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Freedom Of Speech

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#31
Tre's Busted Drumkit

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Freedom of speech means unrestricted freedom of speech. A very few things, like slander, libel or direct threats against the life or property of others (including some other exceptions that I won't list here) should be outlawed. Beyond that, anything--including hate speech, unfortunately--is fair game.

#32
uhleckseee

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I took a class last year that only focused on the First Amendment. Amazing class, first off, but anyways.

For the most part, I've agreed with much of what SCOTUS has ruled. Only a select few I have objected with; for example with the Westboro Baptist Church. For those unfamiliar with the case, WBC is a hate group who considers themselves a church where their belief of focus is that te reason our troops are dying in the Middle East is because of this country's liberal stance with homosexuals. That's very diluted, but it's the general idea. You've likely seen them with their, "God Hates Fags" signs. Anyways, they protested a funeral of a soldier who died in combat. They followed all of the laws. First of all, they were not on the property of where the soldier was being buried. They were silent. In fact, the father (who is the plantiff in this situation) did not even know about the protests until he saw them on the news later that night. He said that the protests haunted his nightmares and he couldn't think of his son without thinking of the hate emanating from WBC.
SCOTUS ruled in favor of WBC and called that free speech. While I somewhat agree with the reasoning behind it, as even SCOTUS explains that they didn't agree with what was being protested (but that's not the point in a court of law, etc, etc), I personally believe that it might fall under the realm of "fighting words," or something to that extent. I don't know, that case in particular I didn't thoroughly agree with, I think there's something in there that may not be protected.

For those interested, this is a site with a super short description of the case and how they ruled. http://oyez.org/case...010/2010_09_751

The thing with freedom of speech is that it's a slippery slope. Like in my example, my personal belief toward WBC affects my ability to judge this as properly as I would like to. I think the Internet is an amazing example of freedom of speech. The only things that aren't allowed on the internet are things like child pornography, threats, "crush" videos...and even then they still get through. We regulate that as a people; and I think that's what freedom of speech should be. We're free to say what we want, unless it is actually HARMING someone else directly because of your words and actions.



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