Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tolerance Only Goes So Far

There seem to be limits to America's tolerance.

The Westboro ("God hates America") Baptist Church (WBC) in Topeka Kansas has been, ah, picketing funerals of GIs for several years.

The guy in charge of WBC, Fred Phelps, is under the impression that the American military and America itself is some sort of homosexual conspiracy. "Thank God for dead soldiers" and "God hates fags" are some of the epithets his followers use. There's more at "Does Free Speech Include Disrupting Funerals?"

The answer to that post title's question is, for now, "no." A federal jury in Baltimore, Maryland, awarded $2,900,000 (USD) to Albert Snyder, father of Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder, who was killed in Iraq.

The American Judicial system being what it is, I suspect that there will be a seemingly-interminable series of appeals.

Albert Snyder has a website,, where he spells out how you can help. As I said, even with the verdict (this time) going his way, Mr. Snyder is far from being a millionaire.

And, as for donations made to Mr. Snyder's cause:

"In the event that more money is received than necessary to pay for the costs associated with my lawsuit against Phelps and his clan, any excess money will go to benefit veterans returning from the war, in the form of a scholarship. No donations will be paid to me. Your money will be put to good use. First, we will be able to fight back against Phelps and his followers when they retaliate (they have already threatened to do so). Second, if there is excess money, a well deserved veteran will receive help to further his or her education. Again, I will not personally receive ANY money." (from

Related posts, on Individuals and the War on Terror.
Related posts, on Islam, Christianity, Religion, Culture and the War on Terror.
Related posts, on tolerance, bigotry, racism, and hatred.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.