Free speech can make America’s parties such a bummer

Chris Slattery

I will be the first person to point out that not every single one of my columns has a grand point behind it. I mean, my last one was about welcoming people back from Spring Break.

Sometimes it can be difficult to come up with a really good platform twice a week, knowing that tens of fellow students will read it. Yet somehow, Glenn Beck manages to make good points every single day. The man is like a machine—a machine sent from the future to scribble nonsense on chalkboards like some academic Terminator.

But hear me when I say that I do have a point today. It may not be controversial or ground-breaking, but it will hopefully provide a unique perspective on the Westboro Baptist Church, an organization that pushes the limits of First Amendment rights. And I will attempt to do this using the least amount of expletives that I can, despite how full of [excrement] I think the church is.

Since the birth of the First Amendment — especially the bit about free speech—people have exploited it to the point where people begin to ask the question: “Eh, do we really need free speech after all?”

True, if organizations and individuals only used the First Amendment as a means for expressing words so fundamentally evil that Satan would blush, then I could see the argument. However, our fundamental freedoms are also the reason that I—and so many others like (better than) me—can have a job.

Of course, when the Westboro Baptist Church uses their protests to publicize their anti-gay agenda, it raises questions as to where the line should be drawn. Sure, Americans deserve some freedom of speech, but not when it gets this out of hand, right?

Alas, the First Amendment deserves an “all or nothing” treatment. Once a line gets drawn, there will be countless legal battles over moving it this way and that, which is not a distraction that our country needs right now.

I prefer to think of the U.S.A. like a giant party (thanks, Miley Cyrus) with the invitation saying that anyone is invited to attend. The Westboro Baptist Church is like that really annoying person whose only role at the party is to [female dog] about the music choice until everyone says, “Well, if you don’t like it, why the [fork] are you here?” Then they call your girlfriend a slut until she cries, and you can’t help but to be [miffed]. Unfortunately, you don’t have the authority to kick them out because it is technically not your party.

Finally, after complaining about the host’s selection of beer, they leave, declaring, “Don’t worry, we’ll be back to ruin your merrymaking next weekend! What happened in Japan is God’s punishment for your lousy party!”

What can we do? They know where we live, and we’re sure as [heck] not going to give these [butts] the satisfaction of not having a party.

The best option may end up being a passive one: simply understand the fact that the fight is 7 billion people against 70. With this comical ratio, I think we can all sleep a bit better.

Although a Terminator could be more effective…

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