Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hate Crime Or Free Speech?

Volumes could be written about the happenings of the day but it all takes it's place behind a headline in Wichita Eagle, Marine's dad ordered to pay protesters' court fees.

Remember the funeral for the young Marine being protested by a bunch of religious zealots calling themselves Baptists who do so as a practice in their belief that the war is God's "divine retribution" for America's sins, Catholics and Gays ?

The Supreme Court is to decide whether they can do so under the right of free speech or if they are violating privacy and religious rights. The Court should also also consider if what they are doing could be considered a hate crime!

The story doesn't stop with this. On the way up the judicial ladder, judgements were made and appealed. The young Marine's father, Albert Snyder, is having difficulty paying fees already brought to bear, yet the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered him to pay $16,000 to the lead protester and head of the "church", Fred Phelps.

When one of Snyder's lawyers commented the decision adds "insult to injury" it is an understatement.

It's bad enough the military hierarchy is is taking away the few reminders of home the soldiers have in Afghanistan. You'd think the family would at least be able to bury their loved one with the dignity and peace deserved after having given one's life for his/her country!

I would like to know, you legal eagles out there, why Phelps and his followers' actions aren't considered a hate crime? Their message is nothing but hate delivered upon those who are most likely neither gay nor Catholic! If the law is in his favor, it needs to be changed!

You Congressmen who have been accusing Tea Party members and even Sarah Palin and her innocuous cross-hairs comments as inciting hate, how about this? Ladies and gentlemen, and I use that term loosely these days, this is hate!


Margie's Musings said...

That doesn't make a bit of sense to me either.

he has sworn to be present at out church's World Conference next month.

We are voting whether to accept gay folks as full fledged members who can even be ordained if called.

Word Tosser said...

Talk about being over the top....
where is justice? These people or man, disturbed a sacred time of a funeral with words of hatred... for one of our soldiers, and he gets paid?

John Dwyer said...

A long time ago the Supreme ruled that yelling "fire" in a packed theater is not protected speech. I believe the raw emotions present at such a funeral as you describe, fit this genre.