Many people forget what freedom of speech is all about. Many people often forget that the freedom of speech is a blanket that covers everyone, and, often-times, those that are under the blanket with us may say things that we do not like. When people say things that offend us, or that we disagree with, we have no right, under the 1st amendment, to kick them out of the blanket. That blanket is our protection. It is our security-blanket. Not one American wants to go to bed without it, nor do we want it cut to pieces, leaving holes over some, yet not over others.
I bring this up because yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Westboro Baptist Church’s right to protest at funerals.
Here is a portion of the Supreme Court’s Opinion:
Given that Westboro’s speech was at a public place on a
matter of public concern, that speech is entitled to “special
protection” under the First Amendment. Such speech
cannot be restricted simply because it is upsetting or
I will say that I disagree with their lack of compassion, I disagree with their message, and I completely disagree with the location of their protests, however, I will say that I agree with the Supreme Court’s decision.
We must always remember that having the freedom to speak out doesn’t mean that we will never hear things that we do not like. People say distasteful things, but that is the beauty of free speech; it is a blanket that covers us all. We must never forget that regardless of who is under the blanket, they have a right to be there, and they have a right to their freedom of speech, just as one’s self does.
If we begin to shred the blanket to pieces by ruling against certain forms of free speech, just because the majority doesn’t agree, then eventually, the blanket will be torn apart and will provide little to no cover from the elements outside of the blanket. It is for this reason that I agree with the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the 1st amendment right, even of the unsavory characters of the Westboro Baptist Church.