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NEWS
March 9, 2011
The most offensive word in Raymond D. Burke's column "Free speech is a right — but not the only right" (March 8) was "absolutely" — as in "the actions of the church were absolutely protected under the First Amendment. " The very term "absolute right" is an oxymoron. One person's rights end at the threshold of the next person's rights. It is clear that the right of the Snyder family to mourn their loss in peace has been denied them by the court. Still, many of us were less outraged by the Westboro clan's hateful rhetoric than by their assertion that their actions were constitutionally protected expressions of religious faith.
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NEWS
April 11, 2014
I implore you to stop giving coverage to the two commissioners in Carroll County who have monopolized the discussion in our county with their smoke screens about United Nations drones and prayer in public places while they hack away at social services for our most vulnerable citizens and support for public schools ( "Carroll commissioners vote to halt sectarian prayers," April 8). They do not represent the vast majority of Carroll countians who value our way of life but wish for our taxes to be used reasonably and justly.
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NEWS
March 9, 2011
The Supreme Court's decision in the Westboro Baptist case follows our constitutional protections for free speech. Why don't people exercise that right by picketing there? Go to Westboro! Same-sex couples and veterans should join in a show of support for slain soldiers and denounce this bigotry with many rallies right on Westboro's doorsteps. Aren't there VFW's in Kansas? Where are they? Freedom of speech goes both ways. Ron Kuhns, Nottingham
NEWS
Susan Reimer | March 21, 2014
I never thought I could feel such gratitude toward a posse of motorcycle riders as I did the day Brendan Looney was buried beside his best friend, Travis Manion, in Arlington National Cemetery. They screened the grieving families of the two Naval Academy graduates from the hateful placards carried by the members of the Westboro Baptist Church who celebrated the deaths of those young men as evidence of God's retribution on our sinful nation. And riders revved their engines so the families could not hear the chants.
NEWS
October 7, 2011
In Raymond Novak's op-ed piece on the Supreme Court decision in the Snyder v. Phelps First Amendment case, he utterly misstates the 8-1 opinion issued by the court ("Juries on trial," Oct. 6). Mr. Novak claims that "the court found that the evidence was more than sufficient to support [Albert Snyder's] civil claim against the [Westboro Baptist] church," but that it was "unlikely that the jurors could put aside their own views in such a case. " In fact, the majority opinion mentions nothing of the sort.
NEWS
By Erin Cox and Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun | January 2, 2013
A handful of Westboro Baptist Church protesters picketing same-sex marriage in front of courthouses in Annapolis and Towson Wednesday were met with large groups of counter-protesters holding signs preaching tolerance. In the state capital, more than 250 people gathered in the early morning, singing carols, to counter four members of the ultra-conservative Westboro Baptist, which is based in Kansas. St. Anne's Episcopal Church, across the street from the Annapolis courthouse, organized the counter-protest there.
NEWS
April 11, 2014
I implore you to stop giving coverage to the two commissioners in Carroll County who have monopolized the discussion in our county with their smoke screens about United Nations drones and prayer in public places while they hack away at social services for our most vulnerable citizens and support for public schools ( "Carroll commissioners vote to halt sectarian prayers," April 8). They do not represent the vast majority of Carroll countians who value our way of life but wish for our taxes to be used reasonably and justly.
NEWS
By Mary Gail Hare and Mary Gail Hare,Sun Reporter | February 17, 2007
Members of a Kansas church protested yesterday at the funeral of a fallen Maryland Marine, their most recent foray into the state since a law was passed to insulate grieving families from the often virulent rhetoric of the group. Members of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka observed the law's limitations, staying 100 feet from the Oak Grove Baptist Church in Bel Air, where friends and loved ones were paying homage to Cpl. Jennifer M. Parcell, a 20-year-old Marine killed in Iraq earlier this month.
NEWS
By GINA DAVIS and GINA DAVIS,SUN REPORTER | June 6, 2006
The father of a Westminster Marine whose funeral was picketed by an anti-gay group is accusing its members of defaming him, invading the family's privacy and intentionally inflicting emotional distress, in the first individual lawsuit brought against the Kansas organization for its protests at these ceremonies. Albert Snyder of York, Pa., is seeking unspecified damages against Westboro Baptist Church for its "intentional and outrageous" conduct during and since services were held for his son, Lance Cpl. Matthew A. Snyder, according to court papers filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt.
NEWS
August 6, 2012
Chick-fil-APresident and CEO Dan Cathy surely knew that his corporate opposition to same-sex marriage would spur controversy. He is more than justified in stating his position, given that his company will either reap the benefits or suffer the consequences of his words. What is more disturbing is his statement that "we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say 'We know better than you as to what constitutes marriage.'" That attitude smacks frighteningly of the radical Westboro Baptist Church philosophy that celebrates the deaths of American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan because, it says, the U.S. tolerates homosexuality.
FEATURES
By Michael Gold and The Baltimore Sun | March 20, 2014
The founder of the Westboro Baptist Church, the Kansas institution that stages anti- LGB  protests across the country, died Thursday, according to multiple reports . Fred Phelps, 84, started the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka in 1955. Since its founding, the Church has become known throughout the world for demonstrations and pickets at events including military funerals and political gatherings. Westboro members would stand outside holding posters and signs with spiteful slogans condemning LGBT people, among others.  One oft-repeated refrain, likely the one which became most associated with the church and is used at its web address, was "God Hates Fags.
NEWS
By Erin Cox and Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun | January 2, 2013
A handful of Westboro Baptist Church protesters picketing same-sex marriage in front of courthouses in Annapolis and Towson Wednesday were met with large groups of counter-protesters holding signs preaching tolerance. In the state capital, more than 250 people gathered in the early morning, singing carols, to counter four members of the ultra-conservative Westboro Baptist, which is based in Kansas. St. Anne's Episcopal Church, across the street from the Annapolis courthouse, organized the counter-protest there.
NEWS
August 6, 2012
Chick-fil-APresident and CEO Dan Cathy surely knew that his corporate opposition to same-sex marriage would spur controversy. He is more than justified in stating his position, given that his company will either reap the benefits or suffer the consequences of his words. What is more disturbing is his statement that "we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say 'We know better than you as to what constitutes marriage.'" That attitude smacks frighteningly of the radical Westboro Baptist Church philosophy that celebrates the deaths of American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan because, it says, the U.S. tolerates homosexuality.
NEWS
March 15, 2012
As the senior pastor of the church in closest proximity to Glen Burnie High School and the March 13 protest by the Westboro Baptist Church, I would like the public to be aware of our position. While recognizing the constitutional right of every American to express themselves, I do not agree with nor appreciate the abuse of that right by the Westboro group. They are not a church by any biblical definition, nor do they reflect the spirit and message of Jesus. Theirs appears to be a self-aggrandizing movement whose purpose is achieved through media attention.
NEWS
October 7, 2011
In Raymond Novak's op-ed piece on the Supreme Court decision in the Snyder v. Phelps First Amendment case, he utterly misstates the 8-1 opinion issued by the court ("Juries on trial," Oct. 6). Mr. Novak claims that "the court found that the evidence was more than sufficient to support [Albert Snyder's] civil claim against the [Westboro Baptist] church," but that it was "unlikely that the jurors could put aside their own views in such a case. " In fact, the majority opinion mentions nothing of the sort.
NEWS
By Raymond Novak | October 5, 2011
The Supreme Court has embarked on a new term that is widely predicted to be one of its most momentous in many years. But we should not quickly forget one very important First Amendment case decided by the court during its last term — one that may ultimately turn out to have been an important decision limiting the role of the jury as a check on the power of the government. Snyder v. Phelps is a classic case of competing interests: the right of a father to bury his son in peace versus the constitutionally guaranteed right of a group to demonstrate on a public sidewalk.
NEWS
March 15, 2012
As the senior pastor of the church in closest proximity to Glen Burnie High School and the March 13 protest by the Westboro Baptist Church, I would like the public to be aware of our position. While recognizing the constitutional right of every American to express themselves, I do not agree with nor appreciate the abuse of that right by the Westboro group. They are not a church by any biblical definition, nor do they reflect the spirit and message of Jesus. Theirs appears to be a self-aggrandizing movement whose purpose is achieved through media attention.
NEWS
By Raymond Novak | October 5, 2011
The Supreme Court has embarked on a new term that is widely predicted to be one of its most momentous in many years. But we should not quickly forget one very important First Amendment case decided by the court during its last term — one that may ultimately turn out to have been an important decision limiting the role of the jury as a check on the power of the government. Snyder v. Phelps is a classic case of competing interests: the right of a father to bury his son in peace versus the constitutionally guaranteed right of a group to demonstrate on a public sidewalk.
NEWS
March 10, 2011
Even those, like us, who agree with the Supreme Court's ruling that the despicable protest by Westboro Baptist Church outside a soldier's funeral in Westminster was constitutionally protected free speech have nothing but sympathy for the family of Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder and the other slain service members targeted by the group. To that end, we sympathize with U.S. Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger's desire to find a way, within the bounds of the court's decision, to prevent the Topeka, Kan.-based church group's ability to inflict emotional damage on other innocent families in the future.
NEWS
March 9, 2011
The Supreme Court's decision in the Westboro Baptist case follows our constitutional protections for free speech. Why don't people exercise that right by picketing there? Go to Westboro! Same-sex couples and veterans should join in a show of support for slain soldiers and denounce this bigotry with many rallies right on Westboro's doorsteps. Aren't there VFW's in Kansas? Where are they? Freedom of speech goes both ways. Ron Kuhns, Nottingham
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