Thursday, November 01, 2007

Dispicable Radicals get verdict they deserve

Good news, indeed.

Father of slain Marine wins case against funeral protesters: The brokenhearted father of a Marine killed in Iraq won a long-shot legal fight today after a federal jury in Baltimore awarded him nearly $11 million in a verdict against members of a Kansas church who hoisted anti-gay placards at his son's Westminster funeral.The jury's announcement 24 hours after deliberations first began was met with tears and hugs from the family and supporters of Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, whose March 2006 funeral was protested by members of the Westboro Baptist Church with signs including "Thank God for dead soldiers."

Snyder's father, Albert, won on every count of his complaint, as well as $2.9 million for compensatory damages and $8 million for punitive damages...

The Marine's father from York, Pa., sued the church and three of its members for intentionally invading his privacy because his deceased son did not have that right any longer. For the claim to be successful, the jury needed to conclude that the church's actions at the funeral -- and later, in a posting about Matthew Snyder on its Web site -- were "highly offensive to a reasonable person," according to the jury instructions.

As I said once before, my original take on Westboro Baptist (which, reportedly, have no connection to any mainstream Baptist church) was a positive one in regards to their signs proclaiming Thank God for dead soldiers. Truly, none of us would be here, today, without the sacrifices of brave soldiers (many of whom died).

That much said, this group has every right to speak their mind, but no right to disrupt a solemn service or other private affair. That their message is filled with hate - a message I do abhor - is not the primary issue. In this nation, we're all free to think as we please. We're even allowed to be assholes, if we want, and these people certainly fit that bill.

But no one has the right to be openly and boisterously offensive.

The Westboro Baptist Church, in my mind, share a circle of hell not unlike another hateful group: the Taliban.




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