Westboro Baptist Church

Westboro Baptist Church

  1. Westboro Baptist Church has gained notoriety in the past few years by staging protests at funerals.  Often they will protest at a military funeral because they oppose the war.  Sometimes they will disrupt a funeral because they oppose a person or group’s political stance on abortion, gay marriage or another controversial issue.
  2. Despite a distaste for protesting at a solemn and respectful occasion like a funeral many people (judges included) have upheld their right to do so based on the First Amendment protection for freedom of speech. Others feel their right to voice their opinions in this way is outweighed by the family’s right to privacy (also protected by the Constitution) and they should not be allowed to continue.
  3. Read the following article from The Huffington Post (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.about an group that tries to stop the Westboro protestors from staging these events and write an original 250 word post explaining your opinion on the issue. (See also Snyder v. Phelps on page 80 of the textbook.) Compare the constitutional rights of the three groups (WBC, the group trying to stop them, the family of the deceased.)  Which right is most important?  Should they (WBC) be allowed to continue or should the courts be willing to issue an injection preventing them from these types of activities?
  4. Write an original 250+ word post by Wednesday of the week the discussion is due.  In your post mention the article you have read at least twice and give your opinion on the issue in a clear and understandable manner. Always discuss any ethical issues that are involved. Cite any other sources you use when writing your post at the end of your submission.  After writing your own post, reply to the posts of two other students before the discussion board due date.  Replies should be at least 150 words long and ask questions or otherwise encourage discussion.  Replies that simply compliment or disagree with the post will not be accepted for credit
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