Ladies and Gentlemen, regardless of what you think about Fred Phelps, you ought to be terribly concerned about the government taking over any church because of the actions of its pastor and members.
The $5 million penalty is the result of a lawsuit filed against three of the church's principals by Albert Snyder, the father of Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew A. Snyder, whose funeral was picketed by church members.
The senior Snyder contended the picketing caused emotional distress and invasion of privacy.
Westboro Baptist members regularly picket funerals of members of the U.S. armed forces, contending the deaths are God's punishment for the country's support of homosexuals.
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