Government Intervention of the Westboro Baptist Church

Should the US Government Intervene the WBC?

  • Yes, most definately. This is a disgrace and must be stopped.

    Votes: 12 31.6%
  • No, it is a 'religion', and a country of free will - that must be respected.

    Votes: 26 68.4%
  • Assassinate every cunting, bastarding member of this insanity provoked religion.

    Votes: 5 13.2%

  • Total voters
    38
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ajsco

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This has been a fairly hot topic on ADISC recently - so I came to this conclusion, should the US governmant intervene in closing down the WBC? It seems a valid question as what are they're facts and reasoning for existing? Most of what they protest about seems to be based on Phelps self-hatrid of groups other than his, as there isn't really any evidence in the bible to condone his actions, aside parts twisted to his liking, to make him look as if he is in the right.

As this is a topic I feel strongly about I would be interested to hear what you think upon the matter.
 
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Freedom of speech, they're doing nothing illegal, until they begin attacking people you cannot do anything to stop them.

To take them down via government is unconstitutional, even if you're offended they are still entitled to their own opinions and peaceful protests. Albeit, the definition of "peaceful" is stretched a bit thin with them...
 

Charlie

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No.

I'm all for Free Speech.

No matter what values you hold, there will always be some ****s who push it to the edge. You either have to accept that they are entitled to said value, or realise that your value is wrong as it applies to them.

With the value "The death penalty is wrong" comes horrific, naughty serial killers, and evil political figures.
With "No sexuality, in itself, can be immoral" comes paedophiles and rapists.
With "Free speech for all" comes the W*stboro Baptist Church.

This is why discussing those groups can be interesting: they really push the limits on everyday values.

I personally find it disgusting that Phelps wasn't allowed into this country, as well as that Dutch ****.
It may well be the media's fault spreading extremist views, if the media ignored this guy he would have come here, achieved nothing, and ****ed off home. That's how Free Speech should work; by people not listening when it's gets to this.
 

BromeTeks

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They're assholes, but at least they're peaceful assholes. I say let them live, but as soon as they do something violent, arrest the whole lot of them.
 
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Butterfly Mage

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People can practice any religion they want. However, I think the WBC is well overdue for losing their taz-free status. They may be a church, but you could hardly call the WBC a bonna fide charitable institution.
 
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The government has already intervened in a way. Many states have banned protests within a certain distance of cemeteries.
 

Ace

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I personally can't stand these waste's of life, they protested in my town several years ago because we had an openly gay elected official, and us residents organized a much larger rally against these people. However, we have freedom of religion and freedom of speech. I don't want a government to restrict my speech, or force me into a religion I don't believe. So, as long as they aren't physically hurting someone, I gotta say let them be.
 
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The only recommendation I would make is to pass a law (municipal ordinance really) making it a misdemeanor to protest within one hundred meters of a wedding/funeral, wedding/funeral procession or interment.
 
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dinorider

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No, because of freedom of speech and all that like the people above me have said. However, I feel that the banning of protests close to cemeteries that Valentine mentioned is a good thing that doesn't limit free speech.

Also, let's not forget that free speech works both ways here. At many of their protests there are many times their numbers counter-protesting them.
 
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soren456

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So what's the law in Scotland?

In the US, fortunately, there's no legal basis whatsoever to do as you suggest. Unpopular persons and groups cannot be shut up just because they have made people angry. And that's as it should be.

It's also the reason that sites like Deeker continue, and have every right to do so.

And if you don't see where I'm going with this, here it is:

If we overthrow law to silence those with whom we disagree, where does the silencing end? Who is safe from the mob, once the mob is formed and granted permission?

You advocate an illegal, slippery slope; history shows that once such "legal vigilantism" catches hold, vicious forces of repression are loosed. How long would it be, for instance, until this very site was shuttered?

I am gay; I loathe Phelps (and the Mormons, and the Falwells, and all the rest of them), but it's in my own interest to see that law prevails in this country. I am very disturbed when others do not understand that principle.
 
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ajsco

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So what's the law in Scotland?

In the US, fortunately, there's no legal basis whatsoever to do as you suggest. Unpopular persons and groups cannot be shut up just because they have made people angry. And that's as it should be.

It's also the reason that sites like Deeker continue, and have every right to do so.

And if you don't see where I'm going with this, here it is:

If we overthrow law to silence those with whom we disagree, where does the silencing end? Who is safe from the mob, once the mob is formed and granted permission?

You advocate an illegal, slippery slope; history shows that once such "legal vigilantism" catches hold, vicious forces of repression are loosed. How long would it be, for instance, until this very site was shuttered?

I am gay; I loathe Phelps (and the Mormons, and the Falwells, and all the rest of them), but it's in my own interest to see that law prevails in this country. I am very disturbed when others do not understand that principle.
Finally someone agrees! I hate everything they stand for and represent, and turning up at funerals of our brave servicemen and women, who have made the ultimate sacrafice for our countries, and to have protests outside the funeral basically sayng 'they deserved it'. AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!. This just drives me right up the wall.

And in Scotland, or britian infact - Their actions would be watched extremely close, so to say here Phelps would be up in court, and the children taken off their parents. I'm being serious, I've looked it up, they could be charged for incapacity to bring up children in a correct environment or involving them in extremist activities which they are unable to recognise.
 
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BabyWolf

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Legally, the government can revoke their tax-exempt status on the grounds that they have involved themselves in politics by vocalizing a political agenda. They also can pass laws preventing protesting at funerals (which I wholly support). Other than that, there's not much they can, or should do. These people are scumbags, and they'll get their "reward" some day.
 
T

Thunder

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I have to say yes, the government should intervene. I have no problem with free speech and such, but they abuse it in a way that needs to be dealt with. They truly are bad people...
 

NEJay

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Legally, the government can revoke their tax-exempt status on the grounds that they have involved themselves in politics by vocalizing a political agenda.

I didn't know this... And it's good to hear. I came in this thread to mention the same thing (the tax-exempt status of churches) and it's relation to a similar fight currently here in Massachusetts:

Weather Underground mastermind Bill Ayers (responsible for the death of several police officers, setting bombs at schools, federal buildings, and the Pentagon... As well as being good friends with Barack Obama) is slated to speak at Brandeis University two days from now. Obviously, he has every right to speak his mind, but many are arguing that because he is speaking at a gathering place that is tax exempt, taxpayers should have a say in whether or not he is allowed to speak there (and that "say" is a resounding, no.).

Justice wasn't served (at least yet... They might cancel his speech like Boston College did back in March) as far as Brandeis is concerned, but I really hope this church is not tax exempt like the rest of them. Like BabyWolf said, things change when the message becomes political.
 

MysteriousVisitor

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Be that as it may, pulling a tax exemption from a religious organization can lead down a slippery slope. We would be putting the Government in charge of determining what religions are valid and which ones are not.

The "wall of separation" codified in the US Constitution works both ways. The Church may not interfere with the state and the state may not interfere with the church.
 

NEJay

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The Church may not interfere with the state

In the instance of this church, they are interfering, however. Our tax money is going towards policing such events, as well as other logistical concerns. Not to mention that anyone with a pulse knows that this entity is sending a political message wrapped in the cloak of religion.

I agree though... Slippery slope.
 

Fire2box

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Legally they couldn't do anything out right to them due to the whole thing about the speration of church and state, right? It's like when I was told her that my religious views shouldn't dictate how I vote shouldn't the same apply in this situation only the opposite way?


I don't mean the US shouldn't act if the members or whole congregation of this church were known terrorists and what not, but so far they haven't done anything illegal if I recall right. However they have done some highly unethical stuff that I think true Christians would NEVER do, such as protesting military funerals.

I would love to see someone or something stop their bullshit but as far as I seen legally we can't do nothing.
 

chevre

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Whether you want to call them a religion, hate group, or whatever, they have a right to do what they do. I find it disturbing and disgusting, but it would be an assault on the rights of all Americans if the government were to shut them down.
 
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Falkio

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The WBC is a horrible group, but are still entitled to an opinion.

Government censorship is something I disagree with. Once it starts, where does it stop? I fear setting a precedent case in which it becomes acceptable would give the Federal government grounds to justify doing it again later on. No wire taps, no intrusive "interviews", and certainly no use of force. Even against the questionable values of the WBC. Intervention would be called for if they committed a violent act, but as it stands, they have not. Protesting at funerals is shameful. All the radical anti-gay sentiments do nothing but spread hatred and intolerance. It won't go unpunished; karma will spite them. God deals with acerbic hate accordingly.

But for now, burning down the church, or calling in the Army - is drastic.
 
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