Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Westboro Baptist Church Wins Supreme Court Right to be Nasty

Does God hate jerks?
Image from source, Washington Post
There is one thing that most conservatives and liberals agree on: The Reverend Fred Phelps, the Phelps family, and their radical Westboro Baptist "Church" are disgusting. They embody the worst of religion, the worst of political action, and the worst use of free speech. But now, according to the United States Supreme Court, their outrageous "protests" of the funerals of soldiers are officially protected speech.

It's an awful, but probably correct conclusion. It is the disturbing speech, the unpopular speech that needs the most protection. But I wonder. Can some of the actions taken by the Phelps clan be considered something other than speech? Can their actions step out of the lines of "speech," and into threatening behavior? Public disturbance? Incitement to violence? Something?


Supreme Court affirms Fred Phelps's right to be ugly

When I read the breaking news alert this morning, I almost fell out of my chair. "Supreme Court upholds Westboro Baptist Church's right to stage anti-gay protests at funerals of U.S. troops." And after the initial shock wore off, I recognized that the near-unanimous ruling was the right decision. . .
Read more at: Washington Post

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