In case you weren’t aware, the incredibly illegal and potentially terrorist organization, Anonymous, has decided to target Westboro Baptist Church.
Members of the hacktivist group Anonymous are targeting the Westboro Baptist Church in several ways. They are posting the names and addresses of members of Westboro and encouraging people to bombard them with messages of their own.
For awhile, they hacked into the Westboro Baptist Church twitter feed and took it down.
Anonymous also posted a video with veiled threats against Westboro.
“We are coming. We are Anonymous. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us,” the video concludes.
Do I despise Westboro Baptist Church? I don’t think there is anyone who doesn’t, honestly, but that doesn’t make what Anonymous is doing right. Which is, sadly, something I’ve seen conservatives saying since Anonymous announced their intentions toward WBC. Not only that, but they want to exclude Westboro from the first amendment because they “intentionally cause emotional distress.”
You are doing the first amendment wrong here and you can’t claim to support it, while cheering on people that are illegally curtailing someone’s freedom to speak their mind, posting their names and addresses and encouraging death threats, hacking their website, shutting down their social networks; and while you advocate for restrictions of free speech.
I don’t always agree with the Supreme Court, that is obvious, but one decision I have agreed with from the very beginning was the 8 to 1 decision in favor of Westboro Baptist in the Snyder v. Phelps case.
It was a victory for free speech of every kind.
The people that the 1st amendment were created for were not those that write pretty speeches that we all agree with and make us feel good.
The 1st amendment was created for those that we disagree with. Those that speak words that offend us, hurt our feelings, and maybe even cause us emotional distress intentionally. Those that speak words that are often not popular with the majority of people.
No matter how many of us the words they speak offend.
Once you start drawing new lines on what is or is not free speech, where do you stop?
I’m sure this blog offends many people. I know for a fact that there are conservatives who just aren’t ready to accept how sexy conservatism is and there are liberals who can’t stand that their are attractive, intelligent people like Donlyn out there who are unashamedly conservative.
I know for a fact that my own existence and the existence of my blog hurts people’s feelings and offends them, perhaps even causes them emotional distress, depending on their maturity level.
However, I and Donlyn and Joe and Tim have the right to speak these things, as much as we want. As long as our words are not libel or slander or threats of violence and because we have that right, so does the Westboro Baptist Church.
We don’t need to wonder where the line will be drawn, because the line WAS drawn over 200 years ago.
Is Westboro Baptist absolutely disgusting? Without a doubt.
Would I be the first to press charges if they threatened violence, physically touched me, or came on private property without permission? Absolutely.
Do I support your right to counter-protest, curse them out, and tell them they are garbage? Oh most certainly.
Until that day we must let them speak their piece, that is one of the things America is famous for after all. Limiting freedom of speech to make ourselves more comfortable and less emotionally distressed is a slippery slope indeed.
Don’t destroy your credibility as a conservative by letting your emotions tell you that we need just one little old exception to the first amendment or by supporting the anarchist hacker/Occupy Wall Street supporters who are breaking the law to enforce this exception.
Please keep in mind that liberals find what conservatives say to be despicable and offensive. Do you really want to be the next exception to freedom of speech?