In Phelps’ convoluted way of thinking, the deaths of our fighting men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan are proof that God is punishing this nation for tolerating gay men and lesbians. The church’s vile Web site celebrates those deaths. The protesters’ picket signs read, among other things: “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” and “Thank God for IEDs (improvised explosive devices).” Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church should embarrass American Christians. Only the lowest of the low would add to the anguish of grieving family members and relatives of fallen warriors by pushing a political or religious agenda at a funeral. However, Phelps has the right to do so.
For the rest of my editorial re: speech rights of hate groups, click here.
Question: Does the First Amendment protect the rights of hate groups, like the Westboro Baptist Church, to picket military funerals?