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Author Topic: Right Wing Church Ordered to Pay Millions
Colonel Panic
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Icon 1 posted October 31, 2007 14:55      Profile for Colonel Panic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/law/10/31/funeral.protests.ap/index.html

The church went after a favorite right-wing target: former soldiers. In this case the former soliders were ones who gave their lives for our freedoms.

It's good to see reasonable people getting tired of this stuff.

Colonel Panic

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nerdwithnofriends
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Icon 1 posted October 31, 2007 15:34      Profile for nerdwithnofriends     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Good. I've been waiting for these... people... to get their comeuppance.

I'm also glad to see that the award was worth more than the actual money they had, so they'll end up going in to debt or whatever happens when people can't pay fees awarded by the courts. Hopefully this will restrict their ability to do the things they've been doing.

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Colonel Panic
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Icon 1 posted October 31, 2007 16:30      Profile for Colonel Panic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Nerd,

A similar legal process was used to bankrupt the Ku Klux Klan in the 1980s after the slaying of Michael Donald.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Donald

WARNING! The images contained on this Wiki page are very disturbing!

There still are people who advocate that crimes regarding hate speech and hateful crimes perpetrated for religious or racial reasons should be repealed. A view of this site reveals the true motives of such individuals, as well as the cause and effect of their activities.

Colonel Panic

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macmcseboy

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Icon 1 posted October 31, 2007 17:49      Profile for macmcseboy     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It's about fukkin time those asshats got roasted. this will put them into a vary nasty place.... money problems. Nothing worse than credit hounds and debt collector on your back... They shall reap what they have sown....

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Sxeptomaniac

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Icon 1 posted October 31, 2007 19:51      Profile for Sxeptomaniac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hopefully those offensive nutcases will just drop out of sight for the most part. From what I've read, they're more a cult than a church.

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted October 31, 2007 20:25      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by nerdwithnofriends:
Good. I've been waiting for these... people... to get their comeuppance.

I'm also glad to see that the award was worth more than the actual money they had, so they'll end up going in to debt or whatever happens when people can't pay fees awarded by the courts. Hopefully this will restrict their ability to do the things they've been doing.

If you don't have the money, they seize assets and lay claim to anything that could become assets, such as book royalties.

I caught a glimpse of one of the members of this "church" on TV once. She looked like a fanatic. She had this wild gleam in her eyes, and eager look on her face while she went on and on about how much God hates fags and the Iraq war is God's punishment for allowing fags to live and so on. It was more than a little frightening.

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spungo
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Icon 1 posted November 01, 2007 03:53      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm very dubious about the whole concept of 'Hate Crimes', i.e., the legal acknowledgement thereof -- it seems to me that once you start incorporating motive into sentencing (aside from premeditation), you're on the slippery slope to prosecuting those who have only intent, and no tangible crime to be charged with. Yes these people are unpleasant (and possibly unbalanced), but they also have freedom of speech behind them.

As much as I find these individuals distasteful, I'm a little bit concerned with the court ruling -- will this not be used as a precedent if a gang of harmless liberals picket Bush's ranch?

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littlefish
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Icon 1 posted November 01, 2007 04:34      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:

As much as I find these individuals distasteful, I'm a little bit concerned with the court ruling -- will this not be used as a precedent if a gang of harmless liberals picket Bush's ranch?

Harmless liberals? That's just what they want you to think. Let them have their way, and the country will be knee deep in aborted babies blood and gay drug addicts before you know it!

(this is sarcasm)

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fs

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Icon 1 posted November 01, 2007 05:34      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Anyone else read this? http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/28/magazine/28Evangelicals-t.html

More Kansas Evangelicals.

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted November 01, 2007 08:15      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Colonel Panic _______________________ When some one protests so much I begin to wonder their motive.

WHY IS THIS PASTER SO HOMOPHOBIC?

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Sxeptomaniac

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Icon 1 posted November 01, 2007 10:20      Profile for Sxeptomaniac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by spungo:
As much as I find these individuals distasteful, I'm a little bit concerned with the court ruling -- will this not be used as a precedent if a gang of harmless liberals picket Bush's ranch?

True, that is a risk, though it seems this was narrowly defined enough that it hopefully wouldn't be used in most cases. They were attempting to disrupt a private ceremony, rather than just picket a place of residence.

quote:
Originally posted by fs:
Anyone else read this? http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/28/magazine/28Evangelicals-t.html

More Kansas Evangelicals.

Nice article, though I don't know that Westboro Bastists would be considered evangelicals. Besides being on the lunatic fringe, some of their beliefs are inconsistent with the usual definitions of evangelicals, from what I've read.

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Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted November 01, 2007 17:19      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I saw a film about that lot (with Louis Theroux I think), and it is stretching matters to call them a church. Certainly their beliefs have little to do with Christianity as I understand it. They are a very inward looking lot, and the majority of the members are also part of the extended family of the intensely creepy and more than slightly megalomaniac leader of the cult.

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ASM65816
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Icon 11 posted November 01, 2007 19:17      Profile for ASM65816   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
November 01, 2007 10:20
Besides being on the lunatic fringe, some of their beliefs are inconsistent with the usual definitions of evangelicals, from what I've read.

Whoa ... understatement.....   [Eek!]
    To put it another way: GOD DAMN! ... NO WONDER THEY LOST THE LAWSUIT.
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Imagine these people at various funerals at various Christian churches.
quote:
At a Catholic Church (like the one that got them sued):
    "You're going to HELL  !!!   Pray for more dead kids!"

At a Lutheran Church:
    "You're going to HELL  !!!   Pray for more dead kids!"

At a Methodist Church:
    "You're going to HELL  !!!   Pray for more dead kids!"

At a (different) Baptist Church:
    "You're going to HELL  !!!   Pray for more dead kids!"

Someone observed "99% of Christians are going to Hell according to the Westboro Baptists."

I guarantee after they harassed the local Christians attending a funeral -- the Westboro people would not be considered "Christian" by any of the local churches.

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted November 02, 2007 02:23      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
ASM _____________________ Thank you for being concise and to the point on your post. Calli may owe us a party.

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Benjamin Franklin,

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Mr. Dave
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Icon 1 posted November 02, 2007 18:48      Profile for Mr. Dave     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by spungo:
I'm very dubious about the whole concept of 'Hate Crimes', i.e., the legal acknowledgement thereof -- [snip] but they also have freedom of speech behind them.

Sorry, spungo, but your freedom to swing your fist stops at the end of my nose. (I wish I could remember where I found that line...)

[EDIT] [Geek] I just checked my Barron's Canadian Law Dictionary, which defines Hate Propaganda as (I paraphrase) "any writing, etc., the communication of which would promote or incite hatred against an identifiable group where such incitement would likely lead to breach of the peace." So the crime is not in the hatred itself, but in implicitly counselling to commit violence.

You know, just in case anyone's interested...

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ASM65816
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Icon 4 posted November 03, 2007 10:23      Profile for ASM65816   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
November 01, 2007, 03:53
  • I'm very dubious about the whole concept of 'Hate Crimes' ...
  • prosecuting those who have only intent, and no tangible crime to be charged with.
  • ... but they also have freedom of speech behind them.
 
November 02, 2007, 18:48

Barron's Canadian Law Dictionary, defines Hate Propaganda as ... the communication of which would promote or incite hatred ... where such incitement would likely lead to breach of the peace." So the crime is not in the hatred itself, but in implicitly counseling to commit violence.
 
 
from article about on Freedom of Speech (paraphrased):

    Since much of Free Speech law is confusing ... following attempts to summarize what is a crime:
  • "Fighting words" (creates likelihood of immediate violent response)
  • Obscenity
  • Inciting unlawful conduct
  • Obstruction of justice
  • Defamation (libel or slander)
  • Harassment
  • Loud Noise (meant ... to disturb others)

First, I'd say Canada has the right idea: "Hate Propaganda" and Violence are separate crimes.

The US has "Hate Crimes" because:
  1. Lobbying from Lawyers turns the legal process into a tangled morass -- the result: more money in lawyer pockets because each case spends more hours in the courtroom.
     
  2. Politicians are gutless (whether they're "R" or "D") -- they go for what sounds good, as opposed to making a difference.

US politicians are scared of being labeled as "destroying Free Speech" even though many forms of speech have been criminal for a very long time (slander as an example).

FYI: It's no longer Intent when an Action (like slander or harassment) is taken.

Therefore, US politicians refuse to accept that it's wrong "implicitly counseling to commit violence" (as in Canadian law).

US politicians then say "I'm Against Hate!" to show what "good politicians" they are -- as if violence by "happy people" makes sense. Let's imagine   [Roll Eyes] :
quote:
Courtroom scene ...

(sleazoid) Lawyer: The defendant is not a hateful person ... although he is charged with killing 17 people.
  1. Killing makes him happy. There was never any malice toward the deceased.
  2. He actually LOVED these people. In fact, he believed by eating their brains that he could be as smart and popular as they were.
My client is only guilty of "pursuit of happiness" as defended by the Declaration of Independence, and LOVE.


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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted November 03, 2007 14:04      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Your courtroom scene example made me crack up, ASM. Absolutely brilliant! [Big Grin] [Applause]

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spungo
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Icon 1 posted November 03, 2007 15:06      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Dave:
"any writing, etc., the communication of which would promote or incite hatred against an identifiable group where such incitement would LIKELY lead to breach of the peace." So the crime is not in the hatred itself, but in implicitly counselling to commit violence.

Yeah -- my bad. I failed to fully comprehend the universal nature of the term likely, and that this leaves absolutely no grey area -- i.e., no possible scope for abuse by any person or persons.

There were already perfectly good laws against incitement -- this is quite different.

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted November 03, 2007 16:39      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Umm... not to interrupt the conversation, but I feel the need to point out that the laws used to prosecute Phelps and his brood have absolutely NOTHING to do with hate crimes.

Invasion of privacy is not classified as a hate crime. Intent to cause emotional distress could be a hate crime, but is not automatically categorized as one. Laws banning protests at funerals are written in very general terms and do not specify hate crimes.

That said, I would love to hear just one hypothetical situation where it would be appropriate to intrude on the grief of those in mourning at a funeral in order to protest anything.

If your message has value, it will be heard without resorting to causing pain for the bereaved at a funeral just to get on the evening news. If it doesn't, then you should re-think your message.

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Stereo

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Icon 1 posted November 05, 2007 07:44      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Steen:
That said, I would love to hear just one hypothetical situation where it would be appropriate to intrude on the grief of those in mourning at a funeral in order to protest anything.

Well, I can imagine one: say a funeral for a Nazi, or otherwise notorious criminal having killed/destroyed many lives (although never prosecuted), was attended by politicians because s/he also was a "generous" political contributor, or someone influential in a way or another. Or a KKK baron whose burial is used as a celebration of racism.

Not that it is likely to happen, but I can see those as being sufficiently outrageous to be protested. Bury them, sure; but don't pretend they were great persons just because now they're dead.

It's my opinion, of course, and I still think it's touchy. It's just that I couldn't condemn the protestors in such cases. (But protesting at a soldier's burial because of homosexual tolerance in our modern society? In my book, those people belong to the psychiatric ward...)

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David Rogers
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Icon 1 posted November 05, 2007 08:45      Profile for David Rogers     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Actually Steen, it was a civil lawsuit brought by the family of a soldier at whose funeral the Westboro church protested. Laws passed by various state legislatures and the U.S. Congress concerning such protests were discussed in the article, but this was a civil lawsuit and not a criminal action.

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted November 05, 2007 21:28      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by David Rogers:
Actually Steen, it was a civil lawsuit brought by the family of a soldier at whose funeral the Westboro church protested. Laws passed by various state legislatures and the U.S. Congress concerning such protests were discussed in the article, but this was a civil lawsuit and not a criminal action.

As everyone launched into a discussion of hate crimes, I explained that each of the laws mentioned in the article have nothing to do with hate crimes in order to derail a pointless argument equating the punitive damages with hate crime laws (it's actually tort law).

How does the fact that this was a civil lawsuit in any way, shape or form change that fact?

Perhaps you should re-read what I actually wrote in the context of the topic and understand what my point was, then maybe re-think your post?

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Veronica
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Icon 1 posted November 06, 2007 08:07      Profile for Veronica         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
i cant believe those people stand outside funerals..how disrespectful

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Icon 1 posted November 06, 2007 16:32      Profile for Red Five     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The only reason these people are a "church" is that they put the word "church" in their title. I've seen video clips of both Phelps and his daughter. They are the picture of mania. The fact that most of the "church" is peopled by relatives of Phelps is due to either nepotism or inbreeding. This group is not Christian at all. They are religious nuts who don't know what they're doing. Well, let me rephrase that: they think they know what they're doing, but they have no clue that they're alone in it.

@Colonel Panic:
quote:
The church went after a favorite right-wing target...
What means you by "target"? Do you mean a favorite target of picking-on, or a favorite target of well-deserved praised?

I would be classified by most here as a "right-wing nutjob", and I'm a Christian to boot. These Westboro freaks are not doing anyone any favors with what they do, and they are most certainly not right in how they do it.

The truly Christian way is not to say that "God Hates Fags". It is to say that God abhors homosexuality, but not homosexuals. "Love the sinner, hate the sin", if you will. Gays are people too, and just as in need of salvation as we straight people, or Americans, or Muslims, or anyone else you can think of. I don't want to get a debate over into "curing" gays; this is not the forum for that sort of discussion. I don't think it would end well, at any rate.

Suffice it to say, I hope this judgment against Phelps and his crew (for wont of a more appropriate pejorative) shuts them down for good. Sadly, I know that it won't change their minds, and I also know that it has damaged many other churches who have nothing to do with this group or its philosophy (guilt by association; "church" in the name means you're associated). That's perhaps one of the saddest things of all throughout this...episode.

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