Congress blocks freedom of speech - UPDATED

By voting to restrict protesters at funerals, Congress is opening a very big can of worms

Let me be perfectly frank. I consider Fred Phelps and his family of trained attack lawyers absolutely loathsome. He is one of the very few people I would be tempted to murder, except that would make him a martyr. He stands against everything I believe in on every level. As far as I am concerned, he turned his back on his humanity years ago and he deserves no consideration.

But then Congress goes and does something stupid like this.

Worst case scenario.

Fred Phelps gets elected President.

The theocracy that so many of my fellow Pagans fear emerges full blown overnight.

How would this law be used against those who do not follow Phelps?

Let's get a bit more realistic.

Assume that an highly placed Bush Administration official died tomorrow and was buried with honors. Just as one example, Donald Rumsfeld served honorably in the Navy and is entitled to burial in a National Cemetery.

This bill would make it illegal to protest at his funeral.

And that doesn't even cover all the ways that "funeral" can be stretched. With a couple of revisions, this bill could make it illegal to protest ANY military action for ANY reason.

The Constitution's First Amendment is explicit.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

It is beyond the power of Congress to decide what is sacred and what is not.

Congress shall make no law...

I don't like agreeing with with mindscum like Phelps. But he is right. Congress has no power to restrict free speech in a public forum, no matter how vile.

Congress shall make no law...

Start making exceptions, and soon there will be more exceptions to the law than people governed by the law. You can not pick and choose which situation where the law applies, it has to be uniform or there is no freedom.

Merely government decree.

UPDATE - I've been reading some of the Pagan reaction to this, mainly here at Wren's Nest, but a couple of other places too.

I am amazed.

These same people would be up in arms protesting if a Pagan was told she couldn't participate at a town meeting if she didn't attend the prayer calling to Jesus Christ.

— NeoWayland

Posted: Fri - May 26, 2006 at 04:54 AM  Tag

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