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Congress Passes Restrictions On Military Funeral Protests, Delivers Blow To Westboro Baptist Church

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posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 02:22 PM
While I applaud congress for their action, I do not believe this ruling will pass muster when it comes before the supreme court. Because that is exactly where it is headed.

Having said that, as a retired military member with a son and daughter serving in the military I say this. If one of my family members were killed and those PIECES OF # showed up to protest I'm afraid there would be another funeral to plan. I am extremely surprised that it has not escalated to that point YET.

That is in part due to the Patriot Guard Riders helping to keep the families insulated from these morons.
THANK YOU PGR for all you do...

posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 02:43 PM
reply to post by jacobe001

Well said. I did 6 gulf deployments before I woke up and realized this truth, and once I did I got out (after 13 years).

posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 03:03 PM
These Westboro Baptist people are sick in the head!! They brainwash their little kids who are no older then 7 to hate and to say f@@ and other hateful words. They also bring these kids along on protests when they know something bad can happen and sometimes the kids get caught in the crossfire and get hurt heck I saw a video of one of the kids getting hit with a object from a passing car and his head was bleeding. What makes these people even more sick is they still bring the kids along after prior incidents. If anyone gets a chance you should watch the video from NBC about the daughter who got kicked out because she was questioning WBBC message it's sad and shows these people don't have hearts.

posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 03:17 PM

Originally posted by zeeon
I think there's a stark difference between what our Founding Fathers envisioned for the right to assemble (and protest) and what the WBC is doing. What exactly is the goal of the WBC's protests? Besides just complaining that they feel it is wrong and that God hates soldiers. Is there a defined goal for these protests? To stop wars? Or just hate mongering?

The right to assemble and protest is a fundamental right. Yet, one must consider that there should be an ultimate goal in mind when protesting. What sense is there in protesting something but have no predefined list of greviences that the protesters want fixed. From what I understand they are protesting America itself, and the freedoms which we give to everyone (homosexuals in particular) - which is also a fundamental right.

So you see, they are using one fundamental right (protesting) to remove another fundamental right (freedom and equality for everyone - or in other words protesting in favor of discrimination). Is this what our Founding Fathers envisioned the right to protest being used for? I think not...

Right you are on this one, which is what I say all the time. The use of one right to deny a separate right of someone else. I will never understand how that works.

And does this really meet the definition of "peaceably assemble?" The right to speak covers the right to form words to express an opinion. But if the speaking of those words is done as a group in a manner which does not meet the test for "peaceably assemble" then while they can say whatever they want, it does not seem permissible that they should be allowed to express it in this manner. I mean how does terrorizing a grieving family meet the sniff test for "peaceably assemble"? It feels like rhetoric is getting in the way of reason.

At any rate I haven't finalized my opinion on this one because it's true, where does it end? But it's sad really that this small group of extremists who preach hate and exclusivity force us to argue in their favor. The founding fathers must be turning in their graves. But hey - we're following the constitution to the letter, so all is well in the world! How's that pursuit of happiness working for everyone?

posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 03:18 PM

Originally posted by beezzer

Well said!

I'm actually shocked that so many here on ATS would espouse a restriction of a freedom!

Same here, the First Ammendment shouldn't be supressed. It would be much more sensible to give more freedom with the Second Ammendment and allow the folks that bare arms to use said arms under certain circumstances such as emotional violence with the "stand your ground" laws.
What Westboro does is emotionally violent. They attack people when they are at their lowest, the funeral of fallen friend/family member who was defending the constitution. That is about as emotionally violent as you can get.... let them get shot, if anyone in the world deserves it, the Westboro bunch definitely does.

"He needed killin" should return to being a viable defense.

posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 03:23 PM
reply to post by PurpleChiten

That is a ridiculous suggestion.... Sure, lets go around shooting people that may hurt our feelings. I hope you don't own any guns.

posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 03:38 PM

Originally posted by TKDRL
reply to post by PurpleChiten

That is a ridiculous suggestion.... Sure, lets go around shooting people that may hurt our feelings. I hope you don't own any guns.

several... and if the Westboro bunch EVER sets foot on my property, they will be dealt with. I have the no trespassing sign up and that is their warning. I realize I can't do it anywhere else in the world, but if they are on my property spewing their crap, it is within my legal rights to do so (after calmly telling them to leave) and I most definitely will.

I am extremely calm and extremely tolerant and it takes a great deal to upset me. They would succeed quickly and would be dealt with just as quickly. I would not risk my freedom and conscience lightly, but for that group, I would go to the absolute boundary of what I am legally allowed to do.
edit on 4-8-2012 by PurpleChiten because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 03:49 PM
I say, let 'em have their free speech and rights to protest, but two can play at that game ... and we can win the game.

posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 03:57 PM
I love the Patriot Guard!!!

There's also a little group up in Pennsylvania started by a lady and her husband who support the gay rights groups who are called "Silent Witnesses" who do something similar.

I was able to meet her and her husband at one time and they are wonderful people doing a great service to be "peacekeepers".

....I'm not a violent person in any way, shape or form, but the Westboro group would bring out that side of me which is NOT an easy thing to do.

posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 04:59 PM

Originally posted by babybunnies

Their constitutional right hasn't been stripped. They are limited from protesting 2 hours before and 2 hours after a specific military funeral. If this in your mind is equal to having your rights completely stripped then you need to relax.

Actually, there is no time limit on Free Speech. In order to be truly free, you have to allow the folks that you disagree with to have their opinions and their protests.

While you (and I) may disagree with the Westboro Church's methods, the Constitution of the United States protects their right to this, at whatever time they wish.

If you're comfortable with the US Government saying at which times you can and can't exercise your Constitutionally guaranteed rights, then by all means, let this bill pass without protest. The Constitution is a 24/7 piece of paper, not a paper of convenience.

I actually find it incredible that Americans need to be educated by a CANADIAN as to what their Constitution is all about. Just sayin

edit on 4-8-2012 by babybunnies because: (no reason given)

I find it interesting that you feel as if you are correcting me when instead it is you who needs correcting.

The issue at hand is not Freedom of Speech - it is the freedom to peaceably assemble.
Nobody is talking about limiting what the WBC may say in it's own press releases, website, or any other medium. The issue at hand is whether or not their "assembly" is peaceful or not.

The key word here is "PEACEABLY" assemble. Is it considered peace when a subject group is disrupting a funeral? They shout, and hold disgusting and offensive signs and are quite nasty to people entering and leaving funeral areas. This is all documented. Their presence causes fights to break out and other non-peaceful actions.

The fact of the matter is this group is a fringe cult that advocates violence and hate mongering. Their assemblies are not peaceful the majority of the time. Instead of consistently arresting these people and dealing with the very complex issues of dealing with a "Church" (because Churches are well protected in the United States) the Congress very rightly wants to pass legislature to protect military funerals.

This is within Congress's power to do so. They do not need to ratify or amend the 1st Amendment in order to do this. If they wanted to ban ALL types of Assembly - peaceful or not - then they would NEED to Amend the 1st Amendment to do so.

Next time, you should chose your words more carefully. I do not need to be educated on my own Constitution.
edit on 4-8-2012 by zeeon because: typo

edit on 4-8-2012 by zeeon because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 05:53 PM
reply to post by kaylaluv

This actually brought tears to my eyes... Thank you for sharing.

But wait - Westboro Baptist has a song called "God Hates America"? And they hide behind the American Constitution to sing that? How hypocritical can you get.

I hope more of these protective efforts take place to shield these suffering families. Once the crazies realize their message is not able get through they'll have to change their tactics. We can only hope they'll slip up and break a law and finally be dealt with. Only a matter of time I think.

posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 06:00 PM
WBC is well a bunch of jerks that need slapped a little. Gods of all kinds seem to give people some strange backing to do whatever they want

This law is worthless and an attack on Freedom of speech. I noticed a lot of people saying they are glad. Why would you be glad that americans are being attack by there own goverment? people that think is ok for the government to do thid aren"t any better then WBC in my eyes.

posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 06:30 PM
reply to post by SloAnPainful

I've argued with myself back and forth on this issue.

On the one hand, I despise the Westboro cult as I would any other religious extremist group, I'm anti-religion, I'm gay, I feel sick whenever I see anything about them.

On the other hand, where do restrictions stop, and why is it okay for a Republican politician to promote intolerance and hatred of others from a political platform to an entire country, but not okay for these freaks in a small event like that?
Even though I am not American, I'm looking at this from the perspective of other American citizens. What the Westboro freaks think wouldn't scare me or threaten me, but the religious beliefs a Republican politician running for Presidency espouses on the podium definitely would.

They can no longer hate on people however they like, but a Republican candidate can quote the Bible as an excuse to remove the rights of American citizens and everyone thinks that's perfectly fine?

I understand that there is a double standard here, and it has more to do with the fact that it's military services being harmed here. But it's fine if the hate is directed at gay people?

So, in America, it's not okay to insult military families (understandably so) but it's "freedom of speech" to verbally attack all gay people?

In all honesty I think American needs to work on deciding what is considered hate speech, and base their laws on that. In the UK these people would have been stopped already. Not because they're abusing military families, and not because they're attacking gay people - but because they are preaching hatred and intolerance.

It shouldn't matter who it's directed at or who is doing the screaming. If people are verbally attacking others based on their own selfish opinions and world views there needs to be action taken. If a person walked into a school and started preaching racism to ten year old kids that's obviously not going to be acceptable, so why is it acceptable against gay people in the street?

You need laws covering everyone, not certain people, not certain circumstances. If it's hatred with a purpose of causing distress to others it should be illegal for anyone.

This would cover racial issues, sexuality, gender and disability.

posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 06:40 PM

Originally posted by mythots
This law is worthless and an attack on Freedom of speech. I noticed a lot of people saying they are glad. Why would you be glad that americans are being attack by there own goverment? people that think is ok for the government to do thid aren"t any better then WBC in my eyes.

You know, once upon a time, communities made these decisions themselves.

If you had a bunch of freaks like that living in your town the businesses could refuse to serve them, people would shun them, they would be ostracised from the community completely. If that didn't work, they would have been removed from the community by force - in order to protect the rest of the community.

This is how a natural community works in nature. Communities develop for the protection of all in that community. It's a pack mentality and it's completely natural. If there is a threat, it is removed so that it is no longer a threat.

But people can't do that these days. So where is the middle ground?

You have laws that prevent people from managing their own communities, and you need laws to allow that community to take action. Right now you have an imbalance in these laws.

The constitution was written in a different time. These things were formulated by men who had no idea that one day people could preach the most vile things to others and cause them so much pain. They never envisioned military funerals and crazy religious freaks, they never envisioned guns that could kill hundreds of people a minute, they never imagined that the federal government would become as all powerful as it is now... the constitution was written in a completely different time, with completely different moral views, and completely different social structures.

I know the constitution is important to Americans, obviously, but Americans need to grow up and realize that these ideals were written a long time ago in a completely different world. Deal with it, evolve, become a stronger society because of it.

posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 07:48 PM
Freedom of speech with restrictions is not freedom of speech but why am I not surprised...
edit on 4-8-2012 by votan because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 08:35 PM
It's about time our government addressed that. Noone should be disrupting funerals. Why did it take the government so long?

posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 09:44 PM
Everyone has the right to be an idiot, but should you? Where is the moral compass of these "protesters". What if a group of "scientologists" were protesting one of their beloved's "christian" funerals? I mean these are men and women that had pledged an oath to this country to protect and defend their rights. and that's the way they choose to utilize their 1st. ammend.


Now granted, I don't defend the latest armed conflicts, but as an army veteran, I was was willing to do what the country asked of me. maybe I didn't agree with the conflicts, but at the same time i realized that I signed up for whatever came my way. To me it was a matter of duty and honor to "our" country. We have to have a highly trained force and maintain that level at all cost.

You can bet you ass when UN troops come to "try" and take over the U.S that I am glad I was trained. And there's millions of us with the same mentality. We know it's coming.

I hope they herd these retards to the camps first.

OK, that was my first post here on ATS. Thanks for letting me rant.
edit on 4-8-2012 by Adapa because: spelling

posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 10:47 PM
I am a man of such strong principle I have extreme difficulty standing behind censorship in any capacity. But I have to say I really, really, really dislike this group, and this was a deserved move, for all involved.

While I don't blindly support the military any more than I support hateful church groups, IMO one should have a certain amount of respect for the soldier, and their families, even if not for the institution. These are people. People whose families have fought, believing in this country, regardless of the real agenda of their puppet masters.

I almost take this as proof that god exists. Or maybe that he feels the same way about westboro baptist as the rest of us.

While (and this is an important point) I do not endorse the limitation of freedoms by the government, especially in areas of free speech, I have seen these people go too far. Some of their tactics could be considered harrassment. Kudos to congress for doing this. Just don't ever do it again.
edit on 4-8-2012 by iwilliam because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 10:50 PM

Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
This was absolutely the wrong time to pick another free speech fight and I can hear Westboro's lawyers laughing hysterically as we sit here reading the story. I almost can, given where they are based. lol....

I hate what these people do and frankly, I hate THEM. Miserable people. Every last sorry one of them. I've made clear at one point in the past that the National Cemetary my father lay in can call me for obstructive counter-protest if they ever show up here. I'd be happy to help form a human wall to block these little haters from making a Military family miserable.

Having said that. Their right of free speech is no less valuable or critical to our overall freedom than mine. If I demand my right, as I did, to stand with Occupy in what I thought to be worth it back then, they have the right to do their thing. .....and people have the right to generally obstruct them in any way that doesn't commit a criminal offense against them personally or their property.

Government has NO place in this. It's an issue among the population, torn in protest over several issues....and this Government did more to CREATE this situation of protest and hate than ANY of the issues ever could have. They can butt out...and let it all settle down over time, is my thinking.

However it could be said that what they do isn't protesting, but harassing. Holding anti gay signs at a funeral for someone who wasn't even gay? Abuse, plain and simple.

posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 10:57 PM
Since all of their protest schedule is on their website, I don't know why people in every city don't organize a HUGE demo against WBC. They are losers, totally insane.

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