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  • Originally posted by WorkerCaste
    If you look back, you'll notice I've exempted the relationship between representatives and their constituents, and added the ol' "unless it's my job" disclaimer. For me the distinction is in the context. What I object to is being forced to listen when I am going about my normal, every-day, non-polictical business. Shutting down political speech at an inherently political event in order to protect politicians does, in no way, fall under my rationale. Context has to make a difference, so long as the differences in context are not simply differences in beliefs.
    I can see your point but turn it around to something historical and less emotionally charged (now, not then) and see if you still agree. Take the Civil Rights movement. Would...could the progress made have been possible if the people involved didn't force people to look at and see their message? It was a message that had to be brought directly to everybody or things would have stayed the same.

    Also, even though the "emotional state" argument is not one that I've been relying on, I'd offer that it does play into context as well, and that it is not as simple as hurt feelings. Push someone hard, and you're guilty of assault. Push someone hard when they're standing next to a cliff, and you're guilty of manslaughter at the very least. Given the physiological basis of many emotional states, the mental cliff and potential harm are just as real. After all, expressing your opinions is freedom of speech. Using that speech to intentionally cause distress or to prevent someone from doing something they are entitled to do (prevent, mind you, not just change their mind) is harrassment.
    I don't entirely disagree. Where I differ is in the manner of dealing with it because the way I see it, if we start trying to legislate based on 'intent' combined with freedom of speech, we're opening the door for the thought police to get a foot in.

    Jan
    "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

    Comment


    • I don't see the thought police anywhere when Congress passes a law that is essentially stating "Show some civility at cemetaries, especially when it's for a fallen soldier"

      Although it is rather pathetic that it has to be made a law for the point to be made clear
      RIP Coach Larry Finch
      Thank you Memphis Grizzlies for a great season.
      Play like your fake girlfriend died today - new Notre Dame motivational sign

      Comment


      • Which brings us back to my original point. That once they start getting involved in something so petty (which it *is* considering we;re talking about our federal government), it's likely to become easier and easier to find other, perfectly rational things to restrict.

        Remember how reasonable the Nightwatch seemed? It's not a paralell situation but there are echoes of similarity.

        Jan
        "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

        Comment


        • What is rational about the placards that Westboro Baptist Church displays? What is rational about protesting a damned funeral?
          RIP Coach Larry Finch
          Thank you Memphis Grizzlies for a great season.
          Play like your fake girlfriend died today - new Notre Dame motivational sign

          Comment


          • I can think of a dozen things that I do that other people could/do find irrational without even pausing to think. And remembering that this is the Religion thread, let's not even go into discussing irrational beliefs. Man, if we started allowing legislation against any and everything that's irrational I don't think anybody'd be safe.

            Jan
            "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Jan
              I can see your point but turn it around to something historical and less emotionally charged (now, not then) and see if you still agree. Take the Civil Rights movement. Would...could the progress made have been possible if the people involved didn't force people to look at and see their message? It was a message that had to be brought directly to everybody or things would have stayed the same.
              Very good point. Certainly much of the Civil Rights movement falls within the framework I outlined: Legal challenges; marches on government buildings; rallies; etc. In the area of non-violent civil disobedience (I refuse to condone violent disobedience), I have to concede that it becomes stickier to evaluate it by the criteria I've tried to put forward. Was Rosa Parks forcing her free speech on the people trying to go about their business? People who had no choice but to ride the bus? How about sit ins? To me there's quite a difference, but is it reasonable to expect a law to be able to distinguish to the point where the one is allowed and the other is prohibited? Something is destroyed by the protests at a funeral. The funeral, because of it's nature, can not be properly conducted in a disrupted environment. People blocking an entrance and employing intimidation and physical obstruction (as in moving to continually intercept and prevent going around) are harrassing. Most of the civil rights efforts I can think of don't seem the same.

              I don't entirely disagree. Where I differ is in the manner of dealing with it because the way I see it, if we start trying to legislate based on 'intent' combined with freedom of speech, we're opening the door for the thought police to get a foot in.
              We legislate on intent all the time, and while it can be tricky, we have no choice with regard to most crimes. Most crimes are of different orders if there is intent, especially pre-meditated intent, to cause harm. It's one of the things we attempt to establish in a court of law. We examine the facts to infer attempt, and usually err on the side of the defendant. Even within the realm of Freedom of Speech we have the classic, intent-driven case: Crying "Fire" in a crowded theater.

              At any rate, you've created some doubt for me. I'm enjoying the discussion!
              Last edited by WorkerCaste; 05-26-2006, 06:54 AM. Reason: Added Clarity and fixed typos
              "That was the law, as set down by Valen. Three castes: worker, religious, warrior."

              Comment


              • Even christianity finds Westboro Baptist Church to be irrational. They're Baptist in name only, since they take no part in Baptist conventions or associations.

                They call themselves Hyper-Calvinist, but ▄ber-Calvinism is more apt.

                Wikipedia has some vast info about them.
                RIP Coach Larry Finch
                Thank you Memphis Grizzlies for a great season.
                Play like your fake girlfriend died today - new Notre Dame motivational sign

                Comment


                • Originally posted by WorkerCaste
                  Even within the realm of Freedom of Speech we have the classic, intent-driven case: Crying "Fire" in a crowded theater.
                  Okay, you've got me there.

                  At any rate, you've created some doubt for me. I'm enjoying the discussion!
                  Yeah, it's fun when people actually talk *to* (as opposed to *at*), isn't it?

                  Originally posted by WillieStealAndHow
                  Wikipedia has some vast info about them.
                  Taking a leaf from Ann Landers and/or Miss Manners, they're beneath my contempt and therefore beneath my notice.

                  Jan
                  "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Radhil
                    I know this is beating a topic to death (in the wrong thread no less), but Jan's got me wondering where the fine lines are. What constitutes criminal harassment? How much does a mob get a free pass because (a) they have a political agenda and/or (b) they are a religious group?

                    Either way, in the end, it's snakes or vermin winning this out, and that's a fairly horrid position for those in mourning.
                    Originally posted by WillieStealAndHow
                    It's harassment and slander. Free speech doesn't cover harassing speech of any kind, libel of any kind, or slander of any kind.
                    Originally posted by Jan
                    Take the Civil Rights movement. Would...could the progress made have been possible if the people involved didn't force people to look at and see their message? It was a message that had to be brought directly to everybody or things would have stayed the same.
                    Originally posted by WillieStealAndHow
                    I don't see the thought police anywhere when Congress passes a law that is essentially stating "Show some civility at cemeteries, especially when it's for a fallen soldier"

                    Although it is rather pathetic that it has to be made a law for the point to be made clear
                    Originally posted by Jan
                    Which brings us back to my original point? That once they start getting involved in something so petty (which it *is* considering weÆre talking about our federal government), it's likely to become easier and easier to find other, perfectly rational things to restrict.

                    Remember how reasonable the Nightwatch seemed? It's not a parallel situation but there are echoes of similarity.

                    Jan
                    IMHO, the current laws of stalking and harassment should be enforced when it comes to solders funerals. Nothing more + nothing less. It is both disgraceful and harassment of the worst kind to protest an individuals death in such a manner. Plus, what is the point? ThereÆs nothing political to gain from yelling at the parents of dead soldersà If they or any of the solders now deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan had the power to make political changes to the war, refuse or defy their orders without consequences then I think they would have done so already, but that is not the case.

                    Jan,
                    You mentioned the ôCivil Rights movementöà if you look at the Civil Rights movement from a non-bias pov, you will see that the movement targeted small/big businesses and the government (local and federal)à No where did they target an individual.

                    What I remember from history books: (to simplify the argument) Blacks were segregated and denied services. What did they do? Boycott the services that they were segregated in and more and marched until local and federal governments changes the rulesà i.e. Rosa Parks started the bus company boycott, because of this segregated treatment. It finally took small/big businesses to loose money for them to change their waysà

                    Please note: Everybody should have the right to peaceful protest without fear or attacks, but remember, there is a fine line between protesting to get a point across and harassing private individuals to be hatefull.
                    "The world is a dangerous place---not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it" --Albert Einstein

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by rallytbk
                      IMHO, the current laws of stalking and harassment should be enforced when it comes to solders funerals. Nothing more + nothing less. It is both disgraceful and harassment of the worst kind to protest an individuals death in such a manner.
                      In that case, if there are already laws that cover the situation, what need of the Feds to get involved? Anyway, I don't think stalking would apply if they're only showing up once.

                      Plus, what is the point? ThereÆs nothing political to gain from yelling at the parents of dead soldersà If they or any of the solders now deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan had the power to make political changes to the war, refuse or defy their orders without consequences then I think they would have done so already, but that is not the case.
                      Yeah, but we're talking about that wacky 'church'. They're trying to convince people that troops are killed in war due to the US's tolerance of homosexuality, aren't they? I don't see anything political in that.

                      Jan,
                      You mentioned the ôCivil Rights movementöà if you look at the Civil Rights movement from a non-bias pov, you will see that the movement targeted small/big businesses and the government (local and federal)à No where did they target an individual.
                      The response was WorkerCaste's comment:
                      For me the distinction is in the context. What I object to is being forced to listen when I am going about my normal, every-day, non-polictical business.
                      The target was immaterial. Many individuals were inconvenienced and 'forced to listen' to them and the social changes that resulted might never have been made without society being forced to confront the issue. There can't be a one-on-one correspondence between the two but if one situation ended up being deemed good in retrospect when many people hated that message, isn't there a danger if we start allowing the feds to legislate against specific, targeted messages?

                      Please note: Everybody should have the right to peaceful protest without fear or attacks, but remember, there is a fine line between protesting to get a point across and harassing private individuals to be hatefull.
                      So you want the Federal Government to make that distinction? Is there any possibility that that law could target anybody else besides the intended nuts? If so, it's simply bad, stupid law and no more than posturing.

                      Jan
                      "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Jan
                        In that case, if there are already laws that cover the situation, what need of the Feds to get involved? Anyway, I don't think stalking would apply if they're only showing up once.
                        The federal government doesnÆt need to get involve unless local governments are neglecting or not enforcing the current laws already on the books. Posted by Radhil: What constitutes criminal harassment? if this family/church of protesters continues to protest solders burials, is it in the public good to arrest them for criminal harassment? Is it fair to say this also applies to all jewish, hispanic and/or muslim burials? and get a pass because they're only showing up once.

                        To some people burials are sacred and consume only a day, do you mean to tell me with this groups past that I would have to bury a few family and friends before I can submit a complaint for criminal harassment? Or subject myself to continued harassment for something I have no control over? And not even that, for them to say we are enablers and fag lovers, etc. at the top of their lungs?

                        If that was true then by the same token I could go in front of their church (*the required safe distance to avoid trespassing) with a bullhorn and shout at the top of my lungs curses and obscene for one full day and pass the bullhorn to the next person who feels the same way about these people. *But of course, the police will arrest us for noise violations, disturb the peace, resisting arrest and protesting without a permit.

                        Originally posted by Jan
                        So you want the Federal Government to make that distinction? Is there any possibility that that law could target anybody else besides the intended nuts? If so, it's simply bad, stupid law and no more than posturing.

                        Jan
                        I donÆt want the federal government to make that distinction, but in the interest of forcing local government (i.e. ending segregation when they forced states to integrate public schools) to enforce the current lawsà something has to be done about it.
                        Last edited by rallytbk; 05-26-2006, 09:05 AM.
                        "The world is a dangerous place---not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it" --Albert Einstein

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by rallytbk
                          To some people burials are sacred and consume only a day, do you mean to tell me with this groups past that I would have to bury a few family and friends before I can submit a complaint for criminal harassment?
                          I don't know for sure, but aren't harassment charges cumulative the way that tresspass charges are? And some domestic disturbances?

                          If that was true then by the same token I could go in front of their church with a bullhorn and shout at the top of my lungs curses and obscene for one full day and pass the bullhorn to the next person who feels the same way about these people. *But of course, the police will arrest us for noise violations, disturb the peace, resisting arrest and protesting without a permit.
                          I'm not getting what point you're trying to make here? Nobody's said anything about this particular church being right in what they're doing, it's about whether it's appropriate for the federal government to get involved and possibly pass laws with unintended consequences.

                          I donÆt want the federal government to make that distinction, but in the interest of forcing local government (i.e. ending segregation when they forced states to integrate public schools) to enforce the current lawsà something has to be done about it.
                          Ummm...correct me if I'm wrong but haven't the demonstrations been going on for a relatively short time? How was the determination made as to whether each and every local government has acted appropriately or not? I've read that several states are drafting legislation against this group too so perhaps the federal law was completely premature?

                          Me, I want the federal government to do as little as possible and *never* get involved with affairs that don't have sweeping national consequences. I'd've thought they'd smarten up after the Terry Shiavo not that long ago. Oh...never mind...we are talking about congress, after all.

                          Jan
                          "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                          Comment


                          • Actually, I thought the legislation was concerning setting the buffer around federal cemetaries, and the states are looking to enact similar buffer zones around the others in their jurisdiction. In that sense, what the Congress is doing is in federal jurisdiction. Another thought with regard to some of the general comments -- this is determining the difference between free speech and harrassment. Since free speech is defined and protected by federal laws, it can be more complex to try and challenge an action put forward as free speech with local laws or regulations.
                            "That was the law, as set down by Valen. Three castes: worker, religious, warrior."

                            Comment


                            • Since free speech is defined and protected by federal laws, it can be more complex to try and challenge an action put forward as free speech with local laws or regulations.
                              Bullseye. That's why we're even having this conversation - not for or against a bunch of churck kooks, but about a bunch of rights that also happen to apply to church kooks.

                              I don't know for sure, but aren't harassment charges cumulative the way that tresspass charges are? And some domestic disturbances?
                              I've tried to look some up, and the general answer is "varies". No one seems to agree on a definition of harassment. Color me unsuprised.

                              Ummm...correct me if I'm wrong but haven't the demonstrations been going on for a relatively short time?
                              Actual funeral picketing? Couple of months, at the very least. I've heard of the group for at least a year - it may be they targeted a few places even earlier.
                              Radhil Trebors
                              Persona Under Construction

                              Comment


                              • A strange thought: Okay, so this group consists mainly of family and friends. I wonder what kind of jobs they hold? They're travelling around Kansas (based somewhere in Kansas, right?). Does anybody know if they've protested outside of Kansas?

                                The sad thing: The "adults" are teaching hate to the children. These children are pretty warped; I've heard them on Howard Stern's show.
                                "I am just a worthless liar. I am just an embecile. I will only complicate you, trust in me and fall as well. I will find a center in you; I will chew it up and leave. I will work to elevate you, just enough to bring you down. Why can't we drink forever? I just want to start this over!" TOOL

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