Update on Westboro Baptist Church Funeral Protests
Antigay Church can Protest Military Funerals, Judge Rules
Warren Richey, Christian Science Monitor (August 17, 2010)
Death Ref has been following the Westboro Baptists Church’s funeral protests since our start. In a nutshell, the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) protests outside funerals for veterans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The WBC claims (and has always claimed) that since America condones homosexuality God allows soldiers to die in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The logic is convoluted but the centerpiece of the WBC’s theology. As a result of these protests, which began in 2003 or so, many states passed laws which either banned funeral protests or ordered the WBC to stand at some distance away.
Last week, a federal judge decided that one of those laws (in Missouri) was unconstitutional, stating that it violated the protection of free speech. What I am waiting for is when the US Supreme Court hears a case about the WBC protests in October. It is really hard to tell what the politics of this case will do to the traditional liberal-conservative split. And it will be one of the few Supreme Court cases dealing with American funerals.
Per usual, Death Ref will keep everyone in the loop.