I'm pretty sure they don't. At least not the way you're making it sound. The WBC isn't even protesting on the funeral grounds thanks to the laws passed. That's the only thing that's really been done, is to limit the distance from the funeral they can be and their allotted time slot to do so. Congress has only agreed that they shouldn't be directly ON the site and shouldn't hang around too long, not that their speech needs to be removed entirely. Maybe I missed something?
Thanks to the laws passed. If you agree with the law we have nothing to argue about.
Time and time again, our judicial system, the very thing that is supposed to be interpreting the intent of our Constitution, has upheld their right. Sorry you don't agree, but the last I checked, they have just as much of a check and balance as the other branches.Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire
. The Court said unanimously that even if you have political content to your message there is a level of incivility - even in a public place - which does not fall under First Amendment protection. The Supreme Court continues to uphold that reasoning to this day.
Not all of the laws you're talking about involve offense. Pot is not banned because people are offended, pot is banned because of the false notion our government has upheld that legalizing it will be a detriment to our society.
Wrong or not people think that society will be worse off. They think they'll be worse off. They think they'll be hurt, offended, annoyed. I don't think they're particularly concerned with the pot smoker.
Again: laws are passed to maintain a functioning and healthy society, not just because some people take personal offense to it.
Which is in the eye of the beholder. I think funerals free of heckling are cogent with a functioning and healthy society.
That's absolutely ridiculous.
Suicide is illegal, as far as I understand, largely to get help for those who are unsuccessful -- and even then, those people aren't usually punished, they're sent to a mental health facility. Suicide is unhealthy for society, so we discourage it.
But there you are. It's not about the individual doing what he/she wants - as you say, it's about being unhealthy for society.
So you agree that society can dictate whether a person dies of his own accord. It seems like less of an imposition to dictate that they can't protest within some distance of a funeral.
I believe I already mentioned earlier that there ARE "offense laws", so yes, things like public nudity and public sex and banning nudity/swear words/etc on TV are offense-based. And they're largely not always in the right. I think at least the swearing/nudity on TV/radio/etc ones are ridiculous, but that's a whole different topic.
It's not a different topic since you've invoked legality and constitutionality on several occasions, and yet.
As I said before we aren't lawyers, though, so I
think it's irrelevant.
IDK, my BFF The Social Contract which is also closely related to the more generalized social contracts, the very things by which our society -- and government have formed? Hahaha, ridiculous commercial reference aside, I think Hobbes and Rousseau and the gang would be awfully offended at their long-researched, debated, and well-formulated philosophies were boiled down to little more than people getting offended. It's a little more complex than that.
No one that has read Leviathan
would cite Hobbes in defense of free speech. It is the most fervent argument in favor of fascism since Plato and he would say that I'm not being nearly hard enough on the WBC.
And "social contract." It has nothing to do with "sovereign rights," which you have cited before. These concepts are incoherent with one another. Neither Hobbes nor Rousseau thought that there was such a thing as "sovereign rights" - they thought society should arrive at a contract, a purely artificial thing, based on what materially benefits them. Harm and offense are part of that. Rousseau had a far more expansive concept of liberty than Hobbes did but I'm not sure that even he would see the social value in protesting a funeral.
But the people writing them weren't writing them solely to avenge their own offense, that's selfish and undermines the life that was taken.
When I was growing up I used to think that, but then I realized - why don't people care about people dying in Rwanda or the Congo? It's on TV all the time, they see it when they sit down for dinner, why don't they care? Why don't they do something? They pay for police, an army, they're prepared to fight for their country - if it was their family being shot up what would they do?
It's because they don't value human life. They value the people they love and they protect them. Anyone else is charity. It's selfish.
I'm saying if the majority didn't want to hear you talk about being gay and banned it, you'd probably be pretty indignant about it.
Actually since I'm closeted I probably wouldn't mind but if they closed my gay clubs I'd be pretty fucking pissed.
But I'm not asking the WBC to stop talking. I'm just questioning the venues.
They're not protesting on funeral grounds. They are not literally at the funeral. They are OUTSIDE the funeral. They are NOT there on the grave dancing in top hats and pissing on the headstone. They are literally NOT at the funeral at any point in time during their protest.
Yeah, there's a line drawn in the sand at the edge of the property line that magically hides the protesters from the funeral...
They don't have to physically be on the tombstone to disrupt the funeral. And frankly even if the funeral cortege has to see them I'm not sure that's far away enough.
Kind of like how there are plenty of other places to put a mosque away from Ground Zero?
As someone who works in one of the tallest buildings in Manhattan, I want that mosque there. The people setting up that mosque are the kind of people that Islam needs to represent it in America. And actually there is already a mosque in that building.
But if people show up next to Ground Zero with placards saying that me (a gay guy) or my friends in the military deserve to die, there is a place for them in American political discourse but there can be certain reasonable limitations on where they can do that. The WBC and the people setting up that mosque downtown are not the same.
What places are we talking exactly? If a public place that can be used by any other group isn't good enough, then you can refer right back to content discrimination.
Does the WBC need to be at a funeral to get its point across? Because I fervently agree that it its valuable for an unpopular viewpoint to have a place to state its beliefs. The WBC, Muslims, and gay guys all deserve a place to speak. But society (the judiciary) can - and does routinely say - that they can do that somewhere else if it causes greater harm to American society than it benefits American democracy. A funeral is not the only place these people can go. Can we not draw a line without erasing them?