Snyder, whose son was killed in Iraq, was a special guest today at the American Legion conference in Washington, DC where he accepted a donation from the veterans to apply to his legal fees, which includes a payment due to the Westboro Baptist Church
Snyder has battled the church group, run by Fred Phelps and daughters Margie Phelps and Shirley Phelps-Roper, since the death of his son in 2006. He is responsible for paying the legal fees and court costs incurred by Westboro Baptist Church following the recent Supreme Court decision
in which the court voted 8-1 in favor of the Westboro.
"What Westboro said, in the whole context of how and where it chose to say it, is entitled to special protection under the First Amendment and that protection cannot be overcome by a jury finding that the picketing was outrageous," said Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts [PDF
"American Legion National Commander Jimmie Foster told
the crowd in Washington today that "This is simply an outrage." To a standing ovation, Foster presented Snyder a check for $26,458.58 onstage at the conference to help cover his costs throughout the process. The majority of that money was raised online through The American Legion's Burn Pit
Snyder spoke to the veterans gathered at the conference in the nation's capital today. He said
"I am not done fighting the Westboro Baptist Church and the emotional strain its anti-gay, anti-military protests cause families at private funerals.
"It's been a long battle, but I'm not about to give up just because some people on the Supreme Court said (the church) could do it. I will continue to press for legislation to make the picketing and protesting at funerals a little bit harder for members of the Westboro Baptist Church."
"Veterans have probably been my biggest supporters over the past four and a half years," Snyder explained. "I don't think I could have done what I have done without the support of all of you and all of our active-duty soldiers and Marines. I know one person who has been with me through this whole time; Matt was a very loyal son; he was a very loyal friend and brother. And I know Matt would be supporting this 100 percent because he wouldn't want to see another family go through what we went through."
When contacted today, Shirley Phelps-Roper said "God blessed America! America turned on God like a whorish wife and forgot her beginnings. Albert Snyder was a fortunate recipient of God’s merciful words. He has a special delivery of the Bread of Life, that if a man ate there from, he would never hunger again! Albert Snyder loathed that Bread of Life!
Phelps-Roper continued, "Albert Snyder, father of a dead and in hell Marine hooked up with some other military brutes and, in violation of plain and settled law, sued WBC and three of her members, including me. He was aided and abetted in his crimes by Doomed America. This hating nation had a duty to tell Albert Snyder “Don’t do this, it will never work.”
“The First Amendment is our weapon to beat the nations of the world with. It is what makes us unique from every other nation. At every level, in every corner, border to border, sea to shining sea, All failed in their duty, she added.
"We submitted ourselves to that crime, because God is our avenger. We have nothing like what God can whip out of his armory, so we just obey the laws of God and man. We went through the process and according to the law, after Albert Snyder and his military thug enablers, that law that they turned to and disobeyed, says that if you experiment with the First Amendment, you might end up owing the costs of that litigation!
"We tried every way to warn them off of that mischief, for their sake. We knew the promises of God, that he would deliver us from that evil work, and that he would cause it to turn to us, for a testimony in the whole earth! I will testify to you now, that God fulfilled that promise! Again and again, that case has turned to us for a testimony.
When asked if she thought Snyder would apply the check to the bill for the Westboro legal fees, she responded: "I did not read the news release, but I will tell you what I expect. Albert Snyder is a perverted rebel against God, with no cause! He does not obey the laws of God. He made shipwreck of his house, such that his wife and in-laws want no part of his crap and he sent his son to hell with no hope for eternity of anything except torment. Now you wonder if he will obey the laws of man? He never has obeyed anything a day in his life! He is the photo of a profane person, all his decisions are made with an eye toward me, me, me, me. He doesn’t care about his children or any other thing except how he feels."
"You want to know if we expect this brute to now change his manner of life to obey the law? Not peaceably he won’t. He said our blood was going to flow in the streets. He is busy thumping God in the nose and hoping it is going to go well. The last discussion in this earth that will matter shortly is if he is going to obey the law and pay his debt! He has a GodSmack coming that will make the ears of them that hear of it, to tingle! Hold for that," said Shirley Phelps-Roper.
Snyder concluded his speech to the Legionnaires by asking them "to contact their lawmakers and ask them to introduce legislation that would legally restrict the Westboro church funeral protesters from disrupting funerals."