Gay hate church trial nears end
Shirley Phelps-Roper took the witness stand last week as the lawsuit brought against her father’s Westboro Baptist Church drew to a close.
Phelps-Roper told jurors at the courtroom in Baltimore that she was an angel sent to speak the truth to “earth dwellers” about the hate God has for their evil.
She explained last week that’s why she picketed the funeral of Matthew Snyder, a 20-year-old Marine who was killed in Iraq in March of 2006.
Closing statements are expected today.
After 33,000 protests over the last 17 years, the Snyder case is thought to be the first individual lawsuit brought against the Phelps family and their Westboro Baptist Church.
The Snyder family is seeking unspecified damages in the case for invasion of privacy and intent to inflect emotional distress.
According to McClatchy Newspapers, Phelps-Roper testified the family pickets military funerals because, “we are supposed to be timely and topical.”
Noting that Fred Phelps Sr. and his offspring are used to being mocked and scorned, she explained on Thursday that the same thing happened to Noah, who preached of a forthcoming flood for 120 years.
When asked if she had any regrets about her actions outside the St. John Catholic Church, she replied: ‘”If I was sorry, I would not have done it.”
She said God had killed Matthew Snyder so that His servants could preach how the young Marine had gone to fight for “the United States of Sodom, a filthy country,” which has institutionalised sodomy and represents all things evil and wicked.
Albert Snyder told jurors last week that he regarded many of the signs at his son’s funerals as personal attacks and that seeing them made him sick to his stomach, according to The Associated Press.
Judge Richard Bennett told the jury that limits to free speech exist and that some actions can be deemed so offensive and outrageous that they do not qualify for protection.
The notorious Phelps family appear to be revelling in the spotlight of the trial.
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On Saturday alone, members the Kansas family demonstrated at the funerals of three soldiers. They also protested that day at the funeral of a Maryland State trooper.
As his sister was testifying one of her 12 siblings was continuing the family business outside the gate of the U.S. Naval Academy in nearby Annapolis.
When Jonathan Phelps was asked how an unfavorable jury verdict would affect the family’s activities, he said, “Let me think about that. It takes me about a nanosecond. Zilcho.
“Let me put it to you this way: How much money you think it takes to pay for an ad that says ‘God hates fags’ in the Baltimore Sun?” he asked.
“I’ve never bought any advertising, but it takes big bucks from what I’ve heard.”
Phelps also expressed thanks for the August bridge collapse in Minnesota -a warning to that evil state -and last week’s fires in California – “a great harbinger of better things to come.”