Wednesday, October 31, 2007

$10.9 Million for the Good Guys

I can't embed the video but it's worth watching.

A federal jury in Baltimore, MD awarded $10.9 million to the family of Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder. They found that the "protest" by the Westboro Baptist Church wasn't protected speech.

The members of Westboro Baptist Church have the right to their beliefs. They have the right to meet and to discuss them. As Lance Corporal Snyder's father says, they even have the right to express them in public places - in front of courthouses, public parks or streets - yes, even outside the U.S. Naval Academy as they did this week. I really do not believe that funerals are the sort of public venues where they should be able to express their views. I'm glad the jury feels that way as well. This will be appealed, of course and I hope they lose on appeal.

I'm not going to post any links to WBC. They're easy enough to find. I am going to throw in a plug for the Patriot Guard who have been attempting to shield military families from the vitriol of WBC actions at funerals across the nation - with permission of the family. They do this through strictly legal and non-violent means. More recently, they have added Honor Missions to deceased veterans and law enforcement personnel.


Cathy P said...

I work with military members and their families every day. Have attended a few funerals over the last few years. For someone to protest a funeral, while people are mourning and in a lot of pain it is insane. I agree with free speeech, but I do not agree with putting down someone because they are dying for our country and the freedom of other countries.

Cary said...

I couldn't believe this story when I first heard it. I would like to believe that there are some things that are universally held sacred by all, some thing you just don't do.

Protesting at a funeral is just sick. I doesn't matter what is going on or whose funeral it is, show some dignity.

CountyRat said...

I am a serious Christian, and an advocate of free speech. And as such, I am delighted with this ruling. I am with you, Judy, I hope they get trounced on appeal. Making a public demonstration on behalf of any issue at a funeral is obscene. Shouting the kinds of filth these people shout at a funeral is an abomination. There is no such thing as a right to desecrate a family's final moments with a lost loved one, or to interfear with there right to express their grief with as much dinity and respect as is possible in the face of tragedy. The courts should clearly afirm this.