SUPREME COURT AND WESTBORO BAPTIST CHURCH
Dr. Laurie Roth
March 4, 2011
This week we saw the horror decision by the Supreme Court, voting 8-1 for the notorious Westboro Baptist Church. They are the church who has felt like it was God’s calling for them to go around the country and crash funerals of grieving families trying to bury their dead….you know, those who have died in our military defending our nation. How could we forget Westboro’s freedom of speech concerns over our souls when they protested at the funeral of Matthew Snyder, a brave Marine killed in Iraq.
Interestingly Matthew wasn’t gay nor connected in anyway with Westboro yet they viciously picketed at his funeral so much so that his Father Albert Snyder sued Fred Phelps of the church to try and stop their picketing at military funerals around the country. I’ll never forget when they showed up in the Northwest to picket a funeral of one of our fallen war heroes, not an hour from my house. I thought I would lose my mind then.
You may recall that Matthew’s Father, Albert Snyder was awarded $11 million in damages but later the award was cut in half, then the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals threw the whole award out.
What does the Supreme Court have to say for itself?
They acknowledge in their ruling that the views of Westboro Baptist Church are hateful and inexplicable. However, they strongly feel that if they ruled differently it would slow down if not stop people speaking out on controversial issues. They even talked of this also creating liability for news media and the coverage of events and commentaries.
Most of us cherish free speech and see the importance of protecting that right. However, our framers never meant for that Freedom of speech to be void of total decency, responsibility and screamed out in whatever setting you chose.
Try yelling Fire in a crowded theatre and see what happens. What is the problem? I can yell Fire elsewhere and say whatever I want to. It is the people’s choice if they get up, cause a disturbance and run. I didn’t make them. Yet, this is not allowed due to creating a panicked mob reaction and danger for all. Nor should it be allowed.
So, we can’t say anything, where ever we want if it causes potential danger to others. What if it causes emotional trauma and damage to the family of a fallen soldier to display signs such as “God hates you” “Destruction is Imminent” “Fags are Beasts” at a funeral for their son or daughter?
Why is the potential of several emotional trauma, insult and violation any less painful than creating potential physical damage in a theatre? I believe it is ALL pain and ALL wrong.
Our founding fathers never thought in their wildest dreams that our 1st Amendment rights for free speech would be contorted to allow a group calling themselves a church to exercise their freedom and evil displays anywhere they wanted, especially at someone’s funeral. What about the rights of the family to grieve and honor their dead?
Westboro has the perfect right to believe what they want and they believe God is punishing our nation for having Gays by killing soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are known to demonstrate all over the country, sometimes sharing their anti-Semitic and anti-gay message several times a week.
I was listening to one of their members on the news this morning saying how loving they really are because they are trying to yell out the truth to keep us all out of hell. They wouldn’t picket at so many funerals if they didn’t love us. We apparently are all going to hell if we want to do anything but judge and or hate gays. You see, God hates gays.
Westboro’s hatred isn’t satisfied with gays. They also hate Jews and Israel. A few other picket signs I’m looking at say ‘The Jews killed Jesus” “Some Jews will repent” “God hates Israel” “Mourn for your sins.” Naturally they have to go to Jewish institutions and places of worship to practice their 1st amendment rights there.
Of course we don’t want a slippery slope away from freedom of speech. I’m aware people say things I don’t believe or like but they still have the right to say them. That is true, accept I and most of us believe those extreme speech expressions don’t have the right to be shared everywhere they want.
Here is part of my yes and no, do or die list.
It is never acceptable, appropriate or part of freedom of speech in America to allow the Nazi party, KKK or neo Nazis to march in the streets or picket in public in America. They all have a history, not only of hate but violence and murder. We have seen what giving them power, speech and a bigger voice leads to….millions of murders. No thank you. They can keep their opinions in the living room of a house somewhere and out of the public square.
Westboro Baptist Church, thinks we are all going to hell, especially if we support or love gays. I would go to hell accept I can’t get through the door and find a place to stand. There are too many of them in the way.
Regardless of what anyone thinks of gays or gay behavior, as a conservative, Christian who does not believe in Gay Marriage, I will let my opinion be heard.
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The truth about what God says in the Bible is clear, spoken out and simple. God loves all people including gays. He identifies many sins that separate us from God, various attitudes of Judgment, hate, jealousy, gossip, rage and sexual acting out, outside of marriage, gay and straight. God lovingly calls us all back to him and offers healing to us all. Even those invested in Judgment and hatred like members of Westboro Baptist Church.
I believe the Supreme Court aired in their judgment, allowing freedom of such hostile and insulting speech to be shared anywhere, violating the rights of the fallen heroes families. They could display their pickets all kinds of places. Why a funeral? That should have never been allowed.
Let Freedom of speech reign BUT in appropriate locations and times.
THE ROTH REVOLUTION
We all must do our small part in getting back our country and freedoms. Therefore I have started just this week ‘The Roth Revolution’ to draw patriots together in a social networking association. It is free, members can blog, chat, post pictures and speak their mind on the issues, to the many that are joining in. I will be blogging and communicating regularly with you myself, putting out the Roth Report, providing cutting edge faxes for you to send to congress on critical issues facing us and exploring ways we can together make a difference. Just go to The Roth Show and click on the Roth Revolution banner. Tell your friends to join also. Together, we will take our country back.
© 2011 Dr. Laurie Roth - All Rights Reserved