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Posted: 1/10/2006 7:57:55 AM EDT
And my Lt. Gov is a Dem...but if he wants to stop this...then good for him
Click me

Protests possible at Marine's funeral
The lieutenant governor proposes legislation to stop such events.

By MELISSA WESTPHAL, Rockford Register Star

ROCKFORD — Members of a Kansas-based group that says military deaths in Iraq are a punishment from God have contacted local officials about demonstrating at the funeral for Lance Cpl. Andrew Patten, a Byron Marine killed last week.

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., started regularly protesting at military funerals this summer. According to their Web site, they believe America is doomed and God is killing military men and women, as well as causing major disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and Sept. 11, as a denouncement of homosexuality. The protests have had nothing to do with the sexuality of fallen military personnel.

Police, church, funeral home and state officials have worked during the past few days to eliminate disruptions the protests might cause for grieving friends and family members. Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn, who has attended more than 100 military funerals during the past few years, plans to attend Patten’s service.

Quinn is proposing legislation that would keep protestors 300 feet from funeral services. He saw many protests firsthand this year organized by the Rev. Fred Phelps, the Westboro leader.

“Their sole purpose is to inflict pain on grieving parents, and it’s really very cruel,” Quinn said.

“My view in terms of the law is that families are exercising their First Amendment rights to conduct a funeral, their freedom of religion to lay their son or daughter to final rest.

“The First Amendment does not give unfettered rights to a hate group to interfere with or harass participants in a funeral.”

Westboro members have protested numerous military funerals, which they dub “Love Crusades,” across the country, and the group keeps an updated schedule of their efforts on their Web site. The group typically includes about a dozen people, most of whom are Phelps’ family members, who chant and hold signs that read “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” and “Don’t Worship the Dead” outside funeral homes and churches.

State officials and local police say the group has been in contact with local authorities, inquiring about protesting procedures for the city. Patten’s funeral will be at Maywood Evangelical Free Church in Rockford, but the time and date have not been finalized. Patten’s funeral is not listed on the Westboro Web site, but funerals on Saturday for military personnel in suburban Beach Park and downstate Virden are listed.

Rockford Deputy Chief Greg Lindmark said Westboro members did contact the Police Department.

“At this point, they’re unsure if they’re even going to come to Rockford, but we have spoken about what they can and cannot do, and they will be in contact with us if they do decide to come here,” Lindmark said.

Maywood administrative Pastor Larry Seagren said the groups have done “due diligence” in preparing for Patten’s services. Patten, 19, was a faithful member of Maywood, where he met several of his close friends. His fellow Marines had even nicknamed him “the Rev.”

“It’s unfortunate that they use this venue to protest when we’re talking about a young man who is a hero and leaving a legacy of being a great young man who fought for God and his country,” Seagren said.

Shirley Roper-Phelps, a member of and attorney for Westboro, said group members do plan to protest in Rockford if their schedules allow them to be here. She said her family has been protesting and spreading the literal word of scripture for 15 years.

“We’ve been to in excess of 60 of these funerals,” Roper-Phelps said. “First it was one or two a week, now it seems like every other day.

“God is punishing this nation. Our forum of choice must be these funerals if we are going to cause Americans to know their abomination. We have to be timely and topical.”

In Galesburg, a group of college students stood silently in front of Westboro protestors. At protests in Kansas, veterans with a group called Patriot Guard lined up their motorcycles in front of the protestors, sometimes revving their engines to drown out their chants.

Jason Wallin, a spokesman for Patriot Guard, said the group is talking to Patten’s family contacts, adding that riders only participate in the services at the request of the military families. The group includes a growing membership of about 1,700 people across 47 states.

“Our focus is partially to combat (Phelps’) group and honor our fallen,” Wallin said.

Quinn said he can’t think of a “lower thing than spewing hate and vile epithets” trying to disrupt a military person being laid to rest. He hopes his proposed legislation will see some movement early next year.

“Every funeral is special and different,” Quinn said. “These are the last moments a family has to say goodbye to their loved one. It’s been very impressive to see these families and understand why our young service members are so special. They have servants’ hearts. Many of them got their values from their families.”
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 7:59:28 AM EDT
"Quinn is proposing legislation that would keep protestors 300 feet from funeral services. He saw many protests firsthand this year organized by the Rev. Fred Phelps, the Westboro leader."

So where does this stop Phelps et al?

Link Posted: 1/10/2006 8:02:45 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2006 8:04:00 AM EDT by Grunteled]
I don't disagree with him but not on the grounds that you don't have the right to be a hateful asshole. I think you have no right to intrude upon the grounds when the graounds and it's services are paid for by you or anyone else. You pay for a private service not a protest grounds. I see nothing wrong with enforcing the rights of those who have paid for that service.

I'd say 300-600yds myself.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 8:04:30 AM EDT
A funeral is not a public event like a Presidential speech.

The families ought to be free to bury their dead without some jackass picketing, no matter what that jackass says he stands for.

Someone ought to beat Phelps' ass.

Period.

The graveyards, churches, and funeral homes are all private property, and they have the right to kick his sorry butt off their property. And to perhapsto erect privacy curtains to block him from the view of the funeral atendees.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 8:04:59 AM EDT
I just hope that something is done. That kind of stuff pisses me off to no end.

Link Posted: 1/10/2006 8:06:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2006 8:06:14 AM EDT by John_Wayne777]

Originally Posted By Grunteled:
I don't disagree with him but not on the grounds that you don't have the right to be a hateful asshole. I think you have no right to intrude upon the grounds when the graounds and it's services are paid for by you or anyone else. You pay for a private service not a protest grounds. I see nothing wrong with enforcing the rights of those who have paid for that service.

I'd say 300-600yds myself.



The fact that a soldier is buried at government expense does not give people the right to protest his funeral any more than the fact that he gets government pay allows anyone to walk into his house at any time and rifle through his stuff.

A funeral is a private matter, and no protests ought to be allowed, period.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 8:09:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:

Originally Posted By Grunteled:
I don't disagree with him but not on the grounds that you don't have the right to be a hateful asshole. I think you have no right to intrude upon the grounds when the graounds and it's services are paid for by you or anyone else. You pay for a private service not a protest grounds. I see nothing wrong with enforcing the rights of those who have paid for that service.

I'd say 300-600yds myself.



The fact that a soldier is buried at government expense does not give people the right to protest his funeral any more than the fact that he gets government pay allows anyone to walk into his house at any time and rifle through his stuff.

A funeral is a private matter, and no protests ought to be allowed, period.


Yep. It bothers me. A guy goes off voluntarily to fight for his country, and he dies in service to his country. A funeral is for the purpose of celebrating the life of someone, and to pay your respects.

It is not the place for some protesters to start their own agenda and ruin someone's time for grieving.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 8:13:55 AM EDT
1000 Feet, on a route not taken by the funeral attendees, and relieve the local LE of the responsibility of having to provide them protection.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 8:17:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:

Originally Posted By Grunteled:
I don't disagree with him but not on the grounds that you don't have the right to be a hateful asshole. I think you have no right to intrude upon the grounds when the grounds and it's services are paid for by you or anyone else. You pay for a private service not a protest grounds. I see nothing wrong with enforcing the rights of those who have paid for that service.

I'd say 300-600yds myself.



The fact that a soldier is buried at government expense does not give people the right to protest his funeral any more than the fact that he gets government pay allows anyone to walk into his house at any time and rifle through his stuff.

A funeral is a private matter, and no protests ought to be allowed, period.




That's what I said?

I think you have no right to intrude upon the grounds when the grounds and it's services are paid for by you or anyone else.

I think that includes being loud enough to be heard at the grave site or service. You are projecting yourself into the event. I doubt you could keep the protest legally off a nerby sidewalk as long as they are not screaming though.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 8:21:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Grunteled:
That's what I said?



I wasn't alleging that you said such a thing. I was merely adding my "amen" to the chorus.



Link Posted: 1/10/2006 8:25:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Grunteled:

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:

Originally Posted By Grunteled:
I don't disagree with him but not on the grounds that you don't have the right to be a hateful asshole. I think you have no right to intrude upon the grounds when the grounds and it's services are paid for by you or anyone else. You pay for a private service not a protest grounds. I see nothing wrong with enforcing the rights of those who have paid for that service.

I'd say 300-600yds myself.



The fact that a soldier is buried at government expense does not give people the right to protest his funeral any more than the fact that he gets government pay allows anyone to walk into his house at any time and rifle through his stuff.

A funeral is a private matter, and no protests ought to be allowed, period.



That's what I said?

I think you have no right to intrude upon the grounds when the grounds and it's services are paid for by you or anyone else.

I think that includes being loud enough to be heard at the grave site or service. You are projecting yourself into the event. I doubt you could keep the protest legally off a nerby sidewalk as long as they are not screaming though.



i don't think any of these fucktards have been ON the actual grounds. they've always been on public property (sidewalks, streets).

does their thinking make ANY sense??? i wonder if their membership has grown? usually church going folk are very conservative and very pro military.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 8:31:20 AM EDT
If I saw all of those guys lined up on the sidewalk while I'm driving by....my car has a nasty wobble on the front wheel that has a mind of it's own !
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 8:33:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:

Originally Posted By Grunteled:
That's what I said?



I wasn't alleging that you said such a thing. I was merely adding my "amen" to the chorus.







I gotcha..... sorry, I couldn't tell!
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 8:34:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By fadedsun:
If I saw all of those guys lined up on the sidewalk while I'm driving by....my car has a nasty wobble on the front wheel that has a mind of it's own !



Yours too? I better get mine fixed soon too....
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 8:42:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Grunteled:
I gotcha..... sorry, I couldn't tell!



Plain text is difficult sometimes for me, as I type what I think. Often this leads to my use of clumsy phrasing that makes my intent hard to discern.

I gotta work on that.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 8:50:51 AM EDT
We had some protestors I think who were from the same church in our town. I work as a part time police officer in virden Illinois. Some of you guys might of seen on the news about the protest these people did at a soldiers funeral. I didnt do the security detail I had to work my other job but it really got heated. There was alot of people who came and supported the military though. Alot of bikers and military personal as well as citizens. People dont want soldiers deaths to be disrespected. These people that do this kind of stuff at funerals dont realize that those soldiers protect their rights and sometimes make the ultimate sacrifice in doing it. Alot of the cops there are ex military and they said it was hard to hear them saying bad things about the military and our country, but thety had to bite their tongues and keep quiet and do their job. The people from this church had some literature and it was crazy saying that soldiers were dying because of being gay and that god created disasters because of people being gay. I dont know but protesting at a soldiers funeral or anyones to me is disrepectfull.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 8:58:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:
The graveyards, churches, and funeral homes are all private property, and they have the right to kick his sorry butt off their property.


Why do the protests continue then? Why not call the police for tresspassing?
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 9:11:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2006 9:13:01 AM EDT by scrum]

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:
A funeral is not a public event like a Presidential speech.

The families ought to be free to bury their dead without some jackass picketing, no matter what that jackass says he stands for.

Someone ought to beat Phelps' ass.

Period.

The graveyards, churches, and funeral homes are all private property, and they have the right to kick his sorry butt off their property. And to perhapsto erect privacy curtains to block him from the view of the funeral atendees.



+1

The right to punch dumbasses like this in the mouth is a natural right that shouldn't be interfered with in the courts. So is tarring and feathering the bastard. Neither (should) cause permanent, debilitating damage to their person. It's not government censorship. It's not a crime.

Simple fights where no permanent harm was done used to be considered out of the courts' jurisdiction. These types of events did not rise to the level requiring intervention of govt. Loudmouths and protestards were kept in check without the need for lawsuits or restrictions of rights. If you stand on a soapbox and say things that are unpopular, expect tomatos (or worse) thrown at you. If someone sets you on fire or shoots you, then yes, law enforcement and the courts should step in. They punch you in the nose for shouting at a funeral, then that is a sign that you should have shut your trap or that you better have believed whatever you shouted was worth being punched for. Civil disobedience involves risk of being arrested. Being a loudmouth or disreputable protester involves the risk of getting spanked. The courts have overstepped their bounds in trying to regulate behaviour, and in doing so have clogged the system with things they really have no jurisdiction or authority to regulate, and interfered with the only real check and balance on this behavior.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 9:27:47 AM EDT
We had a solder buried here and the protesters showed up.
They only yelled when people was going to and from their cars.
Now it got entertaining when 2 of the police officers took and parked their harleys with in 20 feet of the protestors and started them up.

The protest went like this..

'Hell........brummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm'
'Bush......brummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm'

Every time the protesters started to yell the cops would gun their cycles and you could not hear the idiots.

+1 for those officers.

Protesting is a right but not at funerals.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 9:46:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Grunteled:
I don't disagree with him but not on the grounds that you don't have the right to be a hateful asshole. I think you have no right to intrude upon the grounds when the graounds and it's services are paid for by you or anyone else. You pay for a private service not a protest grounds. I see nothing wrong with enforcing the rights of those who have paid for that service.

I'd say 300-600yds myself.



That's how you know it's a Dem proposal. A Rep would make it if they are even remotely within site or sound of the funeral.

Using the First Amendment to be able to inflict more pain on people doesn't quite jive with me. You are allowed to exercise your rights as long as it doesn't infringe on someone elses. Once it does you're just being an asshole. Otherwise, we should be able to distort other rights to suit out needs. I'm protected by my right to happiness when I start selectively targetting liberals that piss me off. Sound fair to me.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 9:59:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By pathfinder74:

Originally Posted By Grunteled:
I don't disagree with him but not on the grounds that you don't have the right to be a hateful asshole. I think you have no right to intrude upon the grounds when the graounds and it's services are paid for by you or anyone else. You pay for a private service not a protest grounds. I see nothing wrong with enforcing the rights of those who have paid for that service.

I'd say 300-600yds myself.



That's how you know it's a Dem proposal. A Rep would make it if they are even remotely within site or sound of the funeral.

Using the First Amendment to be able to inflict more pain on people doesn't quite jive with me. You are allowed to exercise your rights as long as it doesn't infringe on someone elses. Once it does you're just being an asshole. Otherwise, we should be able to distort other rights to suit out needs. I'm protected by my right to happiness when I start selectively targetting liberals that piss me off. Sound fair to me.


I'm actually surprised that this was a Dem that came up with the proposal. Now if there were some good Reps that could actually make this work...
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 10:04:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By deej86:
And my Lt. Gov is a Dem...but if he wants to stop this...then good for him
Click me

Protests possible at Marine's funeral
The lieutenant governor proposes legislation to stop such events.

By MELISSA WESTPHAL, Rockford Register Star

ROCKFORD — Members of a Kansas-based group that says military deaths in Iraq are a punishment from God have contacted local officials about demonstrating at the funeral for Lance Cpl. Andrew Patten, a Byron Marine killed last week.

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., started regularly protesting at military funerals this summer. According to their Web site, they believe America is doomed and God is killing military men and women, as well as causing major disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and Sept. 11, as a denouncement of homosexuality. The protests have had nothing to do with the sexuality of fallen military personnel.

Police, church, funeral home and state officials have worked during the past few days to eliminate disruptions the protests might cause for grieving friends and family members. Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn, who has attended more than 100 military funerals during the past few years, plans to attend Patten’s service.

Quinn is proposing legislation that would keep protestors 300 feet from funeral services. He saw many protests firsthand this year organized by the Rev. Fred Phelps, the Westboro leader.

“Their sole purpose is to inflict pain on grieving parents, and it’s really very cruel,” Quinn said.

“My view in terms of the law is that families are exercising their First Amendment rights to conduct a funeral, their freedom of religion to lay their son or daughter to final rest.

“The First Amendment does not give unfettered rights to a hate group to interfere with or harass participants in a funeral.”

Westboro members have protested numerous military funerals, which they dub “Love Crusades,” across the country, and the group keeps an updated schedule of their efforts on their Web site. The group typically includes about a dozen people, most of whom are Phelps’ family members, who chant and hold signs that read “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” and “Don’t Worship the Dead” outside funeral homes and churches.

State officials and local police say the group has been in contact with local authorities, inquiring about protesting procedures for the city. Patten’s funeral will be at Maywood Evangelical Free Church in Rockford, but the time and date have not been finalized. Patten’s funeral is not listed on the Westboro Web site, but funerals on Saturday for military personnel in suburban Beach Park and downstate Virden are listed.

Rockford Deputy Chief Greg Lindmark said Westboro members did contact the Police Department.

“At this point, they’re unsure if they’re even going to come to Rockford, but we have spoken about what they can and cannot do, and they will be in contact with us if they do decide to come here,” Lindmark said.

Maywood administrative Pastor Larry Seagren said the groups have done “due diligence” in preparing for Patten’s services. Patten, 19, was a faithful member of Maywood, where he met several of his close friends. His fellow Marines had even nicknamed him “the Rev.”

“It’s unfortunate that they use this venue to protest when we’re talking about a young man who is a hero and leaving a legacy of being a great young man who fought for God and his country,” Seagren said.

Shirley Roper-Phelps, a member of and attorney for Westboro, said group members do plan to protest in Rockford if their schedules allow them to be here. She said her family has been protesting and spreading the literal word of scripture for 15 years.

“We’ve been to in excess of 60 of these funerals,” Roper-Phelps said. “First it was one or two a week, now it seems like every other day.

“God is punishing this nation. Our forum of choice must be these funerals if we are going to cause Americans to know their abomination. We have to be timely and topical.”

In Galesburg, a group of college students stood silently in front of Westboro protestors. At protests in Kansas, veterans with a group called Patriot Guard lined up their motorcycles in front of the protestors, sometimes revving their engines to drown out their chants.

Jason Wallin, a spokesman for Patriot Guard, said the group is talking to Patten’s family contacts, adding that riders only participate in the services at the request of the military families. The group includes a growing membership of about 1,700 people across 47 states.

“Our focus is partially to combat (Phelps’) group and honor our fallen,” Wallin said.

Quinn said he can’t think of a “lower thing than spewing hate and vile epithets” trying to disrupt a military person being laid to rest. He hopes his proposed legislation will see some movement early next year.

“Every funeral is special and different,” Quinn said. “These are the last moments a family has to say goodbye to their loved one. It’s been very impressive to see these families and understand why our young service members are so special. They have servants’ hearts. Many of them got their values from their families.”



This is really disturbing, and the first i have heard about this kind of thing.......Im not in the military, but i know if one of my friends had gotten KIA or was involved in something that these people are protesting....I'd probably go ape shit on them, and they would feel the wrath of me! This is just fucked up!
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 10:06:26 AM EDT
If it happened to a family memeber of mine, I would probably be in jail.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 10:29:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By JIMBEAM:
If it happened to a family memeber of mine, I would probably be in jail.


Amen. And so would half of my friends and family.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 10:37:17 AM EDT
I swear that the Phelps character is a LEft Wing plant. Kinda kills two or three birds with one stone, protests the war, makes religious folks look like cretans, and it is a media whoring event.

I hate the protests that are going on, I hope that there can be something done that preserves the 1st amendment but also protects the privacy of the families as they pay their final respects. In a way I think that a law such as this might be a goal for the group as it will give them the chance to sue.

The only other solution I can think of (non-violent anyhow) is for cities to "rent" sidewalks and streets to funeral processions for a nominal fee (A buck) thus giving the Funeral the right to exclude folk from a certain radius.

What is the world coming to? I cannot believe I am even having to consider this subject. People suck.

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