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Should Congress vote to restrict picketing at funerals?

Asked at Borders, 700 N.H. on February 2, 2006

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Photo of Mike Stieben

“Even though I don’t agree with it, I don’t think there should be a law against it because the Constitution protects political speech.”

Photo of Christina Mayer

“No. I don’t think they should. I think it’s an issue of free speech.”

Photo of Bill Simpson

“Reluctantly no. People have a right to speak, even if it’s in extremely bad taste. Our rights seem to be slowly going away, and we need to look after the ones we have left.”

Photo of Barbara Denton

“I would say yes. I was at Lucas Frantz’s funeral in Tonganoxie, because he was an ex-student of mine. If they could have protested tastefully, it wouldn’t have been as big of an issue. I thought it was completely unnecessary.”

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enochville 12 years, 2 months ago

I believe the Supreme Court has ruled that although the government cannot restrict what citizens say, they can restrict where and when. If anyone has a source for that ruling, please post a link.

We also believe in protecting citizens from harm caused by others (libel and slander are two examples). I believe protesting at funerals, when mourning families are very vulnerable is harming the mourners and laws should be created to protect the people at funeral services from the jerks who emotionally abuse them under the flag of protest and free speech. However, the language of the law needs to be very specific so that it cannot be applied inappropriately (such as against people who are protesting in the same city or day that a funeral is held).

Grundoon Luna 12 years, 2 months ago

This is a tough one. Phred is a completely disgusting human being, and I use that term loosly, but I would be cautious about interfering in the right of free speech. When it is known Phred will be there, counter protesters should be "deployed." Kinda like the folks at Randy Shiltz's funeral. Seeing the Phelps clan being chased away by angry mourners was a joy to behold!!!

bankboy119 12 years, 2 months ago

I'm going to have to agree with Bill and A_A on this one. Fred is a completely misguided man who does not know the Bible he is trying to preach. Our rights have slowly but surely been ebbed out one by one and another vague law meant to keep instances like Fred from protesting at funerals would end up silencing all protests against everything. Of course the government would do it under the guise of "interpreting" the Constitution, something they have not done well recently.

neopolss 12 years, 2 months ago

I urge these funeral victims to file suit. Emotional and mental distress.

Someday it will be proven that Phelps is in fact gay, and simply unable to own up to it.

sharron5rs 12 years, 2 months ago

Dont forget about the harrasment. Every time they protest they should be hit with a harrassment suit. I cant belive they get by with this stuff at furnerals, but when they start callling the familys at home... Something has got to be done about these people. Its our right to be able to say goodbye to our loved ones in peace.

RonBurgandy 12 years, 2 months ago

I think that there should be a proximity clause at "private" functions. I agree with blue that funerals can be considered a private affair, but protests should be allowed outside a reasonable distance. I have no idea if this is already an occurance though. I don't think that restricting what people say is the right thing to do however.

There should be a profession of professional funeral protectors which could be hired "under the table" to rid people like phelps. They could be the Funeral Mafia or something like that.

sweetpeagj 12 years, 2 months ago

I have to agree that there should be a time and place to get your points ( no matter how misguided )across but not at loved one's funerals. This is the biggest emotional distress and mental anguish suit I see coming in the future. Just think for a minute what it would be like for you to lose a loved one then have this angry, misguided mob show up and protest every reason that this person believed in. How would that make you, as a family memeber or friend, of the deceased feel. I am all for saving our rights but this one shouldn't be allowed at something as emotional as a funeral for heavens sake.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 2 months ago

You know, two things: 1. Solomon hit the nail on the head. Everyone knows you do not have the right to speak whenever and wherever you want. "Fire" in a theatre is a perfect example. And even a kindergartener knows not to blurt out in class.

  1. Protesting a funeral is in such extreme bad taste and everyone is already in a state of grief that this really should be a safety issue. Someone may find themself on the wrong side of a 21 gun salute.

jonas 12 years, 2 months ago

Enochville: Without doing any research or checking into the matter at all, I think the dividing line between permissable protest and non-permissable is the potential for either physical harm (fire in a theater) or the unplanned physical disruption of daily life (the reason you have to get a pre-approved permit if you're going to be blocking the streets with a protest, like at chuckle Starbucks a few years back).

I think governmental involvement, especially at the congressional (read: impersonal; un-impacted; un-involved) level, needs to remain strictly limited to physical, provable guidelines. Emotional distress and harm is rediculously hard to either prove or counter-prove, and it's usage as a basis for lawsuits is already cluttering the courts with sheaf after sheaf of baseless, frivolous court cases. While this type of case would, of course, not qualify as frivolous, I think we all know it wouldn't stop there. The curse of legal precedents are their broad applicability.

(If Phelps is calling people at home, it IS harrassment, and should be charged as such)

The one thing that unfortunately gets missed in the Phelps hooplah is how much good he is doing. Can you think of any other individual (man or church entity) that has done more, albeit, perhaps, somewhat unintentionally, to bring the fence-sitters and undecideds over to the side of the gay and lesbian community? It's a hard sell, I admit, but I think it almost justifies his existence, if perhaps not his continuing existence.

That being said, is he getting more insane in his declining years, or more desperate?

"Phelps said the soldiers were being killed because God was angry at the United States' tolerance of homosexuality."


Oh, right. Because, before the current liberal age of acceptability, wars were bloodless, deathless, and fought with fluffy pillows. Damn those liberal bastards, opening the floodgates for death during wartime!

What really needs to happen is, as some have noted, are counter-protests. Perhaps, if enough supporters are gathered, they could carry giant placards, place them in order, and just wall Phelps and crew away from the sight of the mourners completely. We could make a sign, like the bat-signal, to flash whenever he gets around, and the call could go out! I think willing helpers would be easy to come by.

On that note, when Phelps himself finally dies, who else wants to organize the biggest protest/march ever seen in this state? They can see for themselves what it's like.

hottruckinmama 12 years, 2 months ago

i'm surprised someone hasn't stopped freddy long before now. problem is the dumb a** makes sure he keeps a bunch of little kids out there in front with him most of the time. thats child abuse as far as i'm concerned.

Liberty 12 years, 2 months ago

If one wants to confront a spiritual problem, you must find how the person has violated the Biblical standard and bring that to light. The person might listen to that and act more righteously and with respect in the future if they are accountable to God in their heart.

People have in their mind set that everything can be fixed with a new law. It can't and shouldn't be fixed that way. People need self control that comes from God on the inside to restrain themselves from doing evil and unrighteousness on the outside.

More and more laws quite simply do not prevent evil but only punish it for a wrong action after the fact, ultimately being bad for society, because it prevents nothing. We need less laws not more. We already have way too many laws on the books and it has not helped but rather increased unrighteousness because they use laws to try to replace a God accountable consciousness. A person that is accountable to God for their actions will not do what is wrong in God's sight, and if they do, they should be reminded of the Biblical standard of righteousness. (Doing what is right in God's sight). Another new law will not fix anything. It is a spiritual problem that we have in this country due to the removal of Godly knowledge and Godly responsibility and accountability from society.

As the founding fathers of this country said, you will either be ruled by God or by tyrannts. There is no in between.

djazz 12 years, 2 months ago

The Harley brigade is very effective, as in Topeka recently. Block them off, drown them out!

bankboy119 12 years, 2 months ago

Jonas, your opinion is that Fred is doing a good thing if he brings people to the side of the homosexual community? So you agree that it's okay to destroy your own body? And do you also agree that it's okay to be an alcoholic? Or addicted to heroin? I'm sorry but you are misguided.

joshs_mom 12 years, 2 months ago

I have to agree with hottruckinmama on the way Phred hides behind kids. I was working at the Shawnee County courthouse in 2000 and 2001 and a couple of times a month they were out there, usually 7 or 8 of them, sometimes more. There is a crosswalk that goes across SE Quincy St. almost right out in front of the building and they often stood where the sidewalk meets the curb by this crosswalk. Often they would half-block the sidewalk so you would have to walk around them. And of course there were several kids with them, some looked as young as 4 or 5, holding those disgraceful signs.

lovenhaight 12 years, 2 months ago

I think the counter protest idea is wonderful. Lets get a big group together and go down to whatever inappropriate function he deems a platform for his loony ideas. Seriously, lets go.

I don't think we can make laws to stop what he is doing. Yes, it is in very poor taste and is absolutely heartless, but part of free speech is having to deal with people you can't stand to listen to. There are people out there who don't want to hear that people should be able to marry whoever they want regardless of sex, but they have had to listen to us.

Silencing that crazy man would eventually silence all of us.

lovenhaight 12 years, 2 months ago

I'm with Bob, I don't quite understand the connection that bankboy is trying to make....

lovenhaight 12 years, 2 months ago

"How can you condone destorying ones own body neo? There is a giant difference in saying it's not right to be black/white/yellow/green than it is to say it's not right to be an alcoholic and destroy your liver, it's not right to destroy your body by being gay. Just because some one is gay though doesn't mean they should not get a job or anything else."

This is what bankboy119 means. He just posted this on the other discussion area.

Charla Welch 12 years, 2 months ago

Posted by bankboy119 (anonymous) on February 2, 2006 at 8:42 a.m. Jonas, your opinion is that Fred is doing a good thing if he brings people to the side of the homosexual community? So you agree that it's okay to destroy your own body? And do you also agree that it's okay to be an alcoholic? Or addicted to heroin? I'm sorry but you are misguided.

What does alcoholism and drug addicition have to do with any of this? And since when does homosexuality destroy your body? You are the misguided one.

bankboy119 12 years, 2 months ago

Posted by bankboy119 (anonymous) on February 2, 2006 at 7:42 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I would also encourage you to take a look at this site that discusses a better point of view of Christianity towards homosexuality than trying to use Phelps as an example.

I'm not getting into a heated debate with anyone today we've gone into this many times before. The heroin and alcohol addiction links to the fact that some people claim that homosexuality is "genetic" when it has been shown that it isn't. Even if it is though, people are born addicted to all different drugs but we do not say there is nothing we can do to change it and make it right. People are alcoholics, damaging their own body, but we don't condone that behavior. We try to get them help. In the same way, people engaging in unnatural acts causing ripping, bleeding, internal bleeding, diseases, we don't condone that either, we would like to see those people get help. To read more visit the link. I don't know if it will work on this forum but go to the link posted under the article about Phelps defending his right to picket.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 2 months ago

Phred obviously missed that whole "Judge not..." part in the Bible.

galfromku 12 years, 2 months ago

The thing is... if it were not for soldiers fighting over the years for our freedom, he would not be ABLE to do the very things he does. Is that a catch 22 or what? Too bad he can't see the forest for the trees and appreciate that. What a shame.

enochville 12 years, 2 months ago

"Silencing that crazy man would eventually silence all of us."

I am not saying we should silence him or anybody, just keep his protests 1,000 yards from any funeral.

lovenhaight 12 years, 2 months ago

Wow. I think bankboy might just be totally misguided.

"...people engaging in unnatural acts causing ripping, bleeding, internal bleeding, diseases, we don't condone that either."

Do you not condone heterosexual sex? Those things happen to straight people all the time. Get real.

Who gave you the right to "condone" what another person does in the privacy of their own bedroom, anyway? Its none of your business, and there are laws that say its none of your business.

As far as homosexuality being a choice, do you really think that someone would choose to be bullied by people like you? Do you really think that being gay is something you need to rehabilitate? Heroin, yes. Alcohol, yes. People being in love or lust? No. If you have a problem with it, don't do it. I'm sure you are also against gay marriage as well, and I think that there is something you and many who side with you need to know. Gay marriage doesn't mean that you will be assigned a gay person to marry. Trust me, they don't want to be around people like you either.

Charla Welch 12 years, 2 months ago

Thank you, lovenhaight, for saying what I coudln't. My brain turns to mush when I start getting angry.

MadAsHell 12 years, 2 months ago

Homosex aside, I think a funeral is a deeply personal affair, regardless of the fact that is occurs in a semi-public area. In America, we purport to value the privacy rights of the individual. A person should have the right to grieve with friends and family without the spectacle of protestors. I support a law that limits where a protest can occur during a funeral ceremony.

Linda Endicott 12 years, 2 months ago

Liberty, When there are no laws prohibiting something like this, people become frustrated because they feel they have no recourse, and have a tendency to take matters into their own hands. You're talking about people who are already under emotional strain, and not thinking as clearly as they could be. Picketing a funeral is not only an extremely tacky thing to do, but it puts even more strain on a group of people that are not emotionally capable of handling it.

I'm afraid that, if they don't stop Phred in any way they can, eventually someone is going to take matters into their own hands and mow the lot of them down, children or no children...and then maybe everyone will wish there had been a law...

What do you think would happen if some high-ranking government official died, and Phred attempted to picket the funeral? Poor Phred wouldn't stand a chance, would he? Why should the common people have to put up with things like this, when the higher-ups would be protected from it?

If they want to picket, let them have their rights...but they have to do it at least a mile away from the event...

beatrice 12 years, 2 months ago

No, it shouldn't be legistlated just because it is in poor taste. The sad thing is that many Americans, as people on this post prove, actually believe in what Phelps preaches. They just don't like the method. Is what Pat Robertson or Jerry Fallwell preach really that different -- and these guys are on television. People want to blame others for the troubles in the world, and straights blaming gays for their woes is an easy target because they outnumber them about 9 to 1. So it has long been accepted to demonize the "other," linking who they are born to be with things like heroin addicts or pedophiles or poligamists. We are turning the corner on this type of thinking, but we still have a long way to go.

What I would like to see Phelps busted on is child labor laws. There must be something there that he can be arrested for, since many of the kids are so young and this is what Phelps does for a living.

Ember 12 years, 2 months ago

Bankboy, take the religious rhetoric somewhere else, like church, for example.

No one is saying that Fred can't hold his signs and stamp his feet and say whatever he wants. They are just saying where he can and cannot hold his signs, stamp his feet and say whatever he wants.

There is nothing wrong with this concept. There is no infringement on his civil liberties.

To quote a wise man in ages past - "Location, location location!"

All this law would do is control where that location is, pure and simple. If the law said he couldn't say certain words, or write them on signs he holds, I'd be on Fred's side against the law. It's not saying that, though. It never has. It's very tempting to make it say that, but it will never say that.

All in favor, at least those that support gay rights, of going to Topeka and protesting Fred in his church? I think it could be fun to turn the tables on him for a day. =)

Linda Aikins 12 years, 2 months ago

Ehhh, probably not. I would however like for the media to ignore this imbecile. If it weren't for the constant attention he gets he'd just be some nut with a bigoted family. - TOB


RonBurgandy 12 years, 2 months ago

Telling bankboy to take his "religious rhetoric" somewhere else, really is not letting him exercise his freedom of speech. Doesn't mean I am agreeing with him, but he has the right to say whatever he wants, unless what he says becomes ryanized.

Manson 12 years, 2 months ago

The constitution framers didn't have funerals in mind regarding free speech. If Phelps was doing this in the 1700's he'd be lynched and killed. Funerals are a private matter often times on private land.

Freedom to speak has gotten out of hand in our generation. Case in point: ACLU supports NAMBLA in it's rights to free speech. Don't know what NAMBLA is? North American Man Boy Love Association. There needs to be a revision of freedom of speech in this country. Is there such a thing as too much freedom to speak? How does picketting a Funeral illustrate free speech?

optimist 12 years, 2 months ago

I agree with the contention that Phelps is a self loathing homosexual projecting his hatred against those who openly practice the very thing he hates about himself.

There have been many instances where protests are confined for various reasons such as safety and security.

  1. The Supreme Court has in fact upheld limitations on protestors at abortion clinics. This law created a buffer between the protestors, the clinic and visitors to the clinic. No matter your opinion on the issue of abortion we can all agree that these protests have become violent and preventing violence is a legitimate reason to place such limits.
  2. During the Democrat and Republican conventions in 2004 protestors in each city were confined to an area deemed safe for them and for those attending the convention.
  3. During WTO, NAFTA and other meeting of international importance in this country and abroad protestors are restricted for the security of the attendees and dignitaries.
  4. During Presidential speeches protest zones have been set-up to prevent protestors from conflicting with presidential supporters. This has taken place, in my recollection, since the first Gulf War when George H. W. Bush was president and has continued through the Clinton and Bush presidencies.
  5. In the past KKK protestors and counter protestors have been segregated by local authorities in order to keep the peace.

Violence has already erupted against Phelps and his crew of haters from families of fallen soldiers. I tend to believe there is a likelihood of escalation in violence against these protestors. For this reason it is reasonable and prudent to restrict funeral protestors to a safe zone.

It is my hope that if violence does erupt it is targeted at Mr. Phelps first and no innocent people are hurt. Somehow I don't think anyone outside of his inbred cult will shed a tear if he were smacked around. That's just my constitutionally protected opinion.

extra_mustard 12 years, 2 months ago

Have GWB declare Phelps an enemy combatant and fly a cruise missile right up his you know what :)

beatrice 12 years, 2 months ago

Coincidently, I am going to a funeral on Sunday. Well, okay, I'm not actually going to it, but I will watch it on tv. The Steelers are going to bury the Seahawks!! Go Steelers!!! I wonder if Fred will be there? I sure hope not.

RonBurgandy 12 years, 2 months ago

Marion: I think OMB was refering to the SHOEMAKER INCIDENT when he said "sew".

TOB: I think you need to start to hit enter a lot in your post to be given that honor.

beatrice 12 years, 2 months ago

Manson, you want to limit free speech because it is bad for us, but you have gone nuts before over limiting the right to smoke in public -- an activity that is bad for us. Whatsupwiththat?

I'm reminded here today of the Seinfeld episode where George gets a massage by another man. I wonder, when a certain somebody types away about private acts between men that he claims to loathe, does it move? When he claims to hate things "unnatural," does that mean everything outside of pro-creation? I guess we should feel sorry for mrs. bankboy. : (

Ceallach 12 years, 2 months ago

kansasland, remember a second woman was also removed for wearing a t-shirt supporting the troops. Both women demonstrated a total disrespect for the occasion. Personally, I am glad the senate, congress, judicial representatives and other invited guests didn't show up in dockers, and jumpsuits.

Guess Sheehan forgot she wasn't still protesting in Texas. Her presence would have made a statement but would not have produced the type of media she has received by dressing inappropriately for the State of the Union Address and being removed. Hmmm, doncha think she may have had that in mind all along?

jonas 12 years, 2 months ago

Bankboy: You say: Jonas, your opinion is that Fred is doing a good thing if he brings people to the side of the homosexual community? So you agree that it's okay to destroy your own body? And do you also agree that it's okay to be an alcoholic? Or addicted to heroin? I'm sorry but you are misguided.

I'm assuming that what you are saying is that you are destroying your own body by being a homosexual. If that's incorrect please let me know so I can alter my approach.

I guess that the starting point is that I totally disagree with that premise, and think that the church's viewpoint (if you can call it the church's viewpoint, as it is a point of contention in certain sectors) is built not on god's word, but on a particular viewpoint and opinion (as, I believe, the Bible is nothing more that a particular viewpoint and opinion of a certain group of people IE the one's who decided to write it) and I simply think that it is not correct. My assumptions stand as thus:

The bible is not the word of god, being written by men: I could write a book (have in fact) the documents a spiritual history of a people (though I admit my topical race does not exist any more than Tolkein's elves) and proposes a way, spoken through the mouth of a deity, on the way that created race is supposed to live their life. It doesn't make it Truth, even if, in the far future, there is an entire civilization that believes in it's validity.

Homosexuality occurs naturally: A study of the natural world shows that it is not isolated in humanity. Further, subjectively, if we are to believe that it is a choice, why would anyone choose a path that gives them and their families, due to societal constructs, little but grief and pain? Also subjectively, I know I never "chose" to be a homosexual, so I am forced to assume that the converse is also true, as well.

Crap, I'm late for class. Respond if you care to, or perhaps further elaborate your position, and hopefully I can get to you later in the day.

misguided is a very subjective term, ya'know.

nlf78 12 years, 2 months ago

I think it's more a matter of RESPECT to the family members of the dead than free speech. Phelps needs to be TAUGHT respect. It doesn't matter what the dead have done, there is only ONE who can pass judgement and it sure as heck isn't him. I can't wait until the rest of the SANE world can protest Phelps funeral! :-)

badger 12 years, 2 months ago

Do I think the government should dignify Phred Phelps by lowering itself to make law designed specifically for him, to legally force him into the decency that should have been bred and educated into him? Do I think that any state or national legislature should debase itself by attending any more closely upon his despicable acts to tailor-create a law he will know he has forced them into? Do I even believe such a law would stop him?


Do I think that he is open to prosecution under existing harrassment laws and violating laws against protesting without a permit? Do I believe that if a law were written to prevent him from demonstrating at funerals, that he would claim that specifically directed legislation designed to impede the actions of a specific group is unconstitutional, and challenge it all the way to the US Supreme Court, and sully that esteemed Court and the Judicial process by using it as a forum and platform to preach his filth of hate all the way to the highest court in the land?


He will die, and that day gets closer every sunrise, and on that day, I rejoice in the knowledge that his God will then deal with him. There is no law, no punishment, no jail that can possibly touch what waits for him in the space after his final breath.

RonBurgandy 12 years, 2 months ago

Jonas: "The bible is not the word of god, being written by men: I could write a book (have in fact) the documents a spiritual history of a people (though I admit my topical race does not exist any more than Tolkein's elves) and proposes a way, spoken through the mouth of a deity, on the way that created race is supposed to live their life. It doesn't make it Truth, even if, in the far future, there is an entire civilization that believes in it's validity."

I don't want to debate this topic, especially since it is not what this thread is about. But I do feel like I have to respond to this and then I will shut up and start talking about puppy bowling or the SHOEMAKER INCIDENT. The bible is the word of God, because it was written by the Holy Spirit through the use of man. That is all, I am done with this today.

samsnewplace 12 years, 2 months ago

OMB do you have some problem with your keyboard? It would seem every word you type, you think you need to double-space it. Do you need attention that bad? Fred has problems, and as far as I can tell, he doesn't like anything because he's always ready to protest everything. A funeral is a very, very sad time for a family and their loss and to let this clown make their day even worse is just not right.

Aiko 12 years, 2 months ago

Ah, the SHOEMAKER INCIDENT. The seas were angry that day my friend! Any new information on the "silly little man"?

1derer 12 years, 2 months ago

Just wondering, how many posters who feel threatened by the possibility of a law restricting FP from protesting funerals because it is his first amendment right, also think protesters at abortion clinics should not be restricted from exercising their first amendment rights?

badger 12 years, 2 months ago


So long as abortion protestors don't block the entrance to the clinic or physically threaten the people entering it, I will continue to disagree with their methods but not demand their removal. However, when they block access, or assault people walking into the clinic verbally or physically, and individuals can't be isolated from the crowd to be removed, the crowd has to move back far enough and cut out the attacks.

There have been assaults at abortion clinic protests. Some years ago, I was escorting a young (about 19), very pregnant woman into a clinic during a protest. A man from the crowd smashed his Bible forcefully into her abdomen and yelled, "There's your abortion, (expletive)!" I all but carried her inside while he stepped back and the crowd covered his escape. She was there for another service Planned Parenthood provides, low-cost prenatal care. They got her into an exam room, and she was incredibly lucky because she didn't lose her baby. We filed a report, but neither of us got a good look, and none of those fine upstanding Christians saw a thing, surprisingly enough. One of them was kind enough to alert me to the fact that she was a filthy whore and a Jezebel, though, and another helpfully pointed out the hellfire awaiting both of us. I suppose it's lucky her husband wasn't there. He seems to be the sort that would start punching people who called his pregnant wife names and hit her with a Bible.

There is a difference between a protest (no matter how distasteful Phelps' may be) and harrassment. Laws exist to punish harrassment and assault, and regardless of his army of lawyers, Phred is still open to being charged and prosecuted according to those laws. He's just a man with a lot of legal representation. That doesn't make him invulnerable to law, and it doesn't mean he needs to affect the process of making law in this country to accomodate him.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 12 years, 2 months ago

These jerks should be charged with child abuse. When Cats played at the Lied, my husband and I were walking behind a father and his daughter (9-10 yrs old). One of the group shouted out "Have you told your daughter about Golden Showers." I usually ignore these people, but this time I turned around and said "He probably doesn't molest his children like you do." When Phred dies, I want to be at his funeral. I'll carry a sign that says "The Devil finally has his son home with him."

avhjmlk 12 years, 2 months ago

Good Lord, Badger! That's horrifying!

If anything like that had ever happened to me when I was pregnant, I would have either 1) puked on them, 2) hit them myself, 3) fainted, 4) offered to have my husband come and "talk some sense into them," or 5) cried my blooming eyes out. Really, likely, all 5 in chorus. What a brave young lady. I hope you've kept in contact with her and her child.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 2 months ago

Badger, you must have an amazing amount of self-control. I would have opened up a can on that man. (my poor hubby would probably have served some time.) Glad you didn't crawl down to his level. Wow!

Groundhog recipe: best when eaten raw (like Sushi) with lots of wasabi and pickled ginger. Dip in soy sauce.

christie 12 years, 2 months ago

Congress, NO, idividual Cities.. sure..

All cities have to do is require a permit to hold any type of demonstration. Require a 30 day notice. Since most funerals happen rather quickly, there would be no time for Phelps and his crowd to have the proper permit.

And/or... require a $10,000 deposit, with waivers. Keep the deposit as soon as any trouble starts... start some trouble... pretty soon at $10,000 a whack Phelps will be out of commission. Waive the deposit to anyone else, make Phelps pay cash.

beatrice 12 years, 2 months ago

Hannibal, change of diet? Now eating mammals that aren't human? You aren't going soft on us now, are you?

badger 12 years, 2 months ago


Not really. More like, "Girl gets hit, girl falls down, badger drags/carries girl to doctor lady." If she'd been OK, I probably would dragged him inside to sit on him and wait for the police so we could file the charges.

Don't mistake insistence on getting a potentially injured woman to medical help for any sort of resistance to the Cro-Magnon urge to deck a highly deserving yayhoo.

Mostly she was just stunned with shock and pain, and she is a fine and brave young lady. I'm still friends with her and her husband, and her child is a healthy (and rambunctious) boy.

My point, though, is that a jerk will use a legal protest, even a peaceful protest, to commit reprehensible actions. Just because he does that, there's no reason to curtail the rights of those who protest legally, peacefully, and decently.

aliyadancer 12 years, 2 months ago

I like the proposed law. I see this as a Noise Ordinance: ol' Phred can't rant outside anyone's bedroom window at midnight can he?

jonas 12 years, 2 months ago

RonBurgandy: I agree it's not an argument to pursue (not topic, unprovable) so we can just agree to disagree, if that's acceptable to you. The only real point was that it's a subjective judgement, based on unprovable possible Truths, so saying someone is misguided is somewhat fallacious because they hold a different set of beliefs than you.

And that's all I have to say. . .

except. . . .


jonas 12 years, 2 months ago

no, I wasn't calling you horseteeth. Just saying ya gotta watch out for them, ya'know.

trinity 12 years, 2 months ago

Hannibal...all ya really need is a pig&a blender.

get it? ground-hog? hahahaaaaaaaaa.

YourItalianPrincess 12 years, 2 months ago

Fred is a waste of air space. He is breathing all of our air and needs to go.

That is all I have to say for now.

sweetpeagj 12 years, 2 months ago

trinity..gross but funny..I like being on the SHOEMAKER list of bad people. It just goes to show at what lengths, no matter how childish, people will go to get under peoples jokes on that remark please..just got a feeling that that could get all of us banned. I am also amused by the new people that jump on here and don't know the history between some of the posters (posers??) and try to belittle.. bankboy..I thought we had gotten past all the gay bashing on wouldn't like to see what I do in my bedroom and I am all female and LOVE men..let people love and be loved by whomever they choose..if it is not for you DON'T LOOK

badger 12 years, 2 months ago

Badgers are not tasty. I hear they are, uh, gamey and tough and, uh, really bitter a bitter thing.

hides from Hannibal

When Phred's dead, I won't desecrate his grave. I'll just go every so often, lean down over it, and whisper, "Hey, Phred, just so you know, somewhere RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE a happy gay couple is declaring their love for one another, and you can't make them stop. You can't stop anything, you never could, and love will go on, marching forward to circle the world, heedless of your shrill impotent cries and invocations of a God you never once understood. You are a footnote, a forgotten powerless man who never changed a single mind he didn't have the power to beat into submission. History, the fickle B****, has dismissed you entirely."

And then I will chuckle heartily, because if there is justice in our dispositions after death, he'll be able to hear every word with crystal clarity. And when I stop going after a year or so, he'll even miss those words, as the silence of people just simply forgetting him sets in, and he has to face the fact that within a few years after his death, he'll utterly have ceased to be relevant or matter to anyone - even as an opponent, enemy, or symbol of intolerance.

beatrice 12 years, 2 months ago

When Fred dies someday We will not bash funeral Just yell loud - "Amen!"

(This haiku brought to you by "Fanatic Fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The content of this haiku represents the expressed opinion of "Fanatic Fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers," and in no way represents the views or opinions of the LJW or its employees. Please speak to your doctor before attempting to write your own haiku. Do not attempt to operate heavy machinery when writing a haiku. A full nights sleep between haikus is recommended, with a full nights sleep equalling eight hours. Stop writing all haikus if a rash develops. Haikus are not protected speech in all fifty states, and this haiku cannot be reprinted or read in public without the expressed written consent of the NFL. Go Steelers!!)

grubesteak 12 years, 2 months ago

The question asked about restricting picketing, not prohibiting. I disagree with an all-out ban because that goes against our fundamental rights. But a little restriction, such as no picketing within 500 feet or something like that would be acceptable for the same reason you can yell "Fire" in a crowded theater when there isn't one.

Staci Dark Simpson 12 years, 2 months ago

I think he should have to be a good 1/4 mile away from churches, funerals, etc. Any of us would get arrested if we decided to use our free speech to name call repeatedly. Free speech does not equal slander, which is what Phred is doing. Haiku rules. Thanks to the Patriot Guard for helping with what our courts can't seem to handle.

Patriot Guard rules cannot hear you stupid Fred hope birds poop on you

snakiller 12 years, 2 months ago

so how come the Topeka SRS office has never followed up on countless claims of physical and emotional abuse to his children ...even if the wife negates it ...the scars are there (emotional and physical) .... could it be that our government is too scared to accept him for what he is: an abusive over babbling lawyer ...are we that afraid of our laws that we refuse to make people uphold them because if a lawyer himself he may know how to counter act the claim somehow? why is he so scary? why isnt the proper authorities doing anything NOW?? why talk about all this when there are innocent victims (his children) ...even the brainwashed ones ...lets focus on this ...i didnt do anything about this when i first read on him cuz i couldnt believe how one man could cause so much fear and all the rest ...cuz no one will CHALLENGE him and fight him on his own turf ...truth will always prevail i will call and ask what has been or will be done ...they must follow thru with an investigation ...but i can bet it will be swept under the carpet because we are scared of the monster the Wizard of Oz ...behiind the curtain he was an ailing old man who talked thru a megaphone to make himself more powerful...feed him his own medicine ...tie him up in litigation and for gods sake, help the innocent ones born into hell.

Richard Heckler 12 years, 2 months ago

The problem as I see it is once it's accomplished for a funeral what's next? The current group of legislators do not give me that warm fuzzy feeling.

classclown 12 years, 2 months ago

Does Phelps actually have a church and have sermons? Maybe people should start gathering around there and protesting him and his church every time he holds a sermon.

killjoy 12 years, 2 months ago


Harold & Maude was a hilarious movie...speaking of going to funeral uninvited.

The first time I saw it, I checked it out from the library. I was in tears laughing.

Perhaps you should host the first annual OTS cookoff.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 2 months ago

If there is justice in the world, Fred will be burried bum up so that we will all have a place to park our bicycles.:)

oldfashiongirl 12 years, 2 months ago

I was heartened today to read that Kentucky legislators brought up a bill yesterday that would enable police to arrest and c harge protesters at a funeral with disorderly conduct. The article states that similar laws are being considered in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Kentucky at Fort Campbell has lost about 120 solldiers in Iraq.

Since funerals are mostly private, why couldn't invitations be issued by the immediate family and no one without one would be admitted. The Kansas group is going to protest in Frankfort, our capitol, next Wednesday calling the legislators "demagogues masquerading as statesmen". Also will protest at memorials at Ft. Campbell for fallen soldiers that same day. Can't you all put up a fence around Topeka and keep those villians there?

coolmom 12 years, 2 months ago

i dont think they can restrict free speech so i guess picketing at funerals should remain legal, however...i think it should be legal to kick the living heck out of anyone picketing at your loved ones funeral...even steven. what a big jerk to picket funerals weirdo i think i might come picket his.

Ceallach 12 years, 2 months ago

I still don't know where Phelps gets his financial backing. It's got to cost for him and his herd to travel the country spreading hatred. Also, some of the signs they display should be considered porn. Yet they continue.

Sometimes it just seems like our fear of over restriction is used against us by vermin like Phelps and pretty much on a daily basis. For many people wading through the filth is becoming harder and harder to do.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 2 months ago

Cea, you are right about the signs being porn. I once had to stroll my children past said signs on the way to Vespers at the Lied. In a fit of "s_s can't keep her big trap shut," I asked: "Did Fred pose for those?"

sweetpeagj 12 years, 2 months ago can you post so much on everything and not know about the shoemaker incident? I think you just like playing on the internet because you like to validate how truly ignorant you are claim to know everything about anything yet in fact all your posts reflect that your biggest thrill is self promotion. Reasonably busy social life? I am not sure self pleasure qualifies as social unless you switch hands and cheat on yourself.




Ceallach 12 years, 2 months ago

I see some of us were up late playing on the board :)

Move along little doggies ;) it's time to re-hash a woman's right to breast feed in the middle of the intersection at 9th & Mass

coolmom 12 years, 2 months ago

i think i will change my name to either:wish i was bob or marion's football widow club lol.

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