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

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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. #71
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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goobieman View Post
    On the surface, there is nothing wrong with this.
    Freedom of speech does not equate to freedom from offense.
    True, however some violence that could naturally occur may likewise be protected dependent on the context and the offense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andalublue View Post
    Wouldn't the slogan on placards, "Thank God for Dead Soldiers" be construed as "fighting words"? If it were my soldier son being buried, especially if I was a practicing Christian, I'd certainly feel like wrapping that placard around a Phelps. It might not be the right reaction, but who would sit on a jury and convict me?
    I think it construes fighting words personally, and would fully understand the offended lashing out. However it's an issue that would be decided on the court level so the test is completely dependent on the prosecuter, judge, jury, and possibly further appeal. The quick answer is there is no way to tell without a legal decision.
    Neither side in an argument can find the truth when both make an absolute claim on it.

    LMR

  2. #72
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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andalublue View Post
    Wouldn't the slogan on placards, "Thank God for Dead Soldiers" be construed as "fighting words"?
    Not generally. 'Fightng words' are different than distateful taunting.

  3. #73
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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goobieman View Post
    Not generally. 'Fightng words' are different than distateful taunting.
    One could make the case that because of the nature of the funeral and the nature of language there was a time/place/manner argument towards that effect. It's all dependent on the legal factors of the defense case though because a battery would have to occur for "fighting words" to be an issue.
    Neither side in an argument can find the truth when both make an absolute claim on it.

    LMR

  4. #74
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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    I can't imagine them being allowed to do it here. I know all you American's will complain but I am glad. One of our reporters went over and filmed these people. The were wanting gays to die and even picketing their funerals with their hate...and I suspect that is why it would not be allowed here - incitement to hate, and I am glad.
    George Monboit "Neoliberalism is inherently incompatible with democracy, as people will always rebel against the austerity and fiscal tyranny it prescribes. Something has to give, and it must be the people. This is the true road to serfdom: disinventing democracy on behalf of the elite."

  5. #75
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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    Quote Originally Posted by LaMidRighter View Post
    One could make the case that because of the nature of the funeral and the nature of language there was a time/place/manner argument towards that effect. It's all dependent on the legal factors of the defense case though because a battery would have to occur for "fighting words" to be an issue.
    Yes -- you need to look at what else has been construed as fighting words and compare this to it.

  6. #76
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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    Quote Originally Posted by LaMidRighter View Post
    Not so fast Ikari, if someone is driven to fight through use of words that would incense the typical normative person it's called fighting words and is a valid defense in court.

    For instance if a white guy calls a black guy the N word directly to his face in an angry tone then proceeds to get the **** kicked out of him, a battery did not occur for the purposes of conviction of the black guy because the insult would be considered fighting words. If I had children and someone endangered or disrespected them I would hurt the aggressor, so it would reason I would do that moreso if my children had passed and they did the insulting at their funeral.
    I think that emotions can be hard to control. But words are merely words and can cause no physical harm. Those who act out are the ones who infringe upon the rights first. I think that we've forgotten that. In many ways I think we used to be a lot tougher and patient than we are now. I guess it's a product of the "give it now" mentality we've fallen to. Instead of being men and accepting the consequences of freedom; we seek to insulate ourselves from those consequences.

    Now, I will say there's a difference between being in a 1-1 fight and assault.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

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  7. #77
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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    Disrespectful? Hell yeah.
    Illegal? Hell no.

    As rude as the church members are, they have the right to conduct there hateful little protest. They are not inciting violence or advocating murder or hurting anybody, they are just being dicks and applauding the death of US Soldiers. Disrespectful, but within their rights.

  8. #78
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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goobieman View Post
    Not generally. 'Fightng words' are different than distateful taunting.
    Doesn't the location factor into play, too? "Thank God for Dead soldiers" isn't likely to, "by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace" in the Westboro church itself, but I can guarantee that if they are uttered at a fallen soldier's funeral, their going to inflict injury upon the soldier's family.
    Tucker Case - Tard magnet.

  9. #79
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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    Doesn't the location factor into play, too? "Thank God for Dead soldiers" isn't likely to, "by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace" in the Westboro church itself, but I can guarantee that if they are uttered at a fallen soldier's funeral, their going to inflict injury upon the soldier's family.
    Injury as in emotional?

  10. #80
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    Re: Is protesting at funerals 'free speech'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    I think that emotions can be hard to control. But words are merely words and can cause no physical harm. Those who act out are the ones who infringe upon the rights first. I think that we've forgotten that. In many ways I think we used to be a lot tougher and patient than we are now. I guess it's a product of the "give it now" mentality we've fallen to. Instead of being men and accepting the consequences of freedom; we seek to insulate ourselves from those consequences.

    Now, I will say there's a difference between being in a 1-1 fight and assault.
    I'm not a fan of curtailing speech, but fighting words have merit. For instance, there are two ways to say "I'm gonna kick your ass", if I said it to a friend calmly after he pranked me, then we laugh, it's not fighting words; however if I say it to a stranger in a bar after he spills my drink and it's an obviously angry tone, it could be construed as assault if he feels endangered, as well if he took a pre-emptive strike it could fall under self-defense since he felt threatened.

    I see no difference here. If the Westboro cult expressed their message on Main St. in the middle of town then I'd say it's absolutely protected(although I wouldn't mind seeing a Toyota with a stuck gas pedal jumpt the curb and run them over) but saying that in front of grieving relatives in their time of vulnerability at the funeral is such a test of Time/Place/Manner that I think it warrants further discussion than simply proclaiming it free speech.
    Neither side in an argument can find the truth when both make an absolute claim on it.

    LMR

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