Thursday, October 07, 2010

Freedom of speech

I've long thought that the real test of freedom of speech is not speech that most people like; not even speech that many people find challenging and difficult. The true test is the speech that most people despise.

I think that's what's at issue in this current case. The one with a group of Kansans who call themselves "Baptists." (But aren't like any Baptist I've ever met). The ones who protest at military funerals.

(I even hesitate to write about it. They deserve no publicity - which is, I am sure, partly what they want. And I suspect that also partly what they want is to upset people into committing violence or whatever against them, so they can then sue: it's my understanding a number of them are lawyers).

That said, I hope the Supreme Court doesn't vote to abridge their free speech. Even though what they are doing is utterly despicable. Even though I find myself frequently praying that they would all wake up some morning and realize, "Good Lord, what are we DOING?" and realize how wrong they have been, and stop. As much as I think they deserve any beating they receive at the hands of a citizen sick of their shenanigans. As much as it would take all of my composure and all of my patience and self-control NOT to shout obscenities and flip the double-bird at them if they showed up in my town.

Because when we start banning certain forms of speech, we enter into a world where it's hard to stop banning.

Instead, I think we should support the Patriot Guard. And any other groups that work to try to shield the grieving family from the protesting idiots. And I think if the protesting idiots do, in any way, overstep an actual law - like invasion of privacy or disturbing the peace - then they should be hit, and hit hard, and hit every time they violate the law.

It does make me sad that they're getting so much publicity right now; I am sure that's what they want.

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