It's Tempting to Cheer, But....
I'm a little concerned about this report
that Fred Phelps' church is about to be seized to settle a lawsuit:
The $5 million penalty is the result of a lawsuit filed against three of the church's principals by Albert Snyder, the father of Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew A. Snyder, whose funeral was picketed by church members.
The senior Snyder contended the picketing caused emotional distress and invasion of privacy.
The Phelps' group is a bunch of sleazebags, with their "God Hates Fags" signs. They deserve little compassion from us. But at the same time, I am very uncomfortable with the idea that what amounts to protest activities may result in substantial penalties.
But this strikes me as a bad decision against bad people.
Freedom of speech is obviously a right that should be protected, but invading funerals to spread a message of hate crosses a certain line. Basically, if you can’t yell “Fire!” in a crowded movie theatre, you shouldn’t be able to yell “Fag!” at a funeral.
Fer Chrissakes, there's a reason why you can't yell fire in a crowded theatre, and it's not because it will offend people.