Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    02 Mar '11 16:23
    Hate to say I told ya so: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41868004/ns/politics-more_politics/?gt1=43001
  2. 02 Mar '11 16:31
    Good decision, of course.
  3. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    02 Mar '11 17:08 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Good decision, of course.
    It's harassment. They could express their opinion elsewhere and at any time but they just decided not to for the purpose of getting a reaction from the family (or simply allow the possibility of getting a reaction which generates media attention).

    Nobody is denying their right to express their opinions but I don't see why they should be allowed to harass a family during the funeral of their son.

    Anyway, I'm sure there will be a lot of screeching and ranting about how supposedly I don't believe in freedom of speech by people who don't seem to recognize that there are always limitations to it and its goal is to allow people the means to express it publicly not that all possible mediums in all possible situations must be assured.
  4. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    02 Mar '11 17:17
    Originally posted by Palynka
    It's harassment. They could express their opinion elsewhere and at any time but they just decided not to for the purpose of getting a reaction from the family (or simply allow the possibility of getting a reaction which generates media attention).

    Nobody is denying their right to express their opinions but I don't see why they should be allowed to harass ...[text shortened]... press it publicly not that all possible mediums in all possible situations must be assured.
    If they can't protest in public, there's a good chance people will start dying to Christian zealots.
  5. 02 Mar '11 17:20
    Originally posted by Palynka
    It's harassment. They could express their opinion elsewhere and at any time but they just decided not to for the purpose of getting a reaction from the family (or simply allow the possibility of getting a reaction which generates media attention).

    Nobody is denying their right to express their opinions but I don't see why they should be allowed to harass ...[text shortened]... press it publicly not that all possible mediums in all possible situations must be assured.
    I haven't seen footage of the protests. If they were actively obstructing the funeral, then it's harassment. If they were at the funeral protesting, then I don't see a problem (except for them being idiots but that isn't illegal).
  6. 02 Mar '11 17:32
    why don't people show up at the homes of Westboro Baptist church members and picket THEM?
  7. Subscriber Sleepyguy
    Reepy Rastardly Guy
    02 Mar '11 17:47
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Hate to say I told ya so:
    Yeah, sure you do
  8. Standard member smw6869
    Granny
    02 Mar '11 19:29
    If members of the westboro baptist church were anymore stupid they'd have to be put in a sunny window and watered twice a day.


    GRANNY.
  9. 02 Mar '11 19:46 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Palynka
    It's harassment. They could express their opinion elsewhere and at any time but they just decided not to for the purpose of getting a reaction from the family (or simply allow the possibility of getting a reaction which generates media attention).

    Nobody is denying their right to express their opinions but I don't see why they should be allowed to harass press it publicly not that all possible mediums in all possible situations must be assured.
    Well said.

    edit- Coincidentally, the court's decision seemed to be rooted on the sort of "rights fundamentalism" endorsed by a few posters here, illustrating the real undesirable consequences of allowing fantastical idealism to dominate judgments on practical matters.
  10. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    02 Mar '11 19:48
    Originally posted by Palynka
    It's harassment. They could express their opinion elsewhere and at any time but they just decided not to for the purpose of getting a reaction from the family (or simply allow the possibility of getting a reaction which generates media attention).

    Nobody is denying their right to express their opinions but I don't see why they should be allowed to harass ...[text shortened]... press it publicly not that all possible mediums in all possible situations must be assured.
    Can't something similar be said for every harsh political speech aimed at an individual?
  11. 02 Mar '11 20:06
    I looked at Alito's dissent and it seemed far more reasonable to me. It is also interesting that a traditionally conservative judge would have given for more protections to a minority group (gays in the military) than the majority was willing to give.
  12. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    02 Mar '11 20:09
    Originally posted by quackquack
    I looked at Alito's dissent and it seemed far more reasonable to me. It is also interesting that a traditionally conservative judge would have given for more protections to a minority group (gays in the military) than the majority was willing to give.
    I don't think the key issue here is which minority group is being protected. I really don't think that should or did have any impact on the case.

    The issue here is which judges are willing to limit free speech. In that context, it is unsurprising that one of the more conservative Justices shows more of a willingness to limit free speech where the security of others (or at least the peace and quiet of others) is at stake.
  13. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    02 Mar '11 20:35
    Originally posted by sh76
    Can't something similar be said for every harsh political speech aimed at an individual?
    If people try to do it at the door of where the person lives then yes, I guess it might.

    But for me this has nothing to do with censorship of content. The same harsh political speech could be done in a rally, in the media, in front of political institutions, etc. I just don't see why disturbing a funeral should be allowed under the guise of free speech.
  14. 02 Mar '11 20:35
    Originally posted by sh76
    I don't think the key issue here is which minority group is being protected. I really don't think that should or did have any impact on the case.

    The issue here is which judges are willing to limit free speech. In that context, it is unsurprising that one of the more conservative Justices shows more of a willingness to limit free speech where the security of others (or at least the peace and quiet of others) is at stake.
    Obviously you are correct that a conservative judge would be more likely, when balancing free speech and another right, to put a limit on free speech. I think however it is interesting that the right that Alito wishes to protect is the right of the family of a homosexual soldier to have a funeral without hateful protests making it into a public issue. Alito's sympathy for the emotional distress of a private citizen, his lack of sympathy for the motives a church and his desire to give an aggieved citizen a cause of action against a conservative group are noteworthy especially since conservatives are often portaryed as endless defending religious groups and never defending the rights of average ordinary citizens.
  15. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    02 Mar '11 20:36
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    If they can't protest in public, there's a good chance people will start dying to Christian zealots.
    But they can protest in public. In many places and many other times where they won't harass a particular family in a moment of grievance.