Thursday, March 3, 2011

Disappointed in the Supremes

There's freedom of speech and then there's the Westboro Baptist Church, which is entirely composed of the Phelps family, in fact one of his daughters argued the case before the Supreme Court.  I heard on the radio that out of the many children, some are estranged.  The others are deranged.

I don't understand the 8-1 decision of the Court on this and am fearful of the repercussions from it.  Will hate speech, bullying, and other forms of violence be allowed now without prosecution?  Although all of them were repulsed by the words and actions of WBC, they upheld the First Amendment.  Article HERE.  I agree with Justice Alito in his dissenting opinion.
Justice Samuel Alito, the lone dissenter, said Snyder wanted only to "bury his son in peace." Instead, Alito said, the protesters "brutally attacked" Matthew Snyder to attract public attention. "Our profound national commitment to free and open debate is not a license for the vicious verbal assault that occurred in this case," he said.
Where do we go from here?

12 comments:

downtown guy said...

Nope, this was the right decision. In this case, the parents did not even know that the WBC were picketing - they could not be heard or seen from the funeral. And frankly, if we do not support the right to say nasty, horrible things, then there is no point to freedom of speech.

You know, no one was all up in arms about the WBC when they were just picketing the funerals of gay men and AIDS victims. Just sayin'.

Bob said...

I find everything about the WBC to be despicable, but Freedom of Speech applies to us all.
And if we decide to censor people like the WBC, who gets to decide where the censorship stops?
Would I be censored for my liberal--pun intended--use of the word 'fucktard'?
We all have the right to say what we want as long as it doens't cause physical harm, i.e. yelling fire in a crowded building.
Free Speech means all speech, even the disgusting kind.

froggy said...

Another group they persecute is Jews, but found that out by researching about them. Is odd that the media ignores these other groups.

That said - apparently localities can have some control over where they are allowed. I think the problem is that people don't know they are going to show up and never thought they'd have to pass ordinances like this.

I also like the folks who come out to ridicule them. And the Hell's Angels who escorted one funeral.

They say they are going to quadruple their efforts. I'm betting people are going to quadruple their efforts to mitigate their awful presence.

Beth said...

As deplorable as the Westboro religiotards are, I believe this was the right decision. It's similar to the decisions to allow neo-Nazi groups to march. We can all condemn them for what they say, but we cannot stop them from having the right to say it.

I'm with Froggy...I think good citizens everywhere will do what they can to protect the families targeted by this abhorrent group.

mrs. miss alaineus said...

what i don't get is how that a teacher in PA lost her job for a blog 7 people read when she bitched about students anonymously, yet the westboro church gets to continue to be a walking hate crime.so much for and justice for all.....


xxalainaxx

downtown guy said...

I imagine that if Phelps were a teacher calling his students fags, he'd have been fired, too. But that hasn't got anything to do with his freedom to say it.

froggy said...

After that teacher/blog thing I went back and deleted everything on my blog beyond about the last month. Even though my name or picture isn't on my blog - I had put my kids' pictures up, Tug figured out where I lived :-), and enough info (not many people have twins, etc)... I figured odds were that someone, somewhere, someday might figure out who I was and I had stuff on about students that would never do to have names to faces. I feel safe here to tell you, Joy, that one of my students was stabbed last month. Making a recovery but AK!

titbeak said...

So I just got what babble on is all about. Babylon. Neat. Hi Mrs. Durham. I finally decided to sign up for blogspot so I could comment on your musings. Maybe I'll even start up a blog about plants or structure or a modern day homo living in hipsterville and his strange but poignant antics.

titbeak said...

And now, some relevance: Since the Supreme Court failed us, one of us needs to calmly destroy them some other way.

Wonder Man said...

I think this we will be a bad ending

Sam said...

Freedom of speech. So let me try to understand this? Stopping those who picket and harass mourners as they prepare to say goodbye to an innocent victim is violating a freedom of speech? I don't get it. This is not considered causing a disturbance? Disturbing the peace? Where is the law to protect against this?
I told you Americans are stupid this just backs up my argument.

downtown guy said...

As already pointed out, in this case funeral-goers didn't even know the protesters were in the area until they saw it later on the news. How is that disturbing their peace? And for that matter, any protest disturbs the peace - that's the whole tactic.