posted on Aug, 4 2012 @ 07:39 PM
In the sense of Government or the State, the natural Right of any human being to speak freely (freedom of speech if want) is the cornerstone of a free
society. Notice here, I speak of the society, not the individual. The free exchange of ideas is paramount in moving a society forward. Speech comes
in different forms of course. We draw it, speak it, write it, use inanimate and material objects to project it (one I know is of contention is money)
and facilitate it.
The OP gave three excellent examples. OWS, Westboro and Chik-fil-a. Each are practicing their ability to speak freely, but in different contexts
The OWS, or any other protest group for that matter, are finding out that the State doesn't like dissention. I may not agree with their message, but
they have not only the Right to speak their message freely, but also to associate and petition their Government. As for the "new" law, as with any
other legislation on the books, we can find it to be aimed at abridging a Right. My only advice there would be for the OWS et. al, to challenge it
and show that the "law" isn't specific and narrow. Luckily the Supreme Court still has a hard stance on the First Amendment.
The Westboro people, as abhorrent and disgusting as I find their message, haven't broken any law (none that I have seen; if they have, surely correct
me) or caused harm (as JPZ pointed out, hurting feelings isn't yet a crime).
The Chik-fil-a issue wasn't that big of a deal until politicians started sticking their nose in it. That is where I find the biggest threat.
Citizens using their Right to exercise disdain for the company are doing so correctly. Garner public support, get your message out and make a push.
Chik-fil-a's owner also did nothing wrong (lawfully) and made a decision that he can express his beliefs knowing that it won't affect his business.
What troubles me is when mayors and representatives, looking to score political points, start making threats against a business because of the
personal stance of a business owner. Threats of not allowing them to obtain a business license or open a new store or even kicking them out of
"their" city are abuses of power and possibly illegal.