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  #1  
Old 10-09-2010, 07:10 AM
Agnostic75 Offline
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Default Free speech does not trump life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Consider the following:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
"Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" is one of the most famous phrases in the United States Declaration of Independence, and considered by some as part of one of the most well crafted, influential sentences in the history of the English language. These three aspects are listed among the "unalienable rights" or sovereign rights of man. It is a paraphrasing of an earlier statement by English philosopher John Locke.
The pathetic Westboro Baptist Church obviously does not understand what "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" mean.

If free speech means "anything goes," then the Westboro Baptist Church would be free to picket the homes of U.S. Supreme Court justices, and picket any place that the justices goes for social activities. In addition, extreme harrassment could be used in politics and in many other venues.

I recommend that the U.S. Supreme Court rule that each state decide for itself how to interpret free speech. That way, the people who are most affected by deplorable people like the Westboro Baptist Church will be able to interpret free speech for themselves.
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  #2  
Old 10-09-2010, 07:28 AM
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agnostic75 View Post
Consider the following:



The pathetic Westboro Baptist Church obviously does not understand what "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" mean.

If free speech means "anything goes," then the Westboro Baptist Church would be free to picket the homes of U.S. Supreme Court justices, and picket any place that the justices goes for social activities. In addition, extreme harrassment could be used in politics and in many other venues.

I recommend that the U.S. Supreme Court rule that each state decide for itself how to interpret free speech. That way, the people who are most affected by deplorable people like the Westboro Baptist Church will be able to interpret free speech for themselves.
Sure, and while we're at it we can let each state go back to deciding all other civil and human rights. I mean why should the federal government have a say in things like who is a citizen, who can be free, who can own a gun, who can be beaten by the police, who can worship the religion of their choice, who can vote.....

Certain things fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government. This is one of them.

As for the Westboro Baptist Church - as much as I hate what they're doing, they should have the right to do it. We do not have the right be not be offended. The best way to stop them is to use your right to free speech, your right to assemble, and your right to protest and fight them at their own game.

The Patriot Guard has the right idea. Get out there and use our rights to effect the change we want. Don't do it by revoking those rights.
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  #3  
Old 10-09-2010, 10:18 AM
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The best way to kill stupid and evil ideologies is to let them kill themselves, by letting them scream their BS as loud as they can. I say let them use their free speech to illustrate to the rest of us jus how insane people can be at the hand of faith in ancient books full of garbage ethical suggestions.
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Last edited by jmvizanko; 10-09-2010 at 01:16 PM..
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  #4  
Old 10-09-2010, 10:48 AM
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The whole point of freedom of speech is that anyone can express opinions that are outside the mainstream of thought and not be punished for their speech. It means people can say things against the government, religion, society or aanything else and not face criminal / legal consequences. There are, however, still social and possibly financial consequences, such as being fired or ostracised from a group. Others can disagree and point out the problems in 'crack pot' ideas.
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  #5  
Old 10-09-2010, 11:27 AM
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I believe in freedom of speech but I do not believe that we have the right to speak freely in all places. The question concerning the Westboro Baptist Church is not if they have the right to speech but where they have the right to exercise that speech.

This is a most interesting paradox. On one hand is the issue of free speech and on the other hand is the right to peaceful assembly. It is my understanding that the legal definition of peaceful assembly is the right of a group to gather or assemble without harassment. Both of these rights have limitations. For example the KKK does not have the right to peaceful assembly at a NAACP meeting. This is because one is an infringement on the other’s rights.

The Supreme Court ruling in this case is important. It will determine not just where a protest can take place (up to now it is considered a right on public property) but it will determine if the protest targets the rights of other individuals. This could determine that unions cannot create picket lines to harass scab workers from entering private company property – even if the picket lines are on public property. In essence this ruling could affect public demonstrations at or near any private or public establishment.

It could mean that demonstrations against police cannot take place near a police station or where police are working. It could end demonstrations associated with national politics from taking place in Washington DC.

I personally have mixed feelings. I tend to side with the right to peaceful assembly but when I realize the full implications I realize this strikes at the very core of most protests and thus a very important element of free speech. I think I can live with ether decision as long as ether decision does not lead to a trend to favor the freedom of assembly over freedom of speech or vice versa.

Zadok

Last edited by Zadok; 10-09-2010 at 11:37 AM..
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  #6  
Old 10-09-2010, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agnostic75 View Post
Consider the following:



The pathetic Westboro Baptist Church obviously does not understand what "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" mean.

If free speech means "anything goes," then the Westboro Baptist Church would be free to picket the homes of U.S. Supreme Court justices, and picket any place that the justices goes for social activities. In addition, extreme harrassment could be used in politics and in many other venues.

I recommend that the U.S. Supreme Court rule that each state decide for itself how to interpret free speech. That way, the people who are most affected by deplorable people like the Westboro Baptist Church will be able to interpret free speech for themselves.
The Supreme Court does not assign rights. It's sole function is to interpret and apply law.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Zadok
This is a most interesting paradox. On one hand is the issue of free speech and on the other hand is the right to peaceful assembly. It is my understanding that the legal definition of peaceful assembly is the right of a group to gather or assemble without harassment.
Then you have misunderstood. The right has to do with assembling in a peaceful manner.
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Last edited by Skwim; 10-09-2010 at 11:36 AM..
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  #7  
Old 10-09-2010, 11:37 AM
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I certainly hope it isn't banned. It's too much of a risk.

"He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from opposition; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach himself." Thomas Paine
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They will be lost.
Buried in the sands of time,
Relics disgraced from an era forgotten.
Far too consumed by the allure of wealth to be concerned for the backs on which they stood

The weak and broken, the castaways out in the cold
They will be left abandoned by those who claim to care

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Mark my words -- your time will come.

The heartless will be the sick and the dying
Left with nowhere to turn

I hope I have the strength to help them in their time of need,
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  #8  
Old 10-09-2010, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skwim View Post
The Supreme Court does not assign rights. It's sole function is to interpret and apply law.



Then you have misunderstood. The right has to do with assembling in a peaceful manner.
I was considering the full extent of the law "To uninterrupted legal assemble without interference or undue disturbance."

Zadok
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  #9  
Old 10-09-2010, 12:05 PM
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I agree with Meow Mix. Outlawing dissidence is a slippery slope.
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  #10  
Old 10-09-2010, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agnostic75 View Post
I recommend that the U.S. Supreme Court rule that each state decide for itself how to interpret free speech.
That would be insane. Fortunately, the Supremes are extremely unlikely to make that kind of ruling.
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