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Freedom of ?

Updated on December 20, 2017

Supreme Court of the United States

Who gets to choose?

The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that Westboro Baptist Church has the right to protest military funerals under the first amendment of the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the United States.

Many people did not agree with the ruling based on the hateful content of the church's signs and rhetoric shouted at the mourning families and loved ones. The misunderstanding is that the church is directing their hateful speech at the dead service man, but the protests are carefully orchestrated so as to not target a single private person. The signs are generic, speaking about how the USA supports gays, and that the military, being a part of the government, therefore also supports gays. Their church, although radical, has every right to protest. It does not seem to occur to those who do not agree with the Supreme Court's ruling that with the permission of WBC to protest the funerals, they have also given others the right to protest as well. They can receive their own permits to assemble and stand in front of the WBC protesters. They can sing patriotic songs and wave flags large enough to block the hateful signs of the church.

If WBC is stifled, then the Tea Parties will be shut down. Radio and television programs that have opinionated content will be shut down. Those people who may have an opinion that differs from a boss, a friend, a spouse, or the government can be put away in a jail someplace. What would happen if we could not have political campaign rallies or school plays? Any assembly could be outlawed, including the three friends who meet up for lunch every Wednesday at their favorite pizza place.

Once this offensive and hateful speech is stifled by the United States government it will open to door to more restrictions on the freedoms of all Americans. There is discussion that the right to bear arms is not truly provided by the second amendment of the Bill of Rights. What is considered a militia? When would it not be necessary, in these violent times, for a man or woman to not have the opportunity to fully protect their own family? After all, states are threatening to remove police due to financial difficulties. They are considering reducing the forces that protect citizens, and if these same citizens are stripped of their right to have a gun then only the criminals will have guns.

Freedom of religion anyone? If one considers that WBC is a church, they have the right to worship in any way that seems appropriate to the parish members. Most of the world does not agree with their methods but they are not shooting anyone and are not otherwise causing physical harm or death to any members of the country they protest in. If the Supreme Court begins telling people that offensive speech is not allowed, next comes religion. What if the Supreme Court, Congress, or the President (the 3 equal branches of the government) decide to choose a religion for the masses? What if it is not your religion? What if they decide that Wicca will be the preferred religion, or radical Islam? We've lost our guns and our rights to speak out so anything can happen and none of us would be able to protest or stop the madness.

When considering the deplorable behavior of the Westboro Baptist Church, they also have to consider the deplorable behavior of those they agree with. Do you agree with the unions, or the Tea Party? Do you agree that you have the right? Well, when you think about your own potentially radical behavior, thank the Supreme Court for deciding that you have the right to behave that way.


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