The Instigator
Itsallovernow
Pro (for)
Losing
14 Points
The Contender
Xenith967
Con (against)
Winning
20 Points

Albert Snyder vs. Westboro Baptist Church (Supreme Court Case)

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/6/2010 Category: News
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,940 times Debate No: 13282
Debate Rounds (5)
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Votes (5)

 

Itsallovernow

Pro

I would like this to be a reasonable debate. Pro assumes the case of Albert Snyder, and Con will assume the Westboro case. Primarily, this scopes the right to privacy and to grieve vs. the constitutional amendment to protest under the First Amendment. The only rule is that you can not use the Supreme Court ruling as evidence in the debate. Good luck in the debate, Con.

=Opening Statement=

In a nation ravenged by war, it is universally beholden as truth that the lives given to protect another in our military are sacred and consecreated.
"We have come to dedicate a portion of (this) field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives so that a nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract." (Abraham Lincolin, Gettysburg Address)

The story is one of sorrow. A young Marine, Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder, gave his life for our country's survival. On the beginning of a quiet day of his funeral, with his parents, friends and family grieving at his memory and ultimate sacrifice, cries rang through the air. Let it be known that on that solemn day, there was a protest held at his funeral, with claims "Thank God for dead soldiers." and "Praise God for dead soldiers/Thank God for 9/11!"

What I say is not an exaggeration, though I wish it was. According to wphtv.com "The group said soldiers deserve to die for fighting for a country that tolerates homosexuality."

=Contentions=

1. The right to protest should not overlap a right to privacy and to grieve.
The goal of the church was to demonstrate him and his death, not as an honored sacrifice, but as a dishonorable attempt to protect an undeserving country. They held this protest immediately outside, and at the same time, as the funeral process. This was to intentially and maliciously damage the memory of this soldier. He will be dead forever, yet they chose his burial time, the peak time of his death, to dishonor him.

2. It was the intention of the church to damage the memory of this soldier and harm his family and friends.
At the loss of their only son, the family grieved as best as they could with the cries that his death was deserved barraging them. I would like the audience to imagine the incident, close your eyes for a moment if you will and really envision it. Someone you love, dead, dying to defend the rights of people. Meanwhile, people exercise the rights Snyder died for to dishonor his memory and sacrifice.

=Conclusion=

I stand firm that the protest should have been carried out at a different time or a different place at the time of the funeral, so it would not lap over the right to grieve. What they did was reprehensible, and it was their intention to harm and is so their claim that he deserved to die because he defends a country that is "tolerant" of homosexuals.

1. http://www.kake.com...
2. http://www.whptv.com...
3. www.cephas-library.com/...god/assembly_of_god_member_killed_her_sons.html -
Xenith967

Con

Opening Statement-

The United States of America has many rights that the government cannot tamper with such as freedom of speech in the First Amendment. This one right, extended by the supreme court to all levels, is one that America was founded on. Where would African Americans be without "I have a dream..." -Martin Luther King Junior? Albert Snyder's case is simply a matter of emotional vandalism vs the freedom of speech.

Contention 1

The right to protest should always prevail over a simple funeral procession. Almost every day there is a new protest taking place somewhere in America. Whether a it be at a funeral or at a senatorial rally a protest has never been sued for protesting. Besides the right to protest; a soldier's funeral, unless orchestrated by a highranking official, is open for the public to participate and observe. Albert Snyder sued the church in federal court, arguing that the congregation had violated his family's privacy and inflicted emotional and physical distress, when members carried offensive signs and picketed the funeral of his son, Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder, who died in Iraq. Snyder ultimately won a judgment of $5 million. But a federal appeals court threw out the judgment, finding that the protest signs weren't aimed at Snyder specifically, and said the statements are protected by the Constitution because they contained "imaginative and hyperbolic rhetoric" meant to spark debate.

Contention 2

Eventhough the protesters carried sighns of hate they did not threaten anyone participating in the funeral procession there for Albert Snyder had no right to sue the church on any physical damage. Eventhough the church did protest it was up to Snyder to bury his son there. The westboro baptist had set up a picket line almost a mile down the road towards the cemetary. Any emotional sickness that was caused by the protest was in due, part Snyder's choice.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Westboro Baptist Church had the right to protest at the funeral and should have no penalty for doing so.
Debate Round No. 1
Itsallovernow

Pro

Thank you for accepting.

My opponent states that "The right to protest should always prevail over a simple funeral procession." This is not a simple funeral procession, but a right to privacy and the a right to grieve and mourn. This funeral was not open to them, for the record. According to http://www.npr.org..., they were ordered to stand 1,000 feet away from the funeral. However, the father of the fallen soldier stated, ""The Phelpses took away my last moment with him on Earth. ... They tarnished his funeral."

However, these few protesters made such an elaborate scene that the funeral procession had to be rerouted. Mr. Snyder says, "I shouldn't have to look away from anything at my own child's funeral. That's absurd." "They were essentially hijacking a private moment so they could command an audience," says Sean Summers, Snyder's lawyer, who will represent him in the Supreme Court."

"They turn funerals into a circus. They send out fliers in advance. There were ... state, local, county police; there were ambulances; there were fire trucks; there was a SWAT team," Summers says. "The reality was, the funeral was disrupted like no private funeral should ever be disrupted."

In this, the Church was not observing the funeral, but desecrating it. The argument of the federal appeals court is virtually nonexistant, for there was no final decision, and it is not conclusive evidence for this debate. The Supreme Court must decide which constitutional right is supreme in this case, since both overlap (due to the passive-aggressive insertion of the Church to have their protest as close to the funeral as possible with those signs that condemn him and praise his death.)

You admit yourself these are signs of hate. For what purpose was this but to be a verbal missle to target an already emotionally distressed audience? The government is obligated, above all else to "ensure domestic tranquility". This is not the way. It was the intentional harm to mar the funeral, memory, and right to grieve to the most extreme and unforgivable extent that is unjust.

You state, "Eventhough the church did protest it was up to Snyder to bury his son there. The westboro baptist had set up a picket line almost a mile down the road towards the cemetary. Any emotional sickness that was caused by the protest was in due, part Snyder's choice."

No, they were ordered to stand 1,000 feet away from the funeral, not a mile, not the 5,280 that it takes to make a mile. The emotional sickness you claim Mr. Snyder chose was brought by the death of his son, by his son's sacrifice so that others can have the right to walk over his grave and state that he will burn in Hell for defending a country that tolerates homosexuals. However, he also died for the right of human privacy and the right to grieve.

These Church members have done this at over 44,000 funerals. *(http://www.foxnews.com...) Their signs stated things like "Thank God for Dead Soldiers," "God Hates Fa*gs," and "You're Going to Hell." This was posted, 1000 feet away from the funeral! They claim to support civil-obediance, but they cause an international uproar by misconstruing rights like this? It is not possible.

=Conclusion=

The Church has the right to protest, but it should not overlap and pervade the right to grieve. What they did is, by the majority, morally repugnant and this act has created physical illness because it is so disturbing, so heartless and cruel. The soldier died for the rights of others, protecting the very picketers who stomped all over his memory , waving signs for him to burn in Hell while they emotionally tormented his family.
Xenith967

Con

Xenith967 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Itsallovernow

Pro

My opponent forfieted....arguments extended.
Xenith967

Con

1. When i stated that their picket line was 1 mile outside the city I simply meant that their signs had started appearing outside the city limits but Snyder still buried his son there.

2. The right to protest should always overlap the right to privacy. If this country had made the right to protest a miniscule right then almost all of the famous people and presidents throughout our history would have been nothing.

3. Why would the protest be started somewhere else? On what other circumstance would the protest have actually had anywhere near the magnitude that it had at that time.

4. As you previously stated, "It was the intention of the church to damage the memory of this soldier and harm his family and friends", the church had no intent on harming the family but simply wanted to protest against what the American military stood for.
Debate Round No. 3
Itsallovernow

Pro

1. No, sir, you ment it was 1 mile from the funeral. Even so, they did not have the protest where he was buried, but outside his viewing.

2. In an ordinary case, no right should overlap another, but in this case, there are conflicting rights. That is the purpose of this debate to find what right has more precidence, and, Con, there is no such thing as a miniscule right. Either I have it or don't, and each right garunteed to me by my Constitution by lady liberty grants me the right to exercise it without a biased interpretation of it's value, because it is still my right. In this case, so far, I believe I have established precedence.

3. I do not understand your last additive to the question. To the first, if they felt so strongly in their belief, then they could have had it somewhere else instead of verbally launching hate missles.

4. There is proof, for they were wanting to protest AT his funeral as close as they could get, targeting his memorial/grave and desecrating it with signs of "You're going to burn in hell; Thank God for dead soldiers!" If they had just so 'happened' to be outside of this funeral that they knew nothing about, it would be different. No, the intention was to attract attention to their cause by publicly humiliating the final memory of this man. They targeted this funeral along with over 440,000 others.

=CONCLUSION=

It's time this was ended. A point my opponent did not refute, which I contend primarily for, is thus: "The government is obligated, above all else to ensure domestic tranquility. I would like to add you neglected many of my points.

=VOTE CON=
Xenith967

Con

Xenith967 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Itsallovernow

Pro

:( Arguements extended.
Xenith967

Con

Conclusion
My opponent keeps insisting that these "hate missles" were targeted directly at the Snyders and their deceased son. None of the Westboro Baptist Church's protests or arguments directly implied or spoke of the Snyder name or their son's name, but simply to disagree on what America's armed forces are doing to their country. Also please keep in mind before you vote that my opponent only stated loaded questions almost the entire debating period.

^^^^^^^^VOTE CON^^^^^^^^
Debate Round No. 5
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Vote Placed by Brenavia 6 years ago
Brenavia
ItsallovernowXenith967Tied
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Vote Placed by boredinclass 6 years ago
boredinclass
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Vote Placed by Mac 6 years ago
Mac
ItsallovernowXenith967Tied
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Vote Placed by Itsallovernow 6 years ago
Itsallovernow
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Vote Placed by Xenith967 6 years ago
Xenith967
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