• Fred Phelps Fighting for Your Constitutional Right to Be a Horrible, Horrible Person

    I doubt I'm stating a particularly unpopular opinion when I say that Westboro Baptist Church leader Fred Phelps essentially a human pustule. I'm pretty sure that even most Baptists would be hard-pressed to find fault with that statement.

    That said, when Snyder v. Phelps hits the Supreme Court this fall, I think I'm gonna be siding with the human pustule…

    The court agreed Monday to consider whether the protesters' message, no matter how provocative and upsetting, is protected by the First Amendment. Members of a Kansas-based church have picketed military funerals to spread their belief that U.S. deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq are punishment for the nation's tolerance of homosexuality.

    …over the grieving father, for whom my heart goes out…

    The justices will hear an appeal from the father of a Marine killed in Iraq to reinstate a $5 million verdict against the protesters, after they picketed outside his son's funeral in Maryland.

    A jury in Baltimore awarded Albert Snyder damages for emotional distress and invasion of privacy, but a federal appeals court threw out the verdict. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the signs contained "imaginative and hyperbolic rhetoric" protected by the First Amendment.

    Hey, it's called the First Amendment, not the First People Should Think the Same Way That I Think. (That sounded more clever inside my brain.)

    Anyway, I think it was Evelyn Beatrice Hall who said "I disapprove of your terrible, hate-inspired bigot-speak and kind of wish you would suffer a brain aneurysm, but I will defend to the death your right to say it while hoping that the aneurysm is on its way." Or something like that.

    Tags: Bill of Rights, Christianity, Constitution, Fred Phelps, Religion, Supreme Court, Westboro Baptist Church


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