Westboro Baptist Church--Free Speech vs. Harrassment

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So this topic dovetails a little bit with the gun issue, even though it is not the same thing, in light of the recent Sandy Hook massacre.

The Westboro Baptist Church has become well known because of some of their fundamentalist beliefs and their extreme flexing of the First Amendment. Some of their antics include hate speech against gays, going to funerals of soldiers and protesting with signs such as “Thank God for Dead Soldiers”, and so on. Their latest endeavor is a planned protest at the funeral of the Sandy Hook victims.

While their actions are repugnant to the vast majority of people, do you think that they are:

(a) Using their First Amendment right of free speech, and should be allowed to do so

(b) A hate group that is abusing the law to harrass others

Discuss whether you agree with A or B, and why or why not. And on the subject of hate group, if you feel they should be legally recognized as one, feel free to sign the petition

 
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(a) link
…..effectively taking the wind out of their sails ,, at least for military funerals.

(b) Hate?…ya think See video as well as text.

Look, we’re talking about some very “slippery-slope” shit here.
On both the issue of 1st Amend Rights & the related “hate-speech” classifications.

Absolutely there are current restrictions to “free speech”.
BUT, we’re talking about RELIGION here and that one great American right… TO PROTEST.
To get this one right,,,,we need to get it right.
Many laws have been made…only to be shot down.

The best thing to shut these fucks up is TO NOT LISTEN TO THEM.
The media should quit being whores and stop even talking ABOUT them,,,let alone giving them any “ink”.

If there were truly a “God”….
he’d “take care of” these assholes in a really grand way that would make one helluva nice statement about those who abuse His will.

 
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You know what? I never understand mass murderers. Surely, if you’re going to kill dozens of people, why not kill despicable people? Why attack a kindergarten? If I were to commit mass murder, I’d kill the members of the Westboro Baptist Church. Don’t kill kids; kill morons.

 
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Originally posted by JaumeBG:

If I were to commit mass murder, I’d kill the members of the Westboro Baptist Church.

Never thought of that before. That would be a win-win.

 
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Originally posted by Twilight_Ninja:
Originally posted by JaumeBG:

If I were to commit mass murder, I’d kill the members of the Westboro Baptist Church.

Never thought of that before. That would be a win-win.

Don’t think we haven’t considered it.
After all, most of us are vets….w/ combat experience. We just don’t want to turn the bitch into a martyr. The community usually turns out a huge “feed & chat” for us and others.
THIS is the things America needs to do….as well as media-wise IGNORE THE FUCKERS.

But, we’re (currently) content w/ arriving well enough before the event (nearly always funerals) and taking up ALL of the public space…thereby keeping Shirley and her assholes far to the back. Should she fire up her bullhorn, we fire up our bikes & play the “pipes”. We even have a real bag-piper at times. We have permission before hand to do what we need to drown out her filth.

I seriously doubt I need to tell just how “accommodating” the law officers of the town are for us…and for the family, etc.

 
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Originally posted by Twilight_Ninja:
Originally posted by JaumeBG:

If I were to commit mass murder, I’d kill the members of the Westboro Baptist Church.

Never thought of that before. That would be a win-win.

And then they would have to picket that funeral. Muhaha.

Alse, (b) because they have, as you said, made actual hate speaches, which is not protected under the first amendment. Also they’re slimy, law-cowaring pricks. I don’t like them.

 
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Originally posted by karmakoolkid:

But, we’re (currently) content w/ arriving well enough before the event (nearly always funerals) and taking up ALL of the public space…thereby keeping Shirley and her assholes far to the back. Should she fire up her bullhorn, we fire up our bikes & play the “pipes”. We even have a real bag-piper at times. We have permission before hand to do what we need to drown out her filth.

I seriously doubt I need to tell just how “accommodating” the law officers of the town are for us…and for the family, etc.

I know; that’s so awesome that they do that. I had read one of the stories where the biker vets did that to provide a “safe haven” or zone of safety for the soldier’s funerals. Were you one of the bikers who created the zone, if you don’t mind my asking?

Also kind of amusing was the experiment Michael Moore ran to chase WBC back into their holes. Regardless of how one feels about Moore, that shit was just hilarious.

Alse, (b) because they have, as you said, made actual hate speaches, which is not protected under the first amendment. Also they’re slimy, law-cowaring pricks. I don’t like them.

Most people don’t. I think at least the eldest daughter (is her name Shirley?) is an attorney who represents the church right and left on this 1st Amendment stuff.

This reeks strongly of irony, by the way—that WBC is maligning the same nation that gave her a law degree and likely gave them so many golden opportunities, one of which is the right to spend all their time bitching.

 
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Originally posted by Twilight_Ninja:

Also kind of amusing was the experiment Michael Moore ran to chase WBC back into their holes. Regardless of how one feels about Moore, that shit was just hilarious.

I have just thought of the greatest response to anyone saying: “you will burn in hell for your sexuality.”

It goes somthing like this: “Well then, I guess I better make the most out of my time on Earth,” Shcklee then proceeds to call upon the gay hive-mend, and organise a biggest gay orgy in history.

The semen from that shall then create a new moon.

 
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I dont think that any of you understand the WBC

They know they are pushing the limits of the first amendment.

They are trying to bait people into suing them, because they are guaranteed to win.

This is how the church gets most of its funding.

 
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They are offending Christians most of all. They are by no means “The Church”

 
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It’s really both A and B.

It’s A for several reasons, most notably the fact that their actions have been largely upheld by the Courts. The law signed by Obama (which I don’t think has received any legal action against it) is just a time, place, and manner restriction – they’re still allowed their vile protests.

There is also no question they are a hate group. It’s people like Westboro who make it really difficult for me to continue my stance than any and all speech should be tolerated.


Alse, (b) because they have, as you said, made actual hate speaches, which is not protected under the first amendment.

Not really – only if you can be shown to provoke them into violent action against you. Otherwise, hate speech is largely legal when it isn’t made directly to someone.

 
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The answer, legally, is A, but they’re still idiots.

 
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Originally posted by Twilight_Ninja:
Originally posted by JaumeBG:

If I were to commit mass murder, I’d kill the members of the Westboro Baptist Church.

Never thought of that before. That would be a win-win.

Count me in!

 
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Hey…..WTF?
Did 12-21-12 really end the world….
or just SD?
Where is everyone?

I just wanna drop this on ya. When Fox News & Hannity has the “moral highground”, ya just gotta know the WBC is really, REALLY “low” scum.

 
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Originally posted by karmakoolkid:

ya just gotta know the WBC is really, REALLY “low” scum.

Yes, they are. I think the general consensus is that they are media whores who may or may not believe their own drivel.

Also, I guess with the holidays coming up people are just more or less focused on other things than the forum? Don’t know…

Merry Christmas anyway to everyone



 
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I had heard the WBC was in Conn and going to protest funerals there.
However, it appears our counter-protesting is beginning to have its effect.

I’m most happy to see that the “grassroots” (and its spreading across the nation) is the real WE, THE PEOPLE
This kind of LEGAL activity of citizens—rather than efforts made FOR them via governmental actions—is what just might eventually shut that bitch down. After all, she can’t sue all of us.

 
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I think attracting the ire of Anonymous is something that is going to leave a mark for a long time. Really they are the ideal foil. You have mass media specialists, throngs of boots on the ground, and that whole anonymity thing will protect them from litigation without government intervention. I’m curious to see how that will turn out.

 
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Originally posted by Ungeziefer:

I think attracting the ire of Anonymous is something that is going to leave a mark for a long time. Really they are the ideal foil. You have mass media specialists, throngs of boots on the ground, and that whole anonymity thing will protect them from litigation without government intervention. I’m curious to see how that will turn out.

Oh, right, I’d forgotten about Anonymous. Yes, I agree. I think they are awesome, and I could not be more pleased that they’ve gotten involved in this. I say sic them on WBC and let it roll.

 
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Originally posted by Twilight_Ninja:
Yes, I agree. I think they are awesome,

Actually, other than the Westboro Baptist Church and hacking, what or who do they mainly target, I don’t really know too much about their motives.

 
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I think Westboro is a bunch of trolls. They’re trying to have the government deny them the 1st amendment right so they can sue someone and make bank. yawn Conspiracy debunked.

 
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Well, in my humble opinion, when the KKK says that you’ve gone too far, you’ve gone too far.
I hate the KKK and everything they stand for but I do agree with them this time: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/klu-klux-klan-protests-westboro-baptist-church-video/2011/05/31/AGgoiPFH_blog.html
I would, as a leftist, say that there are most certainly restrictions on what can and can’t be said, particularly at funerals. However, I am most repulsed by their blatant abuse of the First Amendment for their own financial gain and invoking the First Amendment to protect them from the ire of practically the entire country. The protection of the rights of the minority is a crucial task of the First Amendment, however, when the opinions of the minority are flat out wrong, then they should be silenced.

 
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Originally posted by tenco1:

Actually, other than the Westboro Baptist Church and hacking, what or who do they mainly target, I don’t really know too much about their motives.

The last time I heard about Anonymous, it was targeting the Church of Scientology and Tom Cruise, which has (arguably) committed some heavy human rights abuses under the protection of freedom of religion. Which come to think of it, has a similarity with this WBC nonsense—an organization that is taking their actions too far and then running behind the Constitutional letter of the law for protection.

I don’t speak for Anonymous, but I get the impression they are a non-centralized, grassroots group that sees themselves as a type of freedom fighter that sticks up for the rights of Everyman, without having to jump through any red tape, bureacracies, or legalities. It seems like when someone is abusing the law to harrass another, they go harrass back.

 
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They have their own rights
It’s in the constitution
Simply look it up

 
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Originally posted by Twilight_Ninja:
Originally posted by tenco1:

Actually, other than the Westboro Baptist Church and hacking, what or who do they mainly target, I don’t really know too much about their motives.

The last time I heard about Anonymous, it was targeting the Church of Scientology and Tom Cruise, which has (arguably) committed some heavy human rights abuses under the protection of freedom of religion. Which come to think of it, has a similarity with this WBC nonsense—an organization that is taking their actions too far and then running behind the Constitutional letter of the law for protection.

I don’t speak for Anonymous, but I get the impression they are a non-centralized, grassroots group that sees themselves as a type of freedom fighter that sticks up for the rights of Everyman, without having to jump through any red tape, bureacracies, or legalities. It seems like when someone is abusing the law to harrass another, they go harrass back.

Anonymous isn’t really an organised group. It just means you are an internet user who doesn’t reveal his name trough it’s usually used to refer to those who operate from the 4chan forums. Sometimes groups decide to work together. As their goals depend on the individual claiming the title at that moment they can range from real cyber terrorists(as in only trying to do damage without goal) towards a shining beacon of human goodness. This is what they have to say about it themselves http://www.4chan.org/faq#anonymous .