"Public concern" in Snyder v. Phelps
rs at robertsheridan.com
Thu Mar 3 14:08:27 PST 2011
This is exactly the kind of fire and brimstone stuff that the Rev. Jonathan Edwards, noted Puritan minister, reveled in, in sermons to his congregation, calling them doomed sinners; people came from miles around to be held in thrall to the awe of G-d, as a spider held over a fiery pit; the First Great Awakening, I think it's called; there've been others.
My point is that this was yesterday's mainstream thinking, here, right in the good old pre-USA, which is where FA comes from.
I wouldn't want to scratch too deep on one of today's supercharged religious folk, not to mention the 72-virgins-in-Paradise folk who issue fatwa's over cartoons.
Either we put up with a lot of stuff or we don't.
I think we do.
It's funny how we don't mind so much when it's someone else's sensibilities that are offended, but we do when it's ours and want to start carving exceptions. Maybe we just have to grin and bear it, or else. And even defend it. I see that the Court noted especially that the signs and pickets were so far from the funeral as to have little, if any, effect. The offense seems to be saying bad things, negative criticism, about America, in the vicinity of a soldier's funeral to maximize exposure for the message. Don't think we're quite there yet in trying to shut that down. Some PR genius has earned his keep with this one.
On Mar 3, 2011, at 1:27 PM, Marc DeGirolami wrote:
> For me, telling a mother and father (using their own personal names, and addressing them directly) that it’s because of the way that they raised their child that God hates them and their child, that they raised the child for the devil’s uses, that God is now exacting retribution for their own sins, and that their dead child now has flame coming out of his nostrils as a servant of evil, seems rather personal and direct.
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