The Gross National Debt

Thursday, March 3, 2011

And what's your price?

When the Supreme Court rules 8-1 and even the dissenting justice finds no fault in the overall opinion, but in some niceties in the decision what you have is a CLEAR case of what is Constitutional and what ain't.

Yeah. This is about the Westboro Baptist Church decision in which the church was granted the right to protest at funerals. But not entirely what you may be thinking.
Generic protester. Count me in.
Get the whole decision here.

Here's the question which no one else (as far as I know) has asked: Did Matthew Snyder die to give Westboro the right to protest at his funeral?
Did he die for the same reason?
Uhn. Gut shot.

I'd dearly love to hear from folks in the military, active duty and retired, on this one. Did you folks serve to preserve the right for Westboro et al to have the right to act they way they do?

Run it from the other direction. Would any member of the Westboro church die to preserve the right to free speech for someone who disagrees with them?

Betcha that one is easy to answer. In place of an answer, I give you (no surprise) another question. Would you die to preserve the right of the Westboro crowd to have their free speech?

Would you die to preserve anyone's right to free speech?
Actions speak louder than words.
Is there anything you are willing to die for? What is it?
Everything has a price. Everyone has an amount they are willing to pay. Where the two intersect, there is a transaction.

Pick something. Anything. A new car. A new house. A meal. What's your price?

The Old Man and I were talking one day about costs and prices and decisions. He said the topic of buying a house came up with his wife and he said "You can have anything you want if you are willing to pay for it."

His wife was not happy about that. Doesn't matter. What he said is true.

Osamacare's dental plan. You get what you pay for.
It's a refrain I use pretty frequently, phrased a bit differently tho.

What you pay is not always fiscal. It's not always physical either. It often is a sacrifice. You give up X in order to get Y.

How much are you willing to give?

As SCOTUS ruled, we as a nation have decided to walk the path of free speech. That includes preserving the right of speech and speakers with whom we disagree.

That bill comes due on a daily basis. We pay it on a daily basis. The price for saying what we want to say is allowing others the same right.

If at any time you feel the cost is exceeds the value of the product, you may cease making the payments. That means, in this case, you will keep your mouth shut.

Are you willing to do that?

Didn't think so.

And cause you are probably expecting it (and I wanna say it) some random observations regarding the decision and subsequent matters:

• In interviews, the father of fallen hero Matthew Snyder asked what your reaction would be if someone protested at your mother's funeral holding up signs which read "Slut." He asked if there is a difference between the word "Fag" and "Slut." "Tell me how that can be legal. Tell me," he demanded, nearly hysterical in the interview I listened to.

• SCOTUS ruled the church's speech is about moral issues, not politics. I completely agree. Not being politics, the speech then does not jeopardize the church's IRS nonprofit standing. I suspect the IRS is closely watching though. In case you're wondering, the IRS generally rules that political speech from the pulpit or political speech given to represent the views and opinions of the church in order to influence political issues such as endorsing someone for president is a violation of the regs and can cause the church to lose its nonprofit status.

• Lots of people are gearing up to protest Fred Phelps' eventual funeral. You can bet the church is expecting this, counting on it, hoping for it and eagerly anticipating it. It will only reinforce their decision what they do is right and righteous. I say when the man dies, let it go. You can see what hate is doing to Phelps and his clan right now. Is that the way you want to be? Do you really want to walk the same path he's on?

An excellent analysis of Fred Phelps.

• As for the religious angle on this one, church members publicly say their mission is to "harden the hearts" of the people of the world and prevent them from being saved. In other words, this church's avowed mission is to drive people away from Christ.

They are doing an admirable job of it too. Satan has got to be pleased.

• When the stakes are as high as in the Westboro decision, precedents are set that will be followed for years and by many. Put yourself in the position of SCOTUS. What precedent would you set? If you banned Westboro, then to be fair you would have to ban opposing speech, that which supports homosexual activity. Are you willing to do that? Where do you stop banning free speech?

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