Source: AlterNet – By Sarah Seltzer
As much as we would all like to see the Westboro Baptist Church disappear from the face of the Earth, and never be heard from again, they do have a first-amendment right to spew their hate, the Supreme Court ruled today in an 8-1 decision with only Samuel Alito dissenting.
The first amendment isn’t always pretty, but it’s important, as AlterNet’s own Joshua Holland has written,:
“Fred Phelps‘ right to express views in a way that is decidedly outside the mainstream is inextricably connected to my own ability to express unpopular views without being subject to arrest by the police.”
The Queerty staff also made the same point when this case first went to the high court:
“These people are vile human beings. They are also well within their right to call us faggots and wish ill upon a dead soldier’s family. If they don’t incite violence, and do not violate obscenity provisions, it’s really as simple as that.”
There is one great and effective way to combat the rancid bigotry in the Westboro organization: combat speech with more speech. Mourners in Tuscon, and at Elizabeth Edwards’ funeral formed human shields to protect mourners from their vitriolic and nasty presence.