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The church’s attorney said the outcome of the case will not affect the work of Mr. Phelps and his flock. “The Westboro Baptist Church will talk to the nation until the job is done,” Margie Phelps said.

Mr. Snyder said he thinks a victory would “put a dent” in the Phelpses’ ability to travel far and wide to other military funerals.

He wants other parents, having just been told a child was killed in action, not to have worry that the funeral might be disrupted. “I had one chance to bury my son and it was taken from me,” Mr. Snyder said.

But he also struck a more ominous tone. “It has to be stopped,” Mr. Snyder said. “If the courts don’t stop it, believe me, someone is going to.”