May 10, 2013 |
In the post-9/11 culture wars over Islamic fundamentalism, American conservatives - properly - have condemned attempts in Muslim countries to punish blasphemy or insults to the prophet Muhammad. It will be interesting to see if they are similarly outraged over what has happened to an art student at Carnegie Mellon University who insulted the pope. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that CMU filed criminal charges against Katherine B. O'Connor, 19, and Robb S. Godshaw, 22. The university acted after the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh asked it to investigate a parade and carnival at CMU at which a female student was photographed “dressed from the waist up in an ensemble that resembles the clothing worn by the pope.
March 27, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Television crews flipped on spotlights and pro-gay marriage activists erected a speaker's podium in front of the Supreme Court on Wednesday morning as the nine justices prepared to hear a second day of arguments about whether same-sex couples have a legal right to marry. A line of lawyers, spectators and activists several hundred long stretched down the block to get into the courtroom. After the festival atmosphere during Tuesday's session on California's Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage, the crowd of a few hundred people was smaller and the mood was more muted on Wednesday.
March 20, 2013 |
Aaron Jackson got his colorful idea while stalking the Westboro Baptist Church on Google. The 31-year-old activist wanted to see what the notorious church looked like. For years, Topeka, Kan.-based Westboro protesters have been picketing soldiers' funerals with anti-gay messages. Jackson, who runs a global orphanage and antipoverty nonprofit, was seized by curiosity. He panned the camera around on Google Earth to get a ground-level view of the neighborhood and saw a house for sale across the street.
February 21, 2013 |
The Westboro Baptist Church, best known for picketing military funerals because God hates a country that tolerates gay people (or something like that), is picketing my alma mater next week. Vassar College, a small liberal arts school in New York's Hudson Valley, is hardly the first school that Westboro's "congregation" (which is really just one large family in Topeka, Kan., led by 83-year-old pastor Fred Phelps) has visited with signs bearing its signature motto, "God Hates Fags. " But Vassar may be the first to pull the jujitsu move of using the demonstration to raise money in support of the very thing being demonstrated against.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 17, 2012 |
SACRAMENTO - Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Monday to bar protests near funerals, prevent future accounting scandals and provide some legal amnesty to people seeking medical help for drug overdoses. The measure protecting funerals says protesters on public property must be at least 300 feet from the burial site. Violators could be fined $1,000 or jailed for six months. The restrictions are a response to protests by the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church, whose members have picketed military funerals to say the death of soldiers is punishment for the country's tolerance of homosexuality.
May 29, 2011 |
Thousands of tornado survivors lined Joplin's main thoroughfares Sunday in anticipation of President Obama's tour of the storm-ravaged city, holding American flags and banners declaring the city would come back from its devastation. Obama flew over the worst-hit area of the city, viewing it from above, before landing in Joplin just after 12:20 p.m. CDT. "This town is beat, but we're not broke," said Catherine Maples, who wore a T-shirt scrawled with the words, "A country town can survive.