Archive for Wednesday, December 1, 2010

St. Charles County passes funeral protest banaimed at Westboro Baptist Church members

December 1, 2010


— The American Civil Liberties Union plans to sue to block an ordinance banning protests near funerals in St. Charles County.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the council voted Monday to adopt the ordinance. Councilman Joe Brazil says the goal is to keep grieving families free of harassment.

ACLU attorney Tony Rothert says he had hoped the council would wait until the courts ruled on a Nebraska law that the St. Charles County measure is patterned after.

Members of Westboro Baptist Church, based in Topeka, Kan., frequently hold anti-gay signs at the funerals of soldiers, contending that their death is God's punishment for what they see as the nation's tolerance of gays.

Earlier in November, a judge signed a consent agreement barring the St. Francois County, Mo., sheriff from enforcing a protest ban at funerals.


James Sneegas 6 years, 6 months ago

The ACLU and organizations like them are helping to run this country into the ground and when it's down for the count lets see what they do to help!! I suspect they will not be heard from again after their mission is accomplished.

Maddy Griffin 6 years, 6 months ago

Thank you Vertigo! I don't always like the cases the ACLU takes on, but I'm damned glad we have them.

Liberty275 6 years, 6 months ago

I'm not the left but I appreciate the ACLU defending free speech, be it of pedophiles, terrorists, phelps or the klan. My only complaint with the ACLU is their refusal to help protect second amendment rights,

Liberty275 6 years, 6 months ago

"July 15, 2010... In what may be the first time, the ACLU says, it is advocating on behalf of a gun owner"

That's good to see.

countrygirl 6 years, 6 months ago

Thanks--I hadn't seen that. Perfect solution.

Liberty275 6 years, 6 months ago

god hates existing so much he doesn't do it.

Armored_One 6 years, 6 months ago

Why not just deny them a permit to protest?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

Making unpopular/idiotic statements does not equal incitement of a riot.

Blatantly encouraging a crowd to take violent action does equal incitement. And the Phelps's know the sick game they are playing well enough not to go there.

parrothead8 6 years, 6 months ago

Yeah, nobody could prove in a court of law that they were inciting a riot by protesting. If that ever became the case, you could just start assaulting people who were doing anything you didn't like and claim that they were inciting a riot. In actuality, the only thing happening is assault, albeit on a deserving moron, but guess what? The deserving moron won't be the one going to jail.

Armored_One 6 years, 6 months ago

On the basis that they are inciting civil unrest, which is an argument used in denying white power groups a permit to protest and/or gather in public places.

On the basis that they are promoting hate speech, which can be argued after investigating Fred's online sermons. Yes, I actually sacrificed a bunch of brain cells and watched a few of them. He's called more than once for a violent removal of homosexuals, among other sects of the populace, from American shores. Sounds like hate speech to me, which is not protected by First Amendment rights.

On the basis that his protests violates the concept of separation of church and state, namely in the concept that he promotes the removal of all other religions than Christianity from America, and with his unsuccessful attempts to enter politics as mayor of Topeka, this is a blatant attempt to undermine the concept. Religion should not and cannot dictate political policies, just as the inverse is true that politics cannot adn should not regulate morality.

ferrislives 6 years, 6 months ago

I knew the ACLU was out of control when they decided to defend NAMBLA. They lost all credibility with that choice.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

The didn't defend NAMBLA. They defended their (and your) right to freedom of speech.

ferrislives 6 years, 6 months ago

Whatever makes you feel better BOZO. They defended a group of men that think it's completely natural to have sexual relationships with little boys. You can see info on them at

I don't know if you know this, but it is rightfully so against the law to have "sex" with little boys. I quote "sex" because it's actually rape. For you to defend the ACLU for their defense of NAMBLA makes you as sick as NAMBLA members. Are you saying that it's ok for groups to exist that spew crap like that? What about a group that believes and practices mutilating little girls in the name of religion? Are you ok with that BOZO? If you are, you're sicker than I originally thought!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

I don't need a link to NAMBLA's wiki page. I'm well aware of their agenda, and I also find it repulsive.

But as long as you want to attack something that didn't happen, there really is nothing to discuss. As I said, what they defended were their free speech rights, not their organization or its goals.

Liberty275 6 years, 6 months ago

Can you give us a list of words/topics you think should be banned from discussion? We could use a dictator to lead the mind police.

After your term, maybe I can be dictator and make every mention of gods or their sons a punishable offense, then I'll go after people that mention political leaders and positions I don't like to hear about.

I can fill a gulag as quickly as you can.

ferrislives 6 years, 6 months ago

First off, I am a huge proponent for free speech regardless of your views. If child pedophiles want to talk to everyone about how great what they do is, whatever.

The problem lies in when those same people join a group whose sole purpose is to help each other perfect their illegal and immoral activities upon innocent children without "getting caught" by law enforcement.

NAMBLA got sued by the family of a 10-year old male rape, torture, and murder victim because the perpetrators were both NAMBLA members and subscribers at the time of the attack. At the time, NAMBLA "...has sold at its website what he called "The Rape and Escape Manual" that detailed how to avoid being caught and prosecuted.". The family also "argued that it is a "training ground" for adults who wish to seduce children, in which men exchange strategies on how to find and groom child sex partners." "Citing cases in which NAMBLA members have been convicted of sexual offenses against children, Larry Frisoli, the attorney representing the Curleys, argued that it is a "training ground" for adults who wish to seduce children, in which men exchange strategies on how to find and groom child sex partners. Frisoli also claimed that NAMBLA has sold at its website what he called "The Rape and Escape Manual" that detailed how to avoid being caught and prosecuted.[27] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) stepped in to defend NAMBLA as a free speech matter and won a dismissal based on the fact that NAMBLA is organized as an unincorporated association, not a corporation. John Reinstein, the director of the ACLU Massachusetts, said that although NAMBLA "may extol conduct which is currently illegal", there was nothing on its website that "advocated or incited the commission of any illegal acts, including murder or rape".[28]" In 1982, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that "the First Amendment right to free speech did not forbid states from banning the sale of material depicting children engaged in sexual activity." Obviously NAMBLA supports children engaged in sexual activity, meaning that the sale of items (e.g. "The Rape and Escape Manual") supporting these acts are not covered by the First Amendment.

Unfortunately, the court went against its own previous judgment with the Curley v. NAMBLA case, but they obviously don't get everything right. Guess what: that's my opinion, and I'm allowed to have it!

Amy Heeter 6 years, 6 months ago

Do any of you people remember learning about the bill of rights? While the ACLU may offend some for who they are protecting it is important to remember that they are also protecting your rights.

lawslady 6 years, 6 months ago

People like these hate mongers are the canaries of freedom. As long as they are free to spew their bile, we all know our rights are safe too. But LOVE the response in Harrisonville. When ignoring them (or laughing at them) won't work - which is what usually works with evil - bringing loving folks together is good! Hope to see more of the same from now on! (But beware; if thwarted they can and probably will esculate - they hope to be martyrs and get attention. So be peaceful, loving, and kind - let them do the hate thing).

kernal 6 years, 6 months ago

banaimed = squished word which is okay? What? Let's just squish the entire English language to suit our on individual needs and converse in Tweet. Then no1wlnowhtny1stlknabt. Gtit? GdGd!

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 6 months ago

I really think this should be fought in civil courts emphasizing right to privacy. Funerals are no more public events than weddings or births. Even if they are well within their legal right to "free speech" they are making it publicly known that they are targeting a private event and deliberately causing personal pain in the process. I say let them come then sue the hell out of them for mental anguish and request punitive damages. Drive them into bankruptcy.

JayCat_67 6 years, 6 months ago

Already been done. Father of Soldier won initially. Phelps clan won an appeal. Currently being decided by US Supreme court. Not sure which way I want this to turn out. Seems like the worst scumbags on the planet have a knack for bringing out the best in communities. Weston and Harrisonville, MO for example.

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 6 months ago

There is a possibility that the SCOTUS will rule in the Phelps favor. There is just as much of a chance that they won't. Even if it doesn't fall in the realm of "exception" (a la screaming "Fire" in a crowded theater) no one says that SCOTUS can't create new law. They've done it in the past. One also needs to understand that civil law is far different from criminal law. Freedom of speech is no exception. There would be no purpose for tort law re: libel and slander if it was excepted. Snyder (the dad of the dead Marine) has a chance. It may be a slim one, but it's a chance.

TopJayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

pickin and chossin' what to protect or not Cait? Don't you live in Canada?
You don't seem to understand a lot of things, like the Constitution eh?

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 6 months ago

I obviously understand the Constitution a lot better than you do, Top. I'm one the 28% in this country that have actually read it all the way through. Have you?

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 6 months ago I suggest you read the entire survey. It's rather interesting what most Americans know (and think they know) about the Constitution.

ferrislives 6 years, 6 months ago

As much as I hate to say it, I think that the case against the Westboro Church will go in favor of the church's 1st amendment right to free speech. Unfortunately, they do have a right to say whatever they want to say if it doesn't come up as one of the exceptions to the law.

I do like cait48's idea though; very "outside of the box" as they say. Those families should give it some thought.

Kris_H 6 years, 6 months ago

This law will be a costly mistake for St. Charles County. I figured out a long time ago that part of their whole scam is to get government entities to pass just such laws against them. Then they end up in court, and when they win, which they have consistently done, they get to collect attorney's fees from the oppostion. Guess whose family cult consists largely of attorneys and guess who they represent in court?

That's right. This is feeding this bunch just what they want.

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 6 months ago

America doesn't have an exclusive lock on wacko nutjobs. Go to the Hyde Park Speakers Corner in London sometime. We just give them a lot more publicity.

verity 6 years, 6 months ago

While I believe that a law protecting funerals as being private could be written so as to be constitutional, these laws are really just playing into the Phelps' hands. Ignore, ignore, ignore. No media attention. No law suits. Put groups of people between them and the mourners or any non-violent and legal way of keeping them out of sight, but just turn your back and ignore them. We should never lower ourselves to their level and they have taken up way too much of our time.

After having read the story of one of the children who escaped, I have more sympathy than anything for these tortured people. Well, not for Fred, but the rest of the family on whom he inflicted his viciousness. Unfortunately, one either had to flee or adapt.

pace 6 years, 6 months ago

I believe in the freedom of speech except I don't think people should be allowed to say or write ain't . It is not a word. It won't kill anyone to not say ain't, there are other words, there is no reason they should use ain't. Ain't is not a word, should not fall under free speech. It is not a real word, so it isn't protected. It is clear as day to me that people who insist they have the right to say ain't, have no respect for language and I mean the American language. I have heard about the constitution all my life and it clearly doesn't protect words that aren't really words.

Amy Heeter 6 years, 6 months ago

Actually while ain't has not always been acceptable and improper it is considered a contraction of a negated auxiliary verb. for am not,is not., has not and have not.

pace 6 years, 6 months ago

Note that there is no standard contraction for am not. This is known in Linguistics as the "amn't gap".

Christine Anderson 6 years, 6 months ago

Hey everyone, if we all happen to still be around when Fred kicks the bucket and moves on to a warmer climate, I hope to see huge parties break out.

Christine Anderson 6 years, 6 months ago

Hey everyone, if we all happen to still be around when Fred kicks the bucket and moves on to a warmer climate, I hope to see huge parties break out.

TopJayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

It is all about money. I have been saying this on this forum for several yrs. Glad some of you are starting to pay attention. Cait our Constitution does not work in an arbitrary manner as you suggest. Stick with Canada.

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 6 months ago

"Cait our Constitution does not work in an arbitrary manner as you suggest." Oh. Then I guess the multiple law schools that have entire departments devoted to "Constitutional law" are spending money on useless endeavors. Cool. That means they can stop spending all of that money and save a few bucks. You obviously haven't the foggiest notion up there in the Yukon that the Constitution is a "living document" and that the whole purpose of studying Constitutional law and the Supreme Court is a balancing act to determine whose rights trump whose. You also need to understand that civil court is a whole lot different from criminal court. They didn't convict OJ of murder in criminal court but they sure as heck did in civil court. You may have a "legal right" to own a gun but by god if you hurt somebody with it don't think you won't pay for it one way or the other. "Freedom of speech" when used as a weapon is just as much subject to civil law. I suggest you look up the definition of a "tort".

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 6 months ago

I agree, Jesse. However they make it known prior to a protest what event they are targeting. Even if the sign, in and of itself, doesn't target a specific person the fact that they are targeting a private event centered around a specific person may be enough to establish deliberate damages for tort purposes. That's up to SCOTUS to decide.

verity 6 years, 5 months ago


One positive thing about the discussions of the Phelps is that I have learned new things about constitutional law and the law in general. I have also been appalled at the lack of understanding of the law and the justice system of many people making comments on the LJW website.

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 5 months ago

If SCOTUS does find in favor of the Snyders it will at least accomplish one thing; Phelps will no longer be able to announce he is targeting a funeral and why he is targeting it. They will have to show up unannounced and with the public attitude of "Hey we're just here for grins and jollies." Ultimately it will cut into their publicity if nothing else and their whole purpose in doing this is the publicity.

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