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Phelps plans to protest at 9-year-old cub scout's funeral

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What I'm about to post may not sit well with some people on the forum so let me start out by stating that Phelp's plans to picket the 9-year old cub scout's funeral is absolutely deplorable and repellent and shame on him.


That being said, the ACLU's position on the laws banning protests at military funerals (passed specifically due to the actions of Phelps and his band of followers) is spot on and I suspect that the courts will eventually declare the bans to be unconstitutional prohibitions against free speech and expression. We may not like it some of the manifestations, but free speech and expression is not a right to loosely discard. The case of Phelps planning to protest the Cub Scout's funeral shows how these laws are particularly problematic - why is it ok for Phelps to protest a Cub Scout's funeral, or a gay man's funeral, but not ok to protest a soldier's funeral? The laws have elevated status of one group of people over others - and this shouldn't be the case.


Private citizens have already come up with creative ways to counter Phelps. The motorcyle riders that show up to shield the funerals of military families from Phelps and gang is the latest successful effort. The first, and (in my opinion) one of the most moving was the Angel Action that occurred at Matthew Shepards funeral - a group of people dressed all in 7 foot tall white angel costumes with white "wings" with an 8 foot wingspan that silently took positions in front of Phelps, and with raised wings, shielded Phelps from view of the many mourners at the funeral. We've already begun to neutralize him, we don't need to pass laws that aren't likely to pass constitutional muster to deal with him. If there is an Angel Action chapter in New Hampshire, I hope they show up to counter Phelps.


There is another aspect to this that, if changed, would stop Phelps from these acts - Phelps only protests when police protection is on the scene - and the police continue to provide preventative protection, at taxpayer expense. My suggestion is that the police just go about their regular, daily duties - if Phelps demands protection before his protest, estimate the cost and hand him a bill, that must be pre-paid for the protection. I see nothing in any laws that states the police must provide security at a protest upon demand. If he doesn't want to pay, tell him to go ahead with his protest and if he has any problems, call 911, like anyone else, and the police will respond as they do to any other call. The Chicago Police Department used this approach a few years ago when Phelps decided to protest a Methodist Church in the Boystown area of the city - the Police Department refused to provide prior protection and informed Phelps he could protest all he wanted but the Police wouldn't be on the scene in case of any problems - and that if there were any problems, they would respond as they would to any other crime in progress. Knowing that the police wouldn't be standing between him and a few thousand very angry neighborhood residents, Phelps never showed up.



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While I agree that Phelps or anybody else for that matter has the right to protest, Phelps should have the decency not to.


Let's give a big 'adda boy' to the bikers and angels groupd that block the protests.




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I've been familiar with Phelps' brand of religious activism for a long time. Not many people are aware that Phelps celebrated the explosion of the Space Shuttle Columbia and the death of the astronauts aboard on his web site.


I don't think I've ever seen the name Phelps and the word Decency used in the same sentence. I'm not sure he has the decency to be decent.



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Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church have been known entities in my neck of the woods for 20 years now (Kansas City is less than an hour from Topeka).


He's forgotten anything he might have ever learned about the difference between Law and Gospel.


BTW, his daughter, who is part of his organization, iirc is currently a member of the Kansas Bar.


The Constitutional issues of the speech clause and the Free Exercise clause in the First Amendment will someday have a resounding clash thanks to him... :(

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Fred Phelps is something else. That being said, he's pretty easy to deal with. I think that ignoring him would be the simplist solution, but for various reasons I don't think that's entirely possible. Having been one of Fred's counter-protesters, I can say that he loses steam rather quickly. He doesn't have much groud to stand on, and not many supporters either. You don't need to have a shouting match(I think it's only adding fuel to the fire), only a handful of people opposing him peacefully. If it's in a high visibility area people will quickly join in and Fred's group will eventually leave when they gain no support. I'd like to be there, but can't for various reasons. I hope others will be able to, though.


Peace, always.






http://www.southernillinoisan.com/articles/2005/10/20/top/10000599.txt(This message has been edited by bluegoose)

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Reread some of the posts here and I want to clarify something.


I used his calling himself a Baptist as an adjective to describe him. I called him a radical Baptist.


I met a few Baptist folks in the Marine Corps and even attended a few services.


Mr. Phelp's actions do not resemble anything like the folks I met. Nor would they think that Phelps was helping anyone witness God's love for us. If anything, he drives people from the flock. He poisons the minds of his granddaughters.


I apoligize for any offense anyone may have taken (or I said)should they have been offended that I was using their faith to describe this diaper load of matter.


The freedom of speech that was set forth in the first ammendment was procliamed by people who would have been killed for speaking ill of the monarch.


Let him exercise his point of view on the capitol steps.


He is quite old, he'll answer for his actions soon enough.


The founders would have had this man beaten and they would have done it with their fists. Where's Andrew Jackson when you need him!!!!!

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And they would be wrong. Violence is not the way to address someone like this. As has been suggested already, the best way to make him go away is to merely turn our collective backs on him and make sure that our loved ones understand the deceptions that he promotes. In time perhaps he will change but if not, at least he will merely be isolated by his own words and actions. And eventually he'll die and his hate with him.

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I consider anything coming from Fred Phelps and the ilk that are his congegation to nothing more than a steaming pile of lies and twisted excerpts from the Bible.


He is indeed the extreme when it comes to defining our rights in this the finest nation on earth. In earlier times his poisinous spewing would not have been tolerated for very long...sadly I have to agree that violence against this creature or his mis-guided flock would accomplish little of real value.


Seeing as a post here refered to Phelps advanced age and his immenent death..I take solace in imagining Phelps spending eternity in a reasonably warm place with notables such as Adolf Hitler,Josef Stalin,Tojo and soon to be in residence...Saddam Hussein...yeah ole Fred will be right at home with those creeps, they can all compare notes on why they hate as they did/do.

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We should plan to pay our final respects to Phelps when he dies, as he has shown us the way. I am sure that we can find a proper vehicle to show our feelings toward one that gave so much of himself in life for so many. Maybe hundreds or thousands of bikers and angels alike will be eager and happy to gather closely around his grave to give him the kind of a send-off that such a man of the cloth richly deserves. Most probably, his family, friends and fellow church parishioners will be inspired by the overwhelming response. I also feel that the newspaper people will write about the incident in glowing terms, for the most part, we all share a common feeling toward such a man of the community and might I add, of the world. Amen


(This message has been edited by Fuzzy Bear)

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Perhaps our resident theologians can confirm or correct me, but doesn't protestant theology dictate that Phelps actions here on the big blue ball won't affect his pathway upstairs, just his acceptance of Jesus?


Attended a ECOH last week. Paid close attention to the Eagle Charge. Seems Phelps has chosen to ignore it. Too bad that isn't grounds to revoke the award.

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Phelps deserves the same consideration as any human, mistaken or not in his beliefs and actions. Do we have his address, so we may write him and remind him of the Sermon on the Mount and the sacrifice of it's author, which friend Phelps seems to have forgotten.

It does little more than bruise our backs as we slap each other congratulating ourselves for our groups righteous indignation.

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