Judge says Westboro Baptist can protest military funerals
August 17th, 2010
03:02 PM ET

Judge says Westboro Baptist can protest military funerals

Missouri's tight restrictions on protests and picketing outside military funerals were tossed out by a federal judge Monday, over free speech concerns.

A small Kansas church had brought suit over its claimed right to loudly march outside the burials and memorial services of those killed in overseas conflicts. The state legislature had passed a law to keep members of the Topeka-based Westboro Baptist Church from demonstrating within 300 feet of such private services.

Church members, led by pastor Fred Phelps, believe God is punishing the United States for "the sin of homosexuality" through events including soldiers' deaths. Members have traveled the country, shouting at grieving family members at funerals and displaying such signs as "Thank God for Dead Soldiers," "God Blew Up the Troops" and "AIDS Cures Fags."

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- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Gay rights • Homosexuality • Military

soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. ssimmons

    Has anyone considered picketing this church?...like every time they meet?

    December 9, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
  2. Barry

    Why are the Phelps not forced to pay for their security? The book burning Pastor didn't get off so lucky.

    September 20, 2010 at 8:32 pm |
  3. Neko

    When Fred shows up at the pearly gates – I can only imagine his disappointment – "Judge not lest you be judged"

    August 29, 2010 at 12:06 am |
  4. Mary

    In a post to DavidJohnson you said this:

    I live on the west coast of teh USA. I'm not a rabid democrat like you are, but I like most of your posts.
    Where is TEH usa? LOL LOL Back atcha! (Just a little humor here) Smile

    August 18, 2010 at 9:43 pm |
  5. Selfish Gene


    August 18, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.