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Anti-Gay Funeral Protesters Win Case at U.S. Supreme Court

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posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 04:48 PM
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Anti-Gay Funeral Protesters Win Case at U.S. Supreme Court


www.bloomberg.com

The U.S. Supreme Court, saying even hurtful speech is protected by the Constitution, ruled that members of a Kansas church can’t be punished for staging an anti-homosexual demonstration at a military funeral.

The justices, voting 8-1, said a lower court was right to throw out a $5 million award to a man who said the demonstration marred his son’s funeral. The protesters, from the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, bore signs that said God was killing U.S. soldiers to punish the country for accepting homosexuality.

The case tested the limits of the First Amendment, forcing the justice
(visit the link for the full news article)


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Supreme Court rules church's protests at military funerals are protected by freedom of speech




posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 04:48 PM
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Justice Samuel Alito, the lone dissenter, said Snyder wanted only to "bury his son in peace." Instead, Alito said, the protesters "brutally attacked" Matthew Snyder to attract public attention. "Our profound national commitment to free and open debate is not a license for the vicious verbal assault that occurred in this case," he said.

The ruling, though, was in line with many earlier court decisions that said the First Amendment exists to protect robust debate on public issues and free expression, no matter how distasteful. A year ago, the justices struck down a federal ban on videos that show graphic violence against animals. In 1988, the court unanimously overturned a verdict for the Rev. Jerry Falwell in his libel lawsuit against Hustler magazine founder Larry Flynt over a raunchy parody ad.

www.bloomberg.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 04:53 PM
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That's BS right there.

I'm all for free speech etc but these insane Bible thumping crazies that give their religion a bad name (along with the other ignorant and hate filled sections of Christianity including some on ATS) really need taking down a peg or two for such disgraceful behaviour.

Shaking my head that they actually won this case. Something ain't right with the world when this happens.



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 05:02 PM
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It's freedom of speech, not freedom of speech..........only if I agree. It's much better that everybody is aware these type of groups exist and freedom of speech allows all of us to listen to their messages. If you don't know these people are out there the public can't scrutinize them. It's somewhat of a checks and balances system.



edit on 2-3-2011 by Fitch303 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 05:08 PM
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I can't stand this group of so called Christian believers. They and people like them give all believers a bad name. That said, as disgusted as I am about the ruling, the Supreme Court Justices made the correct decision. As vile as this groups' message is, they do have the right to say what they think regardless of how twisted their message is. To stop one group from speaking their mind because a majority of the population disagree with the message is not a can of worms we want to open. If the ruling said they were not allowed to speak their mind, which groups would be next? The NRA? Unions? 9-11 Truthers?



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 05:08 PM
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The First Amendment grants the church freaks the freedom to speak and protest. No one has the right to not be offended.

( BTW, www.abovetopsecret.com... already a thread )



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 05:08 PM
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reply to post by curious7
 





I'm all for free speech etc but...


No buts about it. The freedom of speech is a fundamental and unalienable right of all people, including idiots. The moment you begin adding qualifiers to what is acceptable speech, that is the moment that the fundamental right to speech gets trampled upon. The very same freedom of speech that protects gay people from infringement in regards to "gay pride" parades and other speeches also protects people who want to protest it. That is not the price of freedom, that is simply just freedom.

I suspect some people might enter into this thread and argue that not all speech is an unalienable right, and will point to slander as an example. The difference between slander and speech made in protest is that slander causes a demonstrable harm. No one, outside the right to self defense or defense of others or property, has the right to harm another person. Thus, slander is not a right, it is a harmful action. Protesting a persons sexual proclivity is as much a right as proudly speaking about a persons sexual proclivity.



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 05:14 PM
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Originally posted by Whereweheaded
The First Amendment grants the church freaks the freedom to speak and protest. No one has the right to not be offended.

( BTW, www.abovetopsecret.com... already a thread )


The First Amendment does not grant any rights what--so-ever, but instead prohibits Congress from passing any legislation that would disparage the right to speech, to publish, to worship freely, to peaceably assemble, and to petition for a redress of grievances.

It is imperative that we watch how we use our words regarding the unalienable rights of people. Unalienable rights are not granted by any human, they preexist government, and are inviolable. When we lazily refer to these rights a "granted" rights this becomes a cultural meme and before you know it people come to believe that rights are something governments grant to people instead of understanding that rights are the only just reason to have a government, to protect those rights.



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 05:15 PM
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The contributions here are the usual excellence.....

For more excellent commentary you may wish to also visit Supreme Court rules church's protests at military funerals are protected by freedom of speech

I will post a reciprocal link there.....

MM
edit on 2-3-2011 by Maxmars because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 05:17 PM
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At a funeral!?
Seriously!?
I'd like to get right in the middle of all of them and start throwing knees and elbows!!!!!!
That is ridiculous.



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 05:26 PM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


No actually, the Bill of Rights, are the rights issued to the peoples of this land. These Rights " grant " the peoples to exercise their actions.

Article 1 Section 8 expresses the powers allotted to the Congress. What they may act upon and so forth.

The specific items in which prohibits Congress from acting upon is under Section 9, Limits of Congress.

Pretty self explanatory there?



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 05:34 PM
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reply to post by Whereweheaded
 


A simple reading of The Bill of Rights, and of course I am just repeating myself here, makes perfectly clear that the Bill of Rights are prohibitions against government not "grants" of rights. Further, the 9th Amendment would be an odd "grant" of a right, don't you think, or are you even familiar with the 9th Amendment?



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 05:38 PM
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They way I look at it. Yes, they have the right to free speech. Even hate groups such as the KKK or The Westborough Baptist Church have free speech. They have the same right to speak their minds, even if they are speaking of intolerance, racism and bigotry... To put it likely.

That is the thing about free speech. It applies to every citizen of the United States. We can't just pick and choose who has free speech. If we do that, then there is no such thing as free speech.

Now, that said, I think moral law needs to be considered here. It may not be illegal for them to say the things they do and to protest the way that they do... But it is simply disgusting. The way they go to funerals. A place that is meant to be set up to mourn the loss of a loved one. It is disgusting that they are choosing this venue to speak their voice.

Clearly, they have no regard for human decency and are working with a very warped sense of morals. What this hate group is doing, is wrong. Maybe not legally wrong... But it is wrong. Honestly, the best way to deal with groups such as this, is to have counter protests. Go stand right across from them and sing songs of love and peace loudly, drowning out their hate speech.... At least maybe that way, people at those funeral will hear a nice song, rather than hate speech.

Get people to just... drown out the disgusting voice of these hate groups and remain peaceful while doing it...and hope they move on and go away for ever, realizing that their backwards views are not wanted and in the minority.

One day, I hope that these hate groups learn the truth...



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 05:42 PM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


You need to re-read my post. I identified Section 9, not the 9th Amendment. Big difference there trigger~

And you claim you know the Constitution? BWAHAHAHA!
edit on 2-3-2011 by Whereweheaded because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 05:47 PM
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This video pretty accurately portrays Westboro Baptist Church.
Freedom of speech is a great thing.



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 05:48 PM
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reply to post by gimme_some_truth
 





That is the thing about free speech. It applies to every citizen of the United States.


The thing about free speech is that it applies to each and every person regardless of citizenship. There are no preconditions to free speech, and certainly no preconditions to unalienable rights.




Now, that said, I think moral law needs to be considered here.


I think you might be confusing morality with etiquette. Protesting homosexuality, even outside the parameters of a grave yard where a funeral is taking place, is not immoral. It is a breach of etiquette, no doubt, but it is not immoral.

The right to free speech is moral. The right to defend oneself is moral. The right to worship freely is moral. What is immoral is to oppress other people. What is immoral is to suppress the rights of people of whom we don't understand or agree with. I understand that you are not arguing for any oppression, or suppression, however, the moment you begin defining etiquette as morality, as opposed to understanding that what is moral is pro survival and what is immoral is anti-survival, you run the risk of joining your own hate group.
edit on 2-3-2011 by Jean Paul Zodeaux because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 05:54 PM
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Originally posted by Whereweheaded
reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


You need to re-read my post. I identified Section 9, not the 9th Amendment. Big difference there trigger~

And you claim you know the Constitution? BWAHAHAHA!
edit on 2-3-2011 by Whereweheaded because: (no reason given)


No sport, you need to re-read my post. The 9th Amendment, and Amendment you clearly have no idea what it is about, states:


The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.


It is pretty self explanatory there, but since you clearly have a problem understanding, let me spell it out for you. The Bill of Rights is not granting, in the 9th Amendment, mysterious heretofore unmentioned rights, it is making expressly clear that all enumerated rights are not grants of rights and the fact that certain rights have been enumerated cannot be construed to disparage other rights retained by the people.

Instead of jumping the gun and presuming you know what you are talking about, stop, take a moment to consider what you are up against here, and respond carefully. I am arguing in defense of freedom, and unalienable rights. What are you arguing for?



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 06:02 PM
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Originally posted by Ratisch
I can't stand this group of so called Christian believers. They and people like them give all believers a bad name.
As utterly contemptible as I find WBC I give them credit. What they preach is what Christianity preaches - its disgusting, right? Read the bible, check it out.
edit on 2-3-2011 by Secularist because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 06:02 PM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 





Instead of jumping the gun and presuming you know what you are talking about, stop, take a moment to consider what you are up against here, and respond carefully. I am arguing in defense of freedom, and unalienable rights. What are you arguing for?


I clearly made a very similar argument in the fact that the Freedom of speech ( 1st amendment ), allowed for these church nuts to voice their opinion. Though I may disagree with their methods, and may not agree with their message, they still have that right. Reverting back to my opening comments, Im pretty sure you can see that for yourself scooter.

Instead of acknowledging my statement in regards to the rights of the church nuts, you deemed it necessary to try to present yourself as a " all mighty and knowing " individual. The fact still remains, you brought up the 9th Amendment. In my rebuttal, and the post before that, you will see I was identifying the Limits of Congress, which falls under the Section 9. No where in any of my posts did I mention the 9th Amendment. Either there was a miscommunication, or, you were hoping to instigate an argument to illicit a response? I have to chose the latter.

Peace out~



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 06:11 PM
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reply to post by EyeHeartBigfoot
 


Alito's is a slippery slope! Everyone has a different idea of what constitutes hateful, attention getting speech! No one would be permitted to speak about anything if such mush brain analysis stood up as constitutional law! I am shocked Alito has "progressed" to be so stupid in his old age.

These kooks have gotten way too much breast beating atttention in the press. They are met everywhere they go with many more supporters of soldiers who drown them out.

Interesting the title of the article highlights these kooks' are anti-gay when the protest taken before the Supreme Court was anti-war. These people are anti-war protestors.



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