View Poll Results: Is protesting at funerals 'Free Speech'?

Voters
55. You may not vote on this poll
  • No, this was never the intent of the founding fathers!

    2 3.64%
  • It's harassment and should be illegal

    24 43.64%
  • It's open to interpretation

    4 7.27%
  • It's most certainly a form of protected free speech

    18 32.73%
  • Other, please explain

    7 12.73%
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Thread: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

  1. #21
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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    Yes it is. They are on public property, they have the right to assemble, associate, and protest.
    Kind of, this one's sketchy. It goes to harassment codes and fighting words doctrine. Because the nature of the words are inflamatory, and the situation is one that a heightened emotional state is present, violence and charges technically would defer to the Phelps clan and they could be arrested for instigating a fight, disturbing the peace, or if enough people are involved, inciting a riot.

    I'll say this, I am level headed enough, but if some piece of **** did this at any relative's funeral I would kick his ass unmercifully and unceasingly until others could pull me off. This is the idea behind "fighting words doctrine" if your speech could incite the average normative reasonable person to violence then it is not protected to a level that normal discourse would be.
    Neither side in an argument can find the truth when both make an absolute claim on it.

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  2. #22
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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    Quote Originally Posted by roguenuke View Post
    It shouldn't be considered free speech if it can be seen or heard by any of the funeral attendees. A funeral should be a special case because it is essentially a captive audience. In most cases involving freedom of speech, it is quite easy for the person who disagrees with what is being said to simply walk away or ignore what is being said. That is not the case at a funeral. A funeral is specifically for the person's loved ones to say goodbye and see that person for the last time.
    A few years ago, the son of a friend of mine was killed in Iraq. Phelps and his sick bastard clan were here, "protesting" at the visitation, which was held at the high school here (Leavenworth).

    Spread the Word: Iraq-Nam: David M. Unger laid to rest

    The Patriot Guard was on site to ensure that the family didn't have to hear Phelps' sickening ranting that was going on across the street. I would have loved to have been able to leave the HS property and beat the living hell out of any one of them. If not fearful I would be sued for 'assaulting' these assholes.. I would have.

    I support freedom of speech, but honestly.. what kind of sick bastards do this sort of thing. I'm glad there are people out there like the Patriot Guard that soften the blow of ignorant and hated filled assholes like the Phelps'.
    Fool me once, shame on you.
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  3. #23
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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gipper View Post
    Error. Does not compute.

    In many federal buildings, especially courts, you are not allowed to wear hats. Go into one with a burqa or yarmulke and see what happens.

    Separation of church and state, dear.

    On top of that, I don't know anything about cemeteries being a religious observence. Atheists die and have loved ones too.
    Rite, as in a ceremony. And yes, atheists and others who are not part of a religion bury their dead, but they are still participating in a "rite" or ceremony, even if it isn't being led by a religious leader, when they have an actual funeral for their loved one. In the particular case that is currently the main cause of this debate, the family was participating in religious led funeral, therefore it was a religious rite.

    I have no idea what this would have to do with separation of church and state. They are not advocating that their religious observance had to be shared by everyone, only that it not be interrupted by a senseless, hurtful protest. Protesting at anyone's funeral is not right, and should not be protected as freedom of speech. If someone wants to protest a funeral, they should do so in a manner that does not actually disrupt the funeral at all.
    "A woman is like a teabag, you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water." - Eleanor Roosevelt

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  4. #24
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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    Quote Originally Posted by roguenuke View Post
    Being a decent human being, and expecting others to be as well, is not. I do not agree with most policies that would intrude on someone's free speech. But these protesters are intruding on a family's religious rite, one that is heavily charged with negative emotions. At the very least, the protesters can easily be seen by a reasonable person to be trying to pick a fight.
    Free speech is free speech. Within the limits I described above, government should not be constraining it, no matter how challenging that is for us as individuals.

    I actually see this as a way of softening us up to more easily accept hate speech legislation in the future, just like Canada and the UK have done. After all, no one can condone Phelps's tactics. He's universally despised. Make him the scapegoat, and you get the support of most of the sheep who don't think very hard.

  5. #25
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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheGirlNextDoor View Post
    A few years ago, the son of a friend of mine was killed in Iraq. Phelps and his sick bastard clan were here, "protesting" at the visitation, which was held at the high school here (Leavenworth).

    Spread the Word: Iraq-Nam: David M. Unger laid to rest

    The Patriot Guard was on site to ensure that the family didn't have to hear Phelps' sickening ranting that was going on across the street. I would have loved to have been able to leave the HS property and beat the living hell out of any one of them. If not fearful I would be sued for 'assaulting' these assholes.. I would have.

    I support freedom of speech, but honestly.. what kind of sick bastards do this sort of thing. I'm glad there are people out there like the Patriot Guard that soften the blow of ignorant and hated filled assholes like the Phelps'.
    I totally support the Patriot Guard and any organizations like them. When I first heard about them, I cried, because it was so touching that people would donate their time to protect people trying to grieve like that.

    But to me, what the Phelps' are doing is trying to pick fights and get publicity, not to mention money from lawsuits when they actually are able to get someone to attack them. There is no legitimate purpose for them to be protesting anybody's funeral.
    "A woman is like a teabag, you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water." - Eleanor Roosevelt

    Keep your religion out of other people's marriages.

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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    Quote Originally Posted by roguenuke View Post
    But to me, what the Phelps' are doing is trying to pick fights and get publicity, not to mention money from lawsuits when they actually are able to get someone to attack them. There is no legitimate purpose for them to be protesting anybody's funeral.
    I do not support limits on free speech in principle, EVER, and most specifically not when the Democrats are in control of Congress and the White House.

  7. #27
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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catz Part Deux View Post
    Free speech is free speech. Within the limits I described above, government should not be constraining it, no matter how challenging that is for us as individuals.

    I actually see this as a way of softening us up to more easily accept hate speech legislation in the future, just like Canada and the UK have done. After all, no one can condone Phelps's tactics. He's universally despised. Make him the scapegoat, and you get the support of most of the sheep who don't think very hard.
    I actually prefer the way this case is done to making laws against the actual protesting. This was a civil suit, and to me, is not much different that a libel suit, it's just not a situation that has come up before.

    I personally can't see this case opening the doors to all kinds of suits that actually would violate free speech, just because it is such a special case.
    "A woman is like a teabag, you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water." - Eleanor Roosevelt

    Keep your religion out of other people's marriages.

  8. #28
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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    Quote Originally Posted by roguenuke View Post
    But to me, what the Phelps' are doing is trying to pick fights and get publicity, not to mention money from lawsuits when they actually are able to get someone to attack them.
    See, I'm in favor of criminal ramifications for beating Phelp's ass, but there's no way I'd rule in favor of them getting money from it if I was on a jury.

    Personally, if it was someone I cared about that the were doing this to, I'd beat one of their asses, accept the criminal liability, and make a helluva case for being incited to violence in the civil trial to avoid having to pay those ****ers a dime.

    But I'd happily serve a few months in county for beating one of their asses if it was my loved one they did this to.
    Tucker Case - Tard magnet.

  9. #29
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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    See, I'm in favor of criminal ramifications for beating Phelp's ass, but there's no way I'd rule in favor of them getting money from it if I was on a jury.

    Personally, if it was someone I cared about that the were doing this to, I'd beat one of their asses, accept the criminal liability, and make a helluva case for being incited to violence in the civil trial to avoid having to pay those ****ers a dime.

    But I'd happily serve a few months in county for beating one of their asses if it was my loved one they did this to.
    This is how most of my family feels too. I have no doubt that if it were a family member of mine whose funeral they were at, at least one, if not many, of my relatives, would be kicking some butts. I don't disagree with this sentiment, except that I don't want them making money off of my family when they shouldn't have been there to begin with.
    "A woman is like a teabag, you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water." - Eleanor Roosevelt

    Keep your religion out of other people's marriages.

  10. #30
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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    The Fred Phelps lunatics protest here in Kansas City more often than anywhere else. I saw some of them down on the plaza protesting gays, fornicators, and modernity in general while I was out running on Sunday. Basically, if you took the religious right to its most extreme (to the point where Pat Robertson looks reasonable), you get the Fred Phelps bunch.

    This is what I don't get. You have these psychopaths that go into where they work, schools, and various public places and shoot everyone they see before taking themselves out..... why do none of these psychopaths ever consider actually doing the world a favor and taking out the Phelps bunch? The fact that bunch of hate-mongering lunatics has managed to make it this long unharmed amazes me.
    "You're the only person that decides how far you'll go and what you're capable of." - Ben Saunders (Explorer and Endurance Athlete)

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