#1
I know there's already a thread on Fred Phelps' death, but I was curious to see what people had to say about the organization he led, the Westboro baptist church.

I remember writing a paper on this in high school, but now I'm more interested in the subject with the church making itself relevant in the news lately.

My question is this: considering the first amendment and the USA's free speech laws, do you believe the WBC should be allowed to picket funerals and/or say the things they do? Why?
#2
Sure. Just like crack addicts have the right to say gibberish on a street corner like "please vote for me #fordnation"
#4
of course

not that picketing funerals is cool, but ****heads have a right to be ****heads
Quote by korinaflyingv
On the come up we were listening to Grateful Dead and the music started passing through my bowel and out my arsehole as this violet stream of light. I shat music. It was beautiful.
#5
Quote by Thrashtastic15
Sure. Just like crack addicts have the right to say gibberish on a street corner like "please vote for me #fordnation"


Pretty much how I feel
#6
Yeah, of course. We're not gonna hunt people down cuz they said they don't like a social group, that's insane. Socially ostracize them? Sure. But have the cops show up at their door? Nope.


This stuff leads to laws against "insulting the state". Anti-discrimination laws shouldn't extend to critical expression. Now, had the WBC said "Kill All Fags" instead of "God Hates...", that'd be different.
#7
it is legal but i always kinda thought (and supported) that their protests would have been met with violent protest. I figured some nut would have shot at them or a group would have jumped out of a van wearing masks and started physically attacking them. Just shows our country is a bunch of no action sissies.
Quote by BlackVoid
Every guitar and bass forum I've visited has some people chasing some magical tone that will shoot jizzing unicorns riding on a rainbow out of their amp.
#8
Quote by Burgery
of course

not that picketing funerals is cool, but ****heads have a right to be ****heads

yep
#9
basically everyone is in agreement about this, which is rare.

i'm waiting for the eurofags to break in with some "emotional damage" BS
#10
I have defended their right to be douchebags numerous times before on here.
I have the exact same right. Suck my **** WBC.
Quote by SomeoneYouKnew
You should be careful what you say. Some asshole will probably sig it.

Quote by Axelfox
Yup, a girl went up to me in my fursuit one time.

Quote by Xiaoxi
I can fap to this. Keep going.
#11
Quote by progdude93
basically everyone is in agreement about this, which is rare.

i'm waiting for the eurofags to break in with some "emotional damage" BS


Someone's gonna take the other side. Just a matter of time


I think

UG is too rational, I need to post this same question on Facebook and see what happens
#12
imb4 Slacker comes in and praises England for its selectivity in allowing free speech
#13
Quote by Rockford_rocks
Someone's gonna take the other side. Just a matter of time


I think

Most of the UK users on here will be opposed to their "right" to protest in the fashion that they use.
Quote by SomeoneYouKnew
You should be careful what you say. Some asshole will probably sig it.

Quote by Axelfox
Yup, a girl went up to me in my fursuit one time.

Quote by Xiaoxi
I can fap to this. Keep going.
#14
Of course they have the right.

The thing is, just because you can doesn't mean you should. They were assholes and deserved to be ostracized by the rest of society.
Quote by beadhangingOne
What happened to Snake?

Snake?

Snake?

SNAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAKE?!


Quote by TunerAddict
you can take my mouse and keyboard from my cold, slightly orange from cheetos, dead fingers


Quote by Baby Joel
Isis is amazing
#15
Quote by Rockford_rocks
I need to post this same question on Facebook and see what happens


never a good idea
#16
Quote by bradulator
imb4 Slacker comes in and praises England for its selectivity in allowing free speech

Surely you lot misinterpret your own laws if you believe there are no limits on expression? Perhaps some first world countries have different legal interpretations as to what constitutes a reasonable limit? I find it hard to believe that America is daft enough to have zero limits on freedom of expression. In fact I don't really see how that would be a positive thing. Seems like the type of thing a society without the ability to think rationally would be proud of.
#18
"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all." - Chomsky
#19
Until the point where their actions cause tangible harm to a person, they have every right to be hateful bigoted people. Freedom of speech can't just go one way for it to actually be freedom of speech.
THE FORUM UPDATE KILLED THE GRADIENT STAR

Baltimore Orioles: 2014 AL Eastern Division Champions, 2017: 50-54
Baltimore Ravens: 2012 World Champions, 2017: 0-0
2017 NFL Pick 'Em: 0-0
#21
you guys and your free speech, geeze.
O.K.

“There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want.”
~ Bill Watterson


O__o
#22
Quote by necrosis1193
Until the point where their actions cause tangible harm to a person, they have every right to be hateful bigoted people. Freedom of speech can't just go one way for it to actually be freedom of speech.

I've done you the favour of bolding the part of your post that makes you incorrect. This is a limit on expression that you made up yourself.
#23
Quote by Thrashtastic15
Surely you lot misinterpret your own laws if you believe there are no limits on expression? Perhaps some first world countries have different legal interpretations as to what constitutes a reasonable limit? I find it hard to believe that America is daft enough to have zero limits on freedom of expression. In fact I don't really see how that would be a positive thing. Seems like the type of thing a society without the ability to think rationally would be proud of.

Of course we have limits. The WBC never exceeded those limits. We also laugh at Leafs fans with impunity.
Quote by SomeoneYouKnew
You should be careful what you say. Some asshole will probably sig it.

Quote by Axelfox
Yup, a girl went up to me in my fursuit one time.

Quote by Xiaoxi
I can fap to this. Keep going.
#25
Quote by Jackal58
Of course we have limits. The WBC never exceeded those limits. We also laugh at Leafs fans with impunity.

I didn't say they did exceed those limits, did I? They didn't even exceed Canadian or British reasonable limits.
#26
Quote by Thrashtastic15
I didn't say they did exceed those limits, did I? They didn't even exceed Canadian or British reasonable limits.

No you implied we had no limits.
Quote by SomeoneYouKnew
You should be careful what you say. Some asshole will probably sig it.

Quote by Axelfox
Yup, a girl went up to me in my fursuit one time.

Quote by Xiaoxi
I can fap to this. Keep going.
#28
Quote by Jackal58
No you implied we had no limits.

Others imply that Americans have no limits (or more accurately understate what limits actually exist). My post was meant to point out how ridiculous that perception would be as a reality. Albeit quite poorly because I was multi-tasking.

You can see the shit I'm on about ITT.
#29
Quote by Thrashtastic15
I've done you the favour of bolding the part of your post that makes you incorrect. This is a limit on expression that you made up yourself.


Nope, Fighting Words Doctrine. Fighting words, defined as "those that by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace" were ruled in 1942 as not protected by freedom of speech. There's also the often-cited example of shouting fire in a crowded building from Schenck v. United States to illustrate that saying something you know will cause or is likely to cause "imminent lawless action" is also not protected by freedom of speech.

So no, I don't think that it was something I made up myself when I said that freedom of speech doesn't protect language that causes tangible harm.
THE FORUM UPDATE KILLED THE GRADIENT STAR

Baltimore Orioles: 2014 AL Eastern Division Champions, 2017: 50-54
Baltimore Ravens: 2012 World Champions, 2017: 0-0
2017 NFL Pick 'Em: 0-0
#30
Quote by necrosis1193
Nope, Fighting Words Doctrine. Fighting words, defined as "those that by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace" were ruled in 1942 as not protected by freedom of speech. There's also the often-cited example of shouting fire in a crowded building from Schenck v. United States to illustrate that saying something you know will cause or is likely to cause "imminent lawless action" is also not protected by freedom of speech.

So no, I don't think that it was something I made up myself when I said that freedom of speech doesn't protect language that causes tangible harm.

No, your distinction of "until it causes tangible harm to a person" doesn't go far enough to accurately define what is and is not legal under US law in regards to freedom of expression. You seem to have confused my point.

You have demonstrated why your wording was poor in your post even.

In case you don't get it: "will cause imminent lawless action" "tend to incite an immediate breach of peace" =/= "caused tangible harm to another person"
Last edited by Thrashtastic15 at Mar 20, 2014,
#31
Yes, they have the right to be cunts.
Not sure if a sig is a necessity.
#32
Quote by Thrashtastic15
No, your distinction of "until it causes tangible harm to a person" doesn't go far enough to accurately define what is and is not legal under US law in regards to freedom of expression. You seem to have confused my point.


It would indeed appear that is the case. That being such I apologize for any confusion, I just wanted to try and be concise, and to me that sentence did so while still making it clear. To try and clarify more; between those two cases and the fact that Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress is a viable tort case, the line as far as I can tell is crossed when your words cause harm to someone that can be proven, be it physical or psychological. Or, in other words, harm that is tangible. Anything that does so, from my understanding, isn't protected. I think that should clarify, let me know if not. Worth noting I'm not a lawyer or anything of the sort - though I was considering it a year or two ago - so I'm by no means an expert.

Unfortunately US freedom of speech has a lot of grey area, and Snyder v. Phelps got a Supreme Court ruling only a few years ago that ruled that, since their intent was to spread the word of god or something, and not to cause harm they were protected. Which is bullshit to me, but it is the law. I don't like it and I think the ruling should've been in Snyder's favor, but my thoughts and beliefs, at the moment, don't change the legal reality.
THE FORUM UPDATE KILLED THE GRADIENT STAR

Baltimore Orioles: 2014 AL Eastern Division Champions, 2017: 50-54
Baltimore Ravens: 2012 World Champions, 2017: 0-0
2017 NFL Pick 'Em: 0-0
Last edited by necrosis1193 at Mar 20, 2014,
#33
Quote by necrosis1193
It would indeed appear that is the case. That being such I apologize for any confusion, I just wanted to try and be concise, and to me that sentence did so while still making it clear. To try and clarify more; between those two cases and the fact that Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress is a viable tort case, the line as far as I can tell is crossed when your words cause harm to someone that can be proven, be it physical or psychological. Or, in other words, harm that is tangible. Anything that does so, from my understanding, isn't protected. I think that should clarify, let me know if not. Worth noting I'm not a lawyer or anything of the sort - though I was considering it a year or two ago - so I'm by no means an expert.

Unfortunately US freedom of speech has a lot of grey area, and Snyder v. Phelps got a Supreme Court ruling only a few years ago that ruled that, since their intent was to spread the word of god or something, and not to cause harm they were protected. Which is bullshit to me, but it is the law. I don't like it and I think the ruling should've been in Snyder's favor, but my thoughts and beliefs, at the moment, don't change the legal reality.

The Supreme Court ruling you cited in your post would certainly go a bit beyond "causes tangible harm towards another person", no?

"will cause imminent lawless action"

"tend to incite an immediate breach of peace"

I fail to see how either of those statements fall under your claimed limit. Seems pretty disingenuous to phrase your post the way you did if you were aware of this.
#34
Quote by Jackal58
Most of the UK users on here will be opposed to their "right" to protest in the fashion that they use.

Heh, we banned 'em from entering the UK.
#35
The only reason they are allowed to protest and not get arrested is because they aren't in the 1%'s way and/or making them look bad. That's how America works brah.
Quote by joshua garcia
I was incredibly drunk and only really remember writing a fanfic where ESP was getting porked by a pony.

Quote by guitar0player
I'd honestly fap to anything with a set of genitals as long as I find it aesthetically appealing.
#37
what if the harm was metaphysical, is that tangible?
| (• ◡•)| (❍ᴥ❍ʋ
#38
Protesting at concerts or speeches or whatever is fine but harrasing people at a funeral is over the line.
#39
Quote by SlackerBabbath
Heh, we banned 'em from entering the UK.

I was disappointed we let them back in.
Quote by SomeoneYouKnew
You should be careful what you say. Some asshole will probably sig it.

Quote by Axelfox
Yup, a girl went up to me in my fursuit one time.

Quote by Xiaoxi
I can fap to this. Keep going.