All the world is agog at the Supreme Court decision saying the alleged church, the Westboro Baptist Church, has a free speech right to be odious, and I guess they do.
People are outraged, but people have using religion to push other people around for years. The anti-abortion efforts across the nation are all religiously-driven. Battles to keep gays from being married are religious battles.
In Utah our Legislature operates with one ear to the rich lobbyists and one to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints office building. How many Utah laws have a religious reason? Let us count the way …
What’s the diff between that and Westboro? Only in matter of degree.
Free Speech itself is always causing trouble. Here in Ogden, an ordinance to clamp down on gangs is being questioned by the ACLU as an abridgment of freedom of assembly and speech. Again, nobody likes gangs and what they do, but when the government starts picking and choosing which assemblies to make illegal, especially when nothing illegal happens at that particular assembly, only that it might, that’s a dangerous road to go down. Thought police on line one?
We already see some allegedly-conservative commentators calling liberals traitors to the nation. That’s a step away from rounding them up and opening up the concentration camps again. Isn’t treason a death penalty offense?
Which is why, odious as it is, the Westboro Church has to be allowed to do its odious thing. Shut them up (and I wish they would) next it might be you.