Do the Phelpses have the right to picket?

Posted by Capn Coconuts On Wednesday, February 8, 2012 1 comments
I apologize to anyone expecting me to cover the latest picket schedule announcements, but I was just unable to handle the high number of announced pickets this week.

Anyway, about the topic at hand.

In a word, yes. To outright forbid them to picket is unconstitutional and un-American. Here is the first amendment in the United States Bill of Rights:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
From this amendment, there are three categories of things congress cannot do: 1) to make a law respecting the establishment of religion, 2) to prohibit free exercise of religion, and 3) to abridge the freedom of speech or the press, the right of people to peaceably assemble, and the rights of people to petition the government.

Like it or not, keeping Westboro Baptist Church away from funerals is abridging the freedom of speech. Heck, even telling them to get farther away from funerals probably counts as abridging the freedom of speech and the right to assemble.

Also, although their speech counts as hate speech and their picketing is annoying, they also tend to be rather peaceful when assembling (if you can consider hate speech and provocation peaceful). Therefore, to censor them limits free speech.

Alyzza S. Martin has made an entire website devoted to their right to picket. He (she?) covers this material in a bit more detail than I could by myself, so visit if you need more information concerning WBC's freedom of speech.


Anonymous said...

yes they do wbc is a true church

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