Military. jUST remember this is God’s battle, put this situation in his hands, and he will take care of it. I pray for The Supreme Court Judges,and for that Church. May God have Mercy on them all !!! God bless you ,and may God bless our Troops!!!

  68. Ed says:

    As an American I am outraged at the fact that ” our Supreme Court ” would not even consider this act by Westboro Baptist Church to be a hate crime. This country was born by individuals like Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder and to disrespect him and his family in their time of morning was nothing less than ignorant. I love this country and what it stands for. It is apparent that if our leaders continue to rule for people that don’t have the common decency to respect another individual’s right to a decent burial then we are heading on a course of destruction of values dignity and pride. My condolences to the family and friends of this valiant hero.

  69. Kathleen M. says:

    It is a sad state of affairs but this is what makes this country what it is. I DO NOT THINK these people have anything to do with GOD or his word, but they do have the right to be butt heads. Our soldiers fight and die for the rights of this country to be idiots, indifferent and insane. We have that right and we use it quite well. To the families I wish I could shield you from every idiot that protests at your child’s funeral. for the idiots I hope you never get another dollar of support. To the media, please stop recognizing these people and focus on the groups trying to protect the families.

  70. Branded says:

    Revoke their tax exempt status – pay THE MAN

  71. Michele says:

    What the hell is wrong with these people? This young man put his life on the line so we could lbe safe. I am starting to think these people would not have a problem doing other things that I can’t say on here. I am outraged! What happened to respect in this damn country we live in. Everytime I go to the airport, or to church and see someone from the armes services, I always walked up to them and thank them for our freedom. We have ignorant people who have nothing else better to do, and that are a complete waste of space on earth, and we say it is ok for them to protest a funeral. The GOD I believe in is not the same one they do. This is really sad. Everyone has their own opinion on things, but not everyone acts like a fool either. Justice will prevail in the end. My heart goes out to this young man’s family. I want to thank you for your son’ s hard work and dedication to the military.

  72. Chuck says:

    Regarding the First Amendment: The Supreme Court has only the power to act when the Amendment has been, violated and /or abused. In this case abused would be the key word. Maryland local law protect against disruptions to and/or interference of the private gatherings that would celebrate the birth, growth, marriage or mourning the passing of a family member, or a friend. Such gatherings are considered to be private to family members and invited guests, and not an action of public matters.The conduct is called Common Respect to their purpose. To make the ruling as they have abuses its meaning and userps the local laws set in place.To successfully pass the MD driving test and obtain ones driving licenses, one must observe and respect a funeral procession. Cemetery property is a personal ownership under a paid for perpetual care by the care takers of that Cemetery. Funeral Homes are a paid for service to provide the family and friends and opportunity to pay their last respect to the deceased . The Church and the entire burial process honors the deceased. None of these venues are being used for public or political purposes during such events. The protesting of the war by any organization should be performed toward the government and law makers not those whom have suffered the consequences of their decisions. To protest the funerals of those who gave their lives in defense of our way of life, no matter where they are defending it, is disgraceful, demeaning and dis-serving to the very reason of their protest. Not to mention that they are violating local jurisdictions of law enforcement The First Amendment really doesn’t apply to these types of protest, in that they do bring harm, hurt and mental affliction to those who are mourning their loss. But until We the People who vote these leaders into office start getting involved and vote for proper representation regardless of party affiliation every single time, we’re going to get bias party decision making every time. Like the Supreme Court, whose duty is to enforce the law and protect the Constitution, not change it (The Constitution) or make new policies. The burial process is neither the proper time or venue to assemble for protesting your dismay with the law makers.. When the protesters start falling from the right to bare Arms, then another Amendment will be mis-interpeted and wrongful enforced.We can change all of this before we start shooting one another. But we will have be unified in numbers, that’s when Congress will listen.

  73. Dennis says:

    I think there ought to be a article 5 convention and amend the constitution it will take 35 governors to get togeather and stop this and it won’t happen again, and while there at it fix what the hell is broken with the out of control Government and it out of control spending

  74. Nyssa says:

    Wheather this war is right or wrong is beside the point. If this church believe these dead soldiers died wrongly they should spend their effort in prayer for them their families and those still in thais war. After all Jesus said his true followers would be recognized by the love they show, not hateful speech. Really could anyone imagine Christ Jesus marching and saying such hateful things. He even said to forgive those who put him to death.

  75. Olatunji says:

    @hvillage. I haven’t implied anything with my comments. My comments were meant to open up the discusion to include the facts, which is all that I presented here. What I said about the Politics of it, aren’t peripheral at all. Quite the contrary, they go to the heart of the issue. The facts are facts and cannot be in dispute. If we begin to honestly examine those facts, perhaps we wouldn’t behaving these funerals at all. Our politicians are sending these young men and women to die because of their’s and The Multi-National Corporate greed, plain and simple. Those are the facts. And whether these invasions are right or wrong should be exactly the point. What goes around, comes around. You can’t do wrong to others and expect to receive justice. Now do I agree with the Church’s right to picket in front of Military funerals, yes I do. It’s based upon what the 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States says, whether we emotionally agree with it or not. As the saying goes, “I may not agree with what you say, but I will fight to the death to defend your right to say it”. I’f you want Peace, work for Justice’. Justice requires we examine these invasions and demand that our Politicians bring these young men and women home.

    1. hvillage says:

      I don’t disagree with your facts. I do, however, object to the implication of your post that “most of us” fail to understand it, and it isn’t the point of this forum in any case. We are discussing the first amendment right of any fool who wants to spew their inane bile having the right to do so. Though I despise the message these protestors are spreading, I am all for a venomous snake showing his colors so I know to keep my distance. Which is the point of the forum. So, I guess I’m just wondering what your point is and why you brought it up here?

  76. oscar arvelo says:

    While I believe in protecting 1st amendment rights, Funerals for military even in an unpopular war should be no place for demonstrations. This ruling is not about a church, I have more family members than that church has congregation. They’re a sham & the supreme court is a sham. Right wing conservatives are making laws for all of us good “little doggies” to follow & behave. Like shouting FIRE in a crowded theatre is a no no & will get you arrested or using flaming speech as in threatening our President, we should adopt the same policy when it comes to funerals for our fallen. This is a terrible decision & I am so sorry for the loss of that families son.

  77. Guest2 says:

    If that is the case, then when that group starts their ranting on one side of the street, then we have free speech to holler and scream at them. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

  78. oscar arvelo says:

    The Supreme court has further divided this already divided country.

  79. hvillage says:

    You should all be grateful that you have the right to speak your mind, because once you open the door to censorship, you take the chance with those who are in power being able to censor you if your opinion is not the one they want to hear… some of you have even railed against this website for censoring your comments. Be very careful what you wish for. I said it before in a post above: I am all for a venomous snake showing his colors so I know to keep my distance. Anonymous is watching.

  80. jae says:

    Why not clean the streets and sidewalk when the demonstrators are doing their thing? Bring out the fire hoses; garden hoses, perhaps it would be a good time to spray for mosquitoes – Let’s rid the streets of all garbage – so the funeral procession can proceed peacefull.

  81. pigeon says:

    QUESTION: If they show up can we, as citizens with the right to freedom of speech, stand in front of them, facing them, hypocrites that they are, with signs saying “God loves everyone including you”? Why not fight hatred with love?

    1. hvillage says:


  82. Teajay says:

    Look at the make-up of the court. This is not the end result but the beginning of what the socialist are creating.

    1. youseff says:

      The Supreme court was largely shaped by President’s Daddy & son. Both Republicans. Need I say more? Socialist my ass,, Capitalist yes!. A few of them like the minority hire Thomas & Ailito are out speaking for money from big bucks Koch Bros. Now you tell me they’re Socialists? You better re-take you civics history lessons all over again Junior.

  83. Amy says:

    What a disgrace. Disgusting really. But it’s our judicial system for you.
    Yes, I believe in freedom of speech, but I would have to say that this cult church is not worshiping the same God, that in whom we trust.

  84. Doug says:

    I hope You and your whole family DIE of cancer real soon,please !!
    JERK !!!

  85. Atim Ant says:

    These protesters need to be sniped. Where’s Lee Malvo when you need him?

  86. Jason Robinson says:

    I don’t understand if America is so doomed then why don’t these people just leave? Plus the fact would Jesus have had his disciples and other followers yelling at the funerals of Roman soldiers? No and Israelites were under Roman occupation at the time unlike in the Unied States where we have freedom that soldiers died to protect. Ironic, that people protest using their 1st Amendment rights, at the funerals of soldiers who died protecting them.

  87. NoHope says:

    No matter what one person believes, I can not begin to understand what goes through these demons minds when they are protesting a funeral. Whether a soldier or anyones for that matter. I am not a religous person but I do believe if there is a God, the people of the Westboro church will all rot in hell. Now this father who lost his son has to pay the churches court cost as well? This really gives me faith in our country thats for sure! HA! He would have had a better chance suing the church for pain and suffering due to thier protest! I don’t wish death on anyone but I am waiting for the day they protest at the wrong funeral. I will have no sympathy for them or thier families thats for sure!

  88. Michelle Jones says:

    I think it is so wrong what the supreme court did. I am so proud to him them fight for our freedom. My grandfather served in war war 2. The protester’s should just leave them alone and find something more important to protest against. I am sorry for the family’s who lost a member I know what you are going through. I give my best to Matthew’s family.

  89. Doug says:

    What type of hateful lunatics are they?
    and how dare they claim to be of any god ?
    The entire congregation should be hurled into the nearest
    Soylent Green hopper and processed into wafers.

  90. chearts77 says:

    Hey, I have a novel concept. Why don’t we, as a nation, start paying more attention to our service men and women? Why don’t we start thanking them more? IGNORE these idiots at Westboro and instead, give our attention to those that really deserve it…OUR SERVICE MEN AND WOMEN. I think Westboro is thriving on the publicity and they don’t deserve it.

  91. Judith says:

    This blog is full of a..hole lickers.

    1. hvillage says:

      Jeez, Judith, I expected something much more insightful and concise from you. I’m seriously not jabbing, I’m just surprised.

  92. Olatunji says:

    Where was all of the outrage, all of these years when The Ku Klux Klan and others were burning croses on the lawns of Black people? Wjere were these loyal Americans when the Ku Klux Klan was lychning, maiming, and terrorizing Blacks for well over a 100 years? Their excuse was “It’s free speech protected by the 1st Amendment to the Constitution of The United States. I guess, as long as they agree with what is being said or in this case actually done, it’s ok. “Hmm…things that make you go hmm.”—Arseno Hall

    1. hvillage says:

      They marched with Dr. King, they fought for civil rights and made it possible for our country to have a person of color occupy the highest seat in this country… the leader of the free world…. just answering your question.

  93. Melanie Conway says:

    These people make me sick! They call themselves christians???? Really? Someone should put them on a plane drop them over in Iraq and let them get blown and shot up!!! Those men and women served our country they should no be allowed to do what they are doing!! Freedom of speech or not!!! The judge who ruled in the churches favor deserves a real kick in the ass also because he dont know his ass from a hole in his head. We should not be lowering these young mens bodies into the ground they are hero’s true americans! I feel horrible for these families that have to go through the trauma of losing there loved ones and then to have to deal with such rude and disrespect from ignorant people. I hope I never encounter those so called christians!!! I wouldnt be to nice!

  94. P brooks says:

    This group would disappear if the media imposed a news blackout. Don’t put them on camera. Don’t endlessly repeat their name and message as you have the last few days.
    Instead of disruptive counter- protests park some high trucks between the protesters and the funeral and drape them w/ a thank you message. Rent a white noise machine. Concentrate future efforts on maintaining the dignity of the service.

  95. James Hecht says:

    @ everyone,

    I’ve read with sorrow most of comments here and while most are on the right, as opposed to the wrong. Every one of you have missed the most important issue here.

    The Anti-Christ is alive and well and lives amongst us.

    Yes it is reprehensible that they would spew hate at someone who died protecting someones right to live free.

    Then they have the nerve to demand money from someone who has little, if even enough.

    You would think that they would be spending all their energy in the North Africa-West Asia area raising the literacy rate so that people would know the good that the Koran has to teach.

    Yes! Yes, You have all ( I think as I did not read ever post) Came to the right conclusion. They are not of my God either. At least I know my God is a tolerant and for giving God and I must do the same.

    My forgiveness a lone will not get them passed St. Peter, they need to be able to see themselves for what they have not been and ask to be taught better.

    That’s what I said the Anti-Christ. Read that last book again.


    1. What are you all talking about? says:

      Are you telling me that the universal creator of all things has turned human existence into a joke? A game? Did this being create us in order to dangle the promise of ultimate freedom and peace before us by offering all means of worshipping (him), giving all of us the impression that our way is e right way, then forcing us to choose? And then, instead of allowing the game to continue, (he’s) going to send someone here to gain our trust, and allow us to become devoted and then kill us all… unless of course we picked the right way to worship of the thousands that he placed before us? Is that what you think of your God? Do you really think he is sitting somewhere sying, “I know it’s not fair to do this to them, but if they really love me, they’ll pick the right one…maybe…oh who cares, kill ’em all’ I’m bored.” Personally, I don’t think that the creator of the universe would be so petty and cruel… and if he is, then send me to hell because I don’t care for people who inflict anxiety and pain on other people, and I certainly wouldn’t worship a God that does.

      1. jim says:

        Read the book! @What are you all talking about?

  96. wayata says:

    It’s a book written by men…. it’s nothing more than that.

  97. Lucy Qian says:

    If we regulate freedom of speech, yes, there is potential for a slippery slope where more regulations can occur and soon we’d be protesting that free speech is no longer upheld. That being said, we already do have some regulations on speech and it’s not a big deal. For example, the FCC regulation of what can be said on the radio or on TV, and how screaming “fire” or a bomb threat will get you in trouble. We put these regulations to protect people from what we think can be harmful or have a negative outcome. So, I don’t think there’s any reason why we should regulate hateful speech. Nothing good comes out of it and if they want to still practice their religion, they should do it in their church. I honestly question their motives when they say they’re doing this for the “good of humanity;” to me, it’s all just a publicity stunt. They should definitely be silenced.

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