Aug 31, 2012
Extremists Group in America
First Amendment rights are guaranteed to all American citizens, but free speech issues are testing Constitutional boundaries. These issues have been raised by the recent activities of the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC), based out of Topeka Kansas. This radical group is well known for their hatred toward homosexuals. The WBC has gained national attention over the last two decades with their offensive demonstrations particularly by protesting funeral of soldiers who have been killed in Afghanistan/Iraq wars. However, despite their offensive demonstrations, its members appear to be within their First Amendment rights.
Here is some insight information on the WBC. The WBC group is not affiliated with any Baptist organization the Westboro church was founded by Pastor Fred Phelps, in 1955, and is largely compromised by his extended family. An important aspect of his church is that Fred Phelps along with many of his family members, also a part of this church, are in the court system, attorneys or lawyers. Shirley Phelps, has become the face of the Westboro Baptist Church, she is a practicing attorney, and utilizes this knowledge to provide WBC with legal counsel and to fight for their First Amendment rights. The views of the Phelps family and their followers have caused national controversy. The church denounces homosexuality and this as a basis for many of their protests. They express these viewpoints on their main webpage www.godhatesfags.com displaying their picketing schedule in the U.S. and in other countries by led by the Phelps family. The website also displays WBC members with signs saying “God Hates Fag”, “God Hates the USA” and, “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” which are highlighted on their website (Westboro Website). The most substantial legal proceeding involving the Westboro Baptist is the case of Snyder vs Phelps. In 2006, Albert Snyder sued the Phelps family on for namely intrusion and intentional...