Brennan Hicks

Westboro Church Essay

03-03-11

As said by the former Vice President of the United States, Hubert Humphrey, ³The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously.´ The affair of the Westboro Baptist Church is the representation of the continuous, and yet always serious, test to the mere fibers of the constitution upon which our country was established. These trials repeatedly test the resolve and redefine the bright-lines between what we as the public outline as socially acceptable versus what is legally just. Although nearly unanimously seen as an immoral act affecting the victims of the protest, the basis of the United States Federal Government constitutes that each civilian has the right to publicly protest, so long as it does not put the well being of the public in direct harm or danger. The majority of critics are quick to assume that the only repercussion for said protest is the negative effect it invokes upon the grieving. And although the protest of a ceremonial burial for fallen soldiers and victims of the µArizona Shooting¶ is disheartening to nearly all, the right to do so must remain in tact. After all, ³The way the church members choose to express their views at such sad times for families is despicable to most of us. But the protections for free speech in the Constitution do not prohibit being despicable, something that is hard for many people to accept. But doing so safeguards free expression for all, including those who are not despicable.´(YumaSun) As described by the editorial, although the manner in which the situation is approached by the church is, to many, repulsive, permitting the right to freedom of speech for even the worst of citizens is the only way to ensure that the right will be held for those who wish to protest for progress or the good of the public. In fact, it is the freedom of speech, much of which all other rights highlighted by the Constitution and other moral guidance systems such as the Bible or the Quran, which provides the basis in which they too may remain strong. It is our ability to protest injustices or losses of freedoms that maintains a constant check on our presence of natural rights, thereby preventing a slippery slope that would lead to the indefinite forfeiture of just laws for our society to abide by. As best said in The American President, " America isn't easy. America is advanced citizenship. You've gotta want it bad, 'cause it's gonna put up a fight. It's gonna say, "You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours." You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country cannot just be a flag. The symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Now show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms.Then you can stand up and sing about the land of the free. "(Sorkin) Furthermore, although it appears as if most of the nation has determined that the Westboro Baptist Church is morally wrong, it is not the duty of the government to follow the opinion of the majority.The majority around us often ignores, and in some cases reviles, the absolutes. People are often wrong, even when there views are shared by a majority of their peers. Objective truth, by definition, is neither subject to nor swayed by the extent of its opposition.We should understand that the majority will often oppose the truth.The majority is all too often wrong and must be resisted if truth, justice, and freedom are to prevail.Abraham Lincoln is viewed as one of the greatest U.S. presidents. But more than 60 percent of the electorate had voted against him. He was so despised and feared that more than half the states threatened to leave the Union if he took office.

Dir.org. Rob Reiner. applicable to any society for any time. . And it is this freedom of speech that justifies the Westboro Church¶s right to hold protests. 3 March 2011. Carl. hostile. ³The founders of America understood the importance of balancing the concerns of the majority with those of the minority. 1995. Keigley.Brennan Hicks Westboro Church Essay 03-03-11 Seven states actually seceded before he was even inaugurated.¶ The rule of majority does not always respect the rule of law.¶ ´(Keigley) The role of public debate is alive all around us. the First Amendment exists to not only allow but to foster and protect debate -. or anti-tax and spending movements leading up to elections. Free expression ruling by court hard to accept. or mass demonstrations leading to political change in the Middle East. 3 March 2011 <http://all4hisglory.even caustic.0>.yumasun.html>.Here.php?topic=594. hurtful and "morally flawed" debate. A few weeks later the Civil War broke out. All4HisGlory. 3 March 2011 <http://www. The American President. Michael Douglas. Perf. Bibliography YumaSun. 17 July 2004.com/opinion/church-68138-free-protests. The Consitution's genius is as President Calvin Coolidge once asserted. By Aaron Sorkin.org/forums/index. that it is µgrounded upon a firm foundation of enduring principles. whether in a heated march on organized labor in the Midwest. Although we know see Lincoln as an icon and a beacon of light in a dark era. the majority of the public felt that his policies were wrong and opposed their morals. Much of the genius of a nation of liberty is its µprotection of the freedoms and prerogatives of the few against the freedoms and prerogatives of the many.

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