Judge allows father of slain Marine to post suit against church

BALTIMORE – Attorneys for a Pennsylvania man whose son was killed in Iraq have been given permission to use alternative methods to serve notice of a civil complaint against a fundamentalist Kansas church that stages protests at military funerals.

Albert Snyder’s son, Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, was killed on March 3.

His funeral in Westminster, Md., was picketed a week later by members of the Westboro Baptist Church, who maintain that military casualties in Iraq are God’s punishment for America’s tolerance of homosexuality. The group typically carry signs with slogans such as “God Hates Fags” and “Thank God for IEDs,” a reference to the roadside bombs used by insurgents.

Snyder’s lawsuit, filed June 5, alleges church members violated the family’s right to privacy and defamed the Marine and his family at the funeral and on the church’s Web site. Church leader Fred Phelps has denied any wrongdoing.

Westboro Baptist Church: Hate Group
The Westboro Baptist Church is a hate group masquerading as a Christian church. Led by Fred Phelps, members of this church target homosexuals with messages of hate.

The group’s extremist views and despicable behavior mark it as a cult of Christianity

Last week, Snyder’s attorneys asked a federal court for permission to use alternate methods to serve notice on the church and its members, saying a private detective had tried without success to serve them on 27 different dates.

U.S. District Judge Richard Bennett granted the motion on Wednesday, allowing Snyder’s attorneys to post the complaint at the church and to mail it.

Church member Shirley Phelps-Roper said last week that the group has not been ducking the process server.

“If there is a person who is trying to serve us in this community, unless they’re lazy, there is no reason why they shouldn’t have been able to serve us,” Phelps-Roper said. “Hello! Do you need a road map?”


(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
AP, via TimesLeader.com, USA
Aug. 7, 2006
, , ,

Religion News Blog posted this on Monday August 7, 2006.
Last updated if a date shows here:


More About This Subject

Travel Religiously

Whether you call it "religion tourism," "religious travel," "faith-based touring," or even "on-site religion studying," spiritual tourism (if you will) is popular.

Wherever your travel - for any reason at all - book your skip-the-line tickets via GetYourGuide


Our website includes affiliate links, which means we get a small commission -- at no additional cost to you -- for each qualifying purpose. For instance, as an Amazon Associate, Religion News Blog earns from qualifying purchases. That is one reason why we can provide this research service free of charge.

Speaking of which: One way in which you can support us — at no additional cost to you — is by shopping at Amazon.com.