You may have head the story about Al Snyder, the man who sued the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, KS. This “Christian” group protested nearby, with shouting and signs, on the day that the Snyder’s son Matthew was laid to rest.
Matthew died from a non-combat related vehicle accident in Iraq
on March 3, 2006 at the age of 20.
Matthew was a 2003 graduate of Westminster High School. He then enlisted in the Marines on October 14, 2003, and was stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C. Matthew was then was assigned to Combat Logistics Batallion-7, Twenty-nine Palms, CA as a generator mechanic in August of 2004.
Mr. Snyder sued the Westboro Church following his son’s funeral and was awarded $11 million in damages in 2007. The federal jury stated that the group had intentionally inflicted emotional distress on the family. The award was later reduced, and eventually overturned last week in a federal appeals court on the basis of “free speech.” Now, Mr. Snyder has to pay Fred Phelps, the leader of the Westboro Church, $16,510 in legal fees.
By the way, Fred Phelps says “military deaths are God’s punishment for America’s tolerance of homosexuality.”
The news media director for the American Legion, Mark Seavey, posted a message on his Legion-affiliated blog, The Burn Pit, in hopes that readers will donate to Mr. Snyder’s fund. A facebook page, “I Support Al Snyder in His Fight Against Westboro Baptist Church and a site devoted to Matthew Snyder also give people an opportunity to donate to this cause. And then comes the news that reportedly, Bill O’Reilly of Fox News, had offered to pay the entire cost of Mr. Snyder’s legal fees.
Why do some “Christians” continually act in such a way to give “Christians” such a bad reputation? I can hear people now saying, “this is exactly why I stay away from organized religion.” Where are all the people / groups who usually have something to say about everything? Should our Commander-in-Chief, President Obama be taking a stand on this issue?
I suppose the decision to overturn the ruling based on “free speech” was technically correct. But why not go a little further and state that this church cannot practice their free speech right within a certain distance of a grieving family? Surely grieving families have some rights of their own …
What do you think?