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Old 05-04-2006, 01:46 AM   #41
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Should it be legal? I vomit while I say yes.

Would I shed a tear if a handful of Marines systematically beat every member of Westboro Church within an inch of each of their lives? Nope.
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Old 06-05-2006, 11:46 PM   #42
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As a Christian, I must agree with the belief of the Westboro Baptist Church that homosexuality is wrong. If I am going to be genuine in my belief in the Bible as God's Word, then I must accept when it says homosexuality is "detestable" (Leviticus 18:28) and "unnatural...indecent...(and a) perversion" (Romans 1:26-27). I present these verses not in the intention to convince anyone of their truth or to attack any individuals, but to show that the Bible does indeed say it is wrong. If I say I believe the Bible, then I must believe these verses.

That being said, I strongly disagree with their methods of presenting that belief. They seem to have either forgotten or ignore that Christians are taught to hate sin, but love sinners. After all, Christians are sinners too. We are no better than anyone else; we have just accepted God's gift of forgiveness. I have some very good friends who are gay, and, while I wish they would stop what they are doing (just as I wish my brother would stop drinking), I still love them dearly. These Westboro people are giving genuine Christians a bad name, and I resent that.

As a soldier, I am highly offended at their protests at funerals of soldiers. They are attempting to dishonor the sacrifice of men and women who believed freedom is worth fighting for. Put aside your views as to whether our leaders made the right decisions. The military members who died performing their duty deserve to be honored.

As much as I dislike their message of hate and their attempts to dishonor my fallen comrades, I went to war to defend their right to express their beliefs. As long as they stay within the law, they can, and must be allowed to, say whatever they wish. The Constitution I have sworn to uphold provides everyone the freedom to express their views in a peaceful manner, but it does not provide everyone the right to live unoffended by others' misguided views.


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Old 06-06-2006, 10:18 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by jimbo fett 66
As a Christian, I must agree with the belief of the Westboro Baptist Church that homosexuality is wrong. If I am going to be genuine in my belief in the Bible as God's Word, then I must accept when it says homosexuality is "detestable" (Leviticus 18:28) and "unnatural...indecent...(and a) perversion" (Romans 1:26-27).
Who ever said the bible is god's word? As a chirstian you in no way have to beleive that the bible is gods word. infact you know quite well that it isn't god's word as it even helpfully puts the names of the actual authors on the individual books. Vast numbers of chirstians don't believe that the bible is gods word. Where does it state that it is?



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Old 06-06-2006, 02:50 PM   #44
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Blah blah blah, that's not the topic.

Please don't make me nuke this thread.


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Old 06-06-2006, 05:34 PM   #45
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How about this:

In response to the Westboro Baptist protests, on Memorial Day, President Bush passed a law banning protests within a certain distance from national cemetaries when there was a funeral going on there. Now, as much as I think the Westboro Baptists are religious fanatic wackos who are completely wrong, I think this law is exactly the wrong response. National cemetaries are public property, and this bill essentially restricts freedom of speech on that public property. I hope the bill is brought before the Supreme Court and declared unconstitutional...though I do also wish the Westboro Baptists would just shut up.


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Old 06-06-2006, 07:55 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rccar328
How about this:

In response to the Westboro Baptist protests, on Memorial Day, President Bush passed a law banning protests within a certain distance from national cemetaries when there was a funeral going on there. Now, as much as I think the Westboro Baptists are religious fanatic wackos who are completely wrong, I think this law is exactly the wrong response. National cemetaries are public property, and this bill essentially restricts freedom of speech on that public property. I hope the bill is brought before the Supreme Court and declared unconstitutional...though I do also wish the Westboro Baptists would just shut up.
Then how do you suggest protecting people from these ****ers at their funerals?

Me, personally, I say just let people beat the **** out of them whenever their dumb asses show up with their ****ty signs. But that's just me I suppose.
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Old 06-06-2006, 09:09 PM   #47
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Anti-harrassment laws are in place for a reason. People need to present this ****.


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Old 06-07-2006, 12:19 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by TK-8252
Then how do you suggest protecting people from these ****ers at their funerals?

Me, personally, I say just let people beat the **** out of them whenever their dumb asses show up with their ****ty signs. But that's just me I suppose.
There are groups out there that have been working to protect the families from the protestors - one in particular comes to mind: a motorcycle gang that goes to the funerals and shields the families from the protestors.

As a knee-jerk reaction, I'd have no problem letting people beat the crap out of these protestors...but think of it this way:

What if President Bush had passed a law declaring war protests to be treason? There are people out there that think they are, but people across America would be up in arms about violating freedom of speech, myself included.

The problem with restricting freedom of speech in this way is that if you can do it in one instance, you can do it in any instance.


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Old 06-07-2006, 04:11 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by rccar328
What if President Bush had passed a law declaring war protests to be treason? There are people out there that think they are, but people across America would be up in arms about violating freedom of speech, myself included.

The problem with restricting freedom of speech in this way is that if you can do it in one instance, you can do it in any instance.
When they go to the site of a funeral for the sole purpose of protesting, that's crossing the line. They can do their **** at city hall.

And yes, the Patriot Guard Riders are doing a great job, but I don't think that families should have to rely completely on the compassion of private citizens. There are laws against harassment, stalking, etc., and WBC is doing BOTH of those things.
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Old 06-07-2006, 10:24 PM   #50
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I agree with everything you're saying...the danger, however, is that this law could set a precedent for restricting free speech in other areas.

And that's besides the fact that the law is a violation of the First Amendment. I agree that these people should not be allowed to protest at soldiers' funerals. But using extra-Constitutional means to solve the problem is not the right way to go about it.


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Old 06-07-2006, 10:25 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by TK-8252
When they go to the site of a funeral for the sole purpose of protesting, that's crossing the line. They can do their **** at city hall.
Crossing what line? These people are within the law. I don't like their tactics or their message of hate any more than you do (and, having lived in Topeka, KS for awhile, I have seen and heard them firsthand), but they are very versed in what the laws regarding protests and free speech say. They are very careful to push the law to the limit without breaking it.

Quote:
And yes, the Patriot Guard Riders are doing a great job, but I don't think that families should have to rely completely on the compassion of private citizens. There are laws against harassment, stalking, etc., and WBC is doing BOTH of those things.
Unfortunately, they are not doing those things as defined by the law. That is the problem. I wish we could lock these kooks up, but I value freedom too much to advocate arresting people who are engaged in peaceful, if offensive, protest.

If we wish to honor the lives of those fallen soldiers whose funerals are being targeted by WBC, we must work to protect the freedom those soldiers died defending.


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Old 06-07-2006, 11:19 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by rccar328
But using extra-Constitutional means to solve the problem is not the right way to go about it.
I don't think that the Founding Fathers had this kind of protesting and use of speech in mind when they wrote the Constitution...

I never thought that I would actually be standing behind an act made by Bush that you are opposed to.

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Crossing what line? These people are within the law.
Except for the stalking and harassing parts.
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Old 06-08-2006, 12:07 AM   #53
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I haven't heard anything about stalking and harassing...all I've heard about are wackos protesting with signs. If they're stalking and harassing people, then a new law isn't necessary, because they're already breaking existing law.

I finally watched that video that Feanaro posted (I didn't see that post before). Seeing that lady and hearing her talk, the first thought that popped in to my head was, "brainwashed."


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Old 06-08-2006, 12:34 AM   #54
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I haven't heard anything about stalking and harassing...all I've heard about are wackos protesting with signs.
They're stalking grieving families and harassing them at the funeral for their loved one. They travel all over the place to go to high-profile funerals of people they deem to not be anti-gay enough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rccar328
If they're stalking and harassing people, then a new law isn't necessary, because they're already breaking existing law.
Then maybe they just need to enforce the damn law. Still, I think Bush's step to protect military funerals is good. NO reason why someone's funeral should - EVER - be used as some form of protest. I raised hell on this forum when Coretta Scott King's funeral service turned political, and I'm raising hell now.

You know that the WBC actually DID protest at the funeral for Coretta Scott King?! http://www.houstonvoice.com/2006/2-1...al/funeral.cfm

**** 'em.
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Old 06-08-2006, 02:31 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TK-8252
They're stalking grieving families and harassing them at the funeral for their loved one. They travel all over the place to go to high-profile funerals of people they deem to not be anti-gay enough.
Well, what you or I may consider harassment may not be harassment according to the law...I don't know. I do know that this Westboro Baptist group is very careful to come as close as they can to violating the law without actually doing it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TK-8252
Then maybe they just need to enforce the damn law. Still, I think Bush's step to protect military funerals is good. NO reason why someone's funeral should - EVER - be used as some form of protest. I raised hell on this forum when Coretta Scott King's funeral service turned political, and I'm raising hell now.
While there's a difference between offering political speeches when you're supposed to be eulogizing and protesting at a funeral, that doesn't excuse Westboro Baptist's actions. But the simple truth of the matter is that national cemetaries are public property, and President Bush doesn't have the right to restrict the freedom to assemble on public property. If it weren't for the Constitution, I'd think that this new law was great...but that pesky Constitution just has a tendency to get in the way sometimes.

After all, there have been messages that were just as hateful presented at anti-war/anti-Bush rallies:



and this at a counter-protest at an anti-abortion march:

All images taken from zombietime.com.

What these protestors are doing is abhorrent, but let's face it: Westboro Baptist Church isn't the first group to present an abhorrent message in an inappropriate way. And frankly, I don't see how someone can say he'd rather die than have his phone wiretapped without a warrant, and then wantonly throw away someone else's right to free speech because they're preaching an abominable message at what should be a solemn, sacred gathering.

I'm not in any way endorsing Westboro Baptist's message, or their methods. I believe that what they're doing is disgusting. But the fact remains that free speech is free speech. It either applies or it doesn't. If these people are violating harassment laws, they should be jailed. Otherwise, they have the same right to protest as any other citizen. And if President Bush wants to restrict protests at funerals (which I would definitely support), then he needs to do it the right way rather than settling for an easier way that violates our highest law. How about this: instead of treating the American people like stupid children by bringing this gay marriage amendment back up (because nobody will ever figure out that it's an election year ploy), why doesn't President Bush propose a Constitutional amendment restricting protests at funerals? That'd be the right way to do it, and I would support that all the way through.


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Old 06-08-2006, 08:21 AM   #56
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Heh, the I heart new york and abort more christians ones are funny.

I do feel its different to make general remarks about people/groups than to make specific remarks directed at specific people.. and that the two should be hald to a slightly different standard.

For example, if they want to stand in their churches, or even protest on street corners saying "gays will go to hell" or "no abortion" or even "way to go sept 11 guys!" then that is one thing.
If they go up to a specific person with a dead gay son and say "your son will go to hell" or shout at a mother outside an abortion clinic or shout at the parents of a 9/11 victim then i'd say that it a different matter.

One is freely expressing your opinions about an issue.. the other is harasing an individual with the intention to make them suffer. Morally I'd see them as differnt point on the scale.

Legally of course it is often very difficult to make laws that can effectively differentiate between finer points of grey... and i suspect this is what these people will effectively exploit.



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Old 06-08-2006, 10:29 AM   #57
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The "I ♥ NY" sign was probably Ann Coulter's ... she seems to hate the people that died in the WTC and their families, after all.


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Old 06-08-2006, 04:08 PM   #58
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One is freely expressing your opinions about an issue.. the other is harasing an individual with the intention to make them suffer. Morally I'd see them as differnt point on the scale.
This is pretty much the point I was trying to make... there IS a difference between protesting at city hall, and it's another thing to hunt down people and crash their funeral. A funeral is something that only happens once for someone, and it's a damn shame when someone's final resting is intruded upon by these fools.

These people are not just using free speech and assembly... they're destroying the last moments that a family can say goodbye to their loved one.
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Old 06-09-2006, 08:26 AM   #59
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The "I ♥ NY" sign was probably Ann Coulter's ... she seems to hate the people that died in the WTC and their families, after all.
But then again, she hates everyone who doesn't agree 101% with her, from what I've read of Slander.

Quote:
If it weren't for the Constitution, I'd think that this new law was great...
Then you're thinking of the Constitution in the wrong way, methinks.

It's not a 100% true Bible/Q'uran that must never be questioned, violated, changed, or otherwise attacked. You think the law is good? Fine, support it. The Constitution has been questioned and changed before (the addition and following removal of the "Alcohol Abolished"-amendment being my favourite), and sometimes needs to be changed as today's world does not resemble that of the Constitution's birth-year.

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I agree with everything you're saying...the danger, however, is that this law could set a precedent for restricting free speech in other areas.
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Indeed it could. However, that doesn't make it less right.

*Thanks, WinAce.

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Old 06-09-2006, 01:03 PM   #60
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Then you're thinking of the Constitution in the wrong way, methinks.

It's not a 100% true Bible/Q'uran that must never be questioned, violated, changed, or otherwise attacked. You think the law is good? Fine, support it. The Constitution has been questioned and changed before (the addition and following removal of the "Alcohol Abolished"-amendment being my favourite), and sometimes needs to be changed as today's world does not resemble that of the Constitution's birth-year.
We're thinking of the Constitution in the same way, then. All I'm saying is that instead of doing this the right way, by proposing a Constitutional amendment, President Bush has chosen the easy way, signing legislation that is a violation of the First Amendment. Yeah, the Constitution has been questioned and changed before...but in this case, it's neither being questioned, nor is it being changed.


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Old 06-10-2006, 12:02 AM   #61
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States are starting to pass laws that disallow protesting within a certain radius of a funeral. I know IL just passed one not too long ago, and I believe KS either just did or is in the process of doing so. I expect a challenge on the KS law, because the Westboro folks have a number of lawyers in the family that are licensed in KS, and I would be very surprised if they didn't fight it.

@IS--these folks are superb at researching free speech, harrassment, and other relevent laws and pushing them to the very edge--I saw it time and again when living in Topeka. However, they know exactly where the line is and they don't cross it, which is why they don't spend more time in jail. The sad thing is they'd probably get a lot of useful work done if they put their energies into something positive.


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Old 06-12-2006, 11:00 AM   #62
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That is sad indeed.
(and having looked up who this Ann Coulter person is - she appears remarkably unbalanced and twisted and willing to say anything to get controversy and attention).

The constitution does seem to me that it needs a lot of tightening up, language wise, as a lot of its phraseology is so vague as to court controversy. Unfortunately I can't see anyone being willing to open the can of worms that it would be to re-negotiate the wording of any of these clauses.

So you are stuck with the constitution as is... a basic defence of rights, but painted with very broad brush strokes that don't allow for a lot of the subtleties of life.

Making the law (constitutional or not) apply only to military funerals is odd though.



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