Monday, March 08, 2010

“Fighting Words” & the 1st Amendment

If you walked up to someone and hit them with your fist, that’s assault. If you call someone a name, such as a racial slur intended to antagonize, that’s covered under disorderly conduct in most places. What’s different about an organized hate rally at the funeral of a fallen United States soldier, a rally intended to antagonize those attending that funeral?

The only reason I’m asking is there’s an AP story in today’s Houston Chronicle about a case going before the Supreme Court regarding a protester who had a sign, “Thank God for dead soldiers.” The original case ruled against the sign carrier; but “The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the signs contained "imaginative and hyperbolic rhetoric" protected by the First Amendment.”

It seems nothing is ever settled until the fat lady sings, so the Men in Black will get to define the fringe details; yet another assault on common sense.

“Other signs carried by church members read, "America is Doomed," ''God Hates the USA/Thank God for 9/11," ''Priests Rape Boys" and "Thank God for IEDs," a reference to the roadside bombs that have killed many U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

You’d have thought the entire group would have been thrown under the jail for disorderly conduct at the very least for assaulting every single member of the U.S. Armed forces, their families and those protected by them; that’s pretty much the entire United States of America, excepting those few who actually hate our country.

It would be nice to have a member of the the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals as my next door neighbor. After changing the oil on one of my vehicles, instead of carefully having the contaminated oil disposed of properly; I could write my name in his/her immaculately manicured front lawn, a steady stream of brown acidic oil destroying the grass and shrubbery. No doubt such would be my use of imaginative and hyperbolic rhetoric”.

In yet another AP story dated February 10, 2010, the North Dakota Supreme Court ruled, in a similar case, that “fighting words” are not covered under the 1st Amendment . My goodness how are we to know what’s covered and what isn’t? I didn’t see any thing about the North Dakota case being taken further up the line on appeal.

“North Dakota's Supreme Court has ruled that a white girl who used racial slurs to taunt a black classmate isn’t protected by the U.S. Constitution’s free-speech guarantees.”

I guess the Supreme Court is going to have to come up with a list of objectionable words which are permitted and the manner in which they may be shared publicly.

The first list would include most of the four letter words used by the entertainment industry. There would be a separate list of prohibited “fighting words”; words which when spoken, violate everyone’s level of decency, not just some folks. Topping the list would be the “N” word followed by the “Q” word and so on until each minority segment of society was properly addressed. We’ll call this list “Politically Correctness”.

Minority groups which are not covered under the “fighting words” interpretation of free speech will have to be tolerant. Here are some of the folks who can still be verbally assaulted; the “C” folks, conservatives which includes the (R) Republicans with its sub groups, returning soldiers of foreign combat and “W”, White folks or Caucasians and  Christians in general.

There really is a better way of understanding what’s protected in the Bill of Rights under the 1st Amendment right of free speech. It all gets back to understanding where rights come from. Rights come from God, they are not granted by the powers of government.

Rights must be viewed in light of a higher order; that which God would approve.  Many perversions have been foisted upon society in the name of freedom of expression, a tolerance of nearly any abomination the human mind can imagine; they are just that, perversions. Profanity, pornography and a multitude of vile activities too numerous to mention should be avoided in decent society.

For some reason, falling short of what our Creator intended when he blessed us with the right of free speech along with our agency to act independently; we have tolerated these perversions to the point of embracing them and the result is fairly clear. A considerable portion of society is not decent, at least not in the sight of God. God would never have included such perversions as he blessed His children with inalienable rights; he expects his heirs to live to higher standards.

Think about that for a moment; if you were addressing the Creator of this world, how would your language be assembled? You now have the answer to what is covered by the right of free speech. Taking this case before the Supreme Court only shows our collective unwillingness to abide God’s laws.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal , a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.


Starsplash said...

Boy-o boy-o-boy. We must return to the constitution in it's pure form.

What a mess has been made because people thought blame someone else for thier own response to "FIRE".

Now the metaphorical words we can not allow as demonic have truly become alderbrush (a tare).

MK said...

Regarding those assholes carrying signs celebrating the dead soldier, i'm surprised they haven't been kicked and beaten out of decent and polite society.

There may be laws and all that, but i feel laws are too much, a good ol ass whipping is probably all that's needed to wake them up.

T. F. Stern said...

MK, I'm supposed to be civilized and have the light of Christ with me, and yet there remains in me a part which agrees with you. A good old fashioned butt whuppin' would have done more for justice than any court in the land. I guess I'm supposed to repent for that thought, maybe later.