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Full Version: Fred Phelps Plans to Picket Funeral of Obama's Grandmother
America's Debate > Social Issues > Principles and Personal Philosophy
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Sleeper
Once again it seems the leader of the Westboro Baptist Church has plans to picket another funeral. This time that of Obama's recently deceased grandmother.

Link to story

In the past Phelps has protested at many funeral's of U.S. service men who died in Iraq, also many free speech advocates have said Phelps has the right to demonstrate at these funerals. The ACLU has even defended them. Link to story

Questions for debate:

1. Will the secret service get involved in preventing Fred Phelps from setting up a protest at Obama's Grandmother's Funeral?

2. If Phelps is prevented from protesting this funeral should the ACLU sue on behalf of Fred Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church?

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Aquilla
1. Will the secret service get involved in preventing Fred Phelps from setting up a protest at Obama's Grandmother's Funeral?


I don't know that they can "prevent" a protest per se, but they can certainly keep it well away from the funeral which I assume Obama will attend. And, they should from the standpoint of providing security for the President-elect.


2. If Phelps is prevented from protesting this funeral should the ACLU sue on behalf of Fred Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church?


Hell no which means they probably will. rolleyes.gif And, they'll lose and go off and look for another human orifice to "defend" in their never-ending battle for "truth, justice and the American way". us.gif




Aquilla
Paladin Elspeth
1. Will the secret service get involved in preventing Fred Phelps from setting up a protest at Obama's Grandmother's Funeral?

They will have to make sure that the President Elect and his family are safe. It would also be nice if they constrained Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church from being within earshot at the funeral/burial site.

2. If Phelps is prevented from protesting this funeral should the ACLU sue on behalf of Fred Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church?

Mike
, we need a :throws up hands in frustration: emoticon; I suspect it would be used a lot.

That's what the ACLU is for; it is the gadfly that irritates whatever government organization it feels infringes on the rights of the people. Unfortunately, that sometimes means advocating for some people who have no sense of decency and care only about what they have to say. Certainly it is true in this case.

I find it hubristic (but typical) for Fred Phelps to see himself in the Bible verse I lifted from the link: "God hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by Christ." Acts 17:31. I suppose he got an embossed invitation delivered to him by a pure, white dove (heterosexual, of course) that declared "Fred Phelps, you alone among My servants can turn this world around by making life miserable for others burying their dead." What a piece of work.
Bikerdad
QUOTE(Paladin Elspeth @ Nov 11 2008, 05:23 PM) *
1. Will the secret service get involved in preventing Fred Phelps from setting up a protest at Obama's Grandmother's Funeral?
They will have to make sure that the President Elect and his family are safe. It would also be nice if they constrained Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church from being within earshot at the funeral/burial site.
Not sure why they could justify "earshot", how does being within earshot somehow render Obama's family any less safe?

QUOTE
2. If Phelps is prevented from protesting this funeral should the ACLU sue on behalf of Fred Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church?

Mike
, we need a :throws up hands in frustration: emoticon; I suspect it would be used a lot.
That and a shoulder shrug!

1. Will the secret service get involved in preventing Fred Phelps from setting up a protest at Obama's Grandmother's Funeral?
Don't see why they would, given that the ACLU and its cronies have done a bang up job over the last 40 years arguing that decency has little Constitutional value. "Security" can't be used to justify any greater restrictions than already are in play regarding funerals, since the restrictions in play now keep folks further from "the principals" than a campaign stop routinely permits. The SS would be justified in insuring that the Phelps crew isn't packing though. Furthermore, the Secret Service would be on mighty flimsy ground if the funeral is in Hawaii, since AFAICT Hawaii hasn't implemented any funeral protest restrictions. Folks in Hawaii have enough sense not to protest a funeral, likely courtesy of ohana. Nor is it likely that the federal ban would apply, unless she's to be buried in a National Cemetery. On the other hand, the Secret Service may simply prevent them from protesting and deal with the court case later.

2. If Phelps is prevented from protesting this funeral should the ACLU sue on behalf of Fred Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church? Common sense and decency tells me "no! nyet! nada! nichts! they shouldn't." My sense of schadenfreude and delicious irony says "hell yes!" Here's to hoping that these knuckleheads take a "3 hour tour" before the funeral while in Hawaii and aren't heard from for a couple of months. Call it a Conspiracy of Decency. innocent.gif
skeeterses
Given that Obama is the new President, I don't think any sane person would want Fred Phelps close to the President. Phelps is a mentally unbalanced person and there's no telling what he or his followers would do.

Logic and that man don't go together. If Obama's grandmother was gay, wouldn't that kind of decrease the chance of Obama being born? And then of course there's Obama's preacher with his own extremist views. Why Fred Phelps couldn't find common ground with another extreme preacher just illustrates how out of touch with reality he is. I think one thing that is likely if Fred Phelps flies over to Hawaii with his followers is one, they will be emptying their bank accounts on airfare and hotel rooms, and two, with Hawaii being a liberal state, there will be plenty of Obama supporters to heckle the hecklers so to speak.
Victoria Silverwolf
1. Will the secret service get involved in preventing Fred Phelps from setting up a protest at Obama's Grandmother's Funeral?

No. Nor should they. They must provide the proper security for all persons involved, of course, but they have no business preventing any kind of otherwise legal, non-violent form of protest.

2. If Phelps is prevented from protesting this funeral should the ACLU sue on behalf of Fred Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church?

Absolutely. In fact, there is some precedent for this.

Link

QUOTE
A Kansas church group that protests at military funerals nationwide filed suit in federal court, saying a Missouri law banning such picketing infringes on religious freedom and free speech.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit Friday in the U.S. District Court in Jefferson City, Mo., on behalf of the fundamentalist Westboro Baptist Church, which has outraged mourning communities by picketing service members' funerals with signs condemning homosexuality.


This is the sort of thing which the ACLU does, when nobody else has the courage to do it. They do a superb job.

QUOTE
"The principle of free thought is not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought we hate." US Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes in United States v. Schwimmer (1929).




Lesly
Will the secret service get involved in preventing Fred Phelps from setting up a protest at Obama's Grandmother's Funeral?
The SS should proceed in a business as usual manner. It shouldn't take extra "safety" precautions because Westboro's message is hateful. If the families of dead soldiers aren't worthy of special constitutional consideration, neither is Obama.

If Phelps is prevented from protesting this funeral should the ACLU sue on behalf of Fred Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church?
Absolutely! Free speech and all that jazz. Dealing with Phelps is better than dealing with Hitler.
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