Well, yes. Apparently so, according to the information.
Before I begin, I’d like to explain where I’ve been these past two and a half weeks. I lost my shitty job, and was upset at first. I didn’t know what I was going to do, but over time, I realised this was a good thing. I’m not tied down by some stupid corporate timeline now. I just had to figure out how I was going to bring in enough income to continue living here and, now that that’s been settled, I’m a full-time artist. This means you’ll be seeing a lot more of me. Maybe not here, but my art in general will come out at a faster rate and at higher quality with my new-found time to work on it.
So, what about this court that was topped with sour cream? By the way, guacamole is extra. Well, last week, they ruled in favour of the Westboro Baptist Church (which is only a church in the sense that Ceejus Christ Productions is a film studio) despite its terribly offensive message. I have to hand it to them. It isn’t like them to defend the first amendment of the United States constitution when the message is so terribly damaging and offensive. However, any time they rule that the speech is not protected (i.e. clear and present danger, obscenity, threats, libel, slander, etc.) they make that slope a bit more slippery. The constitution is very clear in that speech is to be protected at all costs. All costs. Above all else. No exceptions. The United States is the only country in the world with this clause in its constitution, but it’s also one of the only developed countries in the world that regularly violates its moral (and in this case legal) obligation to protect it.
Now, I read somewhere where someone proposed the idea that if Phelps had been a white supremacist protesting black funerals with signs that said, “God Hates Niggers,” the court may have ruled the other direction. Well, that’s not what happened, so there’s no way of knowing for sure, but I think this person has a point. The fact that gays were the target, rather than another minority may have had bearing on the outcome. That shouldn’t be the case, but a lot of things happen that shouldn’t. At least it sets a precedent that terribly offensive and potentially damaging speech is still protected.
Look at it this way, if you’re not convinced. If you silence an opinion, you are expressing the view that their opinion is sound and you have no argument. It’s a concession that they’re right. Why would you silence a bigot? That’s claiming he’s right. You should challenge him and expose him. Phelps is a disgusting man and, if there is a God, Phelps is the one he hates. Not fags.
Then there’s one more point. If the court rules that this can be silenced because of how offensive it is, then where does it end? They can pretty much silence anybody for anything. I think the court has done enough damage to the freedom of speech and I would rather they not do more.
So, what do you do about Phelps? You still have your rights. Give him a piece of your mind. If that doesn’t work, give him a piece of your fist. That should do the trick.