The Supreme Court Got It Right

The nefarious deeds of the Westboro Baptist Church are legion, but I think the Supreme Court got it right when they ruled (8-1) to defend the church’s protests under the protection of the First Amendment.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the opinion:

“Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and — as it did here — inflict great pain. On the facts before us, we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker. As a nation we have chosen a different course — to protect even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that we do not stifle public debate.”

Justice Samuel Alito was the lone dissenter:

“Our profound national commitment to free and open debate is not a license for the vicious verbal assault that occurred in this case.”

The price for free speech can be mighty steep at times. As we let this ruling sink in, the folks at Westboro Baptist Church might do well to review Jesus’ teachings on peace, love, and tolerance.

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