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Old 11-01-2007, 09:04 AM   #1
piemaker720
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Jury Awards Father Nearly $11 Million in Funeral Protesters Case

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,307058,00.html


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The father of a fallen Marine was awarded nearly $11 million Wednesday in damages by a jury that found leaders of a fundamentalist church had invaded the family's privacy and inflicted emotional distress when they picketed the Marine's funeral.

The jury first awarded $2.9 million in compensatory damages. It returned later in the afternoon with its decision to award $6 million in punitive damages for invasion of privacy and $2 million for causing emotional distress to the Marine's father, Albert Snyder of York, Pa.

Snyder sued the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church for unspecified monetary damages after members staged a demonstration at the March 2006 funeral of his son, Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, who was killed in Iraq.
Church members routinely picket funerals of military personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, carrying signs such as "Thank God for dead soldiers" and "God hates fags."

Snyder's suit named the church, its founder, the Rev. Fred Phelps, and his two daughters, Shirley Phelps-Roper and Rebecca Phelps-Davis, 46. Snyder claimed the protests intruded upon what should have been a private ceremony and sullied his memory of the event.
Snyder's suit named the church, its founder, the Rev. Fred Phelps, and his two daughters, Shirley Phelps-Roper and Rebecca Phelps-Davis, 46. Snyder claimed the protests intruded upon what should have been a private ceremony and sullied his memory of the event.

Attorneys for the church said in closing arguments Tuesday that the burial was a public event and that even abhorrent points of view are protected by the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of speech and religion.

In his closing arguments during the punitive damages phase, plaintiff attorney Craig Trebilcock described church members as bullies who "seek out those among us who are at the weakest point in our lives."

"That's why they've gotten away with it until this point," the attorney said, adding that grieving families were too weak to fight back "until this man."
Now that church had no business at that funeral, that was wrong and they should have to pay. They need to learn you should not force your beliefs on someone else. I have nothing against religion except when this happens it makes me mad.
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Old 11-01-2007, 09:47 AM   #2
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Same here. Churches like these need to pay. These people aren't really religious anyway. They just look for a reason to be self-righteous. When you alienate someone because of your beliefs, you are only making it harder and harder to bridge the gap, thus working against your own religion.

This is my message to you evangelists out there who search for lost souls to drag into your religion....SHUT UP!!! Your religion (whatever it is) is more sacred when you take it to your own heart and let others find it for themselves. That way, everyone in your religion is there by choice and are committed to your path. You cannot change the hearts of others and you certainly don't want to physically drag people into your religion half-heartedly. You are trying to fill your religion with worshippers who don't want to be there. Give it up! You are no more faithful than I am.
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Old 11-01-2007, 01:56 PM   #3
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Those guys are pricks and while I'm glad they they are being forced to pay, this was not an "invasion of privacy" and, even if it was, that should not cost someone millions of dollars.

This is like the smoking ban: I'm personally glad it happened, but I disagree with the reasons behind it.
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Old 11-01-2007, 04:29 PM   #4
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This group of morons actually believe that our soldiers are dying at war because it's a punishment for homosexuality?? What planet are these lunatics from again? I've never heard of any real Christians picketing funerals!
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