October 7th, 2010
12:25 PM ET

Snyder: Pastor Phelps' actions 'cause emotional stress'

It is an emotional battle at the Supreme Court of the United States, pitting free speech, no matter how vile and hate-filled against the right to privacy.

Al Snyder is suing Pastor Fred Phelps for protesting at his son’s funeral, Lance Cpl. Mathew Snyder. Al was inside the supreme court when arguments were made and talks to John Roberts on American Morning.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Ethics • Fundamentalism • Military • Westboro Bapitst Church

soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Tirone

    CNNs articles cause emotional stress. Can I sue?

    October 8, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
    • LegalBeagle

      Of course you can sue. Give it to 'em with both barrels and be sure to let them know how much you like posting comments while you're at it. They'll love you for it and might even make a profit on letting people know how much they like being sued.
      Wouldn't that be ironic?
      ps – don't expect much money from them. They'd rather waste it on other stuff.

      October 8, 2010 at 11:26 pm |
  2. Wick

    If we can't execute people like "Pastor" Phelps, why can't we revoke his citizenship and forcibly expel him from the country?

    October 7, 2010 at 8:56 pm |
    • peace2all


      As much as as I have disdain for this group of people.. The 'Westboro Baptist Church Klan,' and 'Pastor' Phelps, under what law would you think that we could just revoke his citizenship and forcibly expel him from the country..?

      October 8, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
    • Godzilla


      Use you imagination. There are an amazing number of ridiculous laws on the books already. Why couldn't we make a special one for people like Phelps? Would you prefer he remain free and criminally insane at the same time?

      October 9, 2010 at 12:34 am |
    • Peace2All


      My question to Wick still remains unanswered, and apparently now by you as well. I am curious as to what current law, or as you said: "Why couldn't we make a special one for Phelps."

      Please provide an example of this 'special law' for Phelps, and how would (we) get it passed as a law...?

      October 9, 2010 at 2:59 am |
    • Godzilla


      You mean I actually have to hold your hand and lead you through all the steps because your imagination isn't up to it?
      Do you really want to go there?

      October 9, 2010 at 3:16 am |
    • Peace2All


      You are now continuing to deflect and use subtle attacks and be condescending which doesn't help your credibility, as opposed to actually answering the question...Which you haven't offered any (reasonable or viable nor realistic law or solution) that would actually work yet. You have offered nothing. You seem to be more interested in being condescending towards me than actually having a discussion. This is a discussion, I have posed a question, as did @Wick for that matter.... We are waiting for your answer, or anyone to answer. Anyone can just make something up. It has to be truly viable.

      My post stands.... Please tell me of a current law on the books, or if you think that you can somehow imagine one into being that 'could' somehow 'actually' make it past SCOTUS that would get this vile person in the name of Rev. Phelp's citizenship revoked and then actually forcibly expel him from the United States... as Wick suggested, obviously I would love to hear it.

      However, even 'if' you are to propose something i.e.. a new law, it certainly doesn't mean that it would even begin to make it through the court system to SCOTUS. So, once you have suggested a law then, we can discuss viability, as i am now very, very curious to hear what you have to say on this matter.

      October 9, 2010 at 3:52 am |
    • Godzilla


      okay, how about a modified anti-child abuse law that specifically revokes a convicted child abuser's American citizenship and expels them out of the country???
      Why is this so hard for you? The man is committing numerous crimes including fraud, libel, child abuse, defamation, slander, harassment, etc. – so just take one of those things – like child abuse – and make a new law that covers one of the crimes he is committing and make the punishment whatever you like. In this case, revocation of citizenship and expulsion from the country would be the amazingly mild punishment.....

      Is this too complicated for you to have imagined on your own? And why the hell does it have to go all the way to the SCOTUS? If it works as a simple crime / punishment deal, there would be no Constltutional issues for them to rule upon.

      And I said, "people LIKE Phelps", knowing that a retro-active law would easily get tossed out of any lower court. Of course, he could always commit new crimes to bring himself to the front of any line...he seems to be a loose-cannon type of fellow, so it shouldn't be hard to target him and people like him...

      Let me know if I did not explain something clearly enough for you. Your insistence upon this shows you might need further help in this area. The wonderful world of legalisms is fraught with misunderstandings, so feel free.
      I now realize that your lack of imagination might simply be a lack of knowledge in this area. I am not some legal guru, but I have read a few things. If you've got anything better, let's hear it.....

      October 9, 2010 at 4:12 am |
    • Peace2All


      Yes, I was truly and sincerely seeking answers to something that I don't have a lot of knowledge in. So, for me to imagine something would be useless. I had some similar thinking as to what you proposed as possibilities, but I was hoping for someone who was an actual const-i-tutional lawyer, or at least someone, apparently yourself with greater background than myself.

      Make no mistake, you and I are on the same side on this issue concerning Pastor Phelps and his Klan. Hence, my interest in somehow finding a way to help spearhead some legislation that would shut this man down or minimize his hate.

      I have a couple dozen associates who are lawyers, and a few close friends who are lawyers. I will be seeing one soon who is a const-i-tutional lawyer, and I will get their opinions on the matter. I will present your thoughts, and see what might or might actually not pass.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this...

      October 9, 2010 at 4:39 am |
    • Godzilla

      If you want to spearhead legislation, I sure wish you could get rid of that "freedom of religion" that so many scuzzbuckets like Phelps find so convenient as they do their psychotic crimes against humanity and individuals.
      That would be a Constltutional amendment sort of thing.

      But here I am attacking the problem at the root. What is wrong with me? Mental illness is the problem and there are no instant cures for this. Death ends it but doesn't cure it. You have crazy people in a whirlwind of religious delusion, a fantasy world, who act out against other people – and causing real harm in the process. Criminally insane. What a world.

      Since no one wants to deal with the actual causes of these crimes, then we must deal with the crimes themselves.
      Due process can be used to execute criminals. Punishments are only limited by the "cruel and unusual" part. Getting kicked out of the country is neither cruel nor unusual and therefore a very "viable" punishment to propose. But it's not really a punishment, is it? (sigh)

      Personally, I would prefer execution instead of letting people free to commit crimes in other countries. It would be the responsible thing to do, I think.
      We deport thousands of people every day. This does not really deal with the problem, but shoves it beyond our borders...and it often comes right back anyway. If it's our problem to begin with, we should end it the best way we can without botching it up.

      I despise most religions for the sociopathic and psychopathic effects they have on every society. It is the behavior that does the wrong. Religions just give it a special shape and "socially acceptable" mask. So I have nothing but disgust for the delusionary nonsense that people spew. I might as well be playing pattycake with brain-damaged children, for that is how they act and speak.
      I limit my expressions of disgust to the internet and do little or nothing in the "real world". If you took away my freedom of speech I would not be surprised in the least, for I have a very low opinion of our limitations as a species.

      Anyway, legislation might work, but who has the money to bribe the legislators? Any "viability" means nothing without the right bribes in the right places. Many rulings by the SCOTUS have been unconstltutional because of unethical Justices. So "viability" might not mean as much as you might think if all it takes is a majority vote to sidestep the real issue.

      Ask your friends if they think it likely that the mental health issues associated with religious beliefs will ever be addressed through direct legislation? Or if the criminally insane will ever be convicted much less executed when they are not competent and "not guilty by reason of insanity"???

      Madness. It's all madness with no cures in the works, or even in the foreseeable future.
      It is that fcking bad.
      Your lawyer friends are just going to shake their heads at you. But maybe one of them won't be so jaded, poor, or disenfranchised / lacking influence...and might even think of something beyond the almighty fcking dollar.
      Did I mention I hate unethical lawyers? Ah, that's a topic for another time....sorry.
      What a long and scrambled post. Sorry I don't feel like combing out the tangles. It's pretty late and my butthurts from all this sitting.

      October 9, 2010 at 5:17 am |
    • Peace2All


      No problem.... thanks again for sharing your thoughts. And, I will get back with you, if you are checking these blogs when I get some answers. Believe me.. I concur with a lot of what you are saying.

      And, the lawyers I know, are out to stop abuses such as these.

      It will be curious to hear their responses.

      Check back in with you at a later time....

      Good night.

      October 9, 2010 at 5:59 am |
  3. Mike

    Question.. why can Synder go after defamation for the flyer mentioned at the end of the article.

    October 7, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  4. honestanon

    What an excellent presentation Mr. Snyder makes. Focused, articulate and sincere. I hope he financially damages if not destroys this "church" and the vitriol they spew.

    October 7, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
    • peace2all


      Hello my friend...! I absolutely agree with your sentiments. See, I think if we continue to look for similarities and focus on common ground, we just might find we have more in common than not. No need for hate or name-calling.


      October 7, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
    • honestanon

      1. You are not, nor ever will be, my 'friend.'
      2. It is unfortunate that I find myself in agreement with you on anything. If this is the case, then I obviously need to re-think my position.
      3. You have been, currently are, and always will be, a troll. (unless of course you are an employee of CNN, or a member of your local Muslim Student Association, in which case you are simply being a good employee or volunteer.)

      Not hate, just fact.

      October 7, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
    • honestanon

      Fact – as in you are an annoying, ever-present, argumentative, controlling.. TROLLl. You're on these boards ALL THE TIME it seems. From dawn to early morning, 3 AM.

      So is this a 'hobby' for you, or do you have an actual life? If the latter, exactly when do you attend to your day job?
      Or is this your "day job?" One has to wonder with your apparent degree of "commitment" to these blogs.
      Get a girlfriend for pete's sake. Or just go have a beer – You obviously need to get out more.

      October 7, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
    • pete

      Yikes! What is the deal with this person?

      October 7, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
    • peace2all


      O.K.... Have it your way, at least i did try to reach out in the spirit of common ground. I am truly sorry that you don't have the capacity to engage in intellectual debate and discussion without-hating someone that may have differing view points from you.

      As for trolling..... You are 'definitely' a 'troll' in the true sense. You were and still are the one who is consistently making inflammatory comments and assertions without merit, while being on the side of bigotry, intolerance, ignorance and hatred, especially towards different people that don't agree with you and their religions.

      Your attempt to squelch free speech from me and others, using nazi-like techniques from the days of Hitler was abusive and atrocious.

      I tried to make peace... have a relationship based on intelligent discourse, where we could learn from each other. Which is what most intelligent peace seeking adults do.

      However, I had hoped that you were someone that could get passed his hatred, ignorance and close-mindedness. Apparently I was wrong. But, again, at least I tried to take the path of peace with you.

      Good luck to you...



      October 7, 2010 at 7:44 pm |
    • peace2all


      In addition, just by re-reading your posts from above, to accuse me of being part of the muslim student union, or a CNN employee,..... thank you for proving my points..!

      It is not my fault that you can't keep up in any kind of debate or discussion. You just get bested by me and others in debate, and you resort to calling those that out-do you in your arguments... trolls.

      That is your fall-back usual typical response.

      October 7, 2010 at 7:49 pm |
    • Eric R

      This is an old intermittent flame war. These 2 can't seem to get along.

      October 7, 2010 at 7:51 pm |
    • Serutan


      Perhaps if you were to modify your methods, honestanon would have even less justification for being offended.

      Without being overly critical of your modus operandi in any particular way, you might wonder at honestanon's actual point of view, skewed though it might be.

      Peer review is all we have to work with. Peace is not always the right answer, regardless of your undefined usage of the word.

      Piece of my mind 2 u.

      October 7, 2010 at 7:57 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.