Prior to yesterday’s death of Fred Phelps, the Military Times spoke to the man who fought Westboro Baptist Church right up to the Supreme Court for picketing the funeral of his Marine Corps son.
Al Snyder sued Westboro Baptist after its members picketed the funeral of his son, Lance Cpl. Matt Snyder, who was killed in Iraq on March 3, 2006. Snyder did not see the protest during the service, but afterward he saw television coverage of church members holding signs that “God hates you,” “You’re in hell,” and “Semper Fi fags.” The case went all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled in the church’s favor in 2011, deciding the protest had been held peacefully in a public place and the issues the church raised were a matter of public concern. Even though the Westboro Baptist Church protested his son’s funeral, Snyder won’t lash out at Phelps during his last days. “I do not like Westboro Baptist Church; I don’t have anything nice to say about them, but if I had anything bad to say about them at this time — or if he dies — it would put me in the same category as him, and I don’t want to be in that category,” he said. “I don’t like hate.”
The attorney in that SCOTUS case says, “I think the best revenge for people is to show Pastor Phelps and his family the mercy and compassion that they’ve denied to everyone else and I’d encourage to pray for him. If somebody feels the need to get back at the Phelps group, support the wounded warrior groups.” (Tipped by JMG reader Eric)