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mjolnir 08-16-2010 04:35 PM

SUPREME COURT Federal Judge Rules Missouri's Funeral Protest Ban Unconstitutional

Someone protests at my loved ones funeral and he or she will spend the next 3 months doing non-verbal communication!

XavierP 08-16-2010 04:52 PM

The 1st Amendment (or whichever one it is that allows freedom of speech and freedom to congregate) says that it is perfectly legal for them to do this. If you do attempt to restrain or assault them physically, you will be the one arrested and they will have a victory.

Groups have had some success by counter-protesting the Phelps people with humorous and pointed messages. There is no other recourse unless you hold the funeral on private ground and own all the ground around the burial site and can legally prevent the public from entering.

linus72 08-16-2010 05:07 PM

Whats really sad is that the idiotic people who do such things are fools who somehow think war is never an option.
Its a shameful act to protest at someones funeral; especially when the signs say such crazy things.

I say thats a good law; as I'm surprised actually that someone hasn't injured or killed some/all of the protesters, someone will eventually
free speech should only go so far, if free speech starts a riot or cause someones death then what?

jiml8 08-16-2010 07:00 PM

I agree with this ruling. It is a constitutional free speech issue, and the Missouri law infringed.

On the other hand, if it were MY child being buried after being killed in action, and they came to protest, I would hose them with automatic weapons fire, then walk to each body on the ground and put a bullet in its head to ensure no survivors. Then, when the police came, I would fight them until they got me. I would set an example that no one would EVER forget.

linus72 08-16-2010 07:25 PM

calm down jiml8
when I said something similar I got banned from LQ
I agree that if it were my loved one and they came with their signs saying my loved one
was "burning in hell" cause he was in the army I would probably freak out too, violently

its like the mosque thing in New York; yes they have the right, and they should also have the common sense and courtesy that it would offend many Americans
as the news guy said; it would be like if Japan wanted to put some kind of shinto shrine or something
at Pearl Harbor, they have the right but at least they understand that it would also offend us.

its a bad situation and it shouldn't be allowed; their "protest" actually serves no purpose except to instigate violence; and sooner or later they will get it, as you say.

unSpawn 08-16-2010 07:30 PM

I agree. Indicating on the one hand you do kind of understand this Law thing but on the other hand reserving yourself the right to kill people as if you're above the Law, in this case not even in self-defense, I doubt provides an interesting starting point for any discussion.

jiml8 08-16-2010 09:09 PM

*shrug*. I reserve no rights. I just say I would do it. I certainly would not condemn a man who, placed in that position, did that thing. Though I would imprison him if I caught him alive.

A community cannot exist without respect. And a government cannot legislate respect, and should not try.

When a community ceases to have respect for its members, then it is doomed.

In this community (nation) at this time, there is very little respect of any sort. There is massive balkanization. There are lots of whiners and criers, all demanding their "rights". There are some few instances where these demands are legitimate, but in the vast majority of cases it is just a group of ideological nut-cases who haven't figured out that their rights end at the tip of the other guy's nose. They have no respect; they are totally unwilling to respect or at least tolerate the needs of the people around them.

In the specific case, some radical ideologues have chosen to show one of the highest forms of disrespect to people with whom they have not had contact and about whom they know absolutely nothing, except that a family member of that group has chosen a path defined by what (s)he considered to be honor and duty, and has died for choosing that path.

And, this group of radical ideologues is torturing this innocent group to protest the complaints of yet another radical ideological group (which does, BTW, has some legitimate complaints, but goes much too far in what they demand). Yet, the victims of the protest have nothing to do with the group being protested.

I consider it to be insane. I consider the mere fact that there are those out there who would do this to be evidence of social insanity.

The government cannot stop this. In fact, the government inevitably must mirror this. Because, after all, where does the government come from?

What they are doing is one of the very highest forms of disrespect. I reserve no rights. I merely state that, if I and mine were to be the target of that disrespect, I'd kill them all. And I would have no regrets for doing it.

XavierP 08-16-2010 11:09 PM

In terms of the free speech issue, I can see that some of you are working towards justifying limited free speech. Despite the Westboro idiots protesting funerals, they are doing so on public land and are following the letter of the law. Anyone who does anything except ignore them or play them at their own game is wrong in the eyes of the law.

There were Muslim victims of 9/11 and if you stop a Mosque being built will you also campaign hard to prevent a Christian church or a Shinto temple or a Buddhist retreat or a synagogue from being built there? Don't forget, the USA is a secular nation and so you either have to respect and allow all religions or no religions.

onebuck 08-17-2010 08:07 AM


In our area & nation, we have a chapter of 'Patriot Guard' that ride motorcycles. These guys line both sides of the road with flags & standard leading to the fall-ens final resting place. Also lead & follow the motorcade with a motorcycle brigade. Peacefully done and does intimidate those wacko's position. Non-violence and gets the job done.

excerpt from 'Patriot Guard':

Our main mission is to attend the funeral services of fallen American heroes as invited guests of the family. Each mission we undertake has two basic objectives:

  1. Show our sincere respect for our fallen heroes, their families, and their communities.
  2. Shield the mourning family and their friends from interruptions created by any protestor or group of protestors.
We accomplish the latter through strictly legal and non-violent means.

'Invited guest' indeed is the key point in the above statement. Along with the the way to show honor to the fallen heroes. But it seems the bad looking and the biggest lead the brigade. Don't think the Phelps people even think of starting something as it would seem they would be the looser they already are. Peacefully and tasteful honor by the 'Patriot Guard' to the fallen as most of the guard are veterans along with fellow Americans.

Phelps just wants the exposure. Outlandish and poor taste but still their right to protest. Just as we have the right to peacefully protest against their views or presentations.

Evil begets Evil.

dasy2k1 08-18-2010 03:50 PM

The group doing the protesting would not be allowed to exist here thankfully

They are not saying that these soldiers were killed becasue america is at war, nor are they anti war from what i can make out

instead they are saying that these soldiers died because America tolerates homosexuality.
which makes their actions even more contemtable

XavierP 08-18-2010 03:55 PM

I doubt anyone would seriously argue that the Westboro people are anything *but* contemptible.

cantab 08-18-2010 04:14 PM

Well, these people have the right to free speech. But I say if they want the rights the rest of us enjoy, they should shoulder the reponsibilities too. End tax exemption for religions.

Jeebizz 08-18-2010 04:21 PM


Originally Posted by cantab (Post 4070633)
Well, these people have the right to free speech. But I say if they want the rights the rest of us enjoy, they should shoulder the reponsibilities too. End tax exemption for religions.

Here here! Religion has always had a 'free ride' in society. Since the 'separation of church & state' is often ignored and majority of religious figures meddle in politics, then definitely they need to start paying taxes.

onebuck 08-18-2010 04:41 PM


No where in the U.S. Constitution does it say anything about separation of church & State. That is a modern court's poor interpretation.

As for the right to free speech, everyone has the right to free speech. Being a religious leader doesn't mean you cannot speak politics or have opinions.

Churches are not the only organizations that are tax exempt.
What about Legion members or NOW? Or even the Boy Scouts? Hey, the ACLU is tax exempt and very political. So their tax exemption should be removed? The list is endless of groups that are tax exempt and voice political statements. So to pick one and not the other then that's not right, period.

American Religious Organizations in general: I'm sure there are members that have served in the military or the country in some way.

Dogs 08-21-2010 11:48 AM

Why is it that people defend abuses of free speech and condemn useful free speech?

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