Free Speech Even When It Hurts
I don’t know if you saw this or not because it sort of got buried in the news of memorial day, but our country just passed a very interesting law. It is called the “Respect the Fallen Act” or something very similar and it is aimed pretty squarely at Westboro Baptist Church. The law states that there can be no demonstrations on the road into a cemetary on the day of a military funeral. It gives a certain amount of feet, but it primarily is designed to keep the loons from Westboro from protesting. (Westboro says that because America lets gays in the military that they are being punished and that is why soldiers are dying)
Alright, I think you guys know that I think this group is insane. I have talked more than once about how much they are hurting the cause of Christ with their web site and their protests. I am honestly embarrassed that they share the name Baptist and can’t find even one shred of common ground that I have with these guys.
With all of that said, this law is wrong and also counterintuitive. What they are doing is basically giving these crazies more reason to fight. And if I were them I would be thrilled that the government of the United States noticed enough to make a law against me.
Trust me, I hate all that they are saying. I think that it is utterly despicable to protest a funeral. When my parents died it was “news” so there were people covering the funeral and I was appalled by that. I think funerals should always be private affairs and this group should be ashamed for protesting when these men and women have given their lives for our country. But they have to have the right to do it.
I know that sucks. I know it isn’t right. All that I am wants to say that they should be thrown in jail for their stupid opinions. Trust me I believe that they are hurting Christianity. I want them silenced. But I also believe that in America one of the truths that we must live by is that free speech is only free if EVERYONE gets to say what they want. And as terrible as their speech is they have the right to say it. That is what makes this country so amazing. Even the people who say we have a bad country have a right to say it.
I don’t think this law will hold up in court. It is too limiting and too specific (anytime congress passes a law against a small group of people that is a problem in my book) But even if it does hold up that doesn’t make it right. I want the right to always say what I believe, and I will fight for your right to do the same, even it is the exact opposite of what I want to say. That is the beauty of this country.