One Picture: The face of war

afghanistan_arlington.jpg

Robert Baldwin of Muscatine, Iowa was buried yesterday at Arlington National Cemetery. He was killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan last month. This is one of his four children.

What you don’t see in the picture are the protesters from Westboro Baptist Church, who were on their way to the Supreme Court for yesterday’s arguments about whether they have the right to protest at the funerals of soldiers. The church celebrates the deaths of soldiers, saying it’s God’s retribution for American policies toward homosexuals.

Here are the court transcripts of the oral arguments.

  • andy

    Stories such as this make me wish I believed in heaven/hell. If there was a hell, surely there would be a special place for these protesters. They’re just not good people. It’s sad.

  • Heather

    I’ve been wondering lately what the money trail looks like on the Westboro Baptist Church. Where does their funding come from? Are they tax exempt? Should the really BE tax exempt? (If a church consisting solely of family members can not pay taxes, why aren’t we all churches?) I don’t think they are going to lose in a First Amendment case, but there must be other ways to sanction them.

  • jon

    Heather, I don’t believe this is a “first amendment case” per say… What is actually on trial, from my understanding, is the right of the Father of a kill solider to seek legal action against protesters who said he raised his son to be the a pawn of evil… or some such equally slanderous statement…

    it won’t take away the “churches” right to say such things, just allow the people they say it about to seek damages for emotional anguish under other (state) laws.

  • Tyler

    It’s constantly surprising to me what people will do in the name of their deity/ies.

  • Heather

    Jon, I believe the Snyder family was originally awarded damages, but that decision was later overturned on the grounds that the Phelps “church” is engaging in speech protected by the First Amendment.

  • Jim Shapiro

    There is the law, and then there is the right thing to do. No jury would convict a bereaved family member who took action to stop this cruelty.