Thursday, March 3, 2011

Rant #456: Free Speech?

Normally, I applaud free speech decisions made by the Supreme Court because the entity of "free speech"--being able to say what you want, when you want, and not being persecuted for it--is a basic tenet of our country.

Without free speech, I could not be writing this blog every morning.

But yesterday, I have to take issue with the latest Supreme Court ruling, which said that religious zealot anti-gay protesters who picket funerals of U.S. soldiers cannot be sued for their actions.

The Supreme Court, citing previous rulings related to flag burning, decided that "simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable" does not allow the government to punish such words or ideas.

And the Supreme Court backed this view with an 8-1 decision, even though tit was not happy with its decision.

Nonetheless, it had to back First Amendment rights.

Well, the First Amendment is a wonderful amendment--it prevents any law that impedes our freedom of religion, free speech and peaceful assembly--but when it is abused, as it is by these protesters, the amendment becomes hurtful.

Imagine you are burying your child, and protests outside of the funeral home call your child's death a right one, because, the U.S. backs gay rights.

One thing has absolutely nothing to do with the other, but these idiots are equating soldier's deaths as justified, because we, as a nation, support gays.

Is this idiotic or what?

In their decision, the justices threw out an $11 million jury verdict against the Westboro Baptist Church, Topeka, Kan., which was sued by Albert Snyder, a Maryland father who was burying his son, Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, USMC, amid protests from the group that the nation is "overly tolerant of sin" and "God kills American soldiers as punishment."

Not only does a father have to bury his hero son, but he has to see and hear these protests at the same time!

People have been known to bend the rules when they want to get attention, and I would say that the Westboro Baptist Church has done just that with their inappropriate protests.

When you infringe upon the freedom of others with these protests, I think you have crossed the line.

The Supreme Court should have ruled that in certain instances--this one in particular--freedom of speech should be trumped by human dignity.

However, they didn't rule that, and their ruling is a truly unfortunate one.

(I will have to take tomorrow off for some personal business, but I will be back on Monday.)

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