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(Huffington Post)   The Westboro Baptist Church has done something that no other organization has been able to do in two years: Unite Congress   (huffingtonpost.com) divider line 27
    More: Cool, Westboro, Westboro Baptist Church, obama, political rallies, Southern Poverty Law Center, Anti-Defamation League, The Law Center  
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3367 clicks; posted to Politics » on 07 Aug 2012 at 12:06 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2012-08-07 02:29:04 PM
2 votes:

Communist_Manifesto: Alright man whatever. If they were verbally harassing people in an illegal manner they would have already been arrested. Being a dick isn't a crime no matter how much you want it to be. You imply I'm a child but you're the one who can't handle people saying things you disagree with.


It has nothing to do with what they are saying and everything to do with where and how (and to whom) they are choosing to say it. They absolutely have a right to get their message across. But the bereaved also have a right to not have their services picketed. Do they have a right to be protected from ever hearing WBC's message, or any offensive message? No. But I think the funeral, the burial service, should not be subject to interference, because a protest, at that moment, in that situation, has a psychological impact on people who are just trying to put a loved one to rest and find some peace.

"Being a dick" is often a crime. It's a dick move to steal somebody's car, and that's illegal. It's pretty dickish to punch a stranger in the back of the head for no reason. That's illegal. So people have found a way to be dicks, to bring further grief to the lives of people who are already suffering a loss. That's very clever of them. WBC gets points for cleverness. But this has never been about silencing them. It's about protecting the family's right to a peaceful funeral. Does that make sense?

Cyclometh: The issue here is that they use abuse of other people as their vehicle for their speech. That is where the line is being drawn, and while you're free to disagree I have no problem with balancing the rights of people to be free of harassment at a funeral against the rights of people to spew hate and reaching a conclusion like this one.


Perfectly said.
2012-08-07 12:26:02 PM
2 votes:
Is this the thread where we pretend that soldiers dying in wars of choice are defending our freedoms?
2012-08-07 12:15:44 PM
2 votes:
WBC is to Christianity what the Republican party is to conservatism.
2012-08-07 10:47:41 AM
2 votes:
Why couldn't Congress pass something useful like the "Bikers Get One Free Shot At Funeral-Protesting Douchenozzles Act" instead?
2012-08-07 03:04:21 PM
1 votes:
When you're so vile that even the republicans think you're disgusting and filled with hate, hoooooo-boy!
2012-08-07 02:43:47 PM
1 votes:

The Homer Tax: Specifically, how are they "interfering" with it?


By shouting and creating a disturbance. Just like talking in a theater. We could allow that to escalate into talking and counter-talking or we could just make people be quiet during the movie or get thrown out. That's what this law is doing and I'm fine with it.

Let them come back and protest the grave site, but interfering with the event is a no-no. It's not an event where reasonable people should expect to be able to make a lot of noise. It's a funeral.
2012-08-07 02:28:53 PM
1 votes:

Communist_Manifesto: Where did everyone go? We were having a good convo and hadn't devolved into name calling yet!!!!


No, but it did get to the point where instead of addressing the substance of an argument we're getting asked to provide definitions to be picked apart. I usually get bored when we start bandying semantics around. I've stated my position and I'm not interested in defending it by copying and pasting from a dictionary so we can start nitpicking them and have the argument stop being about the actual issue.
2012-08-07 02:25:52 PM
1 votes:

The Homer Tax: liam76: As has been pointed out to you many times time, place and manner restrictions on protests are part of the constitution. Largely becasue of that bolded portion there you guys seem to be overlooking.

Specifically, what part of their protests aren't "peacable" as defined by the court?


That hasn't come before a court yet.

I would argue that intentionally targeting the funerals of private citizens is by it's nature disruptive, borders on harassment, that and given their signs I would argue their protests aren't peaceable.

The Homer Tax: Saying things people don't like doesn't make an assemble non-peacable. You don't get to restrict someone's right to protest based on the content of their speech.


Well the law is content neutral, WBC's approach being so widely viewed as vile might get ctredit for this bill getting support, but it is still neutral and the law can't be looked upon as an attack on their message.
2012-08-07 02:20:09 PM
1 votes:

Communist_Manifesto: But they're big meanies! We can't let big meanies say things we find inappropriate can we?


They're interfering with someone else's life and the commission of the duties the US military promised would be carried out.

How mean they are about it is up to them. I would feel the same way if they set up an unruly free lemonade stand at a soldier's funeral. The fact that their signs are clearly ridiculous just makes them crazy, I don't care what the signs say.

If they end up challenging this in court, it will take years and be very expensive. Which I'm OK with, it's our government at work. The greatest thing about America is not that people can scream offensive shiat at funerals. It's that we live in a comfortable first-world nation where funerals are sad and boring. If you want some spice in your funeral, have it in warlord-controlled Pakistan where it gets attacked by a drone.
2012-08-07 02:03:25 PM
1 votes:

The Homer Tax: Cyclometh: Harassment is not speech. I cannot accost you on the street and force you to listen to something I have to say. The WBC are not the only ones involved and the victims of their hate deserve to have their rights respected also. Your rights do not trump mine.

You don't have a "right to not hear things you don't like." The Constitution is very specific about what rights are protected and what aren't. Allowing people to say things you don't like is the cost of freedom.


Absolutey correct. However, it's not a question of hearing what I don't like when someone crosses the line from speaking their mind to abuse. I maintain that what the WBC is abuse and harrassment. Their perfidy in holding up the First Amendment as a shield to their abusive acts is what led to this legislation.

Voltaire may not have actually said "I may disagree with what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it", but I agree with the sentiment. What I don't believe is that the sentiment extends to "your right to say it in an abusive manner".
2012-08-07 01:52:36 PM
1 votes:

Communist_Manifesto: Sure go for it, they're dead I'm sure they won't mind. WBC doesn't go on to cemeteries because those are private property. They protest outside churches and cemeteries on public ground. Sometimes you can't always get what you want and sometimes that sucks. By your logic a counter protest is just as illegal because it may disturb the funeral, albeit with different speech.


See, most places have laws about where you can legally dispose of human remains. So, no, they can't just have a backyard funeral.

You seem to think of the line dividing free speech from harassment like a little kid: the only trespass is physical violence, in other words, "NOT TOUCHING! CAN'T GET MAD! NOT TOUCHING! CAN'T GET MAD!" But that's not how it works. There are legal definitions of harassment for that reason, and there is such a thing as verbal harassment.

If everyone were civil, we wouldn't need laws. Every law crafted is the result of people finding new and unexpected ways of being total dicks to each other, and this is that. People should have a right to bury family members in peace. If new laws have to be written to draft that, and you don't like those laws, then blame the people who chose to be dicks to each other and made new laws seem like a good idea. Don't blame the people who want a peaceful burial and don't blame the people who are trying to protect their right to a peaceful burial.
2012-08-07 01:29:31 PM
1 votes:

Communist_Manifesto: I don't think anyone should should have their funeral protested and I find the idea of doing just that silly and offensive. However, you should have the right to do that. WBC protests on public ground, where free speech rights should be guaranteed. I always find that limiting speech is a bad idea in the end because you will never be able to come up with an agreeable non-subjective of "bad". THe people of WBC might be backward hate filled morons, but they are Americans nonetheless. We should not squelch their speech, rather we should counter with more speech. You want to be an ignorant farkwad? Fine go right on ahead, but don't be surprised if the vast majority of people treat you like a pariah. That's how you deal with this, more speech shedding light on the indecency of these people (someone mentioned human shields and counter-protests blocking them from view which is great idea). Without these assholes would we have people from all walks of life banding together to exercise their rights? While their message is horrible it brings people together in a way that counters there horrible views.

/Oh who am I kidding, we should totes outlaw it and let the cops deal with it so we can stay home on sunday and watch some more football amirite?


Harassment is not speech. I cannot accost you on the street and force you to listen to something I have to say. The WBC are not the only ones involved and the victims of their hate deserve to have their rights respected also. Your rights do not trump mine.
2012-08-07 01:23:30 PM
1 votes:

blunttrauma: The don't support it because they don't like it. And whether they agree or not, the right to self defense us as basic a civil liberties issue as it gets.


That was so nice I almost didn't notice. You conflated "guns" with "self-defense" so neatly, it became very hard to argue against your position.

And then I remembered how many ways there are to defend yourself without using a gun or other firearm.

// doesn't change the wording of Amdt 2, but saying "individuals don't have a guaranteed right to bear arms" does not equate - AT ALL - to "individuals have no guaranteed right of self-defense"
// and you do a disservice to your argument by saying it
2012-08-07 01:02:02 PM
1 votes:

Karma Chameleon:

They don't get to choose wars. But they choose to be soldiers. And most I'd wager belong to the Party of Personal Responsibility.


You'd lose.

/combat vet.
//most soldiers are pretty liberal or apolitical.
2012-08-07 01:01:06 PM
1 votes:
Time, place and manner restrictions on speech are not a new thing. This one will pass Constitutional muster because it's not an overly burdensome restriction.

Eliminating the ability of the WBC to inflict pain and calling it speech is not a problem for me. Harrassment is not free speech, it's just harrassment. The WBC does not exist in a vacuum and there are victims of their actions whose rights also should be respected.
2012-08-07 12:56:14 PM
1 votes:

El Freak: Aarontology: But remember folks. They can still protest gay people's funerals. Or your funeral.

Also remember that half the people that claim to hate WBC had no problems at all with them back when all they did was protest gay people's funerals. It was only until they started protesting the funerals of "America's heroes who done died for your FREEDOMZ!!!!111oneoneone!!" that the right started giving a shiat about the Westboro idiots.


Actually, the first time I ever heard of WBC was when they protested Matthew Shephard's funeral. I've never felt that kind of anger toward a group before that. At that point in my life I was working on cruise ships with lots of gay folks, and until then, hadn't considered their feelings on, well, anything. I wasn't mean to them or homophobic really, it's just that I never availed myself to them so that we might become friends. We were watching the protests in the crew bar, and one of the singer / dancers from our ship was crying. Turned out his dad is a baptist minister, and had just come to terms with Chris being gay. Anyway, we talked for a long time that day, and I found out what a great guy he was. He, along with his partner, became some of my closest friends. Chris actually hooked me up with a girl one night that I would eventually marry and have two children with. Our first born sone is named after him.

Anyway, although I somewhat agree, I think your generalization is a little on the sweeping side. WBC actually made me more compassionate for every human, and I can't image I'm the only one.
2012-08-07 12:49:23 PM
1 votes:

Blue_Blazer: Is this the thread where we pretend that soldiers dying in wars of choice are defending our freedoms?


No, but this is the part where we talk about how they don't get to pick and choose which war of choice they get sent to die in, and that if our freedoms ARE threatened, they are the first ones to put their lives on the line to protect them.

You can disrespect the war, you can disrespect the politicians, but cut the poor grunts some slack, especially the poor slobs who joined straight out of high school because their parents didn't prepare them for the real world, and that recruiter at lunchtime their senior year sure promised nice perks for serving their country.

I don't care if it's Westboro or the ACLU, we could at least show some respect for either the dead or the mourners and leave funerals the fark alone.
2012-08-07 12:40:32 PM
1 votes:

cman: vpb: SurfaceTension: xanadian: cman: Uniting congress by passing laws that restrict rights happens more oft than one thinks

One wonders if Fred Phelps' head will asplode when the ACLU brings suit in their favor.

They do that fairly often. The ACLU isn't a left wing organization, it just seems that way because the right tends to have less respect for other peoples civil rights.

You are almost 100% correct. Gun rights is not something that the ACLU is known for defending en masse. If they did that more oft then you would be 100% correct


Their not doing so is not an ideological decision - it is a pragmatic one, to use scarce rescources on things the NRA doesn't already have covered. If there were no NRA, the ACLU would, as far as their mission statements go, take Second Amendment cases (one can only speculate). But there is - so they don't.
2012-08-07 12:33:23 PM
1 votes:

Blue_Blazer: Is this the thread where we pretend that soldiers dying in wars of choice are defending our freedoms?


Having a standing army protects our freedom. When a soldier enlists in that army then dies while serving in it, even if its in an unpopular war or an unjust one, the soldier still died defending your freedom. Its bullshiat like this that screwed so many vietnam vets out of a decent life when they came home. Soldiers do not get to choose the wars they fight in. Support and respect the troops even if you can't stand the war they are fighting or who sent them to die in it. That's what I do and I'm the libbiest of libby libs.
2012-08-07 12:24:46 PM
1 votes:

cman: vpb: SurfaceTension: xanadian: cman: Uniting congress by passing laws that restrict rights happens more oft than one thinks

One wonders if Fred Phelps' head will asplode when the ACLU brings suit in their favor.

They do that fairly often. The ACLU isn't a left wing organization, it just seems that way because the right tends to have less respect for other peoples civil rights.

You are almost 100% correct. Gun rights is not something that the ACLU is known for defending en masse. If they did that more oft then you would be 100% correct


The reason they do not defend gun rights issues is because organizations like the NRA tend to be better financed and equipped to focus specifically on that. However, the ACLU does put out statements on those issues that support those defending the 2nd amendment, even when they can't afford to participate in the legal side of it, like going to court and filing briefs and all that.
2012-08-07 12:17:33 PM
1 votes:
If only Westboro could hate unemployment then maybe the Republicans might be tempted to do something about that too.
2012-08-07 12:13:48 PM
1 votes:
I can't for the life of me see why anyone would have a reason to protest a funeral. If you didn't like the guy, you won. He's dead. Move on.
2012-08-07 11:21:47 AM
1 votes:

cman: You are almost 100% correct. Gun rights is not something that the ACLU is known for defending en masse. If they did that more oft then you would be 100% correct


That's more the result of other organizations doing most of that work than any sort of bias.
2012-08-07 11:08:12 AM
1 votes:

SurfaceTension: xanadian: cman: Uniting congress by passing laws that restrict rights happens more oft than one thinks

Yeah, the way I see it, this law takes a big freaking dump on at least 3 parts of the First Amendment.

I hate the WBC with the fire of a supernova, but I think I might just hate this more.

nekom: First they came for the assholes, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't an asshole.

Aarontology: But remember folks. They can still protest gay people's funerals. Or your funeral.

Both of these.

All of that.

One wonders if Fred Phelps' head will asplode when the ACLU brings suit in their favor.


To add to the irony, I, a gay veteran, am inclined to side with the WBC here since I served my country to protect their right to essentially hate me.

*shakes head*
2012-08-07 10:05:22 AM
1 votes:

xanadian: cman: Uniting congress by passing laws that restrict rights happens more oft than one thinks

Yeah, the way I see it, this law takes a big freaking dump on at least 3 parts of the First Amendment.

I hate the WBC with the fire of a supernova, but I think I might just hate this more.

nekom: First they came for the assholes, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't an asshole.

Aarontology: But remember folks. They can still protest gay people's funerals. Or your funeral.

Both of these.


All of that.

One wonders if Fred Phelps' head will asplode when the ACLU brings suit in their favor.
2012-08-07 09:02:07 AM
1 votes:
First they came for the assholes, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't an asshole.
2012-08-07 08:20:56 AM
1 votes:
"We must honor the ultimate sacrifice these men and women made to our Constitution and Bill of Rights by curtailing those rights and passing a law specifically aimed at silencing the free speech of a group of people. Don't worry citizens, while we are violating everything they died for to get a short term gain you can rest easy knowing we probably will never silence you, so long as your speech is on this newly approved list of things you are allowed to say."

-various idiots in Congress
 
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