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Strange bedfellows indeed

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Doom and gloom, Jul 25, 2006.

  1. Doom and gloom

    Doom and gloom Active Member

    On that "evil" Fox News, Bill O'Reilly ripped the ACLU tonight for supporting Fred Phelps' so-called church (which, by the way, fits the ultimate bigotry so many in here accuse anyone that's against homosexuality) and its right to protest at soldier funerals, saying God is killing the soldiers because its country supports homosexual stances.

    You wanna talk hatred? That's hatred. Spreading it to an extreme that involves the disrespect of a deceased person and his or her family?

    It's amazing that the ACLU would take that type of stance. Talk about an organization totally lacking in direction and principles.....
  2. tyler durden 71351

    tyler durden 71351 Active Member

    Look, the ACLU sees this as a free speech issue. If some horrible asshole wants to protest at funerals, the organization thinks he has that right. And you can make a good argument that it's a slippery slope from going after Fred Phelps to arresting anti-war groups for protesting. You can say a lot of things about the ACLU, but they're pretty consistent on free speech issues. I mean, they've mounted legal challenges to local ordinances that kept the KKK and the neo-Nazis from protesting.
  3. Doom and gloom

    Doom and gloom Active Member

    OK....so you have the battle of free speech vs. hate speech. Which opens a can of worms that have been crawling around in here before.
  4. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    I hear you Tyler, and I'm usually sympathetic to the ACLU.

    But what Phelps does is pretty close to, if not over the line, of yelling "fire" in a crowded theater. It goes beyond provocative to inciteful. Not sure the ACLU should be touching this one.
  5. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    The whole thing will be solved when some father, brother, uncle (or wife, sister or daughter) of the fallen solider lays a ball bat upside the heads of the Westboro Baptist posse.

    Or puts a few bullets through 'em.
  6. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    Not going to argue that this is one cause I'm not real happy the ACLU supports. But the freedom of speech, which you're demonstrating right here, is more important than my need to silence one group because I think they happen to be worse than shit I find on the bottom of my shoe.

    And that should really be the end of the debate right there Dammit.
  7. Doom and gloom

    Doom and gloom Active Member

    That may be, but if you do this, then you have to do it to the KKK, etc.  Then let the murder trial chips fall where they may.  As macabre as it may seem, you can't have first amendment protection in the constitution and not guarantee it for even the whackos.  Setting a double standard there is like the so-called hate crime issue.  Just as in the Matthew Shepard incident, murder is murder. Shepard didn't have any more lives, nor value of life than the latest fallen soldier in Iraq (he too being a hate crime victim), Jon Benet Ramsey, or any of Jeffrey Dahmer's victims.  Kill the perpetrator and be done with it.  It's more unfair to let a murderer (except in cases of self-defense) get 20 years in one case and someone else get death for another.  A life lost is a life lost.  

    I'll stop there before I threadjack my own thread.
  8. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    Too late. Might as well lock it 'cause nothing good's going to come of it. ::)
  9. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    To me the distinction is not the cause they're protesting for, but where they do it.

    It's not like they're doing this in some courthouse square as a media event, like the KKK does. That should be protected.

    The funeral aspect makes all of the difference in the "shouting fire in a crowded theater" argument I made above.
  10. dog428

    dog428 Active Member

    Before I say anything, lemme say that I hope Fred Phelps and hate-teaching minions have the absolute shit kicked out of 'em every day for the next 10 years. And even that would be too good for them.

    That said, this is actually a very interesting argument. There's a thin line between what is and what isn't protected. Actually, there's not really a line anymore. Just a gray area between the two. On one hand, I'd love to know that Phelps and his wackos weren't disrupting the funerals of anymore soldiers. On the other, I worry that the barring them from speaking out would be spun into some sort of precedent for limiting other legit protests. And that's the big trouble here -- the precedent the ruling would set. You get a lawyer using this case to make a jump from A to C and a like-minded judge who agrees with him somewhere down the line and you've got trouble.

    In a perfect world, we could handle each of the situations on an individual basis and judge them all on their merits. But, as Phelps proves, this isn't exactly a perfect world.
  11. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    To me, they can speak and protest all they want and I'll protect their right to do so ... away from the funeral.

    The argument I put forth -- if you want to buy it -- has been a precedent since at least the 1960s. I understand the slippery slope argument, but in this instance, I side with the those who would argue that inciteful speech isn't protected.
  12. Doom and gloom

    Doom and gloom Active Member

    I don't think they're doing it at the funeral, just within earshot or eyeshot of it....and on government property. (Highways right of way, etc.)

    The odd thing about this is that Phelps doesn't want to deal with anything, including President Bush (who he says is going to hell too), who supports elements he stands against.  And the irony of this is that here he is, partnering with of all groups, the ACLU.  Go figure.
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