So I was on Facebook a little bit early and noticed a high school friend had joined the group "Make it Illegal to Protest At Military Funerals".
You'd think that as a veteran I'd love the idea of that group, but I don't. In fact, I hate it. I think it espouses exactly the opposite of what I and most of my comrades in arms fought for.
You see, I didn't spend 21 years serving to protect your freedom of speech; unless it's something I find offensive. I didn't spend those years protecting your right to assemble; unless it's for a reason I don't agree with.
That's not the deal, America. The deal is, someone like Fred Phelps wants to be a jackass at a military members funeral, then another group needs to show up at his church and shout down his sermon. Exercise your freedom of speech, too. People need to march around his house at midnight shouting (and be willing to pay the ticket for it). That's how it works here, protest and counter protest.
We shouldn't pass laws her to pick out one guy or one group to make sure they can't do something. That's not why this country was founded. We came her for just the opposite reason, to make sure that a jack ass could be a jack ass, and the government wouldn't shut him up.
Everytime we pass a law like that, whether it's a "hate speech" law to protect someone from being offended, or the idea of a law to ban flag burning, we take a little bit of America away. When freedom of speech is replaced by freedom of speech except as outlined in paragraph c6; then we aren't quite the America we were a while back. And we aren't the one I spent 21 years defending.
Labels: America, Flag Burning, Fred Phelps, Freedom of Speech, Funerals