Fighting Hate Speech Without Censorship (3/3/11) - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Fighting Hate Speech Without Censorship (3/3/11)

One of the great things about being Americans is that we enjoy the protections of the U.S. Constitution.

But one of the most irritating things is that those we disagree with also enjoy those same protections.

That was illustrated this week when the Supreme Court upheld the right of a small, fundamentalist Kansas church to hold inflammatory, anti-gay demonstrations outside military funerals.

I can't begin to understand the group's ridiculous contention that military deaths are God's punishment for America's tolerance of homosexuality. But I do know there can't be many things more hurtful than seeing picket signs reading "Thank God for Dead Soldiers" while burying your soldier son or daughter.

Every instinct tells me such behavior shouldn't be allowed. But as hard as it is to say, I think the Court got it right.

It's not the government's place to suppress speech – even misguided, hateful speech. And while most would probably be willing to make an exception in this case, opening that door would only be asking for big trouble down the road.

Censoring these repugnant protesters would only make them martyrs. Reasonable people will instead fight back by denying them the exaggerated attention they crave, and use our combined voices of reason and compassion to drown out the pitiful tantrums of what is, after all, just a tiny cult of malcontents.

I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my…Point of View.

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