First Day of Hearings in Snyder v. Phelps

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Nine-year-old Daniel Phelps (R), grandson of Westboro Baptist Church pastor Fred Phelps, listens to his cousin Jacob Phelps while they demonstrate outside the Supreme Court, Oct. 6, 2010 (Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

Adam Liptak, Supreme Court correspondent for The New York Times, describes the first day of hearings in the controversial Supreme Court case between the Westboro Baptist Church and a man who is suing them for protesting outside his son's military funeral in 2006.

Guests:

Adam Liptak

Comments [4]

Paul Keith from Plymouth, Massachusetts

Thank you, Ryan. Your comments were very gracious and I appreciated that. You may guess that I've been "flamed" more than once when posting such thoughts; such is the status of our political and social discourse these days, I'm afraid.

My story - mostly - became part of a book by Author Michael Takiff: "Brave Men, Gentle Heroes" published a couple of years back. Mike compared the experiences of WW2 dads and their Vietnam War sons; very interesting contrasts to say the least. My dad - still going strong at age 89 - is a Pearl Harbor Survivor (USS West Virginia) but despite the general feelings of his generation about homosexuality he has always been very supportive of both his Vietnam vet sons. (My brother served in the USMC in Da Nang and - he's straight - is also very supportive.) You can read about all three of us and you'll find the book at: http://www.bravemengentleheroes.com

(In the Gallery my Dad is on Page 1, lower right, and my brother Steve and I are on Page 2, top left.)

Take care...the crazies walk among us on both the left and on the right....!

Paul

Oct. 10 2010 11:39 AM
Ryan

Paul, first off I'd like to say thank you for your years of dedicated service. I don't beleive many people can understand the extra burden you were under but we can all be thankfull for it. Unfortunately I am of the same oppinion, while Phelps has perverted Christian faith and gone against every standard of human decency, the courts will probably rule against Snyder. Some people just can't open their eyes to how wrong they are but they will meet their maker and have a lot to answer too. Thank you again for your dedicated service and the hardships you endured

Oct. 07 2010 05:02 AM
Paul Keith from Plymouth, Massachusetts

As a Vietnam Veteran with 10 years of Honorable service in the U. S. Army I am disgusted by the twisted antics of Fred Phelps and his followers and their dishonorable actions at the funerals of servicemembers who have died for this country.

As an openly gay man I am equally disgusted by their vitriolic hatred towards gays and lesbians.

As an Evangelical Christian - yes there are some gay folks who have found peace with their Creator - I loathe the perverted view of God propagated by the Westboro Baptists.

As a First Amendment freak, of sorts, I fear any action by our courts or Congress to limit Free Speech rights so I trust the Supreme Court will (gag!) toss out the challenge to Westboro's right to spew their hatred.

But...one question: When Phelps and his ilk were protesting at the funerals of AIDS victims, when they protested in glee at the funeral of Matthew Sheppard - - where was the media attention then and where was the public outcry at their despicable behavior? I heard very little of that.

Was it "OK" when it was only an assault on the mourning families of gays but suddenly "not OK" now that they've turned their poisonous attention to our deceased military heroes? (Some of whom, like myself, were forced to lie about themselves in order to serve our country.)

Phelps has his right to be a nasty human being, I suppose, and as a Christian I also suppose he will answer for that someday to a Higher Court, but if we don't speak out against intolerance to gays - or Jews, or Muslims, or any other group that falls into the sights of hate groups like Westboro - I think we undermine our right to speak out when the attack comes upon our own kind.

As to Fred's own sick take on human sexuality - well, as the saying goes, "surely thou dost protest too much". Come out, Fred, and find peace with yourself and God.

Oct. 07 2010 04:48 AM
Michael from Topeka

Is there going to be an article any time soon, or is it just going to be a blerb forever?

Oct. 07 2010 04:08 AM

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