Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Free Speech rights at funerals comes to U.S. Supreme Court

Fred Phelps, who has a church with about 75 members, mostly his family, protest at funerals.  Really?  Are they protesting the way the funeral is held?  Or the funeral company?  Or an individual?

No, they protest because the federal government (and America in general) embraces gays.  And gays are bad.  And God is killing American soldiers because he's upset about the gay embracing.

They also protest at music concerts, sporting events and even a Holocaust Museum.  Reprehensible as their proclamations and signs are ("Fags Doom Nations") they have a right to Free Speech under the First Amendment.

As disgusting and anti-Christian as they are (God DOES love everyone), someone has died.  Whether you like or dislike the person, their attitudes, or actions, they have died.  Their family should be allowed respect to bury them; without anyone disturbing them.

Phelps and his religious family are smart about it, though.  They don't protest right next to the funeral.  They are some distance away.  They don't target any individual person (dead or alive).  They protest generically, holding up signs and chanting things such as "God Hates Fags"; and "God Bless IEDs".

This case isn't about simply protesting at a funeral, it is specifically about speech directed at an individual, in this case, the soldier's father. 

Having said all of this, I know the U.S. Supreme Court will fall on the side of Free Speech, as they should.  Fred Phelps and his followers will probably be allowed to continue their homophobic hate speech.  And gay soldiers will continue to die for our freedoms.  And America will embrace gays more and more over the years, just as they did with Civil Rights and Women's Rights. 

Maybe Fred Phelps will pass soon, and his followers will disperse, with no one taking the reigns.  Then there will be no more media coverage of this loony-toon.  One can only hope.

US weighs rights for anti-gay church (The Age)

Here is a good article on Fred Phelps and his beliefs:  Fred Phelps and Goodness (InSearchOfGoodness)

Even the hatefulness of Fred Phelps is protected by this country’s free speech (

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