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Author Topic: Supreme Court rules in favor of westboro to picket soldier's funerals.  (Read 5923 times)

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Offline Cheka Man

The WBC want to picket children's funerals now.  :o

Offline Revolverman

The WBC want to picket children's funerals now.  :o

some one needs to investigate how they get all this money to do it.

Offline Callie Del Noire

some one needs to investigate how they get all this money to do it.

Church funds, counter suits to the people who sue to keep them from protesting, and so on.

Offline Will

Church funds, counter suits to the people who sue to keep them from protesting, and so on.

In other words, attention.  Huzzah.

Offline Phaia

I listen to various talk shows driving to and from work! Most are Conservative, not all, one of those I listen to is Mike Gallagher. He is not as bad as many but he has my repsect for one main reason. His response to Westbrook.

****
Westbrook Baptist Church On October 6, 2006, Gallagher convinced the controversial Topeka, Kansas-based Westbrook Baptist Church to appear on air with an hour of air time in exchange for not picketing a funeral for victims from the Amish school shooting near Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania. Initially, Gallagher offered the organization money to not picket the funeral. With this gesture being accused of being blood money, the syndicated radio host gave the church an hour to appear on air. The Amish funerals went on peacefully after the contract signed with WBC stipulated a $500,000 fine if there were picketers anywhere near the funerals.[2]

Following plans by the Westbrook Baptist Church to protest funerals of victims of the Virginia Tech massacre, Gallagher offered the group three hours of airtime in exchange for an agreement not to protest these funerals. The WBC was the in-studio guests of Gallagher's program for its entirety on April 24, 2007.[3]

He has made a similar agreement with Westbrook concerning possible protests at the funerals of those killed in Tucson on 8 January 2011, despite the fact that emergency legislation passed on 12 January 2011 makes such protests illegal in Arizona.[4]
*****
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Gallagher

Mike may be off in some of his ideas but he believes that anything he can do to minimize potentail damage by WBC in certain things is proper. He said that for the Amish school children he felt that the Amish would have not understood why WBC would be there.

In one of the segments he had others in for a debate with WBC. Unfortunately I missed all 3 segments but would have loved to have heard them.

This seems to me to be a way to deal with these people, bring them in and debate them. Show how completely out there they are. I do have to wonder why ONLY a conservative talk show host has had WBC on. I would love to see one of the liberal preachers debate these people.


EDIT: found this link as well
http://www.mediaite.com/tv/megyn-kelly-challenges-mike-gallagher-about-inviting-westboro-baptist-church-members-on-his-show/

Phaia

« Last Edit: March 18, 2011, 03:35:50 PM by Phaia »

Offline Callie Del Noire

You know that he might keep an archive of broadcasts somewhere online Phaia

Offline Will

I'm really torn on that as a solution.  That's basically giving them the publicity they want, thus validating their antics.  It's like buying a child a toy to quell their tantrum; it might seem like a good idea in the short term, but in the long term, it only teaches them to throw more tantrums.

Also, considering that the last person to sue over the Westboro picketing only saw the picketing on TV, I have to wonder if the Amish would have noticed the wackjobs at all.

Offline Callie Del Noire

I'm really torn on that as a solution.  That's basically giving them the publicity they want, thus validating their antics.  It's like buying a child a toy to quell their tantrum; it might seem like a good idea in the short term, but in the long term, it only teaches them to throw more tantrums.

Also, considering that the last person to sue over the Westboro picketing only saw the picketing on TV, I have to wonder if the Amish would have noticed the wackjobs at all.

Most likely, the show got more out of it than the WBC folks. Still I agree that it's bad, but I would have done it as well to spar folks like the Amish. This was a culturally .. alien ..event to them to begin with..and to see those.. Hatemongers would have been like letting some tool kick puppies.

Offline Jazra

I'm really torn on that as a solution.  That's basically giving them the publicity they want, thus validating their antics.  It's like buying a child a toy to quell their tantrum; it might seem like a good idea in the short term, but in the long term, it only teaches them to throw more tantrums.

Also, considering that the last person to sue over the Westboro picketing only saw the picketing on TV, I have to wonder if the Amish would have noticed the wackjobs at all.

I don't knock Gallagher for trying to help. Ideally, he's trying to do a decent thing. But there is no decent solution. The WBC is the equivalent of an Internet Troll who has sadly stepped out of the computer. The only solution is to ignore them. Even on the Internet, though, its hard to ignore people like this. When you're in the business of selling news and opinion, the temptation must be strong to put these clowns on the air whether its covering their picketing or letting them have air time not to picket. I support the Supreme Court's decision. It's the right decision for our country. What I would love to do or seen done to these horrific excuses for humanity is illegal and I would never suggest it. So we're back to dealing with a situation that can't be dealt with or simply biting our tongue and ignoring them.
 

Offline Callie Del Noire

Anyone want to bet that this sort of crap would be harder for them to pull off if they lose their tax free status as a church?

Offline Noelle

Ehh, do we really need to shelter the Amish? They're not helpless, naive, overgrown children and they do have exposure to the outside world -- they just choose to maintain a distance. Most Amish people have a rumspringa in their youth and often own cell phones and use computers and such during that time so they can experience life outside of their society. Even post-rumspringa, they deal with the rest of the world commercially/economically by selling their goods to outsiders and adhering to safety standards. This isn't the Amazon where we have a tribe of natives with no real outside influence who are the last of their kind and are being threatened with destruction -- we're talking about people who willfully remove themselves from modern technologies who would've likely dealt with the WBC in their own way and moved on from the event, much like what most people do.

Trading airtime is counterproductive, if you ask me. People stress it over and over again and then shoot themselves in the foot -- attention is what these people thrive on, almost everyone admits it. Instead of giving in and holding up a megaphone to their already-loud mouths, passing reactionary statewide legislature that does everything but directly point its finger at the WBC, or otherwise making them into a Very Big Deal, they need to be treated like the sad, marginal bunch of inbred douchecanoes they really are. That is to say, we need to just roll our eyes and move past them. We treat them like a massive block in the road when really they're just a minor bump that can be hit with the car on our way to Disneyland.

Offline Apple of Eris

"douchecanoes" That made me giggle.

I agree thw WBC should be ignored, seriously, but when they're near the funeral of a loved one shouting their obscene message and making a terrible ordeal even worse... That's rough.

That's why I like what the Patriot Riders organization did (I think that was their name), the bikers who lined up along funeral routes for american soldiers and stood between the WBC picketers and the funeral, blocking out the signs and the shouting. Very awesome folks. :)

Offline Oniya

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Being where I am, I see a lot of Amish.  They are quiet and dignified - but have a surprisingly sharp sense of humor once you get to the point of interacting with them.  I suspect that they would treat the WBC the same way that they treated the gunman in that school shooting. 



And it would infuriate the Phelps clan to be granted a forgiveness that they don't feel they are in need of.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Being where I am, I see a lot of Amish.  They are quiet and dignified - but have a surprisingly sharp sense of humor once you get to the point of interacting with them.  I suspect that they would treat the WBC the same way that they treated the gunman in that school shooting. 



And it would infuriate the Phelps clan to be granted a forgiveness that they don't feel they are in need of.

You know.. I'd pay to see that... just to watch the Phelps clan fall to the ground in a frothing fit.

Offline Cheka Man

Sadly unlike an Internet Troll the WBC can't be banned by a mod or Admin.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Sadly unlike an Internet Troll the WBC can't be banned by a mod or Admin.

Still it would be nice to see a HUGE multi-story hammer come down on them. (Captioned Ban-hammer)

<wanders off to imagine that for a while>

Offline Oniya

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Will this do?

Offline Callie Del Noire



Will this do?
]

What no attacking you with a Banana first?!'


Yes, very much

Offline gaggedLouise

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Being where I am, I see a lot of Amish.  They are quiet and dignified - but have a surprisingly sharp sense of humor once you get to the point of interacting with them.  I suspect that they would treat the WBC the same way that they treated the gunman in that school shooting. 



And it would infuriate the Phelps clan to be granted a forgiveness that they don't feel they are in need of.

Perfectly put! Unfortunately you can't rely on the media to be near as dignified when they have someone yelling "God hates U.S. Iraq soldiers", "God hates Obama" or is vowing to burn the Qu'ran tomorrow (the Westboro guys actually burnt the Qu'ran a few years ago, and promised to do it again during the burn-a-Qu'ran affair last year). Most news outlets today just have to give that kind of thing front space when it occurs, few can afford to refuse to show it or reply on it. And once there's been some really angry feedback, such as an infuriated veteran family calling the Westboro church idiots, or calling for a police raid on them, or muslims in Syria or somewhere who have seen a clip of the Qu'ran burning and have been given the impression that this is the typical American way to treat their holy book (very easy to pull off in a society without free media, where many people are illiterate and news often gets mixed with rumours) and so they stage a march with burning U.S. flags and straw-and-cloth effigies of Obama and Bush - then the rebound circle is established: both sides get to feed the trolls, and the media become unwitting or careless accomplices.

In the process, any serious debate about Islam, free speech or the war in question becomes compromised in the eyes of many people and hard to engage in, now that the room is so filled with smoke from the verbal or physical gunslinging on both sides.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2011, 05:55:48 AM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Oniya

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Another point I should put out there:  The Amish do not like to have their pictures taken.  I doubt there were any news cameras allowed in the vicinity of the funeral.  What do you suppose the WBC would do if there was a protest, and nobody came?

Offline Apple of Eris

Good point Oniya, I know around here most of the news agencys are pretty sensitive to the Amish not liking to be photographed. I think though that a WBC protest around amish folks would draw the media like flies to honey. Really though, I'd be curious what the amish thought of them.

A couple places even post signs up at least near lancaster, which is pretty touristy, telling people to ask permission first. Honestly though, most of the amish, at least the younger ones I've talked too are pretty accomodating about it, they mostly seemed amused that people wanted their pictures.

Offline Oniya

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Probably a slight difference in populations then.  Where I am is far from touristy, and the word just sort of filters around that you 'don't do that' - although actually, it's just like you wouldn't take pictures of 'random person on the street' under normal circumstances without asking permission.  (Mr. Oniya used to work in the photo-developing business.)

Online Zeitgeist

A bit off topic but since we are talking about the Amish - I was so impressed by their behavior in the aftermath of the schoolhouse shooting a couple years back. They made a point of visiting the shooter's family, expressing their forgiveness and consoling the wife of the gunman and her loss. That, in my opinion, is the epitome of Christianity and Christian forgiveness.

Offline Pointless Digression

Quote
So that means everyone one of those families that lost soldiers have a right to wait for that one of that church's members of congregations funeral and picket, trash talk, and pretty much disrespect and ruin that day of rememberance.

I realize this conversation is more than a month cold, but I wanted to chime in since I felt it got off on the wrong foot to start.

The original poster said:

Ok, I'm not the most politically active person in the world, but this ruling gave me a double take. How the hell do 8 out of 9 judges agree that westboro can picket and blast soldier's names at the time and location of their funerals? How is it that their right to free speech to trash talk soldier's deaths in a middle of a funeral is more important than the right of the families and friends to honor and remember their lost loved ones?
CUT BY POINTLESS DIGRESSION

But that's not what happened at the protest. At all.

The court ruled that, since the protests happened peacefully and in a public space at a non-disruptive distance from the funeral -- and since, quote, "speech on public issues occupies the highest rung of the hierarchy of First Amendment values and is entitled to special protection" -- the original judgment against them could not stand.

They were in a public place. They were not violent; they were not disruptive; they were not invasive. Yes, they picketed a funeral. They picketed a funeral from 1,000 feet away -- so far away that the plaintiff didn't even know they were there until he heard about it on the news the next day.

I'm going to say that last part again, because it deserves special emphasis. The plaintiff didn't even know they were there. Until he heard about it on the news. The next day.

The emotional upset wasn't brought on by the funeral being protested. It was brought on simply by hearing about it on the news the next day, and knowing that the protests had happened at all. If the protests had happened in the next street, or the next town, or the next state, the effect would have been the same.

So I'm agreeing with the Supreme Court on this one. I don't see it as a victory for the WBC, but for the 1st Amendment.

Thanks to Greta Christina, whose blog post I lifted shamelessly from in order to build this reply.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2011, 09:54:19 AM by Pointless Digression »

Offline drivingmissdaisy

Good luck finding any Supreme Court bench that is going to overturn 1st Amendment rights such as this. I mean shit, even Scalia agreed. These rights are too important and the foundation of our country and our Constitution. Why use my words when Justice Roberts wraps it up so nicely:

"Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and - as it did here - inflict great pain. On the facts before us, we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker," Roberts said. "As a nation we have chosen a different course - to protect even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that we do not stifle public debate."

You don't agree? Call your Congressman and tell him to enact new legislation (at which point they will laugh at your request to amend the Constitution). Regardless, such moves rely on legislation, not the court.