January 11th, 2011
10:18 AM ET
Arizona lawmakers plan to block protesters within 300 feet of funerals
The Arizona State Legislature is expected to pass legislation Tuesday that will bar protesters at funerals from getting within 300 feet of services, a spokesman for the state Senate said.
The action, according to Senate spokesman Daniel Scarpinato, is in direct response to a controversial church's announcement that it will picket the funeral of Christina Green, the 9-year-old who was one of six people killed Saturday during the attempted assassination of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, has made its name by staging protests at funerals of people who died of AIDS, gay people, soldiers and even Coretta Scott King.
Tucson just isn't that kind of town, says Christin Gilmer.
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.
October 6th, 2010
08:18 AM ET
My Take: Why a hateful church should win Supreme Court case
Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.
By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN
A few years ago a daughter of the Protestant minister Fred Phelps called to ask me if I would serve as an expert witness on her father’s behalf in a civil lawsuit.
The controversial case concerned picketing by Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) at the Westminster, Maryland, funeral of Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder, who was killed in Iraq in 2006. Brought by Albert Snyder, the father of the deceased soldier, the case accused Phelps and other WBC members with invasion of privacy and the intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Phelps’ daughter wanted me to testify about the history of anti-government protests in the United States.
About this blog
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.