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SICK OF IT ALL
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By ALEX DOMINGUEZ, Associated Press Writer

BALTIMORE - A grieving father won a nearly $11 million verdict Wednesday against a fundamentalist Kansas church that pickets military funerals out of a belief that the war in Iraq is a punishment for the nation's tolerance of homosexuality.

Albert Snyder of York, Pa., sued the Westboro Baptist Church for unspecified damages after members demonstrated at the March 2006 funeral of his son, Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, who was killed in Iraq.

The jury first awarded $2.9 million in compensatory damages. It returned in the afternoon with its decision to award $6 million in punitive damages for invasion of privacy and $2 million for causing emotional distress.

Snyder's attorney, Craig Trebilcock, had urged jurors to determine an amount "that says don't do this in Maryland again. Do not bring your circus of hate to Maryland again."

Church members routinely picket funerals of military personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, carrying signs such as "Thank God for dead soldiers" and "God hates ****."

A number of states have passed laws regarding funeral protests, and Congress has passed a law prohibiting such protests at federal cemeteries. But the Maryland lawsuit is believed to be the first filed by the family of a fallen serviceman.

The church and three of its leaders — the Rev. Fred Phelps and his two daughters, Shirley Phelps-Roper and Rebecca Phelps-Davis, 46 — were found liable for invasion of privacy and intent to inflict emotional distress.

Even the size of the award for compensating damages "far exceeds the net worth of the defendants," according to financial statements filed with the court, U.S. District Judge Richard Bennett noted.

Snyder claimed the protests intruded upon what should have been a private ceremony and sullied his memory of the event.

The church members testified they are following their religious beliefs by spreading the message that soldiers are dying because the nation is too tolerant of homosexuality.

Their attorneys maintained in closing arguments Tuesday that the burial was a public event and that even abhorrent points of view are protected by the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of speech and religion.

Earlier, church members staged a demonstration outside the federal courthouse. Church founder Fred Phelps held a sign reading "God is your enemy," while Shirley Phelps-Roper stood on an American flag and carried a sign that read "God hates *** enablers." Members of the group sang "God Hates America" to the tune of "God Bless America."

Snyder sobbed when he heard the verdict, while members of the church greeted the news with tightlipped smiles.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071031/ap_on_re_us/funeral_protests

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PRAISE THE LORD!!:)
 

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<------ confused. Trial in Baltimore, verdict in Maryland, bad people - fundamentalist Kansas Church... That seems like a long drive to protest.

Glad he got the verdict though!
 

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You got the talkin' done
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The WBC is a hateful group.

I stand and applaud.
 

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I will sleep better knowing that these people will be dirt poor in this life before facing the eternal fires of hell in the next.
my sentiments exactly
 

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I don't agree with those people one bit, and think that what they do is absolutely appalling, but I think they should have the right to do it.
 

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Hot-Wire Her With A Pin
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I love the God Hates **** church!





Love to see them go off a cliff in a bus.
 

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Fear is the mind killer
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I love this, The Punisher couldn't have done it better himself :).
 

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You got the talkin' done
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I don't agree with those people one bit, and think that what they do is absolutely appalling, but I think they should have the right to do it.
I think this was a civil suit. Legally, they do. The only law that was put in place was to specify that they can protest up to 45 minutes before (and I think they have to wait until 45 minutes after) a funeral and they have to stay back 300 feet. I could be wrong, but I think I am close. Not every state has passed that law though. I am pretty sure IL has.
 

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OBAMA FTW!!!!1!
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I don't agree with those people one bit, and think that what they do is absolutely appalling, but I think they should have the right to do it.
There are freedoms and there are clear abuses of those freedoms, this is clearly an abuse of the freedom of speech. Same reason you are not allowed to yell "fire" in a theater. Had they been protesting the war in front of the White House than I might have agreed with them or just simply supported their right to protest, this is a F%$KING funeral.
 

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I used to host that tools website.. back.. 10 or 11 years back...
Freaked me out first time i heard about him doing all that shit...
I know he is a loon.. but.. I ran a website called freethought.net and I would host anything anyone had to say... I talked to Fred a few times and.. He seemed like an ok guy.. If I remember right I even remember cussing and just talking.. He didn't get all hyperchristian..
At the time he was running some website about how some gay kid deserved to die for being gay... Matt something...
Memory is a bit sketchy...
I ended up having a lot of conversations with the otherside as well.. and ended up making friends with some of the people that initially wanted me to take his site down.. after I explained that I would also host whatever it was they had to say as well.. they understood and said they respected the position...

Wouldnt mind punching the fucker in the face if I was ever at a funeral and saw him doing that...

on the bright side... he made bikers look good.. did you hear about the group of bikers who were positioning themselves in between and pointing their exhausts at phelps and co and revving their engines?
Good group of people those bikers are :)
 

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At the time he was running some website about how some gay kid deserved to die for being gay... Matt something...
Memory is a bit sketchy...
Matthew Shepard, beaten to death by 2 men in Laramie because he was gay
 

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The Benchwarmer
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14,574 Posts
gotta love religious nutjobs


It came to my attention today also that this christian girl i work with, her minister drives a bentley and lives in a 6 million dollar estate. He was an ex-con who "found god" while in prison. her family alone donates 15% of their income to the church, after taxes, and her parents cant afford to send her to college so shes working at my company trying to pay her way through community college. gee wonder why they cant afford it. this sheep believes gays are going to hell too. when she found out i was an atheist she just about blew her top :laughing:

i said the golden rule, "your god, your rules, YOU go to hell." :)

i love they were smiling to the verdict, payback is a bitch! and i hope they are smiling all the way to the poorhouse. BaaaaBaaaaBAaaaaa, fucking sheep.

they all need to listen to a little louis ck

 

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Found some pretty funny stuff on the WBC wiki page
examples...

Like this guy.. What was he thinking?
In 2003, WBC member Charles Hockenbarger, who was in his 70s at the time, had his face crushed in a beating after standing on a street corner holding a sign reading "THANK GOD FOR SEPT. 11". Hockenbarger was recovering from open heart surgery at the time and ignoring the usual doctor's orders for bed rest. Westboro posted photos of the aftermath of the attack on its homepage, claiming that the (still unidentified) perpetrator was a homosexual and that the attack had been part of a murder conspiracy to kill Hockenbarger, though offering no proof of these allegations.


The Spoof section.. and the Violence section

[edit] Spoof Web Sites
Responses include the creation of an opposing website, godlovesfags.com, a pro-gay rights website, launched by Kris Haight on March 1, 1999. The site focuses on the debate surrounding religion and homosexuality and especially homosexuality and Christianity.

On August 18, 1999, an unidentified hacker transferred ownership of the domain godhatesfags.com to Kris Haight. Apparently, this was done by forging an email message from Phelps. Haight promptly redirected all traffic to godlovesfags.com. After much media attention, Phelps threatened to sue and the domain name was returned on August 21.

In 2006 godhateswbc.com, as well as godhateswbc.net, were created, focusing on the debate surrounding religion and homosexuality.

A satire website called God Hates Shrimp was created in 2004 in response to WBC's inflammatory website. The website cites Leviticus 11:10, the same book and section that labels sodomy as an abomination, where it says "And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you". The website argues that this means Long John Silver's and Red Lobster restaurants should likewise be picketed by WBC. Another satirical site, God Hates Figs, was created noting that Jesus struck a fig tree dead in one biblical account.


Violence directed against Westboro
During a March 26, 1993 protest at Topeka's Vintage Restaurant, a riot broke out and eight WBC members were hospitalized for various minor injuries; WBC now pickets the restaurant every day, as well as the places of business where employees went after leaving the Vintage in an attempt to escape Westboro. In addition, the congregants hold a memorial service every year on the 26th, commemorating what they refer to as "the Vintage Massacre".
In 1994, a woman tried to run down protesters in Topeka after one of them screamed obscenities at her while her pick-up truck was parked at a stop light. She was arrested, but was later found not guilty due to temporary insanity.
In 2002 Blue Valley North High School held productions of The Laramie Project play. Westboro members made it known that they were coming to picket the school. To their surprise many students cut class to meet the picketers and a small riot ensued with a few instances of car vandalism. The school later made tickets to the shows "buy ahead" in order to keep Westboro members from interrupting the play. Subsequently Phelps' website started declaring that "God Hates Blue Valley North" and proceeded to picket every year's graduation ceremony following the event.
In 2003, WBC member Charles Hockenbarger, who was in his 70s at the time, had his face crushed in a beating after standing on a street corner holding a sign reading "THANK GOD FOR SEPT. 11". Hockenbarger was recovering from open heart surgery at the time and ignoring the usual doctor's orders for bed rest. Westboro posted photos of the aftermath of the attack on its homepage, claiming that the (still unidentified) perpetrator was a homosexual and that the attack had been part of a murder conspiracy to kill Hockenbarger, though offering no proof of these allegations.
During a protest at the 2005 presidential inauguration of George W. Bush, WBC protesters were slapped, kicked and had their signs forcefully taken by other protesters.
There have been differing reports on actions at an October 5, 2005, picket of a Wisconsin soldier's funeral. One report was that Dodge County Sheriff Todd Nehls asked Paulette Phelps to move so he could protect her. Her group called him a Nazi and refused to comply. A conflicting claim put forth by members of the WBC alleges that Sheriff Nehls punched Paulette Phelps in the face. Video of the purported incident at godhatesfags.com — which claims to show Nehls striking one of the church members — is ambiguous, and at the point the purported attack takes place, the camera is pointed at the ground (indeed, large portions of the video are made up of shots of Westboro members' feet and the ground).[55]
During a picket in Seaford, Delaware on May 21, 2006, a mob broke through police lines and tried to assault WBC members who fled into a police van. Some of the mob then began banging on the van attempting to get inside. Two windows of the van were shattered before the van could get away. Five people face criminal charges.[56]
It has suggested that a Liberty University student who intended to bring a bomb to the funeral of Jerry Falwell may have intended to use the device against a WBC protest at the funeral.[9][10]


Ridicule
Journalist Charles Firth of Australian television enterprise The Chaser's War on Everything appeared with members of Westboro Baptist Church, at the picket of an U.S. Marine's funeral, in early 2006. With the camera rolling, he proceeded to ask a male member of the church several questions about his motivations. Firth then started complimenting the man on his appearance, following him around as he avoided the camera, and stroked his shoulder lamenting how he wished they could be a couple. Other members of Phelps' congregation then turned on the reporter and cameraman when the homosexual innuendos became obvious.[57]

Michael Moore organized a humorous counterprotest to the church for his TV Show The Awful Truth. He followed Phelps around the country in "the Sodomobile," a pink bus filled with homosexuals.

A growingly popular joke centering around the church is that Phelps is a closeted homosexual. Clips of Phelps have been frequently edited to provide a voiceover that depicts him as wanting to engage in homosexual acts.
 

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The Benchwarmer
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i hate michael moore but he stuck it to em

 

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To Punish and Enslave
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Its about time. isn't there a Harley group in ILL that protects the families of fallen hero's from these type of idiots who protest? I wish i could remember the name, but i heard about them on WLS along time ago and these bikes seem really cool.
 
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