You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 05, 2016, 02:44:28 PM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: SCOTUS to hear case on military funeral protests.  (Read 7565 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Caeli

Re: SCOTUS to hear case on military funeral protests.
« Reply #75 on: October 10, 2010, 02:14:24 AM »
As has already been noted, Phelps/WBC always comply with local legislature and laws. They strictly remain outside of the distance stipulated in that law, they do not protest inside the church or on funeral grounds, they leave X amount of time before the service begins and don't return until X amount of time after the service ends. They phone into the local police to tell them that they will be protesting there; sometimes, the local police will inform the family (as was done in the Snyder case), in which case the family can reroute the funeral procession (as was done in the Snyder case).

For Snyder's case specifically, he saw the signs and heard what was said at the protest after the funeral service, from his own home, on his television. The Phelps/WBC crew never ventured closer than they were legally allowed - I believe that they make every effort to stay within legal bounds.

As much as I personally find their actions morally reprehensible, I disagree with the sentiment that what they are doing should be made unlawful. They have a right to their free speech as much as anyone else, even if 99% of the rest of the American population disagrees with their message and their methods.

Edited for clarity.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2010, 04:15:43 AM by Caeli »

Offline Noelle

Re: SCOTUS to hear case on military funeral protests.
« Reply #76 on: October 10, 2010, 04:10:39 AM »
There are limits to free speech. You can't break into my apartment and start shouting at me and claim in a courtroom that it's free speech.

Congress passed a law specifically to get these people away from funerals for soldiers. If they want to protest they can do so in other forums. Not a funeral. I'd rather someone break into my house than violate my father's funeral.

Pretty sure this is a case of straw man fallacy (though anyone is free to correct me if that's not quite it). Your example is not comparable at all to reality. Breaking and entering is most definitely not the same thing as taking legal measures to obtain permission to protest on public property outside of the cemetery. Caeli's post details the measures they take to ensure legality. Being offended is not enough, nor should it be.

And on another note, has anyone made the point yet as to why funerals need a special law outside of one's own subjective personal views? What grounds do we have to ban their speech besides any kind of spiritual or emotional connection you have with a funeral (I say this because laws aren't/shouldn't be made based solely on an individual's perception, even if it's shared by a lot of people)?

Offline MasterMischief

Re: SCOTUS to hear case on military funeral protests.
« Reply #77 on: October 10, 2010, 11:02:34 AM »
If it is true their money comes from the lawsuits, then it seems to me people should stop suing them.  It is very counter-intuitive, but if you choke off their funds, you would choke them out.

Online HairyHeretic

  • Lei varai barbu - The true bearded one
  • Knight
  • Addict
  • *
  • Join Date: Dec 2006
  • Location: Ireland
  • Gender: Male
  • And the Scorpion said "Little frog .. I can swim."
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 1
Re: SCOTUS to hear case on military funeral protests.
« Reply #78 on: October 10, 2010, 03:00:39 PM »
Usually I believe it is them sueing other people, for the likes of assaulting them.

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: SCOTUS to hear case on military funeral protests.
« Reply #79 on: October 10, 2010, 08:41:15 PM »
I kind of expect more of the society at large than the wackos, and it's especially sad that the Phelps-Asylum is showing more reverence for the Constitution than they are.

I don't think Phelps and Co. are showing "reverence" for anything...to the extent that they respect the Constitution at all, it's only in their own self-serving interest as it allows them to go around trumpeting their infantile message, a pseudo-theological "f*ck you."  This doesn't even rise to the level of the Moral Majority...at least they had a (largely) coherent agenda.

The Founding Fathers had things like the Federalist Papers and the Constitution and literature and art in mind when they penned the Constitution and the First Amendment thereto.  Not blatant disrespect of fundamental cultural norms and signs telling all and sundry to FOAD. 

Offline Jude

Re: SCOTUS to hear case on military funeral protests.
« Reply #80 on: October 10, 2010, 10:12:54 PM »
On second thought I think you're right about that.  WBC is using the constitution as a shield; they only seem to follow the rules because it allows them to continue doing what they do.  I don't know how much respect they have for freedom of speech because I've never read them commenting on it, but I suspect they'd rather live in a theocracy since that's a description of their daily life.  The Westboro Baptist Church is a cult.  They are certainly morally reprehensible and would be dangerous if they actually had the clout to influence people; thankfully their over the top behavior has kept them from actually swaying public discourse the way the way many other religious organizations do.

One thing I'd actually like to see happen, is for them to lose their tax exempt status.  They're acting as a political entity which is against the rules for non-profit organizations such as churches; really we need to start policing all of the churches that do this, including the church that bankrolled the advertising of Prop 8 in California.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2010, 10:15:23 PM by Jude »

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: SCOTUS to hear case on military funeral protests.
« Reply #81 on: October 11, 2010, 09:07:44 PM »
One thing I'd actually like to see happen, is for them to lose their tax exempt status.  They're acting as a political entity which is against the rules for non-profit organizations such as churches; really we need to start policing all of the churches that do this, including the church that bankrolled the advertising of Prop 8 in California.

Agreed. The current penalties for this are a pittance. The Mormon church involved in funding anti-prop 8 activism wound up being fined a pittance compared to what they actually contributed. There need to be stronger disincentives to control religion's interference in politics. If they want to be  a political group they can operate under the rules of a political group.

Offline Serephino

Re: SCOTUS to hear case on military funeral protests.
« Reply #82 on: October 11, 2010, 10:25:54 PM »
That I can definitely agree with.  They shouldn't be able to have their cake and eat it too.  Also, I don't think they should be allowed to protest funerals because a funeral is a private function for close friends and family of the deceased.  There is nothing political to protest, only an excuse to spew their filth. 

And again, even though they are following existing laws, they are still infringing upon the right of the family to bury their loved ones in peace.  The family still knows it's happening, and they can see it before and after.  All right, so a funeral is largely a religious thing.  Doesn't that mean that the families have a right to practice such a ritual without interruption?  So technically the WBC could be violating freedom of religion with their speech because they're protesting a religious ritual.  I know I certainly wouldn't be allowed to gather a few friends and protest a church service if I had any inclination to do so. 

Offline Jude

Re: SCOTUS to hear case on military funeral protests.
« Reply #83 on: October 11, 2010, 11:05:51 PM »
You can protest church services.  Freedom of religion (combined with free speech) includes the right to disagree with a religious practice and show open disdain for it, as long as you obey other laws (such as a respect for public property).
« Last Edit: October 11, 2010, 11:06:55 PM by Jude »

Offline Noelle

Re: SCOTUS to hear case on military funeral protests.
« Reply #84 on: October 11, 2010, 11:37:15 PM »
That I can definitely agree with.  They shouldn't be able to have their cake and eat it too.  Also, I don't think they should be allowed to protest funerals because a funeral is a private function for close friends and family of the deceased.  There is nothing political to protest, only an excuse to spew their filth.

This is largely irrelevant. A private function is not immune to protest and never has been. People protest private gatherings and private organizations all the time. The fact that people at this event are probably upset does not make it immune to the Constitution. If this were any other private function, there would not be nearly the kind of outrage raised. The dead don't have any kind of trump card. And even if there wasn't anything political to protest (and there is -- even if you find it reprehensible and don't agree, they are sending a political message about the way America is being run), what difference does that make? There's no asterisk next to the right to public assembly that says "unless there's no apparent political cause".

Quote
The family still knows it's happening, and they can see it before and after.

Just as the family can realize that they, too are closer to death every second. They can realize there are other military men and women out there losing their lives. They can realize the war is still going on, or that there are children in Africa are starving. It is not the government's responsibility to coddle them, even if such a protest is socially frowned upon. They've made the accommodations to be able to practice their right to free speech and people keep moving the goalpost back. They follow the law, but somehow their law-following is beneath everyone else's or not good enough. That kind of double-standard does not hold up.

Quote
All right, so a funeral is largely a religious thing.
Which means you are defining funerals largely as Christians define marriage, and thereby excluding the non-religious, possibly gays, as well as leaving in the grey area those who don't practice the "standard" burial route most take. We've seen how well the whole marriage thing has gone down, wonder how this definition would take...

Quote
Doesn't that mean that the families have a right to practice such a ritual without interruption?
Absolutely not. The WBC is not inhibiting the funeral from happening in any way, shape, or form. They are largely unseen and unheard during the whole ceremony and respect the boundaries set up for them to protest in.

Quote
So technically the WBC could be violating freedom of religion with their speech because they're protesting a religious ritual.  I know I certainly wouldn't be allowed to gather a few friends and protest a church service if I had any inclination to do so. 

By that standard, technically, people with babies shouldn't be allowed in church when they're crying because it's interrupting everyone else's service, thereby violating their freedom to practice their religion. And people I don't like shouldn't be allowed at my grandpa's funeral because they're disrupting my ability to mourn in peace. And people driving blue cars shouldn't be allowed to infringe on my right to have a funeral free of blue cars because my sister was hit and killed by a blue car, and that image is upsetting me deeply...I think you see where I'm going.

Religion should never, ever be given a special status that exempts them from criticism or protest. There's a huge problem with that. I don't condone the actions of WBC, but stating that a funeral might have a religious connotation alone does not make it immune to another person's right to express their opinion about it, even if the rest of society finds it disgusting.

And actually, you would be allowed. It's been done before, it'll be done plenty of times in the future. Hell, even strippers have protested a church.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2010, 11:39:43 PM by Noelle »

Offline Asuras

Re: SCOTUS to hear case on military funeral protests.
« Reply #85 on: October 12, 2010, 01:02:37 AM »
Quote from: Noelle
Pretty sure this is a case of straw man fallacy (though anyone is free to correct me if that's not quite it). Your example is not comparable at all to reality. Breaking and entering is most definitely not the same thing as taking legal measures to obtain permission to protest on public property outside of the cemetery.

You miss my point. Someone can't come into my home and claim it's free speech - no matter how careful they are about not damaging my property - because my home is inviolable. That's the justification for the law. Harassment - even from public property, even private property, outside my home - can be sanctioned for the very reason that a private person has a right not to be harassed.

Quote from: Noelle
Caeli's post details the measures they take to ensure legality.

Ensurance of legality is insufficient to be justified.

Quote from: Noelle
Being offended is not enough, nor should it be.

All law is about being protected about taking offense, whether it's being offended by being butchered to death by a psycopath, raped, stolen from, or merely annoyed. These are degrees.

Quote from: Noelle
And on another note, has anyone made the point yet as to why funerals need a special law outside of one's own subjective personal views? What grounds do we have to ban their speech besides any kind of spiritual or emotional connection you have with a funeral (I say this because laws aren't/shouldn't be made based solely on an individual's perception, even if it's shared by a lot of people)?

All law is made because many individuals perceptions converge on something, whether that thing is the sanctity of a funeral or free speech.

Such as what a funeral is. If the vast majority of Americans thought that a corpse could be thrown to the crows then this wouldn't matter.

Offline Noelle

Re: SCOTUS to hear case on military funeral protests.
« Reply #86 on: October 12, 2010, 01:53:15 AM »
You miss my point. Someone can't come into my home and claim it's free speech - no matter how careful they are about not damaging my property - because my home is inviolable. That's the justification for the law. Harassment - even from public property, even private property, outside my home - can be sanctioned for the very reason that a private person has a right not to be harassed.

No, it's not that I miss your point, it's that your point was not logically sound -- it wasn't even on the same legal ground as what you're trying to compare it to. Breaking into someone's house to tell them your opinion is not the same as acquiring the legal permission to protest.

Notice that in your quote, it's your home, where you're legally entitled to spout as much crap as you want -- even yell 'fire', if you deem it appropriate for your legal property. That's why someone can't come onto your property and do so, but that's irrelevant because not only are their protests not happening on your -- or anyone's private property, they're protests are occurring in publically-sanctioned places. Just because you don't like what you're hearing doesn't mean it's necessarily harassment. WBC is good at riding the line on this one. Notice that WBC does not target the specific person being buried -- they don't say JOHN Q SMITH IS GOING TO HELL, they target a larger group. That's the magic grey area.

Quote
Ensurance of legality is insufficient to be justified.

I fail to see how whether or not you feel they're justified in protesting a funeral pertains to their right to do so under the law.

Quote
All law is about being protected about taking offense, whether it's being offended by being butchered to death by a psycopath, raped, stolen from, or merely annoyed. These are degrees.

I'm pretty sure being offended is not the main reason those things are a crime. We create laws to aid in the persistence of a civilized and functioning society according to what's best for people, place, and time. Being offended alone isn't enough because personal offense is subjective to all three of those things and in some instances ignores the direct result of said action. It might play a part, but I'm almost certain we don't put murderers on trial solely because the rest of society doesn't like their actions. We do it because they took a life and thereby violated another's so-called sovereign rights that we have integrated into our law. If we only took action to protect our own delicate sensibilities, I would imagine we'd have a lot more nanny laws to coddle us.

Basically, by saying that all law is based on offense is, in my view, akin saying that we don't hold the murder trial because the person has forced another person's life to end, but because the rest of us need a way to feel better about it. It ignores certain unalienable rights. The person murdered can't be offended about being murdered. They're dead.

Some protection is offered for certain levels of offense -- libel and slander, TV/radio profanity, etc., but in general, we err on the side of free speech because it makes us all freer as a result. It's harder to reinstate rights than it is to take them away.

Quote
All law is made because many individuals perceptions converge on something, whether that thing is the sanctity of a funeral or free speech.

Such as what a funeral is. If the vast majority of Americans thought that a corpse could be thrown to the crows then this wouldn't matter.

So let's all converge and ban your right to ever speak your opinion ever again because the majority here doesn't like what you have to say and we don't feel like we need to protect the minority. Does it seem so fair now?

The vast majority of America is also Christian, but miraculously we aren't living under a theocracy. If the vast majority of Americans decided gays weren't real people and that Muslims needed Jim Crow-era separation, we would probably oppose it. We protect the minority for a reason, even if they're fringe lunatics.

There is no objective reason that a funeral need special protection, at least none I've seen. By the logic that society has deemed a funeral day somehow special, why not protect marriage ceremonies, baby showers, birthdays, and Harry Potter releases too? Why can't I get anyone arrested who ruins my birthday?
« Last Edit: October 12, 2010, 02:09:09 AM by Noelle »

Offline Jaybee

Re: SCOTUS to hear case on military funeral protests.
« Reply #87 on: October 15, 2010, 05:24:29 PM »
Though the parents MUST take their fair share of the blame for the way their kids turned out, ie by signing up for the military in the first place, and though it is perfectly legal for anyone to picket a funeral, I think it's somewhat tasteless for the unwilling victims/loved ones of that grunt's stupidity to be hurt.

Don't get me wrong - I am as much against the disgusting, inhumane practices of all those who volunteer for service, be they usmc or taliban, as the next right-minded citizen, but it's the absolute HEIGHT of schmuckishness to turn up and disrupt the grief of those who did not CHOOSE for their loved ones to enlist.

I also think it's dangerous for the paper in question to state that this tests "the limits" of America's guarantee of freedom of speech.  My emotions are ENTIRELY my own responsibility; my safety is PARTLY that of the state's.  The line is drawn there; the day it gets changed is the day I move to Australia and watch the rest of the First World crumble.

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: SCOTUS to hear case on military funeral protests.
« Reply #88 on: October 15, 2010, 06:41:41 PM »
Don't get me wrong - I am as much against the disgusting, inhumane practices of all those who volunteer for service, be they usmc or taliban,

I think you're painting with a rather wide brush there.

The vast majority of our servicemen/women have fought honorably.  I would suggest that, if you have a philosophical problem with the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan, you take it up with the leaders who decided to send our troops to fight there. 

Offline OniyaTopic starter

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: SCOTUS to hear case on military funeral protests.
« Reply #89 on: October 15, 2010, 08:55:08 PM »
I think you're painting with a rather wide brush there.

The vast majority of our servicemen/women have fought honorably.  I would suggest that, if you have a philosophical problem with the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan, you take it up with the leaders who decided to send our troops to fight there.

Quoted for emphasis.  You'll find quite a few servicemen/women and children of servicemen/women around here.  My father was in one of the most unpopular wars before Iraq, as well as the war that everyone forgets as being something other than a prime-time comedy.  I won't deny that in every group there are a few scumbags, but you should neither judge the whole by the actions of a few, nor judge them for being willing to serve their country when the call went out.

Offline Jaybee

Re: SCOTUS to hear case on military funeral protests.
« Reply #90 on: October 16, 2010, 06:38:56 AM »
I think you're painting with a rather wide brush there.

The vast majority of our servicemen/women have fought honorably.  I would suggest that, if you have a philosophical problem with the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan, you take it up with the leaders who decided to send our troops to fight there.

Firstly, most "service"men have never actually fought in a war.  Please be clear on that, and even clearer on the fact that the entire world has a problem when any section of it experiences operational combat (I am not calling it a "war").  We're lucky to be so far away from the front lines, and you'd need to be a psycho to volunteer to be any closer. 

I chose my "brush" very carefully and very thoughtfully, thank you.

« Last Edit: October 16, 2010, 06:52:33 AM by Jaybee »

Offline mystictiger

Re: SCOTUS to hear case on military funeral protests.
« Reply #91 on: October 16, 2010, 07:36:11 AM »
Quote
We're lucky to be so far away from the front lines, and you'd need to be a psycho to volunteer to be any closer.

Or brave.
Or principled.
Or patriotic.
Or believe that you can make a diference in the lives of people less fortunate than you.
Or think that there are more important things than your own precious behind.
Or just different to you.

*still has a pretty pale blue Mark 6 Combat Helmet cover*

Quote
I chose my "brush" very carefully and very thoughtfully, thank you.

You have the luxury to choose that brush because in whichever country you are from, there are people to do the limb-breaking sanity-damaging life-threatening work that you are to afraid to do. Your 'thoughtful' choice of words is deeply offensive.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2010, 07:49:39 AM by mystictiger »

Offline Jaybee

Re: SCOTUS to hear case on military funeral protests.
« Reply #92 on: October 16, 2010, 08:07:29 AM »
Or brave.
Or principled.
Or patriotic.
Or believe that you can make a diference in the lives of people less fortunate than you.
Or think that there are more important things than your own precious behind.
Or just different to you.

*still has a pretty pale blue Mark 6 Combat Helmet cover*

Are you  (ex)-military?  Were you conscripted?  If not, why are you here?

Quote
You have the luxury to choose that brush because in whichever country you are from, there are people to do the limb-breaking sanity-damaging life-threatening work that you are to afraid to do. Your 'thoughtful' choice of words is deeply offensive.
 

Well, if indeed you ARE (ex)-military, you have/had joined an organisation that agrees to commit state-sponsored murder on command.  Then a fig for your oversensitivites, my fellow.  It is extremely unsoldierly and hypocritical of you to take umbrage at the expression of the very freedom to communicate that you were supposed to safeguard. 

How many people did you kill, during your "service"?
« Last Edit: October 16, 2010, 08:09:23 AM by Jaybee »

Online Valerian

Re: SCOTUS to hear case on military funeral protests.
« Reply #93 on: October 16, 2010, 09:02:52 AM »
Stop.  Right now.

I'm locking this thread for the time being, before it gets any more rude and thoughtless.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: SCOTUS to hear case on military funeral protests.
« Reply #94 on: October 17, 2010, 08:36:38 PM »
I find that it was a good thing that Valerian locked the thread for a day or so.
Jaybee's responses pissed me off something fierce, since he seemed to infer that all military members were thugs and murderers.

It's the sort of attitude I'd expect from the 70s and not today. I just recalled the following poem and took many long cleansing breaths.  And a bottle of Sangria.

A Soldier (of any service) is a man/woman who stepped up, took an oath to protect the country and citizens from all enemies foreign and domestic and to uphold the constitution. I think if you take umbrage for the policies of the country, and our society at large, that there are forums better than the funeral of a fallen serviceman to air them. I find myself wondering how much longer it will be before the WBC folks do this with fallen cops and firemen?

I served a goodly portion of my adult life as a Sailor. I stood in front of a bunch of people three times, and repeated the Oath each time. I took it seriously. I take GREAT offense at the inferred comments that if you serve you're a thug and a killer. I have, and will, defend your right to speak what you think. At least respect the sacrifice that those in service give to allow you to take such a foul and mean attitude towards them.

Quote
It Is The Soldier


It is the Soldier, not the minister
Who has given us freedom of religion.


It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.


It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.


It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest.


It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.


It is the Soldier, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote.


It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.


Charles Michael Province, U.S. Army

Offline RubySlippers

Re: SCOTUS to hear case on military funeral protests.
« Reply #95 on: October 17, 2010, 09:07:22 PM »
First my position on the military I love them all, honor anyone that will toss themselves in between me and some enemy out to hurt or kill or enslave me and I don't think any should be commited into a foreign operation not in the most vital defense of the nation and its soil. So find the current conflicts we were in an utter waste of our men and women.

In the case of the protesters they have a legitimate theological view that due to grave sins like abortion and homosexuality Godis letting us fall into conflicts with enemies including Islamists, so feel compelled to get their message out. I just think in a childish way and in a way not becoming Christians. But we can't just ban speech only because its offensive to many without a good reason. Noone gave me a case for that.

Offline Serephino

Re: SCOTUS to hear case on military funeral protests.
« Reply #96 on: October 17, 2010, 09:13:14 PM »
That's a nice poem, and I can understand why such sentiments would piss you off.  I may not agree with the war, but I do respect those that serve.  There have been some abuses, but those were cases of individual misbehavior.  And seriously, they do deserve better than the shit the WBC is pulling.  There has to be a line drawn somewhere.   

Offline Noelle

Re: SCOTUS to hear case on military funeral protests.
« Reply #97 on: October 17, 2010, 09:44:22 PM »
Not all soldiers are saints. People -- conservatives especially, I've noticed -- make a point of stereotyping them all into being white, God-fearing men who love their country so much that they enlist and that each and every man is clean and respectful and humble...And on the opposing side, you get those with the misconception that every single soldier is a bloodthirsty troglodyte with an itchy trigger finger and an inexplicable hatred for brown people.

Yes, you get people on both sides of the spectrum, yes, there have been horrifying instances of misconduct that have been shameful to both the soldier and the millitary, but I would venture to say that most fall in the vast grey expanse in the middle. Some enlist to serve their country out of the desire to show their patriotism, others do it because they don't have any real direction in life, some for the college payoff, others to fulfill a sense of purpose...the reasons go on. You don't have to glorify them, to make them into infallible demi-gods, to stoop down and kiss their asses -- hell, you don't even have to like what they do or who they are as people. They could be the biggest assholes you've ever met or the nicest men and women in the world and you don't have to be their friend or throw a parade for them. But these people do deserve your respect for doing what you don't want to -- or even have to do. The number people who enlist are people who stand between you and being involuntarily drafted to the organization that you may very well hate.

That being said, as far as drawing lines goes? There have been. There have been plenty of lines drawn that carefully pare down exactly where the protesters can assemble while also trying to give the family adequate space to hold the funeral, as well. It's been a compromise to try and extend protections both ways without stepping on toes. There's no need to keep pushing the line back, especially when the WBC has been using the same tactics year after year. They can't afford to become more radical and push those boundaries too hard because they've got their own delicate balance to maintain. They stay just inside the law for a reason -- if they up the ante and begin doing more and more ridiculous things, they can be arrested or sued, and boom, there goes their profit.

It's a shitty deal for those who do fight for our country, but the fact is, you can't pick and choose what kinds of freedoms and the various instances of them that you want to defend. If you want to defend free speech, you defend all free speech, even the things you don't want to hear. What makes the country great is not just all the nice things you want to hear, but the fact that you're allowed to express an unpopular or "wrong" opinion, as well.

Offline mystictiger

Re: SCOTUS to hear case on military funeral protests.
« Reply #98 on: October 18, 2010, 07:02:17 AM »
In regards to the WBC, can someone point me to somewhere I can learn more about their theological underpinnings?

In relation to the freedom of expression, it's always interesting to note the different ways its dealt with in the EU in general, the UK in particular, and then in the US. We, on this side of the pond, routinely restrict it - on grounds of public order, national security, public policy, and so on. I found the Rwanda tribunal judgment on this to be particularly interesting. The 'gut feel' bias I have of this is that one may have a freedom to express oneself, but one should choose an appropriate manner to express those ideas. My right to freely express my contempt for broccoli (it tastes like snot and looks like lung. Yuck!) does not trump the right to privacy and respect for family life of the broccoli growers of this country.

So while I believe we all have a right to say and think whatever we like, I think we have a duty to exercise our rights with utmost concern for other people. And yes, I have been called a 'European Socialist Liberal' before.

I suspect that if the WBC attempted to protest outside Churches in the UK, they would be arrested. In Scotland, we have a lovely offence called 'breach of the peace' - this translates as "I'm a Police officer and I don't like what you're doing". Or failing that, a great many riot police would be on duty. There are few things that, in my experience, stir up the British populace: football, the armed forces, and tea. Say something bad about one of those and you're stuffed.

Offline Lilias

Re: SCOTUS to hear case on military funeral protests.
« Reply #99 on: October 18, 2010, 07:25:15 AM »
In regards to the WBC, can someone point me to somewhere I can learn more about their theological underpinnings?

From the horse's mouth.