Archive for Monday, May 10, 2010

City: Westboro graffiti won’t be removed

May 10, 2010

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— Topeka has decided not to seek the removal of graffiti from an anti-gay church.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that the graffiti was spray painted on the garage and exterior walls at Westboro Baptist Church.

Church spokeswoman Shirley Phelps-Roper says the church decided to leave it as a symbolic reflection on the people of Topeka and the nation. She noted the church has been telling the nation that it’s “a rebellious, good-for-nothing group.”

The graffiti includes phallic images and references to God.

City spokesman David Bevens says the graffiti is public nuisance under a city ordinance and should be removed. But Bevens says it will be allowed to stay because church members were exercising their First Amendment right to freedom of speech.

Comments

ssakcaj 4 years, 11 months ago

Did the church member's put the graffiti on the building? If not, how can they be exercising their First Amendment rights? Wouldn't that be the artist?

Does that now mean that any business in Topeka can refuse to clean up graffit and then say they are exerting their First Amendment rights?

Very strange decision from a very strange town...

Stuart Evans 4 years, 11 months ago

that's exactly what that means. now that they've set the precedent, Topeka will begin to resemble New York before Giulliani had it sandblasted.

KEITHMILES05 4 years, 11 months ago

More weakness of leadership and enforecement by the leaders of Topeka. If this was an ordinary home owner or business owner they'd call out the SWAT team. Just pathetic.

Liberty275 4 years, 11 months ago

The phelps clan wins again. Rule 19 of the internet states that "the more you hate something, the stronger it becomes". This looks like a brick and mortar example.

"Does that now mean that any business in Topeka can refuse to clean up graffiti and then say they are exerting their First Amendment rights?"

That's a good question. I'd say yes because the property owner should be allowed to pick and choose what is painted on their property. Most businesses would choose eradication because it wouldn't serve their purpose, but in this case it the property owners think it does serve their purpose.

Of course, the city can charge a fee for non-standard paint on buildings like they do in Lawrence. I imagine the phelps clan would gladly pay the fee.

Deja Coffin 4 years, 11 months ago

I heard that the Westboro Church is planning on picketing Eudora's graduation ceremony on May 22nd. Anybody know if this is true or rumor? Just curious. A lot of people I know say they're going to counter them but really I think ignoring them all together is the best thing to do. They thrive off of attention so that's the one thing we shouldn't give them.

Ron Holzwarth 4 years, 11 months ago

Well, here's their posted answer to your question, cheeseburger. I'm not claiming it makes any sense, and I'm not claiming any opinions of my own upon the matter. From the WBC website on the Eudora High School Picketing:

Seek ye first the Kingdom of God. Look around you. These are the last of the last days. The Beast is in office seeking his power grabs in any way he can--he is running this nation to her swift destruction. You are the next generation. Pr 14:34 Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. There is no righteousness in this country and you are going to go out in this world unprepared, thanks to your teachers, preachers and priests. They have gnashed on you and used you for their every desire. Fortunately for you WBC cares enough to give you the truth about your future, and your sins taking you to Hell. Heed the words, rebels.

Ron Holzwarth 4 years, 11 months ago

Yes it is true, they plan to picket on 05/22/2010 12:15 PM - 1:00 PM Eudora, KS Eudora High School 2203 Church Street

Also, you can look forward to seeing our dear friend Fred Phelp's relatives right here in Lawrence on 05/16/2010 09:15 AM - 10:00 AM Lawrence, KS KU Law Graduation at Lied Center/KU 1600 Steward Ave.

Like anyone really cares, you can look up their picket schedule on wikipedia by searching for westboro baptist church picket schedule. I'd post a link, like anyone cares, but the website name is not a family oriented thing.

Ron Holzwarth 4 years, 11 months ago

Oh, I am sorry, not wiki but Google. Sorry!

Stuart Evans 4 years, 11 months ago

did you read the info on their site? They are picketing the Law school graduation because lawyers are the scum of the earth or something... but dear leader Fred and his bestest crazy daughter Shirley are both attorneys.. and I believe all the kids of the family are required to become attorneys as well..

these people are completely insane.

thomgreen 4 years, 11 months ago

So, if they decide to keep it as an example of free speech, would the responsible parties that actually put the graffiti there still be guilty of a crime anymore?

Stuart Evans 4 years, 11 months ago

sounds like a free pass to go spray paint whatever we want on their buildings.

Clickker 4 years, 11 months ago

It looks like they will be picketing both Free State and LHS graduation ceremonies.

These guys are sick.

Calliope877 4 years, 11 months ago

Now they are picketing HS graduations? LOL

tomatogrower 4 years, 11 months ago

They always try to picket the Lawrence graduations. I remember 1 year, when they changed the location from the stadium to the field house. It was a riot. They were all set up down by the stadium while everyone made it into the field house, before the morons even figured it out. If they can't be ignored, someone should at least start a fund raiser for a veteran's group or and AIDS support group.

Truthspeaker 4 years, 11 months ago

You do what some have done with a counter-protest.

What I've heard of some people doing is taking pledges from people for every minute/hour/whatever they are out counter-protesting Phelps. Then they stay as long as Phelps does. So the longer that Fred stays out there, the more money the counter protestors are raising to donate to whichever charity.

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