February 23, 2007

Freedom of Speech Always Had Limits

You might remember this past year the Westboro Baptist Church out of Kansas which is the scurrilous group of miscreants who--among other things--picket the funerals of our soldiers who have given their lives for our freedom. They display the most deplorable hateful signs you might imagine and all in the name of God.

In response, Sen. David Hastings III, R-Fryeburg, has submitted a bill that would make it a crime to demonstrate, leaflet or protest within 1,000 feet of a funeral for two hours before the service and an hour after. It's a good and necessary law but of course the liberals are crying foul with the hollow screams about freedom of speech. Freedom of speech, my eye!

Freedom of Speech has never been a carte blanche for saying anything anyone wanted to whenever anyone wanted to, wherever anyone wanted to. The Supreme Court of the United States has made that clear in numerous situations.

There is the predictable resistance to such a law expressed in a recent editorial of our local paper. What is so odd about the liberal thought process is that they will snit and fume over such a law because it violates free speech and yet these same people are the first to rip down a crèche in the town square or start crowing when a Christmas carol is sung in the local elementary school. Just how it is that the liberal mind is, more often than not, an ardent protector of what is perverse and disgusting, they tend to forget the hallowed right of free speech when it is edifying or especially when it is religious.

But while I truly appreciate the concern over anything that curtails speech--even offensive speech--there are limits. When such limits are not understood and applied by a progressively unreasonable people, the law must attempt to make them reasonable. And while opponents of decency are fond of castigating government for intruding on the rights of its citizens, it is in fact, according to Romans 13, one of the God ordained reasons for which government even exists.

We shall see, if the wayward and unreasonable will hold sway over the rest of the land prevailing against this good law.


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