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(CBS News)   Another activist atheist judge tramples persecuted Christians   (cbsnews.com) divider line 100
    More: Spiffy, Westboro Baptist Church, Westboro, Shirley Phelps-Roper, Baptist church, Missouri Attorney General, atheists, activists, funeral procession  
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15804 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 Mar 2014 at 3:54 PM (27 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-12 03:57:08 PM
If freedom zones were ok, this should be fine.
 
2014-03-12 03:57:15 PM
As an atheist, I support the WBC's right to free speech. If only we cared as much about the living as we do the dead in the country, we may be a little better off.
 
2014-03-12 04:01:34 PM
Are we sure it's not a lion?
 
2014-03-12 04:01:41 PM
It's impossible to combat attention whores with more attention.
 
2014-03-12 04:03:36 PM

Karma Chameleon: As an atheist, I support the WBC's right to free speech. If only we cared as much about the living as we do the dead in the country, we may be a little better off.


What does your atheism have to do with protecting rights?
 
2014-03-12 04:04:22 PM
Again, the standard unit of distance in the US is a football field.
 
2014-03-12 04:04:23 PM

ToastmasterGeneral: It's impossible to combat attention whores with more attention.


We can't really fully ignore them. Even if 99.999999999999999999999999999999% of the media is on something else, there's always gonna be a .000000000000000000000000000001% of some fringe site, or a video, that will cause an outrage.

They live in a compound, right?.
 
2014-03-12 04:05:31 PM

Russ1642: Again, the standard unit of distance in the US is a football field.


How many Rhode Islands is that?
 
2014-03-12 04:06:32 PM

ToastmasterGeneral: It's impossible to combat attention whores with more attention.


Actually, I think ridicule and contempt are better weapons than either this law, or just ignoring them as attention whoresi59.tinypic.com
 
2014-03-12 04:07:08 PM

Russ1642: Again, the standard unit of distance in the US is a football field.


 How many football fields in a Rhode Island?
 
2014-03-12 04:07:44 PM

Russ1642: Again, the standard unit of distance in the US is a football field.


Gives me an idea. Get a bunch of metalheads, surround them while Cannibal Corpse or Exodus are playing, and then... Unleash hell.
 
2014-03-12 04:07:49 PM
Meh. funeral processions already have the right of way; we do these things to make their lives easier on an otherwise crappy-ass day.

I find no real problems with this: they are still allowed to protest, just not harass.
 
2014-03-12 04:08:13 PM

Karma Chameleon: As an atheist, I support the WBC's right to free speech. If only we cared as much about the living as we do the dead in the country, we may be a little better off.

As a legal troll I support any law firm that feeds on provoking reaction then cleaning up by extorting payment for falling into a trap.

Next thing you know this judge will act like patent trolls have no business pursuing their American dream or red-light-photo companies have no business tweaking a yellow light to 2 nanoseconds.
 
2014-03-12 04:08:24 PM
poor baby christians.  I thought GOPJESUS had balls.

and guns.

I guess he's just another turn-the-other-cheek pussy, huh?


/dnrtfa
 
2014-03-12 04:09:29 PM

ToastmasterGeneral: It's impossible to combat attention whores with more attention.


The question is what they'll do if they decide they aren't getting the attention they deserve want. Extremists sometimes do extreme things to get noticed.
 
2014-03-12 04:10:37 PM
I'm fine with this, if it's limited to the actual site of the burial, cremation.  Shouldn't include funeral processions.  Shouldn't include whatever offsite "celebration of life" or wake you come up with.

Karma Chameleon:  If only we cared as much about the living as we do the dead in the country, we may be a little better off.


You actually believe this is the case in America?  That we care more about the dead than the living?
 
2014-03-12 04:14:35 PM

Mantour: Russ1642: Again, the standard unit of distance in the US is a football field.

 How many football fields in a Rhode Island?


The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantation is approximately 651 (American) football fields wide by 845 footballs fields long, with an area of some 747,780 football fields.

Now you know.
 
2014-03-12 04:14:41 PM

SisterMaryElephant: poor baby christians.  I thought GOPJESUS had balls.

and guns.

I guess he's just another turn-the-other-cheek pussy, huh?


/dnrtfa


You really should.
 
2014-03-12 04:15:34 PM
Correction: the full name of the state is Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. I missed the terminal 's'.
 
2014-03-12 04:15:58 PM

mjjt: Actually, I think ridicule and contempt are better weapons than either this law, or just ignoring them as attention whores


They're not a religion trying to convert people, they're a group of lawyers trying to provoke people into breaking the law so they can receive a hefty settlement.

They aren't irritated by counter-protesters, they love them, because the more counter-protesters are present, the more likely it is that someone will accidentally fart in the general direction of a WBC protester, and that "assault" gets the ball rolling for the "give us all your money or we'll file criminal charges" letters.
 
2014-03-12 04:18:15 PM

meat0918: If freedom zones were ok, this should be fine.


I farking hate that freedom zones actually exist in this country, so by the same token I have to say that I consider this to be a violation of the WBC's rights.
 
2014-03-12 04:20:03 PM
As with any such law it's the slippery slope argument that ought to be addressed:

FTFA: A federal judge has upheld a Missouri law requiring protesters to stay at least a football-field length away from funeral sites, beginning an hour before they start until an hour after the services end.

Football-field (later specified as 300 feet) is a good, concrete number.

AFTFA: Phelps-Roper had argued that the one-hour restriction associated with the 300-foot buffer was unconstitutionally vague because it's difficult to know exactly when funerals begin.

It's easy to know and factually record when funerals are scheduled to start and end, and any challenge in court would likely have to rely on such evidence.  I doubt a civil suit would get very far on the "they should have known we weren't done" argument.

However, if people show up extra early to prepare for a service, or if mourners stick around a while after a service is ended, it would be easy for protesters to encroach on them and try to force a confrontation.  The police would likely try to disperse the protesters and that's when ass-clowns like Phelps and his clan get to sue the state.

It's sort of morbidly interesting to watch these people use hatred to try and game the system for big settlement payoffs.  Imagine an outsider in a country with fewer freedoms watching these people exploit theirs at the risk of losing them.
 
2014-03-12 04:20:39 PM

Uncle Tractor: The question is what they'll do if they decide they aren't getting the attention they deserve want. Extremists sometimes do extreme things to get noticed.


Let them. As long as we keep feeding them, they'll keep on extorting money from innocent bystanders. If we ignore them, they'll have to result to law-breaking themselves, in which case either the leaders go to jail and the rest disperse, or they'll bunker down and become another Waco.
 
2014-03-12 04:20:48 PM

SisterMaryElephant: poor baby christians.  I thought GOPJESUS had balls.

and guns.

I guess he's just another turn-the-other-cheek pussy, huh?


/dnrtfa


...and that's why you look foolish right now!
 
2014-03-12 04:22:08 PM
I'm not sure what the people at WBC worship, but it isn't God.

Maybe that's what they call Fred Phelps' pee-pee.
 
2014-03-12 04:23:18 PM

SisterMaryElephant: poor baby christians.  I thought GOPJESUS had balls.

and guns.

I guess he's just another turn-the-other-cheek pussy, huh?


/dnrtfa


Hasn't it been shown WBC members were democrats... trial lawyers are a key constituency and they sure love suing.
 
2014-03-12 04:24:27 PM

FilmBELOH20: Karma Chameleon: As an atheist, I support the WBC's right to free speech. If only we cared as much about the living as we do the dead in the country, we may be a little better off.

What does your atheism have to do with protecting rights?


Not only that, but funerals ARE for the living - the family and friends in mourning.

And for that reason, I am more than ok with this. Free speech has not been stifled, harassment has.
 
2014-03-12 04:25:18 PM

Slackfumasta: meat0918: If freedom zones were ok, this should be fine.

I farking hate that freedom zones actually exist in this country, so by the same token I have to say that I consider this to be a violation of the WBC's rights.


that was kinda my point.
 
2014-03-12 04:25:37 PM

Slackfumasta: I farking hate that freedom zones actually exist in this country, so by the same token I have to say that I consider this to be a violation of the WBC's rights.


Does WBC's right to voice their opinion trump the family's right to have a peaceful funeral without cultists standing only a few feet away screaming hate-speech so loud that nobody can hear the preacher speaking?
 
2014-03-12 04:27:05 PM
img.fark.net
 
2014-03-12 04:30:09 PM

rjakobi: I'm not sure what the people at WBC worship, but it isn't God.


It's money.

The WBC is a troll-based business model. They troll people with the intention of suing anyone that crosses the line and assaults them or infringes on their rights. They just use the god stuff to give their trolling additional first amendment protection.
 
2014-03-12 04:30:10 PM
I hope Gaitan will consider that his ruling places an undue burden on homosexual hating Muslims. Because, as the United States Government has amply demonstrated, insulting Muslims is not kosher. Westboro Baptist went all negatory on the gays and gets biatch slapped, but Muslims and their hatred for women and homosexuals .. Free Pass! Free Pass!

/trying to keep my March Madness brackets sensible
 
2014-03-12 04:31:57 PM
Westboro Baptist Church may do things in the name of God, but they are not Christian.
 
2014-03-12 04:31:57 PM
We need about 30,000 people to show up at a funeral of one of their members, and see if they like wearing those shoes.

/Always walk a mile in someone else's shoes before spouting off. Even if your wrong, you're a mile away, and hey, free shoes. -unknown-
 
2014-03-12 04:36:34 PM

mjjt: ToastmasterGeneral: It's impossible to combat attention whores with more attention.

Actually, I think ridicule and contempt are better weapons than either this law, or just ignoring them as attention whores[i59.tinypic.com image 850x637]


That's just awful. They've got their light/dark purples and greens backwards.
 
2014-03-12 04:37:51 PM

FLMountainMan: I'm fine with this, if it's limited to the actual site of the burial, cremation.  Shouldn't include funeral processions.  Shouldn't include whatever offsite "celebration of life" or wake you come up with.

Karma Chameleon:  If only we cared as much about the living as we do the dead in the country, we may be a little better off.

You actually believe this is the case in America?  That we care more about the dead than the living?


Aw shat, you're feeding it.
 
2014-03-12 04:39:17 PM

whipbambucket: SisterMaryElephant: poor baby christians.  I thought GOPJESUS had balls.

and guns.

I guess he's just another turn-the-other-cheek pussy, huh?


/dnrtfa

...and that's why you look foolish right now!


like it's my first time.

BUT, I'm doubling down.  Grow some balls and ignore them.   Show some respect for the dead guy/gal, even if they don't.  They were a farking soldier, and I think they can handle some WBC pussy protesting.  Is it pleasant?  NO.  But the soldier I knew would have walked up to them and said "You're Welcome".
 
2014-03-12 04:39:30 PM
why can't they just establish a protest corral like they did for the Republican National Convention.  Here, this spot over a superfund site surrounded by Razor wire,   here you can protest funerals.

if the republicans could do it, why can't MO?
 
2014-03-12 04:42:08 PM

the ha ha guy: Slackfumasta: I farking hate that freedom zones actually exist in this country, so by the same token I have to say that I consider this to be a violation of the WBC's rights.

Does WBC's right to voice their opinion trump the family's right to have a peaceful funeral without cultists standing only a few feet away screaming hate-speech so loud that nobody can hear the preacher speaking?


On the other hand, does the family's sorrow trump the WBC's right to free speech?

Neither actually trumps the other.
 
2014-03-12 04:43:00 PM
 
2014-03-12 04:44:55 PM

SisterMaryElephant: whipbambucket: SisterMaryElephant: poor baby christians.  I thought GOPJESUS had balls.

and guns.

I guess he's just another turn-the-other-cheek pussy, huh?


/dnrtfa

...and that's why you look foolish right now!

like it's my first time.

BUT, I'm doubling down.  Grow some balls and ignore them.   Show some respect for the dead guy/gal, even if they don't.  They were a farking soldier, and I think they can handle some WBC pussy protesting.  Is it pleasant?  NO.  But the soldier I knew would have walked up to them and said "You're Welcome".


They announced they were coming to my town last year. The whole damn town came out to line the streets along the procession route. It was actually quite nice everyone was happy to support the family and WBC never showed up.

I figure they have the right to be arseholes if they want, and I had the right to stand between them and the family they were harassing. Too bad they stayed away...
 
2014-03-12 04:45:10 PM
A football field is not of defined size though. Fifa allows small variations in width and length.
 
2014-03-12 04:48:35 PM

CleanAndPure: A football field is not of defined size though. Fifa allows small variations in width and length.


This is 'Merica, we ain't talking about soccer!
 
2014-03-12 04:51:37 PM

MyRandomName: Hasn't it been shown WBC members were democrats... trial lawyers are a key constituency and they sure love suing.


Yeah, they were shown to be Democrats thirty years ago, when most Democrats were, like the rest of the country, opposed to gay rights.  Fred Phelps was originally a civil rights trial lawyer (for black folks, not gays obviously).

However, I don't think it's in any way fair to associate the WBC with the Democratic Party.  I also don't think it's fair to associate them with Christians.  They're just nut jobs.  Assholes.
 
2014-03-12 04:55:16 PM

Slackfumasta: meat0918: If freedom zones were ok, this should be fine.

I farking hate that freedom zones actually exist in this country, so by the same token I have to say that I consider this to be a violation of the WBC's rights.


Yes and No. Their rights end where another citizen's rights begin. They have the right to protest. They do not have the right to disrupt a private funeral, nor do they have the right to harass the attendees. Creating the buffer zone was the only way to resolve the conflict between the rights of the protesters, and the other attendee's rights.
 
2014-03-12 04:56:24 PM

madgordy: why can't they just establish a protest corral like they did for the Republican National Convention.  Here, this spot over a superfund site surrounded by Razor wire,   here you can protest funerals.

if the republicans could do it, why can't MO?


Your contention is that it was constitutional when the Republicans did it. That is not correct.
 
2014-03-12 04:58:29 PM

Astorix: [img.fark.net image 720x540]


You do realize the Phelps trolls are registered Democrats.  Not that should be used to bludgeon Democrats either as the WBC are just douche-nozzle trolls with their own agenda.  Using these guys to smear Republicans, Christians, Democrats, anybody really other than the Phelps' themselves is just dumb.

As for the case, they say hard cases make bad laws (or in this case dealing with douche-nozzle trolls make bad laws) and I'm inclined to agree.  Aren't cemetery's and churches still private property where they can simply be charged with trespassing if they are there uninvited?
 
2014-03-12 05:02:41 PM
Nobody on the Right gave two shiats about these trolls back when they only harassed gays and lesbians. Once they figured out that targeting service members would give them national attention THEN the Right got all concerned.

If the WBC kept the hate focused on gays the Right would go back to winking at them.
 
2014-03-12 05:16:31 PM

Slackfumasta: On the other hand, does the family's sorrow trump the WBC's right to free speech?

Neither actually trumps the other.


Do I have the right to barge into a church and disrupt the sermon? Do I have the right to wave a picket sign in front of a congressman's face during a congressional session? Do I have the right to go into public parks and walk all over everyone's picnic blankets/tables as they're trying to eat? Do I have the right to block doorways and fire exits with picket signs?

The first amendment is not a right to harass others, it is only a right to not be artificially censored by the government.

Since WBC is still allowed to say any message they wish, and the only restriction is to remain 300 feet away from those that they are intentionally trying to provoke, there doesn't appear to be any violation here at all.
 
2014-03-12 05:18:38 PM
Religion is ok, in the books.  It only gets dangerous when people think it is real, or moral.  Believing in human sacrifice to erase your pre natal sins, that were caused by a woman being convinced by a talking snake to eat fruit, can only end badly.
 
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