Westboro Baptist Church members arrested, 1st amendment be damned

Look, I hate the Westboro Baptist Church idiots as much as anyone. Why they think their religion teaches them to preach hatred is beyond me.

But when people are posting things like this, I have to (sadly) disagree:

So Westboro “Baptist Church” showed up here in Texas at the memorial service in West for the first responders who lost their lives in the explosion. The Chief of Police promptly had all 20 or so of them arrested and put into holding cells (all the men in one and all the women in another) When they told him he couldn’t do that, he let them know HE could. Since he hadn’t officially charged them, he could hold them for 24 hours before he had to charge them or let them go! (plenty of time to hold the memorial service). I guess Westboro didn’t think it through too well… This is Texas. As quickly as we fry people down here, did they really think they would be allowed to show that kind of disrespect?? Their photos were also released to the other small towns surrounding West, where services would be denied to them. Sometimes you just have to admire the way we do things down here in Texas!

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Nothing to admire here folks, just move along.

We are abandoning what it means to be an American in our blind hatred of these idiots.

While it is perfectly legal to have restrictions which are not “content based” (such as “No public protests within 500 yards of a funeral” or “No protests or speeches allowed in courtrooms while a trial is in progress”) it appears that is not the case here. The people are being arrested (assuming the above is true — I haven’t found confirmation yet) for the content of their speech. It’s what they are saying which is being punished and censored. If they had all shown up with signs saying “We support our heroes” no one would have said a word.

And that’s the problem.

The 1st amendment is meaningless if it doesn’t protect speech we hate. Speech we all agree with doesn’t need protecting.

So while I hate these Westboro cretins, I love the Constitution more. And therefore, they have to be allowed to protest.

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26 thoughts on “Westboro Baptist Church members arrested, 1st amendment be damned

  1. I agree completely with your assessment here Mike. (Of course, I just wouldn’t be me if I didn’t point out that you could apply the same level of thinking and love toward the Second Amendment, but you seem to think that in some way that is different. It isn’t.)

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    • Timmy. Let me just say one thing. You have your 1st amendment rights. But you and yours will never be taken seriously as true messengers. And as for people showing you their backsides, I wish I could show you mine. The lower part that is.

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  2. This is a fiction story.

    While your hatred of God’s standard is true enough, the goofy report of Westboro members (or picketers) being arrested is a lie made up of whole cloth.

    There was no arrest. No tire cutting. No businesses showing their tiresome backsides, etc. it is a sham story that rebels and 1st Amendment apologists alike have fallen for.

    We don’t object, of course, because regardless the reason behind you pigs talking about our blessed, God-sent messages; you still talk. That means you’re bound by the standards of our God. That means we have done our job. Praise God!

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  3. We still arrest people for healthcode violations (non hetero consentual sex on private property). We sued Oprah for saying the beef industry was too gross for her. The bill of rights is kinda like the bible: some parts are very important and can not be ignored… the parts surrounding and/or restricting the important parts are just hippie technobable filler. I don’t know if the arrests are true, the entire funeral was broadcast live, so Westboro not being mentioned to save face would not surprise me.

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  4. Props for getting the actual WBC to comment on your blog. As for the content of your post, I have to agree. I am completely against the WBC and the hate they stand for (which is the antithesis of Jesus’ message), but I’m also completely against censorship.

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  5. Indeed, good job getting a WBC member’s panties in such knots he felt obliged to post here! There are days when I am so outraged by the WBC that I fantasize about picketing Fred Phelps’ funeral with a sign that says, “Thank God for Dead Fred.” I live close enough to the WBC to do it. However, it would drag me down to their level, and I hope I have more integrity than that.

    Instead, I will pray to G-d that He lets them see the error of their ways. and abandon their hate so they can experience His love.

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  6. THIS isn’t true. nobody was arrested. youpeople are so pathetic. You have tried everything possible to silence WBC and failed that now you are entertaining delusions

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  7. Please note that the original post makes it clear that I could not confirm the story — I wanted to discuss the issue underlying the idea that such a thing would be OK.

    Of course, for Westboro supporters, none of that matters. Even when you support them, they hate you.

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    • Wait a minute, Michael! Hypocrite much? Did you even read the opening sentence of your last paragraph??? What audacity to openly declare your hatred for us (because we tell you about GOD’s hatred for unrepentant sinners) and then pretend that you’re supporting us and “we’re” hateful?

      Do words simply cease to have meaning when they hit your filter? Do you expect, like Alice waking up in Wonderland, that we must start each day believing three impossible things? You don’t love the 1st Amendment. You want desperately for private citizens to outwit that organic document so you can show yourself a purist pro forma, while venting your wicked spleen against our faithful testimony.

      Westboro’s words are pure. They are loving. They are free. They are peaceful. They seek to display the very best hope for each and every living soul. Like King David said in his Psalms, “I am for peace. But when I speak (as in, preach God’s plain standards for men), they are for war.”

      You despise true freedom of conscience, Michael. You want all to sit in Satan’s lap with you. You are the Bible definition of a hater.

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      • I don’t have to like what you say to defend your right to say it. In fact, I agree with you. The bible says what you say it does.

        Of course I put as much stock in the bible as I do in the Eddas or in the Greek myths, but I would just as firmly defend someone’s right to stand on a corner and proclaim that Ragnarok is upon us.

        That’s pretty much what Michael is saying. The message is irrelevant, what is relevant is your right to say it.

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  8. “We are abandoning what it means to be an American in our blind hatred of these idiots. ” Really, and in the 1800’s they would have been allowed their 1st amendment rights to do the crap they do? I think not, they all would be swinging from a tree.

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    • So, your argument is that since humans who hate God’s word have been uncivilized, murderous thugs in history … that justifies being murderous thugs in our generation?

      That sounds just like the “freedom loving” brutes in America today. So married to your idols, you’ll cast off your most precious principle in the name of stopping God’s word from piercing into your vain orgies of flag/soldier/dead body worship.

      Those who would deny such freedoms to others do not deserve them for themselves, and under a just God will not long have them.

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  9. I have a question… If the WBC hates America so much, then why do they use OUR Constitution? So are they NOT Americans, because I’m confused… If they are Americans then they would be protesting themselves because “GOD HATES AMERICA” and if they are NOT Americans then why are we allowing them to use OUR Constitution. Those are for Americans ONLY!

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  10. I completely admire this policeman and agree with his decision, if this really did happen. Hate speech should not be protected.

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  11. Pingback: I don’t have to respect your views | Ventrella Quest

  12. We don’t need the 1st amendment in the form it currently is. You guys treat the amendments to the constitution as if they were written by the infallible God himself instead of realizing that they arent as holy as you make them out to be, and have also caused a fair amount of trouble and suffering in this country.

    Why dont we get out act together and change the 1st amentment into a more reasonable form that allows most kinds of speech except those with the sole purpose to disintegrate society, cause racism, incite hatred toward minorities that lead to their persecution and such?

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  13. Compassion and wisdom has no influence by those who have yet to clear away ignorance and lack of wisdom.

    When the WBBC acts as they do, do not have hate. They do not understand mind. They do not have clarity, nor compassion. They are conflicted with weak emotions and hate. They speak of a God who acts more like the devil image within themselves. Created reflection of their own ignorance and lack of understanding.

    Give compassion, even when they are weak. Teach wisdom, even when they can not hear nor think.

    A strong mind, and self, is not affected by them. They are conflicted, and ill. They need help and compassion. Not more hate.

    To some they are a circus show, fun to watch.

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  15. Pingback: Fred Phelps is dead |

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