There has to be a line drawn somewhere between tormenting people and free speech. Where is that line?

Westboro Church in news again. Lawsuit by father of son who was being buried while they protested with signs that read "Thank God for dead soldiers". Father sued them they have won so far for free speech.

The world will never be perfect or fair Lindylou. God made it so everyone knows what is morally right and wrong, He also gives us freedom of will. That is life.



13 Responses to “When is free speech not free speech? When it is bullying and assault listed as free speech?”

  1. mark says:

    Yelling fire in a movie theater would be an example of when speech is not free. Libel and Slander would be other examples of violations of free speech (covering both written and spoken violations)
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  2. David says:

    I hope Phelps dies soon. I can’t think of many more useless members of society.
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  3. XY GTHO says:

    Funny that you should mention this.

    I noticed this article on CNN today and, close by, an article in which a group of kids were expelled for bullying a girl to the point that she committed suicide.

    I’m trying to figure out how action results in persecution and one does not.

    — added —

    Like the person below said. I hate ‘em, too, but free speech is free speech. It can be used to heroically defend or vent inconceivable hatred. The father made a mistake taking the litigious inbreds to court.
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  4. ╬The╬ ╬Kitsune╬ says:

    I hate those bastards, but i have to admit they are non-violent and should be protected under free speech.
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  5. ʎəʌəəʍ ʎəʌəəd ʎəʌəəls says:

    Have you seen the Louis theroux show about them? It’s pretty good.

    This is the problem with all laws. The looser they are, the more dishonest people will take advantage of them. But then if you tighten the law to shut out that possibility then you restrict the other end of the spectrum where the law allows freedom to do good things.

    I think it’s the job of the courts to sort out the difference. but i’m not sure.
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  6. nm says:

    Technically that is Freedom of speech and right to protest, Free speech is only free speech if it is used to uncover truth or state beliefs which include opinions of war, if it is not hateful to a specific creed, sex, orientation, etc it is considered fine, and the protest is fine because it is non-violent. nothing can be done.
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  7. Emily says:

    That was completely crossing the line.
    They have the right to protest, but don’t do it at someone’s funeral
    those people have no respect.
    This father was at his lowest & they came along with their signs, basically telling him his son deserved to die.
    what kind of person does that?
    I’m suprised the father didn’t beat the shit outta them-I would have.
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  8. Wood Cutting Man says:

    People are going to jail for what they say on places like Facebook and Myspace. How can they put anything they want to on a sign? If they put the word , sorry folks, N……enstead of soldier as in "Thank God for dead soldiers" they would go to jail wouldn’t they? That is insighting hate as well it should be if they used that word, so it is alright to say that about soldiers? Are they not property of the US Army or in this case Marines? Can we abase the property of the US ? Is that not a federal crime?
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  9. Reoriented says:

    Definitely political speech. The more obnoxious, the more protected. No one objects to popular political speech.

    If the protester was on private property the owner should have removed him. If he was on public property he was well within his rights. I remember civil rights protesters getting beaten. I don’t want those days to come back. Ever.
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  10. Torg T. Robot says:

    Well, we have plenty of Christians here in R&S who say ‘homosexuality is a sin’. Others say that atheists have no right to be here in this forum. That’s free speech, but isn’t it also bullying? This is why Republicans are against hate crime laws. They are afraid that such laws might put limits on the expression of certain religious beliefs.

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  11. Cdn-Gal says:

    The world will never be perfect or fair Lindylou. God made it so everyone knows what is morally right and wrong, He also gives us freedom of will. That is life.

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  12. screamer184 says:

    Free speech is not free speech when it violates other rights in the constitution. A funeral should ensure the right to privacy but for some reason it doesn’t in this case.
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  13. Don't let the dress fool you says:

    There is a line where it is not law full protesting, there are times when people are arrested for bullying. There has to be a place where they have to be stopped. Can you imagine burying someone you love and those people being there to hurt you with their protest and what their signs say? I cannot believe people can be so hurtful.
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