WARNING: This is a serious message, not my usual light-hearted scribbling.
Freedom of speech is awfully important to us, isn’t it? In fact, we hold dear all of our basic freedoms, liberties and rights.
Having the right to do something, though, doesn’t mean that “something” should be done.
For example, in our country, individuals have the right to burn “Old Glory,” our flag, the piece of cloth that is a symbol of our wonderful country. That doesn’t mean people ought to burn the flag, however.
Our citizens have the right to burn the Bible – or the Koran or any other book. Again, recognizing the right to carry out these activities doesn’t mean agreeing that it should be done or that we shouldn’t be repulsed when such takes place.
People have the right to demonstrate and picket, whether they are promoting something or protesting against it.
Yes, we have wonderful freedoms in this country as long as we don’t do harm to others and infringe on their rights.
But, just where do we draw the lines? It’s the figurative locations of those lines that concern me. What has brought up the concern this time?
It’s the Westboro Church members who protested with signs near the funeral of 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green. Those church members have the right to speak their minds, both with words and with signs.
But what about the rights of family members during such unimaginable times of grief and sorrow? Not just Christina’s family but also the families of our military heroes who have given their lives? Where are their rights to privacy?
Do we take away the free speech rights of picketers? Or do we allow the demonstrations but instead restrict the time and place?
For example, should we allow them to march with signs but not within an hour prior to a funeral service until an hour after the service? Do we restrict them to an area outside close proximity to the funeral service and burial site?
This is another time when I have questions but no perfect answers.
What do YOU think?
~ ~ ~ ~