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Posts tagged: Fred Phelps

Westboro To Protest Jobs Funeral

Westboro Baptist Church announced plans Wednesday night to protest Steve Jobs’s funeral, sending the message out…wait for it… via Twitter for iPhone. Margie Phelps, daughter of the small church’s founder and the lawyer who represented the church during their First Amendment case at the Supreme Court, (which Westboro won,) was among the Phelps family members to use Apple products to Tweet about the death of the Apple co-founder. “Westboro will picket his funeral.He had a huge platform; gave God no glory & taught sin,” Margie tweeted Wednesday night on her iPhone/Elizabeth Tenety, Washington Post. More here.


Hate Group Spurs NIC Speech Policy

John Martin, vice president for community relations and marketing at NIC, said the policy was created for safety reasons and to allow students to get to their classes. “The policy is to keep the campus safe and undisrupted when demonstrations are taking place. When Westboro Baptist Church visited us this last year we did not have a policy in place to say ‘OK, you’re welcome on our campus and we believe in the First Amendment right to free speech.’ However, we don’t believe groups that are demonstrating or exercising their right to free speech have the right to impede traffic or to disrupt classes or things of that nature”/Mitch Coffman, Idaho Reporter. More here.

Question: Was the NIC trustee decision to create a free-speech zone a reasonable response to the visit by Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church in 2010 reasonable or overkill?

Parting Shot — 4.18.11

New York City artist Scott LoBaido works on his painting of famed military funeral protesters Fred Phelps and daughter Shirley outside the Westboro Baptist Church compound in Topeka, Kan., Sunday. LoBaido took a break from his 50 state tour of painting American flags on rooftops in each state to exercise his first amendment rights and finish his painting in the public spaces near the Westboro Baptist Church compound. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

Westboro Baptist Wins Court Ruling

The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the First Amendment protects fundamentalist church members who mount attention-getting, anti-gay protests outside military funerals. The court voted 8-1 in favor of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan. The decision upheld an appeals court ruling that threw out a $5 million judgment to the father of a dead Marine who sued church members after they picketed his son's funeral. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the opinion for the court. Justice Samuel Alito dissented. “What Westboro said, in the whole context of how and where it chose to say it, is entitled to 'special protection' under the First Amendment,” Roberts wrote, “and that protection cannot be overcome by a jury finding that the picketing was outrageous”/Associated Press. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Does the U.S. Supreme Court opinion in favor of the despicable Westboro Baptist Church make you appreciate our 1st Amendment more/less?

Arizona Bans Pickets At Funerals

The Arizona Legislature has approved emergency legislation to head off picketing by a Topeka, Kan., church at the funeral service for a 9-year-old girl who was killed during Saturday's shooting in Tucson. Unanimous votes by the House and Senate on Tuesday send the bill to Gov. Jan Brewer for her expected signature. The bill prohibiting protests at or near funeral sites would take effect immediately. The Westboro Baptist Church said Monday it plans to picket Thursday's funeral for Christina Taylor Green. She is one of six people who were killed in the shooting that injured U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 13 others/Associated Press. More here.

Question: Does this action infringe on the free speech rights of Fred Phelps & his Westboro Baptist Church followers?

Westboro To Picket Tucson Funeral

The families in Arizona have suffered quite a bit. But one group wants to make them suffer just a little bit more: Westboro Baptist Church, the church of hate that pickets funerals to highlight its vile attacks, will picket the funeral of the little girl and five others who were killed in Saturday’s shooting rampage. Fred Phelps, in an offensive press release you may not want to read in full, announced Sunday he will bring his tiny band of followers, fresh from last month’s Elizabeth Edwards funeral, to this wounded city because, “That’s how God the avenger rolls,” he says/Adam Graham, Adam's Blog. More here. (SR file photo: Dan Pelle, taken during October visit of Westboro Baptist Church to Ferris High & other Inland Northwest stops, including Coeur d'Alene & Lake City highs & North Idaho College.)

Question: Are you surprised by anything Fred Phelps and company does at this point?

Phelps & Co. Visit Gonzaga

Shirley Phelps-Roper, of the Westboro Baptist Church, shares her point of view while standing on the corner of Cincinnati and Spokane Falls Blvd, on Thursday. Story & more photos here. (SR Photo: Dan Pelle)

  • KREM tweet: “Just heard over the police scanners that there are 1,200 people at the #EWU Westboro counter protest.”

Westboro Invasion To Start This AM

Counter protests and demonstrations are planned across The Inland Northwest Thursday to drown out the voices of the Westboro Baptist Church.The group’s website posts a tight schedule Thursday starting 11 a.m. at Gonzaga, then visiting Whitworth University, Ferris High School, Eastern Washington University and a South Hill Synagogue before the day is done. Wednesday night, the schools and Synagogue are preparing for the unwelcome visitors. Gonzaga is organizing a sit-in on campus, a silent demonstration during the Westboro protest/Kalae Chock, KXLY. More here. And: KREM report with schedule here.

Question: Are you curious enough to try to see Fred Phelps & his Westboro Baptist Church haters when they’re in town?

NIC Plans Counter-Protest Vigil

North Idaho College students will be holding a candlelight vigil from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30, on the field between the Sherman and Hedlund buildings on campus. The vigil will occur during the same time the Westboro Baptist Church has announced plans to demonstrate the NIC Theatre Department’s production of “The Laramie Project.” The college intends for a quiet gathering. Students, faculty, staff and the school’s administration ask that community members do not confront Westboro church members. Community members who wish to participate in a solemn celebration are welcome to join the candlelight vigil in the spirit of solidarity and acceptance/Tom Greene, NIC Press Room. More here.

Question: Is this a good approach to combat the planned protest by the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan.?

Westboro Baptists Face Supreme Court

Margie  Phelps, second from right, a daughter of Fred  Phelps and the lawyer who argued the case for of the Westboro Baptist Church, of Tokepa Kan., walks from the Supreme Court, in Washington Tuesday after the court heard arguments in the dispute between Albert Snyder, of York, Pa., and the Westboro Baptist Church. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The U.S. Supreme Court takes up a case of high emotion and high principle Wednesday. At issue is whether the father of a Marine killed in Iraq can sue picketers who showed up at his son’s funeral with signs that read ”God Hates Fags” and “You’re Going to Hell.” A federal appeals court invalidated a $5 million judgment against the picketers, concluding that even outrageous opinion is protected by the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech/Nina Totenberg, NPR. More here.

Question: Do you support the right that the foul Phelps family & Co. have to spew their hatred, even at the funerals of U.S. military personnel?

Nic: Phelps Slimes Christ’s Name

RE: Westboro Baptist Church: Coming to a high school near you

Nic: As a Christian, it saddens me that people like Fred Phelps can commit such ugly acts in the name of God. I’m heartbroken that he has set the stereotype of how much of the world thinks of real Christians. As an American, I am bewildered that (Westboro Baptist Church) is able to maintain their 501(c)3 status.

Question: Is it fair to judge Christians by the actions of extremists like Fred Phelps & Co. of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan.?

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D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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