Today, a major victory was won for Free Speech in America today, but I find very little reason to celebrate. Those who know me well, know that I hate censorship in all shapes and forms. While I do not use vulgar, violent, or hateful language in my writing or my speech, I respect the rights of other people to do so.
However, the Supreme Court ruled today that the Westboro Baptist Church has the right to protest at military funerals. I feel that this is the worst ruling that could have come. For those who do not know about these people, the Westboro Baptist Church is a church in name only. They have nothing to do with religion or faith in any form. They are a hate-group and a cult, led by a madman, and they believe that all evils in the world are caused by homosexuals, Catholics, and Jewish people. They have made a name for themselves by protesting at innocent people's funerals, shouting hate-speech at them.
Those who know me well know that I am a FIERCE pacifist, with a hatred for the military in any form. I believe as a society, we should have evolved beyond the need for a military. I don't feel that military funerals deserve special consideration. I feel that ALL funerals deserve special consideration.
A funeral is not for the dead. The dead do not care how their bodies are disposed. A funeral is for the living, a way for them to grieve and attempt to overcome grief. It is a way to let go of the deceased in a ritualistic manner.
I am an atheist, and proud of it... but I feel that there is something... sacred about a funeral. In this time, families and friends should be protected and sheltered. The Supreme Court's judgment may protect free speech in this country, but it has diminished the rights of the citizens. People have the right to say goodbye to their loved ones how they wish, without twisted, evil individuals screaming vile curses at them.
This is not an easy subject. Everyone agrees that the Westboro Baptist Church and their leader Fred Phelps are possibly the worst people living in America today. There is no argument there. The issue comes in separating the emotionally-charged hatred from the issue at hand: Can you say what you want, wherever you want, regardless of the consequences...
The Supreme Court ruled "Yes." ...But they should have said "No."
7 years, 7 months ago
02 Mar 2011 21:32 CET