1st Amendment protects military funeral protesters

  • #1
http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/03/02/scotus.westboro.church/index.html?hpt=Sbin

So, these hatemongers can continue to protest military funerals... which is no surprise as it's a pretty clear-cut issue of free expression. By the same token, I hope their hell is real, and reserved just for them.

I'm having trouble reconciling outrage, with approval of the law itself. I agree with the ruling, but I almost wish for "judicial activism".

CNN said:
Court's 8-1 ruling upholds the right of Westboro Baptist Church members to stage protests
The father of a fallen Marine sued after church members protested at his son's funeral
The U.S. has chosen "to protect even hurtful speech on public issues," chief justice writes
It's now our choice of how to respond. So... how to respond?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
lisab
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
1,887
616


I'd like the media to just ignore them. I think everyone knows what they're about and realizes that they have nothing constructive to say.
 
  • #3
106
1
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110302/ap_on_re_us/us_supreme_court_funeral_protests [Broken]

I agree that those ppl have the right to free speech, no matter the pain they cause. It's low to do what they do, but their right to speak should be protected.

Whats your take ?
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #4
106
1
Ok, I jsut seen that there is another thread already discussing this. So delete, whatever
 
  • #5
18,354
8,154
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110302/ap_on_re_us/us_supreme_court_funeral_protests [Broken]

I agree that those ppl have the right to free speech, no matter the pain they cause. It's low to do what they do, but their right to speak should be protected.

Whats your take ?
yup and if people feel strongly enough against it, they should start a counter movement
 
Last edited:
  • #6
Char. Limit
Gold Member
1,204
14


For this, I'll repeat the comment I posted on SodaHead:

Char. Limit said:
I don't like it. I'll be the first to say that I don't like it. What these people are doing is vicious and morally reprehensible.

However, it is also constitutionally protected.
Yep. However, if I had a ride, I would be glad to join whatever counter-movement there is.
 
  • #7


Agreed with both of you... it's still miserably bitter pill, and I'm not even in the military, nor have I been!
 
  • #8
turbo
Gold Member
3,077
46


Yep. However, if I had a ride, I would be glad to join whatever counter-movement there is.
There is an "Angels" movement of some sort that is determined to shield mourners from the WBC loons. Lots of them line up with outstretched arms with white "wings" to form a visual barrier.

There is another group that is more effective, IMO. Families holding funerals for fallen soldiers in Maine can count on contingents from Hell's Angels and the Iron Horsemen to show up if WBC intends to demonstrate. WBC members are poison, spiteful, and rude, but they are not stupid enough to butt heads with bikers with POW/MIA colors on their bikes and vests. Want to disrespect a fallen soldier? Better reconsider.
 
  • #9


There is an "Angels" movement of some sort that is determined to shield mourners from the WBC loons. Lots of them line up with outstretched arms with white "wings" to form a visual barrier.

There is another group that is more effective, IMO. Families holding funerals for fallen soldiers in Maine can count on contingents from Hell's Angels and the Iron Horsemen to show up if WBC intends to demonstrate. WBC members are poison, spiteful, and rude, but they are not stupid enough to butt heads with bikers with POW/MIA colors on their bikes and vests. Want to disrespect a fallen soldier? Better reconsider.
Now that... is what I was thinking, not advocating, but thinking.
 
  • #10
Char. Limit
Gold Member
1,204
14


Now that... is what I was thinking, not advocating, but thinking.
I'll advocate it.
 
  • #11


I'll advocate it.
No... we cannot advocate illegal activities here... it's against regulations. (I've run afoul of this, trust me) If it were not, my position in this thread would involve... more extreme measures than bikers.
 
  • #12
106
1


Now that... is what I was thinking, not advocating, but thinking.
Violence is a tool as good as any other. It just happens outside the law. Organized crime has offered protection many times to certain categories. This could lead to interesting developments. Worthy of a fallow-up
 
  • #13


Violence is a tool as good as any other. It just happens outside the law. Organized crime has offered protection many times to certain categories. This could lead to interesting developments. Worthy of a fallow-up
In a purely hypothetical scenario:

You have Group A, which is acting within the law, but outside of every standard of decency.

Group B should consider picking a few off from a distance, non-lethal poisonings of family members as a warning, and other forms of terror.

Purely hypothetical, and unrelated to this issue, given the law.
 
  • #14
Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
18,980
2,328


If Snyder's family had asked Westboro not to protest the funeral for his son, then he might have had a more clear cut case for the violation of the state's anti-harassment law. However, he made the case after the fact. Each state or local community has a different set of criteria on harassment, and one has to research the matter in one's locale.
 
  • #15
BobG
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
185
81


If Snyder's family had asked Westboro not to protest the funeral for his son, then he might have had a more clear cut case for the violation of the state's anti-harassment law. However, he made the case after the fact. Each state or local community has a different set of criteria on harassment, and one has to research the matter in one's locale.
If he had even seen the protestors live instead of on a news broadcast, he might have had a better case.

Given that the Westboro protestors followed all local laws regarding the protest, that they weren't even visible to the participants of the funeral, and that their protest was directed against general issues, Snyder didn't have a legitimate case for harrassment.

The Supreme Court came to the right decision about protection of free speech, but this was a lousy case regardless.
 
  • #16
turbo
Gold Member
3,077
46


Violence is a tool as good as any other. It just happens outside the law. Organized crime has offered protection many times to certain categories. This could lead to interesting developments. Worthy of a fallow-up
The bikers haven't attacked anyone, to my knowledge. Just the fact that they offer to act as an honor guard for a fallen soldier is enough to make WBC look for a softer target, as best as I can determine. No violence required.

In Maine, bikers are generally well-respected. The United Bikers of Maine host the state's largest single annual charity event - the "Toys for Tots" bike run. At the end of that ride, the Salvation Army collects tens of thousands of toys, bicycles, wagons, games, sets of art supplies, etc, etc every year so that poor families can choose Christmas gifts for their children. My wife and I concentrated on older kids, so no stuffed animals - those were always popular with bikers, for some reason. We generally gave things like Walkman radios with rechargeable batteries and chargers, heavy-weight sleeping bags, board games, and other things that would appeal to adolescents and young teens.
 
  • #17
106
1


In Maine, bikers are generally well-respected.
There are bikers and bikers. Hell Angels, Pagans, Outlaws too ?
 
  • #18
turbo
Gold Member
3,077
46


There are bikers and bikers. Hell Angels, Pagans, Outlaws too ?
"Outlaw" clubs are quite well represented at the annual charity event, and there is no friction that I can see. People get along.

There are always people on the fringes that want to act tough, make trouble unnecessarily, etc, but those are exceptions, IMO. The toughest crowd around here is the Iron Horsemen. The National Enforcer of that club, and his crowd used to show up at my open-mic jams, make requests, and buy rounds for the band. Huge guy that some folks might call scary, but he loved the blues, and liked to have a table right down front. The music could be a little rough around the edges because I let just about anybody have stage-time if they wanted to play, but we all had a good time.
 
  • #19
BobG
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
185
81


There are bikers and bikers. Hell Angels, Pagans, Outlaws too ?
There's a point. During the 90's Hells Angels made Akron into the meth capitol of Ohio. If they're well respected, it must be among extreme libertarians, as I'd be more likely to see them as a type of organized crime organization.
 
  • #20
turbo
Gold Member
3,077
46


There's a point. During the 90's Hells Angels made Akron into the meth capitol of Ohio. If they're well respected, it must be among extreme libertarians, as I'd be more likely to see them as a type of organized crime organization.
It's just that bikers in general are well-respected. Turf-wars aside, if you see contingents of several one-percenter clubs willing to act as honor guards/escorts for a fallen soldier and come together and cooperate for that cause, it's a sign of hope. Harleys are VERY popular in Maine, but only a tiny minority of bikers affiliate themselves with fringe groups.

The Angels might be the kings of drugs in some locations, but they are not so active that way here, even with a large club-house only about 20 minutes from me.
 
  • #21
106
1


It's just that bikers in general are well-respected. Turf-wars aside, if you see contingents of several one-percenter clubs willing to act as honor guards/escorts for a fallen soldier and come together and cooperate for that cause, it's a sign of hope.
Hope for what ?
 
  • #22
turbo
Gold Member
3,077
46


Hope for what ?
Civility amongst biker-clubs that the FBI considers organized crime groups.
 
  • #23


Why use bikers when we have long rifles?
 
  • #24
turbo
Gold Member
3,077
46


Why use bikers when we have long rifles?
It's just that the public doesn't expect civility from bikers. Early on, when we were just starting the Toys for Tots drives, the governor and other political entities started to figure out that we were a force to be dealt with, so they showed up at our charity drives. During one of our earliest campaigns, I got to meet Malcolm Forbes, who rode up here with a bunch of biking enthusiasts from his company. During a more recent gathering when we needed the acreage of the whole capitol mall to assemble, I got to meet Sonny Barger. I wasn't impressed by one more than the other.

BTW, every governor since Angus King has ridden at the head of our parade to the donation site. At least Baldacci had the good sense to buy his own machine and not be a passenger.
 
Last edited:
  • #25


It's just that the public doesn't expect civility from bikers. Early on, when we were just starting the Toys for Tots drives, the governor and other political entities started to figure out that we a force to deal with. During one of our earliest campaigns, I got to meet Malcolm Forbes, who rode up here with a bunch of biking enthusiasts from his company. During a more recent gathering when we needed the whole capitol mall to assemble, I got to meet Sonny Barger. I wasn't impressed by one more than the other.
Hmmm... I know very little about biking, but my impression was that of "One Percenters"... not a universal "criminal enterprise".

If I'm wrong, I'd better stop giving to the police and firemen!.. they have biking clubs. :wink:
 

Related Threads on 1st Amendment protects military funeral protesters

Replies
19
Views
3K
Replies
8
Views
5K
Replies
23
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
3K
Replies
17
Views
3K
  • Last Post
3
Replies
64
Views
7K
  • Last Post
4
Replies
92
Views
10K
  • Last Post
8
Replies
180
Views
16K
  • Last Post
Replies
11
Views
2K
Top