Members of Westboro Baptist Church have been protesting all manner of shit at a lot of locations and events for several years.
They hate gays.
They blame almost everything they define as wrong on what they see as America’s support of gays and abortion.
And they like to make their case by protesting at military funerals and screaming that soldiers died because America supports gays and abortion.
Those protests sparked legal challenges that have worked their way through the courts. Now, the Supreme Court will hear all about Westboro Baptist Church and their ruling could have huge implications.
We the people have the right to freedom of speech…however painful, disturbing or vile. I’ve been the target of some pretty heinous free speech…I’ve had people walk up to me at LGBT Pride festivals and say much of the same shit those Westboro folks say at military funerals.
And, even though I resent the hell out of that shit…even though I fret over the damage those hate-filled words may do to people who aren’t conditioned to handle it and don’t have a support network to help them purge post-alteraction…even so, I would fight like hell to protect the right of the rancid to speak their troubled shit in the public square.
Supporting speech we agree with is easy…it’s the speech we disagree with that challenges our commitment to the First Amendment.
And no, we don’t have the right to shout fire in a crowded movie theatre just to spark a stampede.
I get that.
But, as the Supreme Court prepares to hear the Westboro Baptist Church case, I’m pondering the implications of a ruling that may limit free speech and I’m concerned.
What door could that kind of ruling open…how many different ways could it be interpreted?
If the court limits free speech directed at individuals…what would that mean? How would it all play out?
This shit ain’t easy.
The ruling has the potential to provide relief for many military families as they lay their loved ones to rest…
…and producing long-term drama for the masses.
Trust a bitch, this is a case to watch.