Westboro Baptist Church: Expert Newsjackers

This semester, I am taking Freedom of Expression at Brockport. The class takes a look at the way that the Supreme Court of the United States has interpreted our rights throughout history. Needless to say, class-wide arguments and disagreements happen pretty often.

Last week, we debated a relatively recent case that most of us are probably familiar with. In Snyder v. Phelps et al., the Supreme Court deemed the actions of the Westboro Baptist Church acceptable. If you don’t recognize the name, this is the group that protests the funerals of fallen US soldiers with incredibly bold, at times unthinkable messages. Click this link if you would like to (most likely) be offended and learn more about Westboro Baptist Church.

Before I get too far into this, please understand that I do not agree with the messages that the Westboro Baptist Church proliferates, nor do I condone its actions. However, from a strictly PR perspective, these people are bordering not only on insanity, but also on genius.

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