Westboro Baptist Church from Topeka, Kansa, made news in the last few days becuase they won a lawsuit against a man who had sued them fro disrupting his son's funeral. Matthew Snyder was a Marine who served us and gave his life for our country while fighting in Iraq. Protestors from Westboro Baptist Church showed up at the funeral and tuanted the family with slogans such as "You're going to hell," "God hates you" and "Thank God for dead soldiers." (See the following website http://www.sbcbaptistpress.org/BPnews.asp?ID=32652 for more on how other Baptist Churches are reacting.)
Al Snyder, the father of the fallen soldier, sued the Church "for invasion of privacy and distress. A jury awarded him $5 million." The church then appealed the decision to a federal appelate court which overturned the award and also ordered that Mr. Snyder pay the legal fees for the church to defend itself. This has set off a firestorm of anger across the coutnry.
A Facebook page called, "I support Al Snyder in His fight against Westboro Baptist Church" has garnered over 260,000 signers so far. The sponsors of the page are encouraging people to sign the Facebook page to show Mr. Snyder their support for the fight against those who are dishonoring the fallen.
The Westboro Baptist church does this regularly. One pastor who officated at the funeral of one of his church members in the state of Indiana became so distraught by the protest that he lost his health and ended up resigning from his pastorate. It is a sad day when these protesters make a difficult situation even worse by declaring that God is punishing America by killing off our soldiers.
As one who is a Christian, this writer stands with those who oppose the actions of the Westboro Church and its pastor, Fred Phelps. One does not find any rational explanation for the excessive use of hate mongering by the church and its pastor. One wonders how long he can keep up the rhetoric and actaully have people listen to him.