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Westboro Baptist Church And Decisions
August 31st, 2016
Westboro Baptist Church or WBC originated as a branch of the East Side Baptist Church 1931. WBC had it’s first service November 29th, 1955. WBC was headed by Pastor Fred Waldron Phelps, Sr. and is located in Topeka Kansas. Fred Phelps and the organization are well known for their gay bashing and website godhatesfags,com. They are also well known for America bashing even though Fred Phelps sought public office 4 times including a seat in the United States Senate. He managed to get 49, 416 votes.
Phelps estranged son Nathan claims that Phelps was abusive to the point of making the children bleed with his fist and sometimes with a mattock handle. He said that the church was just a way for Fred to vent his anger and hatred. These claims are also supported by Nathan’s brother Mark Phelps.
Phelps Chartered Law Firm was founded in 1964. Phelps took on mostly civil rights cases before being disbarred and prevented from practicing law in Kansas and eventually the United States. When his children were old enough they were hired on at the firm. 11 of his 13 children are lawyers. It is this law firm that collects fees on behalf of the WBC when any of their protest are unlawfully disrupted.
WBC protest funerals, other religious institutions, and high profile events. One such funeral was protected by the Patriot Guard Riders as others have been and will be protected.
The Patriot Guard was not at the funeral of Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder a fallen Marine. Matthew’s father Albert sued the WBC in a suit that amounted to $10,900,000. The decision was reversed and ultimately the Supreme Court upheld 8-1 that WBC’s behavior was covered under the First Amendment. I am absolutely at a loss for reason when the Supreme Court held that Chaplinsky’s (Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire) language was not protected by the First Amendment. Chaplinsky admitted to calling a New Hampshire marshal a “racketeer and Fascist” but certainly didn’t condemn his or his recently killed loved one’s immortal soul in any way. Point being the WBC’s language is way stronger and more volatile than Chaplinsky’s.
Then being the easily broken reeds that we are; Americans raise no objection to George W. Bush signing the Respect for America’s Fallen Heroes Act into law on May 29th, 2006. The law prohibits protest 300 feet from the entrance of any cemetery under the National Cemetery Administration from 60 minutes before or after a funeral. I don’t want the Federal Government prohibiting the right to peaceably assemble. 300 feet? Fine. Peaceable protesters and protest targets can’t be right on top of each other and remain peaceable but telling Americans when they can and when they can’t protest is stepping over the Constitutional line. Then Barack Obama makes it 2 hours before or after a funeral. Who will make it a little longer? See where I’m going with this.
The Patriot Guard is an outstanding example of how to handle these assholes. Another is, LGBT and Jewish organizations benefited $14,000 when when Pennies in Pledges took online pledges for every minute the WBC protested then donated the money to the very groups the WBC was protesting. The point is let’s not be so quick to give up our rights to Government prohibition because someone’s not being nice. Strong Americans have to find the power in saying, “Whatever. You have the right to say that” and leave the First Amendment be.
Fred Phelps was reportedly excommunicated from the church when he showed support for Equality House (a rainbow colored house across the street from WBC). The house is used by Planting Peace. His last sermon was September 1st, 2013. He died in poor health on March 19th, 2014. The WBC did not hold a funeral. Fred Phelps is now learning first hand what’s on the other side. Enough said; respect for the dead. Until next week; keep your homes well.