Last Updated:July 21 @ 08:26 pm

Patton: A Constitution Designed to Protect Unpopular Speech

By Doug Patton

"It does not take a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds." - Samuel Adams

My opinion of the radical homosexual agenda in this country is well known. On every issue from same sex "marriage" to homosexual couples adopting children, there is no sane reason for the reordering of American society to accommodate a tiny, loud, deviant minority. That said, anyone who subscribes to the odious worldview of the members of the so-called Westboro Baptist Church is one sick puppy.

I have opined on these people before, most notably in a column titled "Idiots in the Hands of an Angry God." They have made a science out of creating attention for themselves through the manipulation of the law - in which they are well schooled. Their "church" is essentially Fred Phelps and his extended family of lowlife lawyers, living out their pathetic existence in a compound in Topeka, Kansas, and on picket lines around the country.

Though claiming to represent Jesus Christ, Phelps teaches instead a hodgepodge of Old Testament hellfire and brimstone aimed at one particular sin: homosexuality. So obsessed is he with this issue that he has come to the conclusion that American troops who die in battle defending this nation deserve to have their funerals picketed with signs reading "Thank God for IEDs" and "God hates fags."

Albert Snyder, the father of one fallen hero, 20-year-old Marine Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder, decided to sue Phelps and Westboro Church. Snyder won once and lost once before taking his case to the U.S. Supreme Court, which last week ruled on the issue. In an 8-1 decision, the High Court said that Westboro's actions, disgusting though they may be, are protected political speech under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Only Associate Justice Samuel Alito dissented, writing, "Our profound national commitment to free and open debate is not a license for the vicious verbal assault that occurred in this case. To have a society in which public issues can be openly and vigorously debated, it is not necessary to allow the brutalization of innocent victims."

However, Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority, proclaimed that the church group's signs represented protected speech on public issues, such as "the political and moral conduct of the United States and its citizens, the fate of our nation, homosexuality in the military, and scandals in the Catholic clergy. Distress occasioned by Westboro's picketing turned on the content and viewpoint of the message," Roberts concluded, "rather than any interference with the funeral itself."

As much as I respect Samuel Alito, I believe that John Roberts and the other seven members of the Court are correct on this issue. In fact, as reprehensible as Fred Phelps and his cult's message may be to us as Americans, and as distasteful as I find it to write these words, this decision by the United States Supreme Court may, in fact, turn out to be the salvation of free speech in our nation. If this group's disgusting message, aimed at those who should be our most revered citizens, is protected by the Bill of Rights, then it is hard to imagine a Christian pastor being sanctioned by government for preaching from the pulpit that homosexuality is a sin. And as our society hurls itself downhill toward Sodom and Gomorrah, that prospect becomes more real with each passing day.

This is the glorious and messy business of a free people. Popular speech is speech allowed by tyrants and the masses alike. It is the stuff put forth by those who would lull us to sleep for the purpose of stealing our liberties. Free speech is, necessarily, unpopular speech. As George Washington reminded us more than two centuries ago, "If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

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Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself much more often than not. Now working as a freelance writer, his weekly columns of sage political analysis are published the world over by legions of discerning bloggers, courageous webmasters and open-minded newspaper editors. Astute supporters and inane detractors alike are encouraged to e-mail him with their pithy comments at dougpatton@cox.net.

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35 Comments

  1. RWComment by RW
    March 7, 2011 @ 8:28 am

    Frequently, the man in the room who most loudly denounces “fags,” who is the most vile of homophobes, is realllyy, totalllyyy a secret one, himself, simply in very deeeppp denial. That is not to say that those who feel that homosexuality is deviant (it is, altho I’ve nevah known a gay man who didn’t wish every day that he was straight),  is secretly gay, I am referring to the likes of Phelps. Remember Ted Gardner of that mega-church, whose total philosophy revolved around denouncing homosexuality from the pulpit, then was found to have been secretly having gay affairs? Those are the guys I’m talking about…
    Which brings me to……
    Innerestin’ note about that poor excuse of a human being, like his father before him, he punishes his sons and grandsons by committing sodomy upon them, beginning before age 6! Theirs is a horrible, beyond dysfunctional family.
     
    But using the SCOTUS to silence them, will cause the SCOTUS to silence others, under equal protection under the law.
     
    I don’t like it, I can’t, these are vicious, terrible, sociopath buncha nuts. But to strike them down legally, will allow the government to silence awful, vicious, right-wing terrorists….like us.
     
    Let the locals silence them with statues, ordinances and such. I shudder to think if the Feds were involved, considering what we have for an attorney general, who won’t stop voter intimidation!

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  2. joeastroturfComment by joeastroturf
    March 7, 2011 @ 9:42 am

    Agree with you Doug but the mags are going to be coming out of the closet like the first comment I see. If you disagree with them they call you the very lowest thing you can think of. You guessed it them. PS don’t start a fight with me I’m not into catching AIDS.  Below is what Obama wants to happen in the US. All you sick heterosexual’s you don’t deserve to be able to adopt kids like these normal homos in the UK. Just think how safe the world will be when Elton John’s son grows up and shows the soldiers attacking us how to put a dress on. By the way a lot of homo’s will say that if you say bad things about them your a secret maggot. I don’t care if you can outdo Robert Mapplethorpe with what you can do with a whip I don’t like you. I can tell you troll for articles to make it look like people agree with you and attitudes are changing not mine. You 1 or 2 percent of the population are not going to ruin this country like the UK. If you reply to my note don’t expect a reply just go back to molesting your mate. Barney Frank and Robert would be proud of you.
    COURT: ANTI-GAY FAMILIES CAN’T BE FOSTER PARENTS
    A British court has ruled that a Christian couple can no longer care for foster children because of their opposition to homosexuality.
    Eunice and Owen Johns provided foster care for nearly two dozen children in the 1990s — but after Great Britain instituted equality laws they were banned from the program in 2007. Social workers red-flagged the couple during an interview when they explained that did not approve of homosexuality because of their Pentecostal faith. The Associated Press reported that judges at London’s Royal Courts of Justice determined that laws protecting homosexuals from discrimination take precedence over the couple’s religious beliefs. Britain, the judges ruled, was a “secular state, not a theocracy.” The Johns told The Press and Journal newspaper they were “extremely distressed.” “We have been excluded because we have moral opinions based on our faith, and we feel sidelined because we are Christians with normal, mainstream, views on sexual ethics,” Mrs. Johns said. British gay rights organizations praised the ruling. “In any fostering case, the interests of the 60,00 children in care should override the bias of any prospective parent,” gay rights activist Ben Summerskill told Pink News, Europe’s largest gay news service. “Thankfully, Mr. and Mrs. Johns’ out-dated views aren’t just out of step with the majority of people in modern Britain, but those of many Christians, too.”
    At least Barney Frank and his boyfriend Herb Moses from Fannie Mae and the safety school czar will be able to adopt when this comes to the US.
     
    Please Check out song called teapartiers I can’t hear you at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJfboOindCo
     
    Here’s a verse
     
    The real teabaggers are Barnie and the safe school czar
    Your kids aren’t safe in a bus or car
    Jennings might not report it if their molested at a bus station
    lets hope he don’t have Nambla take them on vacation
     
    Britain will have company as they ration mammograms and cortisone
    The U.S. is now joining them so they won’t be alone
    Bill Ayers his hero and Jarrets slum lord bets
    Mine our Gerald Walpin , Private Long and the Swift Boat vets
    I know him and his czars think this songs not balanced and fare
    We just want nothing to do with that trainwreck Obamacare
     
     
     
     

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  3. BobinmsComment by Bobinms
    March 7, 2011 @ 9:47 am

    I disagree.
     
    There have to be limits to everything.  Otherwise there is anarchy.  Disrupting a funeral for a soldier that has given his life for ALL Americans is over the line.  Americans seem to be sliding toward anarchy, not just on this issue but others like Obama deciding which laws he will enforce, Madison, WI, etc.

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    • bobnipComment by bobnip
      March 7, 2011 @ 10:25 am

      Please tell me you are not that naive???? The Obama Regime are attempting to take steps in controlling the Internet, giving our corrupt Attorney General absolute control to shut down any site he deems subversive to the United States, without Judicial oversight or review! We’ve heard Herr Obama discussing his desire to silence Conservative Media like Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, The National Review, and Newsmax.
      Had the Supreme Court ruled to silence these despicable protesters, no matter how distasteful we find them, it would have given moment towards Obama shutting down anything he wished to silence. That, my friend, is a Hitler-like move! As Hitler attempted to seize power he found it necessary to silence newspapers, magazines and radio broadcasts that could potentially speak out against him.
      Political Correctness is a cancer devouring this nation. Just look at what has happened to England. The  Brits were so worried about offending the Muslims, and oh so willing to accommodate these invaders, that they find themselves loosing control of their nation to the vermin.
      I’m hoping America is smarter than that!

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    • AlanComment by Alan
      March 9, 2011 @ 5:52 pm

      We are all in trouble when the government decides what speech is protected and what is not.  Freedom of speech means that even a reprehensible toad like Fred Phelps can croak any vile vomit he wants.  It also means that anyone that opposes him (which is probably the entire USA that is not related to Phelps, and even many of them) can say what they want in order to oppose him.  The First Amendment also does not garuntee the right to be heard.  Nobody has to listen to his verbal trash.  Fred Phelps, Larry Flynt, ect. are the price we pay for having free speech.

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  4. Ridiniron1800Comment by Ridiniron1800
    March 7, 2011 @ 9:58 am

    As distasteful as this decision is to me personally, when I read the Supreme Court decision, and the respect I have for Justice Alito…I have to agree with Doug Patton! Then in the same ‘Legal’ train of thought, all the ‘Hate Speech Legislation’ that was passed this last congress is NULL and VOID! The ‘Liberal Left’ can’t have it BOTH ways!

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  5. makesenseComment by makesense
    March 7, 2011 @ 10:09 am

    This case pales when some Muslims in the near future advocate publicly that infidels will have to die or convert and live. And when they convert, must follow Islamic Laws to the letter. How will the Supreme court handle this …. free speech as well? The nation better think  about this as it is coming, just a matter of time.

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    • rational conservativeComment by rational conservative
      March 7, 2011 @ 10:51 am
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    • Peter NyikosComment by Peter Nyikos
      March 7, 2011 @ 11:32 am

      The result will have to be the same as in this case, much as I regret it: this is the price we pay for the free speech so dear to us.  The “hate speech” camel must not be allowed to get its nose into the USA tent: it has already wreaked havoc in Canada and many other Western countries.

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  6. FlaJimComment by FlaJim
    March 7, 2011 @ 10:37 am

    The SCOTUS seems to have confused liberty with license.  In this case, as in others, one’s liberty stops short of impugning the rights of others.  Does freedom of speech include the right of a bunch of liberals next door having a loud, late night party while I’m trying to sleep?

    While it’s not in our Constitution, the abstract value of decency used to be considered at one time.  Apparently, eight justices disagree.  This is not about so-called ‘hate speech’ from the pulpit.  This is in-your-face odious behavior.

    What would be heartening would be a number of nearby neighbors of this ‘church’ who banded together and played the most obnoxious music at ear deafening levels while services were held.

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    • Peter NyikosComment by Peter Nyikos
      March 7, 2011 @ 11:34 am

      Local laws against disturbing the peace will have to do where the loud late night party is concerned.  Perhaps they can be invoked against the Westboro crowd as well.

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    • Liberty4310Comment by Liberty4310
      March 7, 2011 @ 11:56 am

      I agree that the Supreme Court should uphold the content of Fred Phelps Westboro Baptist Church speech as constitutional, but there is a time and a place for everything and when they shout and display signs at the funerals of fallen heroes, that is NOT the time and the place.  At that point, they are stepping over the bounds of decency.  It would be one thing for them to demonstrate on the steps of the Capitol.  That would be political free speech. Right or wrong, it would be appropriate.  It is another to demonstrate in a manner that simply hurts the family of a person who wasn’t in a position of policy making authority.  The soldier was a fallen hero, period.  Surely, the Justices could have ruled in a more logical, yet compassionate way.  Aledo was correct.

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    • dwilliams429Comment by dwilliams429
      March 7, 2011 @ 4:30 pm

      We need to try to remember that the Constitution and the First Amendment deal with what the Federal Government is allowed to do vis a vis the people.  It begins “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech,”  The last thing we need or want is for the Feds to start telling us what we can say or not say.  The Court was correct in its decision.  Localities, States, counties, and cities can pass laws which restrict the actions of nutcases like the Westboro Church.  They can insist on getting permits for demonstrations, they can restrict the location and distance of demonstrations from other activities.  The Federal Government has usurped way too much power.  Lets keep them out of the mix whenever possible.  Descartes said he might very well disagree with what you say but he would defend to the death your right to say it.  (that is a paraphrase)  As discusting and dispicable as Westboro may be, if we shut them up we open the gates to shut everyone up.

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  7. mm243Comment by mm243
    March 7, 2011 @ 11:02 am

    I find it truly amazing how the Supreme Courts “interpretation” of the law has changed so drastically what is allowed to happen in our country. Having watched the Fred Phelps Regime develop from its infancy many, many years ago, I could almost have seen this judgement coming. Fred Phelps, a disbarred lawyer who in those days was referred to as “The Crookedest Lawyer in Topeka” in the news publications, has now swung the Supreme Court in his favor behind radicalism, allowing him to trample on the rights of others.

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  8. pistol packing mamaComment by txgoatlady
    March 7, 2011 @ 11:03 am

    Is anyone else a little surprised that the more liberal justices sided with Roberts? This was an 8-1 decision with the lone dissenter being a conservative strict-constitutionalist. Liberals seem more than happy to shut down speech they don’t agree with and even the liberal justices have demonstrated that in the past (McCain-Feingold law). I am a little surprised that they ruled in favor of free speech in this instance since the speech was anti-gay. Maybe they found it more palatable because it was done against U.S. soldiers.
     
    Reprehensible as I find Phelps and his cult, I have to agree with Patton. Certainly the local governments can put restrictions such as regulating distances and preventing loud shout-downs as disturbing the peace. If the Supreme Court would have ruled in favor of the family, I am afraid it would have opened the door to making “hate speech” illegal. That might sound like a good idea until you realize that the people currently in power would determine what constitutes “hate speech.” Pastors speaking out against homosexuality, abortion or other sins might be arrested and thrown in prison.

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  9. inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
    March 7, 2011 @ 11:04 am

    There is a fine line between being Politically Astute,,,or being a political A$$ Toot. It’s always Ok for the gay community to accuse straits for being Homo Phobic, when in reality most of their political engagement is generated from their own Hetero Phobias. The correct word is not Phobic which means to fear. The correct word for their behavior both politically and sexually is Disgust.

    Macbeth’s doctor. “Unnatural deeds do breed unnatural troubles. Infected minds to their death pillows do discharge their secrets.” They are more in need of the divine than the physician.

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    • miketelComment by miketel
      March 7, 2011 @ 11:40 am

      Good comment inluminato. I am reminded that in the realm of religion the GLBT folks have their own ministers to tickle their ears(a biblical reference). So there is a roadblock to the real Divine.
      I do not hate gays, never did and never will but yet I am a homophobe in their eyes. I have protested(their word) at gay pride/shame events in the past. Well recently I found a website where you can test yourself to see if in fact you are a homohobe.
      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/assault/etc/quiz.html
      According to this test, which I answered truthfully, I am far from having homophobia. So much for GLBT lies vs the truth.

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  10. Peter NyikosComment by Peter Nyikos
    March 7, 2011 @ 11:40 am

    There is a petition making the rounds to frame laws prohibiting the Westboro style behavior:
    http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/stop_the_wbc/
    I held my nose and signed it, because this was the only way I could get the following message across to them:
    The legislation would have to be very carefully worded, so that it cannot be used to infringe on the right of peaceful protesters at abortion mills to assemble within a hundred or so feet of the abortion mill, and for sidewalk counselors to approach women seeking abortions close enough to hand them literature if they are willing to take it.
    Of course, there is a good chance nobody there will read it, but the e-mail which announced this petition to me did not allow for a reply.

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  11. nkqx57aComment by nkqx57a
    March 7, 2011 @ 11:47 am

    TRUTH and not politics or political correctness should be printed and spoken when ever and where ever it is being disparaged. For without “The Truth” being known, we find ourselves at this point in history.  History has shown that our Freedom and Liberty is rooted in “The Truth”; and prevails only when “Un-truths” are confronted and dispelled. The source of these “Un-truths” must be known and made to acknowledge these “Un-truths”; for what they are, “LIES”.

    Radical and progressive Social Experiments…More often than not fail, because they address the wrong issue. This issue is not about “Who they are”; but “What they do”, and “What they will do” to a moral society and our military.

    I would describe the actions of GAYS & LESBIANS (G/Ls) uncivilized, and those actions have nothing to do with civility, tolerance, or civil rights. These things they already have; so what is it they really want.

    They want absolution for their chosen perverted life style. I for one, of tens of millions, will not give them the absolution they desire. Throughout history their perverted life style has been condemned by every civilization.

    WHY…because unchecked, it would lead a civilization to a slow and antagonizing death.

    The institution of marriage between one man and one woman has historically proven to work best to prosper and grow a civilized world; while perverted life styles do neither.

    What two consenting adults do in private, as long as it does not harm anyone else, is their business. However, they have NO RIGHT to expect a civilized world to give them absolution for those acts.

    As has been stated many, many times; with “the simple expedient of a civil contract”, they already have what they are asking for; except they also want society’s acceptance of the life style they themselves have freely chosen.

    That, I will not give…! Re-defining marriage and the family is not a solution! And neither was repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” OR Obama’s decision to ignore the DOMA!

    “Don’t ask; don’t tell”, is the best policy for our military. DOMA is law and the “rule of law”… the Constitution is what every Civil Servant has sworn to “defend and protect”. Keeping them has no negative out comes only hurt feelings; while trashing them does harm to a moral society. Just look at the moral decay of Australia, the United Kingdom, Israel, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia and Spain.

    America is “exceptional”…the exception of all other countries on earth; and rightfully so…I don’t want an America in the image of any other country. As for enterprises like Chicken-fil-A; they too are the exception of all other businesses. That is why I frequent Chicken-fil-A more often than any other fast-food business.

    So…what do G/Ls really want…??? ABSOLUTION, from civilization for their freely chosen perverted life style; promoting changing not only the definition, but the meaning of marriage itself. It is a flawed falsehood to say it’s about “equal protection” or “discrimination”.

    This is about the nature of marriage, an institution serving the best interest of children and our society as a whole. It’s about uniting one man and one woman in a unique relationship whose meaning is begot from this relationship; which does two things; first, the conceiving and rearing of children, and second the continued growth of our society and civilization itself. This is about the right to define what marriage is, not who can or cannot marry.

    Civil Servants that abandon their role as an impartial steward of the Constitution to advance an ideology that if left unanswered, will destroy our society and civilization; ensuring additional decades of social dissension and polarization.

    Gays/Lesbians (G/Ls) can never convince me or any other non-gay/lesbian that “marriage” is the right terminology to use for the acts and social responsibilities they perform.

     

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  12. CharlieComment by vietnamvet
    March 7, 2011 @ 12:38 pm

    I listened to an interview (last night) between Chris Matthews and ‘Margie’ Phelps.
    When asked if U.S. soldiers didn’t deserve more of her respect than Al Queda fighters, she said the soldiers are worthy of no respect, as they are defending a lie.  The jihadists are (at least) honest about what they fight for.

    This was my first time listening to any of the Phelps clan speak.

    Good sense prevents me from saying more…

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    • pistol packing mamaComment by txgoatlady
      March 7, 2011 @ 12:45 pm

      God will take care of these people in His time. We just have to be patient and stick up for the fallen soldiers and their families. It would be better if the media wouldn’t give them any attention. They are probably in it for the attention.

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  13. Dingbat36Comment by Dingbat36
    March 7, 2011 @ 12:58 pm

     
    This incredibly hate filled “speech” by the members of the Westboro Baptist Church which is the subject of all the discussion is not what I was taught in my American History class in High School or College that the founders were intent on protecting. In the dim and distant “dark ages” when I was in the classroom, I was informed by every teacher or professor who spoke on the subject that the intent was to protect unpopular political speech. Nothing in the hideous crud that is spewed by these people is anything but hate speech and needs to be recognized as such. I have to agree with Justice Alito.

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  14. John E. NevolaComment by John E. Nevola
    March 7, 2011 @ 1:35 pm

    As much as it irks me, I have to agree with the 8 judges and Mr. Patton, particularly his rationale for supporting the decision.  However, I just don’t understand why these protestors can’t be made to spew their hatful venom outside the sight and sound of grieving families?

    In the long run, this decision will make it very difficult for the Left to successfully stifle free political protest speech, something they have been on a vendetta to do since 2008.

    The Last Jump – A Novel of World War II
    http://www.thelastjump.com
    Some proceeds assist families of the fallen
     

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    • Old BillComment by Old Bill
      March 7, 2011 @ 2:25 pm

      Well said mr nevola, you have my total agreement with the foregoing statement.  As repugnant as it wes the court ruling was correct in my opinion.

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    • Old BillComment by Old Bill
      March 8, 2011 @ 7:32 am

      it finally comes back to me the way it was taught me in my youth by the men and women that lived through WW II. “though I disagree with what you say with every fibre of my being, I will defend to the death your right to say it.”  It is a no brainer the 8 justices were absolutely correct.

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  15. PWSOpinionComment by PWSOpinion
    March 7, 2011 @ 1:36 pm

    Freedom of Speech does not guarantee the the speaker has any class, taste or agreement with the folks subject to listening that speech.

    Thankfully we have not gotten to the point where we all listen to the pablum of political correct though that our nanny state wants to exist in the public domain.

    Free speech challenges belief and comfort it forces to have an opinion that will cause action to either express our self to challenge or revel our weakness to not respond.

    Tacit agreement with the sentiment by not responding is easy if you don’t have the character of conviction or opinion.

    What Westboro has done is to protect our ability to through speech to confront the ideas that are destroying our freedoms.

    Thank You Supreme Court.
     
     

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  16. lowlifeComment by lowlife
    March 7, 2011 @ 1:43 pm

    Affirming the right of these demented jerks to spout their insane nonsense also affirms our right to call them demented jerks and denounce their “speech” as insane nonsense. If freedom of speech were to exclude the vile and disgusting, eventually someone in government would find a way to classify anything they dislike as vile and disgusting and silence all opposition. Freedom of speech must include all, in order to protect all.

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  17. Liberty4310Comment by Liberty4310
    March 7, 2011 @ 2:33 pm

    I am still of the opinion that the Court could have upheld the right of free political speech by Phelps and his bunch and still imposed reasonable limits on where that speech is or is not appropriate.   Just as you can’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater, it is wrong for someone to accuse deceased military members of supporting any policy issues that the accuser believes are bad. Military members follow the orders passed down from their civilian leaders. Military members have no power or authority to direct government policy.  That power lies in the Executive, Legislative and Judicial brances of government.  The proper place, if there is one, for Phelps and his people to protest is on the steps of the Capitol or in front of the White House.  The Supreme Court could have recognized that and made a clear statement about it without undoing freedom of speech.  They chose not to.  

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  18. judyg46Comment by judyg46
    March 7, 2011 @ 3:58 pm

    What ever happened to illegal “hate speech”?  Sounds like a double standard to me.

    Why don’t we just give our Constitution to some other country, we’re not using it anymore!

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    • dwilliams429Comment by dwilliams429
      March 7, 2011 @ 4:41 pm

      Unfortunately, what you say is all too close to the truth!  And, it is not just the Court that frequently dodges the Constitution.  Our current President, His majesty BHO, seems to think the Constitution is an antiquated document that is an impediment to his enlightened rule.  Most of our elected leaders at the national level have not read it and if they have they ignore it because it cannot help them get re elected.  That has been one of the main gripes expressed by the Tea Party groups.  We need to go back to the original intent of the Constitution, i.e. a small and non intrusive federal government that sticks to serving the purposes outlined in the Preamble and is limited to doing only those things found in articles one, two and three of the body of the Constitution.  Back to basics.

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  19. freedomfighterComment by freedomfighter
    March 7, 2011 @ 5:10 pm

    I would simply like to know how things which effect the many, or the all, are decided by the few, the one, or the courts.
    Should not  things which effect the whole be decided by a vote by the whole?.
    It seems to be that we the people are being left out, both our rights and opinions, and those things which effect us every one are decided by the courts or a small group of people who could easily be biased.
    We deserve, as Americans, to have a vote on things which have effects on each and every one of us.
    God Bless America, land of the Free???.

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    • lowlifeComment by lowlife
      March 7, 2011 @ 6:34 pm

      Voting won’t solve the problem, look at the elected government we have today. Half the people elgible to vote don’t bother and half the ones who do shouldn’t, as they have no idea who or what they are voting for. If we can ever inform and educate half the voters, there will be no need of a plebiscite; voters with an understanding of and respect for the Constitution would elect a Congress and President of similar views and good judges would be nominated and confirmed by them.

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  20. LorenComment by Loren
    March 8, 2011 @ 10:49 pm

    Sorry, but I disagree, the US Supreme Court was wrong.  I recognize that there is a right to free speech, but in public forums.  SCOTUS has recognized that reasonable time and place restrictions can be placed on speech, so just like you can’t yell fire in a crowded movie theatre when there isn’t one, there are times and places when denouncing gays are inappropriate.  These funerals are private events, not public events and common decency says that government can restrict people from disturbing private events.  Try and have a protest outside a ballpark and see how quickly you get arrested for disturbing the peace.  No, we all deserve the right to mourn and be mourned in a manner we choose and if we choose to have it in private, the Constitution does not bar our government from allowing us that right.  SCOTUS was wrong morally and did not need to read either prior case law or the U.S. Constitution in that manner.  They ought to be ashamed.

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  21. susaneComment by susane
    March 9, 2011 @ 4:45 am

    this is hate speach and this is not a church of God these people are sick in the heart . God is LOVE not HATE .

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    • inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
      March 10, 2011 @ 8:03 am

      Beware your use of the word “Hate speech” which is just one more politically correct manipulator of the Wanna-Be Progressive Liberal Thought Police. You say God is Love not hate. I believe God is the creator of ALL things, including hate when used in it’s proper perspective. Are we not suppose to Hate Evil, Hate war, Hate Injustice? God is only Love,.,,,,,to the people who have no Love, He is Mercy,,,,,, only to those who have no Mercy in their lives, He is also Justice to those who have no Justice, and he is hate to those who deserve his wrath. You cannot put the Infinite into your 3 dimensional Box. God is all things to all people who need him at the proper time. Forget your distorted mind controlling thoughts of “Hate Speech” for this is just one more thing we have to endure as part of the downside of God’s gift to us of “Free Will.” It is our mission in this world to use our free will to seek HIS truths for only therein lies true freedom. Know the truth and the TRUTH shall set you free, Ugly sometimes as that truth sometimes is. We should all hate anything which separates us and our fellow man from the Love of God. ( Like Homosexuality ). I, like you do not believe this Church’s tactics are the correct way to go about it. The Question to them is what would Jesus Do? I think he would speak the truth, not what these people are doing.

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