Westboro Baptist Church Soldier's Funerals Summary

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The Westboro Baptist Church member are proponents of extremist Christian ideology. Their first amendment rights should not be violated solely to shield others from the Church’s message. Therein the church should be permitted to protest soldier’s funerals. According to court records taken during the Snyder v. Phelps case, the protest held at Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder’s funeral was both legal and constitutional. The Court interpreted the “content, form and context” of the message to if any rights were violated. The Supreme court determined that since the signs were displaying a public message and not a personal attack it fell within the rights of the church members to display the placards(Richards). Had the signs been purely about deceased …show more content…

Whether laws intend to limit the offensive power of a minority or protect a minority from attacks, either way rights are lost. In the words of Roger Baldwin, founder of the civil liberties union, “In order to defend the people you like, you have to defend the people you hate.” Roger Baldwin’s statement indicates that if we limit the free speech of one group we ultimately limit our own freedoms. The first Amendment clearly states the limiting of any groups right is unconstitutional, “make no law … abridging the freedom of speech.” The basis behind not allowing the government to define free speech allows Americans to create their own social order and among themselves determine what is acceptable. The Westboro Baptist Church has received vast amounts of criticism for their picketing. In Louis Theroux’s documentary about The Westboro Baptist Church, a child protester is hit in the head with a soft drink, and the picketers are frequently chased away from their picketing. This is what regulations should be placed upon a group, regulations enforced by fellow Americans. This does not express that children should have drinks hurled at their head in the instance of a disagreement. However, the government should not be the ones placed with the authority to dictate the span of Americans free

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