Funeral Case to Decide Price of Freedom of Speech

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), October 3, 2010 | Go to article overview

Funeral Case to Decide Price of Freedom of Speech


Byline: Robert Barnes The Washington Post

TOPEKA, Kan. -- A filmmaker several years ago tracked Shirley Phelps-Roper and her family members as they went about praising God for killing U.S. soldiers and picketing their funerals -- their way of putting the nation on notice about the Almighty's wrath.

He called the documentary "The Most Hated Family in America," and Phelps-Roper had only one real regret.

"If he had just called it, 'The Most Hated Family in the WORLD,'" she said. In the last hours of the last days, she explained, Jesus said his chosen will be "hated by all men."

Phelps-Roper, along with her father, the Rev. Fred Phelps, and other family members who make up Westboro Baptist Church, may yet get their wish.

The family's inflammatory picketing -- "Thank God for dead soldiers" is a favorite sign -- has prompted more than 40 state legislatures and Congress to pass laws. This week, the Supreme Court takes up the battle over how the Phelpses spread their message: that the nation's tolerance of homosexuality has drawn God's condemnation.

It creates an only-in-America quandary: whether the freedom of speech is so powerfully woven into the nation's fabric that it protects one family's right to vile and hurtful protest at the very moment of another family's most profound grief.

Albert Snyder, whose son Matthew's 2006 funeral in a little town in northern Maryland is at the center of the case, says that right cannot possibly exist.

"It is an insult to every American who has died for the freedom of speech," Snyder said in a recent interview. "No one in the history of the nation has ever protested like this. Don't tell me that my son died for that. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Funeral Case to Decide Price of Freedom of Speech
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.