Thursday, November 01, 2007

Busted and dusted

By Carl

Some sanity
appears to be creeping back into American society:

Westboro Baptist Church, a fundamentalist Christian group based in Topeka, Kan., has protested military funerals across the country with placards bearing shock-value messages such as "Thank God for dead soldiers."

They contend that the deaths are punishment for America's tolerance of homosexuality and of gays in the military.

At the March 2006 funeral of Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, who was killed in Iraq, church members waved fire-and-brimstone placards near the funeral motorcade. Snyder's father sued Westboro and three church leaders for emotional distress and won a nearly $11 million jury verdict Wednesday in Baltimore.

For a long time, it was hard to believe the WBC (whose congregation has its webpage not at "westborochurch.org" or anything like that, but at Godhatesfags.com) was serious. A more strident parody of conservative Christianity than, say, the Landover Baptist Church.

Apparently, they were serious.

In his post-verdict discussion from the bench, Judge Richard Bennett noted the award "far exceeds the net worth of the defendants," according to the AP account. This means that it's unlikely Fred Phelps or his thuggish co-horts will ever be able to speak in public, much less hold hatred to a lower standard.

Now... if someone would only sue Ann Coulter...

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