Friday, October 8, 2010

Funeral protests? Just beat them up

Supreme Court justices on Wednesday pondered the vexing question of whether the father of a dead Marine should win his lawsuit against a fundamentalist church group that picketed his son's funeral.

The complexity and weightiness of the First Amendment issue were palpable in the courtroom as justices heard arguments in the case of Albert Snyder. His son died in Iraq in 2006, and members of the Westboro Baptist Church protested the funeral to make their point that U.S. deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq are punishment for Americans' immorality, including tolerance of homosexuality and abortion.

. . . Snyder is asking the court to reinstate a $5 million verdict against the Westboro members who held signs outside the funeral of Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, including ones that read "Thank God for Dead Soldiers, "You're Going to Hell" and "God Hates the USA." The Marine was killed in a Humvee accident in 2006.

The church also posted a poem on its website that attacked Snyder and his ex-wife for the way they brought up Matthew.

When I was younger, my father and my uncles would have beat the protesters up, and that would have been the end of it.

No cop would have arrested the family members.

No prosecutor would have indicted the family members.

And, if by some remote chance, the family members found themselves before a judge, they would plead temporary insanity, and no jury would convict - - because they would be telling the truth.

Some people need to be smacked, not sued.

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