posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 04:20 AM
Note: I hope this is in the appropriate place. lol. Let me start by saying that it is incredibly late here, however I have not been able to sleep
because my mind has been racing over this topic. That being said, I hope my point comes across clear :-)
After reading some topics regarding the Westboro Baptist Church, i've found many people believe the supreme court should have stopped them from
spreading their hate. This made me think. Before I begin, let me just say that I would say im a very nice person, and I genuinely do not hate many
people or things. Also, I in no way agree with or support the WBC's actions and I do feel that things such as funerals should be off limits from
protests, funerals are hard enough.
I want to talk about hate. Hate is one of the strongest human emotions. It is impossible to avoid. Everyone feels hate towards something or someone
at a point in their life. How can anyone think it's a good idea for the government to start prohibiting one of the most common emotions that, in a
way, makes us who we are. It may be seen as wrong to hate, but it is still unavoidable. simply because you feel it is wrong does not mean that the law
needs to prohibit it.. For example, the WBC thrives on hate. They go from protest to protest, spreading their message of intolerance and bigotry. Now,
their message may be incredibly vicious, but simply because it is hateful does not mean they do not have the right to say it.
More and more people think that the government needs to pass laws to protect people from messages like that of the Westboro Baptist Church. I say that
it's a slippery slope. Hate crime laws can be extended to cover anything, and before you know it we will be living in a society where everything we
say is closely monitored and limited. If the government was to silence WBC, we would be opening the door for them to completely overturn our most
important right, the right to free speech.
Let me tell you a little about me. I'm a 20 year old American guy who lives in southern VA. I work by day and go to class at night. My entire life
i've felt that I was on the outside looking in. I'm shy, mature, and sometimes far too logical. I have known hate most of my teenage/adult life.
I'm white, "middle class," and have an amazing family. But it also just so happens that i'm homosexual. Now please do not make this into a debate
about whether or not its a choice, we can argue till we are blue in the face and neither of us will change our minds. My point is that ever since I
came out at 13, i've had to deal with people hating me for something I never asked for. I have known of the WBC for many years, and have witnessed
their cruelty first hand. As much as I disagree with their message, I completely support their right to say it.
Freedom of Speech is so incredibly important. It's bad enough that the government censors us as much as they do. We can not allow the government to
interfere in this any further. Anyone who feels that someone should not be allowed to speak freely needs to either move somewhere else or learn to
ignore it. Growing up, I was always told "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." The only reason words have power is
because people give them power, and the more power you give to words the more you are allowing yourself to be hurt. It's sad to see how many grown
men and women throw temper tantrums just because someone said something mean to them. What ever happened to turning the other cheek and not giving in
to hate? The more people give in to hate, the more politically correct our society will become and before you know it, it won't just be hate speech
that is prohibited.
What if the situation was reversed? What if instead of the WBC being the bad guy, it was switched and you're beliefs were in the cross hairs? How
would you feel if you were told to keep your values to yourself? That you aren't allowed to spread your message to others simply because it is too
abrasive for some? Christians, what if you were told to completely stop "recruiting" because your message is found too hateful? It just so happens
that in the case of the westboro baptist church, the majority of Americans are offended by them, so very few people see a problem with shutting them
I guess my point is this: Hate isn't a bad thing. Without hatred, there would be no love. Overcoming hate helps us grow as an individual. When we
give in to hate, that is when it becomes a bad thing. That is when violence occurs. Prohibiting people from speaking their mind simply because it is
deemed hateful will only escalate the problem while violating one of the most fundamental laws of our land. We all feel like are beliefs are what's
right. Even though we may disagree on many things, the truth is my beliefs are no better than yours, and your beliefs are no better than anyone
else's, We need to learn to accept hatred for what it is, one part of the whole. Hatred is an emotion, no less important than happiness, love,
sadness, ect. What's important is not letting those emotions cloud your judgment.
The only reason words have power is because we give them power. Sometimes the best thing you can do is learn to walk away.