Well, there's justice for you. Sometimes the system does actually work.
(Reuters) - A jury on Wednesday ordered an anti-gay Kansas church to pay $10.9 million in damages to relatives of a U.S. Marine who died in Iraq after church members cheered his death at his funeral.
Now look, I believe, most strongly, in the 1st Amendment. I think if you want to burn the American Flag, then it's your right to do so. But, don't be surprised when I punch you right in the nose, because that's how I exercise my freedom of expression. People should be accountable for what they say and do.
I think that Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church have the right to protest the War, the Army, the godless heathens (which they define as everybody but themselves), gays, and cheese sandwiches for all I care. Even if they are little more than a thinly disguised hate group. But, I think they should be held accountable for their actions and the pain that they have inflicted on the rest of us - and most especially the families of the fallen. I suppose it is ethically better that they should have to pay money, rather than having the utter shit kicked out of them, each and every one.
They'll appeal, of course. They'll claim religious persecution. They'll claim 1st Amendment protection. They'll use every trick they can find to tie up the legal system for years (at least one of Phelps' daughterwives is a lawyer, of the lunatic nutcase variety, if I remember right). It is unlikely that they'll pay a dime any time soon. But this is a start, and there needs to be more of it. The families of every fallen service member that these jerks have inflicted their particularly noxious brand of bile on, should band together and file a class action suit.
Or, we could all just line up and start punching them in their collective noses. Repeatedly.
Before anybody asks: I have no idea why Fred is wearing an 'Alaska' Sweatshirt in the Reuters photo. He gets an extra punch in the nose from everybody in Alaska, just for that.