By now, most everyone has heard that the Westboro Baptist Church has threatened to picket the funerals of the victims of Friday’s horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t reacted to the news by saying that something must be done to protect the families and the community during this difficult emotional time.
Under the Constitution, the Westboro clan has the right to free speech, as upheld by the United States Supreme Court. Even hateful and hurtful speech is protected. I am a believer that with rights come responsibilities. In this case, I feel strongly that the misguided folks in the Westboro cult (I have trouble identifying it is anything else) have a responsibility to respect the sensitivity of this horrific tragedy and restrict their free speech to some place other than the funerals of those victims.
Please refer to the following Washington Post article on some ways to respond to their protests:
For those on Facebook, an “event” page has been set up to track the Westboro protestors and provide information on what is being done to prevent them from disturbing the funerals. Check regularly for updates:
Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families and friends of the victims and to every member of the Newtown community during this difficult time.
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copyright 2012 Irene C. Olszewski, Esq.