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Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017

Free Speech

Posted Thursday, April 1, 2010, at 8:51 AM

I've been trying to stay away from the political debate as there seems to be plenty of that going on here at the Gazette without me adding my 2 cents of worthless opinion. However an article about a church in Kansas that protests at the funerals of soldiers killed in action forces me to take another look at what free speech and personal privacy really is.

I've read about the Westboro Baptist Church before, but perhaps you should read the article for yourself that got my attention today... http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con...

Many folks believe that free speech covers the actions of the church discussed in the above article, and the Supreme Court will be making the decision if that is true or not. It is disheartening to me that "free speech" may grant the right to infringe on another persons right to privacy. The article quotes, the actions of the church are "utterly distasteful" and I agree.

Westboro Baptist Church on the other hand has rights too, but with rights don't you think come some responsibilities? Is it responsible to burden the family of a fallen soldier during their time of grief with a political/theological public protest? Without a doubt they get the most mileage from their actions with a protest of this nature.

Does our free speech right trump our right to privacy? I think the Westboro Baptist Church protest plan is despicable and takes a public protest message and pushes it on a grieving family simply for the sensational news coverage it attracts. I for one hope the Supreme Court rules against the church in this matter. Just because the church has the right to advance their message, it shouldn't have the right to infringe on another persons right of privacy. I consider ceremonial burial a private matter.

Just my worthless 2 cents worth.

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Back in 1970, on a 707 flight from Kennedy to San Francisco, a young Marine came aboard with his good arm managing a crutch, while the other was in a half-body cast, snugged to his chest.

Once aloft, he arranged a pillow against the shuttered window and slept for more than four hours without stirring.

Leaving the plane in San Francisco, he found five older veterans there to carry his gear and provide a casual escort to baggage claim and ground transport.

Sure enough, a barefoot "hippy chick" planted herself squarely in the center of the concourse ahead of the group. clearly bracing herself to scream "Baby Killer" in that Marine's face.

Two of those vets stepped ahead and firmly assisted "hippie chick" to the side and sat her down against the wall.

"Stay there and don't you dare say a word," was all that was needed.

She stayed.

I would advise those self-indulgent, Free Speech attorneys posing as religious humans, to stay to thunder out of the eastern Appalachian country for any military funerals.

They would likely find an ample supply of folks willing to take their chances with a local jury for kicking some self-righteous posteriors.

The funeral of a dead soldier is not the place for some ego-centric Rectal Orifice to raise a stink.

That a court would do what is reported is totally unacceptable.

For friends and acquaintances to stand by and allow that conduct to disturb a military funeral is unforgivable.

-- Posted by HerndonHank on Sat, Apr 3, 2010, at 5:17 PM

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