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Westboro Baptist Church Plans to Protest Plymouth Soldier's Funeral

The Church whose members are known to protest military funerals has issued a press release saying the congregation will protest Army Spc. Steven Gutowski's funeral, but some Plymouth residents and friends of the Gutowskis are planning a counter protest.

With signs painted with phrases like "GOD HATES AMERICA & IS KILLING
OUR TROOPS IN HIS WRATH" The Westboro Baptist Church, is planning a protest outside St. Peter's Church Monday. The group, from Topeka, Kansas, claims to have conducted more than 46,000 such protests across the country since 1991.

As soon as Plymouth residents heard the news, the immediately began plans for a protest of their own--against Westboro's hateful speech. Those plans are nascent right now, according to coordinators, who hope to get the Gutowski family's permission to show their solidarity as a community for its fallen son.

What do you think? Does this out-of-state religious group have the right to protest military funerals based on the First Amendment? Is it hate speech?

Does this other group of Plymouth residents have the right idea to counterprotest the Westboro Baptist Church.

Does the Gutowski family get a say in any of this, while they're dealing with the grief of losing a son and brother?

Take our poll below and tell us how you feel about this difficult situation. What would you do?

Kristy October 17, 2011 at 12:00 PM
Joe, Not one of the people who left messages here nor any of the average people in America have a say in wether or not we got to war. None of us can change what is or what will be. We can disagree with it but when men are sent off to war because the president say so we need to support THEM. I agree with you- I do not think we should be the world's police! But my son is in the army and he goes where they tell him to. I didn't want him to join but he did because he wanted to be a part of something bigger than himself- he wanted to do something important. I think what the people here are saying about the WBC is that why do they feel the need to spread the hate by protesting AT a funeral? Why would you do that to the parents? Burying a child is the saddest thing a parent could do! Why would a group of people ADD stress and grief to their lives ON PURPOSE?? On a more personal note, the contradictions you pointed out in the bible are the reason I am not Catholic anymore. To me, God cannot be all-forgiving and turn around and take an eye for an eye. But that's a PERSONAL choice I made... That's why I didn't bring religion into it to begin with. This only has to do with God because the WBC CLAIMS they are doing Gods work. No matter what God you believe in there is no way anyone can convince me they are "doing Gods work".
Claire Watts October 17, 2011 at 12:33 PM
I still feel so strongly that if the media and everyone else in this country just simple ignored these people - total silent treatment - no stories at all about when and where they're showing up - then who could they sue to stay in business?
Maz October 17, 2011 at 05:50 PM
There was a counter protest! Not one church goer showed up! COWARDS! I guess 160 bikers scared them away. DO THE RIGHT THING AND RESPECT THE FAMILY! If it was not for US SOLDIERS defending your rights, you would be speaking German, Japanese, or some other language besides English right now! Not ever soldier has the choice if they want to fight in this war, some signed up for the reserves years ago...they did not sign up to go to war. Some did, some did not. GO PROTEST ON THE FRONT LAWN OF THE WHITE HOUSE if you want to be "anti-war"!! Have some respect! What the church douches are doing is just WRONG in every way!
Joe Rizoli October 18, 2011 at 08:01 AM
Joe Rizoli CCFIILE.com Kristy, not being a Catholic anymore certainly is a personal choice, I made getting out of that church eons ago. BUT consider, Gods dealings with mankind in no way reflects the indiscriminate murder and killing of INNOCENT and righteous people, Please re read that set of Scriptures in Revelation. The rider of that white horse, "in righteousness he doth judge and make war" Please consider that and ponder that. If God in his justice and mercy does what he has promised, and he does judge in righteousness, unless we are truly wicked, our future, if we live long enough, has a better ending. If not we will continue to see more Servicemen in body bags fighting the wars of Israel that we have no business fighting. Wars that make us ask the question, which countries are the real danger to us and our servicemen? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHqfuXl31YY&feature=player_embedded Joe Rizoli
cam October 20, 2011 at 12:49 AM
Westboro Baptist Church spreads its hate through picketing in our streets, provoking attacks, with abusive language and flag desecration, attempting to create a confrontation. This is not a church, this is a hate group. This is not about protesting, freedom, or God. They are in it for the money and the press; this is a family law firm. They are not a "church." It is a scam. They go after anything that can get them in the news. This is a family of lawyers using this “god hates you” thing to make money. It is time for this scam to end.

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