The Topeka, Kansas-based Westboro Church is a very small homophobic, anti- Semitic hate group that regularly stages protest around the country. The group first started as a non-profit organization in 1967. The Westboro Baptist Church is made up of its pastor, and some of his children and grandchildren. The Westboro Baptist church is well known for picketing places and or events they see as supporting homosexuals or Jews.
Albert Snyder, Matthew Snyder’s father, filed suit against Westboro Baptist Church. Originally, he sued Fred Phelps, Phelps’s daughters and the church claiming five different torts: defamation, publicity given to private life, intentional infliction of emotional distress, intrusion upon seclusion, and civil conspiracy. Of these five, three of them initially held ground in court. The district court ruled that defamation and publicity to private life could not be adequately proven. (Snyder v. Phelps)
According to Cornell University’s Legal Information Institute, Snyder v. Phelps dealt with the First Amendment’s Freedom of Speech and whether to protect or restrict speech dealing with protesters at military funerals. The Westboro Baptist Church was founded in 1955 by Fred Phelps. Since the past twenty years, the church has made public its position on homosexuality in American society and in the military by suggesting that the United States was overly tolerant and military veterans who died in combat did so because the American people were sinners. Members of the Westboro Baptist Church had before protested at the funerals of hundreds of deceased military veteran who died in combat. These protests usually took place on public land such as
The Westboro Baptist Church’s activities and views are abhorrent. However, the supreme court’s ruling in favor of Phelps in the Snyder case is one that must be supported, and more generally there is an undeniable right for such a group to exist. Picketing at funerals does deliver more extreme emotional damage families of the victims than other forms of free speech, but the remedy should not be to limit the right of these groups to picket. There are already existing limits on the proximity in which such picketing of the funerals can be, which mu...
Homosexual! Deviant! Abomination! Sodomite! Pervert! Vocabulary such as this is used every Sunday in churches across the United States of America. While the majority of believers within a conservative congregation might proudly shout “AMEN!” each time one of these terms is spouted off from behind the pulpit, others cringe as they sink further and further down into their seats. These believers sit quietly and pray that their discomfort isn’t noticeable to others; desperately hoping that the person behind the mask they wear remains undiscovered. For these believers the mask they wear is essential for them to remain a part of a faith community. This scenario is played out in the everyday lives of gay individuals that feel as though they are forced to choose between who they are and what they believe. While some wear a mask and deny their sexuality, others walk away from their faith completely. Each individual that attempts to reconcile their faith with their sexuality has a unique journey, but unfortunately not all have a happy ending.
According to a study done by National Youth Association in 2010, 9 out of 10 students in the LGBT community have experienced harassment in school, and over ⅓ of LGBT youth have attempted suicide. More recently, statistics by the Human Rights Campaign (hrc.org) claim that 4 in 10 LGBT youth say that their community is not accepting of LGBT people. In 1998 the Westboro Baptist Church was brought into America’s spotlight when they picketed the funeral of Matthew Shepard, a young man in the LGBT community who had been beaten to death because of his sexuality. Since then, the cruelty of WBC hasn’t ceased to leave many in sickening shock. Bullying, throughout time, has evolved. It’s not just Little Timmy being beaten up for his lunch money anymore. Now, parents are involved. Many religious households raise their children on the beliefs that bullying is A-OK if Little Timmy is a homosexual. Parents ar...
Hate Groups in the United States Right now, there are many active hate groups in the United States such as the Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazi, Skinheads, Christian identity, Black Separatists, etc. These hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan, which is one of America’s oldest and more feared, use violence and move above the law to promote their different causes. Another example is a group called Christian Identity, who describes a religion that is fundamentally racist and anti-Semitic; and other are the Black Separatist groups, who are organizations whose ideologies include tenets of racially based hatred. Because of the information gathered by the Intelligence Project from hate groups’ publications, citizen’s reports, law enforcement agencies, field sources and news reports, many people know about these hate groups.
The KKK or Ku Klux Klan was founded in 1866 in Pulaski, Tennessee by former Confederate Soldiers. Some of the founders of this organization consisted of; Captain John Lester, Major James Crowe, and Richard Reed to name a few. Their main target at the time was blacks and any white person that stood with them. The Ku Klux Klan was the head of the racism movement in America. Being a hate group among minorities, they made them live in terror day in and day out. The KKK was the most feared group of people in the 1860’s.
5. Krueger, Alan B., and Jitka Maleckova. “Education, Poverty and Terrorism: Is There a Causal Connection?” The Journal of Economic Perspectives 17.4 (Autumn, 2003), 119-144.
A deviant act is not always considered to be criminal, but a criminal act can be considered deviant behavior. Homosexuality is an act that can be considered deviant amongst a vast percentile of Americans. The act of Homosexuality went from be illegal to now being a legal act amongst Americans. Unlike Homosexuality, Christian bible studies across America have went from being a legal expression and gathering to illegal in the eyes of some states in America. Homosexuality is no longer considered deviant in America but has gone from a mental disorder to a normal functional behavior. Christianity on the other hand has gone from what American values were founded on to targeting bible studies throughout America making them illegal and deviant.