Friday, March 4, 2011
Members of Westboro Baptist Church choose to exercise their First Amendment rights by protesting military funerals with insulting signs that misrepresent Christianity and display a gross lack of respect for those who have paid the ultimate price in service to their country. They disregard grieving loved ones in the name of making a point and having their voices heard.
Yesterday, in an 8-1 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld these people's rights to continue their hurtful behavior.
Rebecca Hillman reports:
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 8-1 in favor of the Westboro Baptist Church Wednesday, in a free speech case that challenged the fundamentalist church's right to protest at military funerals.
The father of Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, a 20 year-old killed in Iraq in 2006, filed a lawsuit against the Westboro Baptist Church after members picketed his son's funeral. Westboro Baptist Church members protested at the funeral, and have done so at many others, to share their belief that American deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan were God's punishment for America's tolerance of homosexuality and abortion. Albert Snyder said the protests at his son's funeral caused emotional distress.
No doubt it caused emotional distress. These signs have messages on them that say things like "God Hates You" and "God Hates Fags."
Concerning this ruling, Governor Palin tweeted:
Common sense & decency absent as wacko "church" allowed hate msgs spewed@ soldiers' funerals but we can't invoke God's name in public square
Her tweet was followed by a plethora of complaints from people and media outlets accusing her of not understanding or respecting the First Amendment, of disagreeing with the ruling. But Governor Palin wasn't commenting on her view of the First Amendment or on the ruling. She was commenting on the issue of inconsistency, which she discussed with The Daily Caller.
“Obviously my comment meant that when we’re told we can’t say ‘God bless you’ in graduation speeches or pray before a local football game but these wackos can invoke God’s name in their hate speech while picketing our military funerals, it shows ridiculous inconsistency,” Palin told TheDC. “I wasn’t calling for any limit on free speech, and it’s a shame some folks tried to twist my comment in that way. I was simply pointing out the irony of an often selective interpretation of free speech rights.”
Speaking for myself, it's sad that people who claim to be Christians would choose to protest in the manner members of Westboro Baptist are. And they have no intention of slowing down. After the Supreme Court's ruling, as ABC News reports, they will multiply their efforts:
Leaders of the controversial Westboro Baptist Church today vowed to "quadruple" the number of protests at military funerals around the country following a Supreme Court ruling that the displays are protected under the First Amendment.
Read more about Governor Palin on this issue here at Texas for Sarah Palin and here and here at Conservatives4Palin.