Everyone is up in arms about this decision, claiming that the church is abusing freedom of speech and disrespecting the families of these dead soldiers. I don’t think that there’s anybody (aside from the church, and they don’t count) who disagrees with this. Fred Phelps and his congregation are quite possibly some of the biggest assholes to ever walk the Earth, and I’m honestly very surprised that some disgruntled veteran hasn’t picked him off. It’s not like he’s the president and protected by high levels of security. All one would have to do is gain access to a decent vantage point (not hard to find in a city), place a couple in his head and upper chest area with a cheap sniper rifle, then get the fuck out of there before the police deduce the area the shot came from, which I’d wager would take more than 5 minutes. Cameras and witnesses aren’t a problem if you know how to use disguises. Seriously, it’s that easy, and I’m surprised it hasn’t even been attempted yet.
That said, I’m glad to hear that the Supreme Court ruled the way they did. Why? Because hateful and inflammatory speech is still free speech, as wrong as it may sound sometimes. It’s a very slippery slope, and if we start outlawing hateful and inflammatory speech soon we’ll be outlawing speech against the government and anyone with a large financial backing. Yeah, it’s pretty fucked up to go to the funeral of a fallen soldier and say that they’re burning in Hell. Unfortunately, the one pitfall of free speech is having to hear things that you don’t want to hear. If we outlaw their asshole-ish protesting at funerals because people don’t want to hear it, eventually we’ll have to outlaw protesting at government buildings, because the politicians and their supporters don’t want to hear it. Want to protest Walmart’s raping of small businesses? Too bad, Walmart doesn’t want to hear it, so shut the fuck up and live with it.
Thankfully, freedom of speech is a double-edged sword. Now that the WBC is promising to quadruple their protests, we can expect to see much more counter-protesting going on. Groups like the Patriot Guard Riders are only the beginning. I have no doubts that eventually the protests will turn violent and result in casualties on the side of the WBC. Maybe they can even be goaded into turning militant, and we can have another Waco-style event ending in most of their church being brutally massacred by the Feds.
In any case, the WBC has the right to be assholes, and the people they’re protesting have the right to retaliate and kick the fucking shit out of Fred Phelps and his roving band of retards. All the frivilous lawsuits in the world won’t repair broken bones, internal bleeding, and missing teeth.