Wednesday, March 30, 2011

When Freedom Impedes Freedom

Living in the United States, we have a somewhat unique view of the world around us. We, like some other countries (i.e. Britain, France, etc.) have the ability to say, do, think, eat, write, and print practically anything we want. But is there ever a time when there is "too much freedom"? Is there some invisible line that we should draw in the sand to say what we can and can't allow? Some people feel like their moral compass is the Bible or the Koran; possibly even ancient Sanskrit writings. But in a society where we have almost anything we can imagine, how do we decide what is the best way for all of us to interact with one another? For example, the Westboro Baptist Church recently won a Supreme Court case that entitled them to continue their personal brand of propaganda. The court case was brought on by their picketing the funeral of a marine names Matthew Snyder. Their signs typically say things like, "God hates fags", "Semper Fi, Semper Fag", "God hates America", "Thank God for dead soldiers" and other atrocious phrases. The Supreme court decided 8-1 in favor to WBC saying that what they do is protected under the First Amendment (i.e. freedom of religion). Because their "church" is religiously affiliated and the websites they use are affiliated with their "church", it was decided that even though its "hate speech", they still have the right to it. The most paradoxical part of the entire situation is that the military men and women whose funerals WBC protests at are the ones who serve to protect their right to do it. Now for the big question, "Is that ok?" Can we allow in this day and age such hatred and violence? They say they are anti-violence but how can we be sure? And if one day, the do end up becoming violent in one of their protests, it will be a game of pointing fingers because we allowed them to gain this much ground. Conversely, is it really up to the government to tell them to stop? Is a violent religion still a religion that should be endowed all its rights? It is a very difficult and emotionally charged subject that doesn't seem to have a simple answer. As much as I detest their message and what they do, what other option is there? If we allow the government to put limits on a specific minority, then what's to say the same won't happen to another minority if the winds change. Let's say we have an influx in atheism to where it is the majority and we didn't set any precedents that protected religious beliefs...then it would be conceivable for the atheists to remove all rights from those individuals. As much as it sickens me to say, I'd have to say that I, in principle, agree with the court decision. Wow...did I really just do that? Now I feel like a bad person! ha HOWEVER: if any person from WBC gets a hold of this blog and reads it, let it be known that we are carefully watching you. You now have the national stage that you fought so hard to obtain and if you step even a hair past your legal boundaries, I will be one of THE FIRST people to rip you to shreds (not literally, I don't condone violence). Myself, and people like me, wouldn't hesitate for a minute to slap you with as many lawsuits as humanly possible. And as far as my personal opinion goes, I wish you guys weren't citizens so we could deport you (another thing I'm against in most cases). Ok. I know guys, weird post but I felt like I should put that out there into the never ending world of the internet. Feel free to comment but let me stress that we all have opinions and that is fine. We don't have to agree so if you're respectful of me, I'll do the same. :) I love you all so deeply and I hope you're out there making the world a brighter, more loving place. I'll leave you with a quote: "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ." -Ghandi

Go in peace.