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Law and Society

Essay by   •  May 4, 2017  •  Essay  •  417 Words (2 Pages)  •  734 Views

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The first amendment clearly states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” (U.S. Const. Amend. I.) In similar words, this means that the people who reside in the United States are legally allowed to have freedom of speech, to an extent, but more importantly, they have the freedom to practice openly which ever religion they choose.

        The Westboro Baptist church falls under the freedom of religion, freedom of speech category. This church is most famous for their use of hate speech among the LGBT community and other non-Christian groups, such as Muslims. For example, their website is titled “God Hates Fags.” The most important question is should the Westboro Baptist church be allowed to protest? My answer to this question is simply yes. The constitution, as stated in paragraph one, clearly states that we should be allowed to have the freedom to protest. A protest is not going to make everyone happy and just because the Westboro Baptist church uses hate speech in their protest does not mean they should not be allowed to do it. Another thing that comes in mind when answering this question is freedom of speech. We are given freedom of speech in the first amendment of the constitution. This means that we can say almost anything that we please to say. However, one of the things that is not protected by the first amendment is hate speech. Most people seem to think that the phrases commonly stated by the Westboro Baptist church is considered hate speech. Nevertheless, in one case against the church “the Supreme Court ruled that Westboro Baptist Church’s hateful protests at military funerals are legal” (McAlister 1.)

        In conclusion, although the actions put on by the Westboro Baptist Church are thought to be offensive, I believe that they are in no way breaking the law and should be able to continue their protest as they please.


References

Constitute. (n.d.). Retrieved March 06, 2017, from https://www.constituteproject.org/constitution/United_States_of_America_1992 

7 Things You Can’t Claim First Amendment Rights to Say. (2016, August 19). Retrieved March 06, 2017, from https://debmcalister.com/2011/06/03/7-things-you-cant-claim-first-amendment-rights-to-say/

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