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Judge: State ban on protests at military funerals unconstitutional

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posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 10:25 AM
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reply to post by SpectreDC
 


Fair enough, harder said than done, but fair enough.

So, what if the words do hurt someone not as evolved as you and I, and what if I am the caretaker for that more sensitive person?

For example, what if I am the father of a young teen girl. Fragile ego, hormonal, and sensitive. What if someone is using words that are causing physical ailments in the girl. Stress. Depression. Suicidal thoughts, etc.

In this instance, do I now have the right to defend my daughter by whatever means become necessary? Maybe I follow your advice and I seek Law Enforcement, and I hire an attorney, but the civil rights of the attacker and the public streets are tying their hands. At some point, surely you would support my decision to defend my daughter from a very real physical threat manifested by only words. The person shouting the words has picked a sensitive target, personalized it, and planned an attack that will eventually likely kill her. At what point is physical violence allowed?

I don't have a daughter, and I doubt I would personally have the same amount of patience as you, but I want to hear you agree that violence becomes necessary at some point, even if our threshholds are different.




posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 10:35 AM
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reply to post by misinformational
 


Phelps and company play a VERY dangerous game.

Tormenting grieving parents who just lost a son or daughter? I think it's just a matter of time before he is not with us anymore.

And I can't say I am going to miss him.



posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 10:44 AM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


I know i am not very sophisticated with my words. Thats just me. Im straight to the point with no beating around the proverbial bush. Some people see my bluntness as "idiodic" or "twitish". You sir have said what i have been trying to find the words for. And i thank you.

@ SpecterDC

I dont like being anyones rug. Yo see it as the other persons freedom to treat people as such. That is where me and you are different. Thanks for the name calling though. Im sure your parents basement need a little excitement now and again...

MOTF!



posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 10:45 AM
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Westboro Baptist Church COINTELPRO

Re: Westboro Baptist Church

It is a COINTELPRO church, and you should not take it seriously as a church. You do of course should take it seriously as COINTELPRO, a sucker operation by spooks to downgrade Christianity in general.

It is not the entire US government involved here, simply a very small sector aligned with politicians or a political agenda. You should not be afraid of them, because there are authentic government servants who outnumber them substantially.

[edit on 17-8-2010 by SkipShipman]



posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 10:48 AM
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Originally posted by SpectreDC
reply to post by MessOnTheFED!
 


Well, congratulations on further exceeding my expectation of stupidity and irrationality on ATS.

I mean goddamn it, that isn't an easy thing to do.


All i see here is someone who is scared to stand up for themselves.

MOTF!



posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 11:05 AM
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reply to post by misinformational
 


US laws are pretty clear that the only forms of expression that are illegal are slander and libel. The protesting is not provably false and therefore cannot be considered either libel or slander. Therefore, the expressions made at the funerals are protected speech under the constitution. If people don't like that they have to get the constitution amended.

But there is another issue at play too: noise. If these people are using a bullhorn or screaming to disturb the funeral, they are guilty of disturbing the peace. Its basically noise pollution. Noise pollution is not acceptable especially in a cemetery with an ongoing service. If this group wants to express something they can express it in a way that does not generate disturbing amounts of noise on other people's private property.

One poster has mentioned the harm principle. Whether or not it is specifically written in the US it definitely exists in practice because it just makes too much sense to ignore. If someone is harming you, you have a right to stop the harm. However, expression cannot apply to the harm principle.

Which words harm a person are purely opinion and circumstantial. For example, maybe I have nightmares every time I see a picture of a monkey because I was abused as a child by a monkey. It is then true that I'm harmed by pictures of monkeys. But, it is not true that other people should be stopped by law from showing pictures of monkeys. That is why there is no possible arrangement of paint on a picture that should be made illegal, whether it is arranged in a way that says "God hates Fags" or some other such horrific thing.

It is simply not possible or practical to use the harm principle in regards to expression because we all have our opinions. We have to live with the fact that certain speech and pictures are offensive to us. It is the nature of the freedom of speech. By sacrificing even an inch on that principle we end up giving miles in the end... its better to accept occasional offense than to risk our freedoms being taken away.



posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 11:15 AM
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reply to post by truthquest
 


Phelps would not be convicted with defamation (libel and slander). Defamation in the U.S. is stating something as fact. So if the defendant simply states that he was not stating whatever as fact, but he was voicing his opinion, he is not guilty of legal defamation, period.

And as a lawyer, Phelps will defend his statements as they were his opinion.


Defamation law in the United States is much less plaintiff-friendly than its counterparts in European and the Commonwealth countries. In the United States, a comprehensive discussion of what is and is not libel or slander is difficult, because the definition differs between different states, and under federal law. Some states codify what constitutes slander and libel together into the same set of laws. Criminal libel is rare or nonexistent, depending on the state. Defenses to libel that can result in dismissal before trial include the statement being one of opinion rather than fact or being "fair comment and criticism". Truth is always a defense.


Source

[edit on 17-8-2010 by misinformational]



posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 11:17 AM
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well if that color guard used that 21 gun salute
to accidentally fire about 45 degrees lower, there
wouldn't be any protesters. Oops, how'd
that happen???



posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 11:20 AM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


There is a legal criteria to be met for emotional abuse (which was your example). Phelps' protests do not meet that criteria.



posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 11:21 AM
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Originally posted by misinformational
reply to post by getreadyalready
 


There is a legal criteria to be met for emotional abuse (which was your example). Phelps' protests do not meet that criteria.



So in other words... He and his ilk need a good old fashoned ass whoopin?

MOTF!



posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 11:36 AM
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Originally posted by misinformational
reply to post by getreadyalready
 


There is a legal criteria to be met for emotional abuse (which was your example). Phelps' protests do not meet that criteria.


My response was to Spectre's assertion that violence is "never" necessary. In my example, I feel violence is not only necessary, but appropriate.

As for Phelps' protests, I posted much earlier about the activities of the Patriot Guard. A military funeral unfortunately is a public event and a relavent place for a protest. I have no problem with them protesting quietly there as long as they are not disrespecting the family. The Patriot Guard uses motorcycles, their own bodies, and giant flags to block the protest from the funeral procession. This way the families do not have to be bothered by the protestors. Bikers have the added benefit of being a little intimidating to anyone that would think to try and get through the line of flags.

I know these threads often veer off into hypotheticals, but the only violence I am advocating would be in direct response to a personal attack, verbal or otherwise. I do believe that words can be just as disrespectful and damaging as physical contact, and therefore I do advocate violence as a measure to deter verbal assaults. If you know upfront that I will use violence, then hopefully you choose to move on and leave me alone, and we can both live in peace.



posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 11:40 AM
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A right does not have to be written in the Constitution in order to be a right, and every person has the right to be left in peace to grieve the loss of a loved one. It is abundantly clear that a person is not meant to be able to hide behind their own rights as an excuse to infringe on other peoples' rights.

Also, the Westboro Baptist Church is not a religion, it is an organization which routinely spouts threats of national and global destruction. It is no more a church than Aum Shinrikyo is.



posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 11:41 AM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


Apologies, I mistook your intent.




posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 11:43 AM
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reply to post by mattifikation
 


This is true. Natural/inalienable rights are what is universally accepted by a society as such.

However, the ones in the Constitution are the only ones explicitly protected from infringement by our government.

As for the ones that aren't, its up to private citizens (like the Patriot Guard) to protect.

[edit - grammar]

[edit on 17-8-2010 by misinformational]



posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 11:48 AM
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Originally posted by boondock-saint
well if that color guard used that 21 gun salute
to accidentally fire about 45 degrees lower, there
wouldn't be any protesters. Oops, how'd
that happen???


Poetic justice indeed.



posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 12:04 PM
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Originally posted by getreadyalready
I have to admit that I only read the OP and none of the 4 pages. I am going back now, but I had to say this.

Protests should NOT be illegal! It is a violation of free speech and assembly rights.

On the other hand, if the family of the fallen soldier wants to take out some anguish and frustration on the protestors, the local police should have enough common sense to take their time responding, and not find any evidence of wrong-doing when they get there.

I am a Patriot Guard Rider. Our group was formed for just such an occasion. The protestors have their rights, and so do the veterans, and so do some angry flag-waving bikers that stand between the two opposing sets of rights!


I missed this post somehow.

getreadyalready You are fighting the good fight sir. What you Patriot Riders do for the fallen is an incredible service to each American. And, it is your group that is the solution to this problem.

Phelps has the right to protest and the courts shouldn't be able to do anything about that. But private citizens like yourself should. As a Veteran, thank you.

The legal fight is for the courts. The moral fight is for you.

[edit on 17-8-2010 by misinformational]



posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 12:10 PM
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Ugh, I don't know what to think about this ruling. Frankly, protesting a funeral lacks any sort of Christian decorum as far as I'm concerned. Or even Christian values. It's disgusting. It's too bad a lightning bolt can't just strike them down or have the hand of god just reach through the clouds and strangle them.

I will say this: I think that the group in question, the Westboro Baptist Church, should have the tables turned on them. Have tons of protesters just hang out at their houses, their church, and just bird dog them at every opportunity and see how they feel. Although, that would be assuming that these people have any feelings at all.

I think these people should be discouraged at all costs. I'd love to see them come down and do those protests here in Texas out in a rural community.



posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 12:21 PM
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reply to post by justinsweatt
 


Oh there's been a ton a response to the church. Check out this

But really, that's giving them exactly what they want - Attention. Think of them as trolls at ATS ---> Don't feed 'em! They will only grow stronger in the vile cause with the more attention they get.



posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 12:23 PM
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Originally posted by Mercenary2007
reply to post by muzzleflash
 

Phelps and his followers put themselves in a position to receive violence. They choose to protest funerals of Military personnel. NO ONE MADE THEM PROTEST! Yes they have a right to there royally messed up views and opinions but they also need to learn some respect for the grieving families.

So he won his court case. the Missouri law was the only thing that was keeping him and his followers from getting their asses kicked in this state. or worse killed. Now he has no protection and better not cry when him and his followers do get their asses kicked at the next funeral they choose to protest.


What gets me is that these people are not even protesting the war. They are protesting homosexuality. So, why cannot these families file a defamation of character lawsuit against these people since they are there inferring/implying that the deceased was a homosexual when most of the deceased are not homosexual? Maybe if Phelps and his ilk lost a few of those lawsuits they would back off.



posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 12:26 PM
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Nice to see that there are people actually giving them a little bit of their own medicine. Thanks for the link!



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