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Westboro Baptist Church

This is a discussion on Westboro Baptist Church within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; So I saw an article that mentioned their name and I started watching the BBC series "The Most Hated Family ...

  1. #1
    Registered User lpaulgib's Avatar
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    Westboro Baptist Church

    So I saw an article that mentioned their name and I started watching the BBC series "The Most Hated Family in America", an 8 part series about an embedded journalist who stays with them for several days. He interviews the members, and pretty much follows them around.


    Now as an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran, I've heard of this group for a long time. You'd have to live under a rock to not have heard of them. I strongly disagree with their message, but I do believe in their freedom to express their views in public. They are also fairly intelligent, just strongly misled. Some of them are in college, and the main woman in charge is a lawyer.

    Anyways, lead me to thinking. What do you guys think about the churches rights to protest? I understand freedom of speech and everything. What about the rights of the family of fallen soldiers, and deceased homosexuals, et cetera? Should there be federal laws created to prevent harassment on this? I don't think they should be allowed in eyesight or hearing of a funeral. If they want to picket, that's fine, they just can't be seen by the actual funeral progression.

  2. #2
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Churches have no right to protest on any matter whatsoever that may affect governmental decisions, or the lives of a country population, until they start paying taxes.
    Matticus likes this.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    Well without getting too far into the law, if you can define something like a god hates fags demonstration as harassment then it most likely is harassment and can be charged as such. And such things as organized protests are covered by ordinance laws. The most basic ordinance that I can think of, that probably applies everywhere, is that the police must be present.

    If you actually organize a demonstration like this and it becomes anything criminal, John Q. Law is right there.

  4. #4
    ... kermit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    Churches have no right to protest on any matter whatsoever that may affect governmental decisions, or the lives of a country population, until they start paying taxes.
    But individual members of churches, i.e., the people that a church is comprised of, generally do pay taxes (You might be able to find some that don't - I don't know of any, but my point is that individuals pay taxes). So then I think your point is moot.

  5. #5
    Registered User lpaulgib's Avatar
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    Whiteflags, my thoughts are that although they have freedom of speech to demonstrate, and they are taxpaying Americans... shouldn't the language used put them in a legal situation? They have children holding signs up calling people fags. How is that not child endangerment or something? In one episode a kid got hit in the head by a bottle of some sort by a heckler. Just don't see how their freedom of speech could extend this far.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    A church, as in a denomination, fellowship, or movement' cannot actively 'sponsor' a governmental protest, candidate for office, or any other political faction without the possibility of the revocation of their tax-exempt status. However, church members may gather in a public place and protest anything they want within the constraints of the law b/c they as citizens have that right.

    The government often does not prosecute violations of the sep. of church and state b/c it does appear that they are picking on the little guy. The only time this has really happened is recently with big name churches when they actively supported a candidate and/or used their pulpit as a means to interfere with a public election. That is clearly illegal. Often single churches are prosecuted b/c one cannot prosecute an entire denomination or fellowship if proof does not exist that they themselves supported and encouraged the illegal actions. No large church denomination or fellowship in the USA is going to tell their member churches to actively engage in breaking the law by interfering with political and/or governmental process.

    They have children holding signs up calling people fags. How is that not child endangerment or something? In one episode a kid got hit in the head by a bottle of some sort by a heckler.
    The beauty of America is that you can pretty much say what you want in a public protest and not be prosecuted for it. Just watch an episode of Speeders and you will see how many people get away with outright verbal abuse of police officers. Name calling and cursing are not against the law in the USA. Of course I wouldn't recommend you start cursing out your local Barnie Fife's when they pull you over for a ticket. Definitely not a way to get out of a hefty fine.

    Note that it is b/c of this free speech that I can pretty much say that our current President is wholly unqualified, ineffective, and an economic disaster in the making. It is that same law by which SNL, CNN, and others can say that Palin is an idiot and that Bush wasn't all that intelligent. It is America at its finest.
    Last edited by VirtualAce; 05-21-2010 at 08:04 PM.

  7. #7
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Yes, I understand this. Unfortunately there always exists a glaring disrespect for the law because these citizens usually gather in protest as a form to carry their institutional dogma.

    More than the government acting on this, it would be refreshing to see these citizens and the religious institutions behind them questioning their own actions. Hiding behind an often (I'm not saying "always" out of kindness) false pretext of individual protest does no good to their own moral values concerning truth and integrity.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  8. #8
    ... kermit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    Yes, I understand this. Unfortunately there always exists a glaring disrespect for the law because these citizens usually gather in protest as a form to carry their institutional dogma.

    More than the government acting on this, it would be refreshing to see these citizens and the religious institutions behind them questioning their own actions. Hiding behind an often (I'm not saying "always" out of kindness) false pretext of individual protest does no good to their own moral values concerning truth and integrity.
    While I doubt that we agree on rationale, I will agree that it would be good to see these folks sincerely look at what they are doing in terms of what good can come of it.

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    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    More than the government acting on this, it would be refreshing to see these citizens and the religious institutions behind them questioning their own actions.
    Normally they will in cases where the law is clearly being broken. However note that it is not a good practice to go against the actions of your own followers. I know that my denomination attempts to stay clear of these types of organized events. I was taught in school that if you stray to far from what the Bible says to concentrate on...you just become another voice in the crowd of voices. In church speak if you get too far from preaching Jesus....you are too far from the mission of the church to be effective. IE: Keep your sermons out of politics and political hotbed issues.

    Most of Christiandom is not about these edge cases we see on TV. The news loves these fellas as much as they do hidden dangerous viruses that are going to wipe humanity out. They thrive on that stuff. Just as real life USA or real life Europe has little or nothing to do with what we see on TV and in the movies...real life religion is uneventful and amounts to going to church or Sunday School on Sunday and perhaps a Bible study on Wed. Pretty run of the mill ordinary. The church is not full of radicals who are waiting to pounce. Most of us look at those types and just shake our heads. They are pretty much looked at like 'church noobs'....if you will.

    A good example of this is when the Haiti earthquake hit. Good old Pat came out and said something extremely stupid. Every other church in the universe pretty much just rushed to Haiti's aid while that moron spouted off non-sense. Rather than waste time saying they did not agree with Pat's views they instead focused their efforts on helping the victims. Often times it isn't necessary to publicly voice your views on this or that. After all you must pick your battles and some battles are best left alone.
    Last edited by VirtualAce; 05-21-2010 at 08:13 PM.

  10. #10
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    So you guys get a bit of a perspective (i'll continue this debate later. Time to bed...)

    I had a strong religious upbringing. I just never was able to fully take it in. I actually went up into teaching Sunday School at the age of 20 to young girls at a seminar school. However my atheism was becoming to evident to me at that time already. And while I never did anything to undermine their teaching, I eventually quit. The last drop came in the form of a new Vatican catechism that would have me teach 7 year olds that not paying taxes was a sin.

    Today I exercise openly my atheism. But with a deep respect for religious freedom of any kind (deemed legal, naturally). Most importantly, I respect the moral and ethical values at the base of religious thinking. So contrary to those parents who, in my shoes, argue their kids should be the ones choosing if they wish to have a religious upbringing, I decided (to great relief of my wife and parents-in-law) that my daughters should be baptized, go to summer school, and otherwise have a normal catholic upbringing and then decide for themselves if they wish to continue. It did me no harm. Quite on the contrary. So I don't see why it would hurt them.

    So, yes. I fully agree Christians are today (as they were during a large portion of the past too) inspired by humanitarian values and a respect for the human being. It's irrelevant to discuss their success in spreading this doctrine in this day and age. More important to me, on what concerns what I want for my daughters, is the fact those are the values. And I can use any help transmitting them to them.

    I'm however curious as to why you disagree on the rationale Kermit. Not only many of these protesters hold signs of faith belonging to their religious institution, but they also come and protest in group, transmitting sacred doctrines, which are the institutional principles of their religious tax-free organization.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  11. #11
    ... kermit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    So you guys get a bit of a perspective (i'll continue this debate later. Time to bed...)


    I'm however curious as to why you disagree on the rationale Kermit. Not only many of these protesters hold signs of faith belonging to their religious institution, but they also come and protest in group, transmitting sacred doctrines, which are the institutional principles of their religious tax-free organization.
    I have to hit the sack too, so no more Cboard tonight. That said, I realise that I was kind of ambiguous in what I wrote, so I will try to make some time to sort it out tomorrow.

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