Re: MILITARY FUNERAL (or any funeral) PROTEST VIOLATES CIVIL RIGHTS
Did you know Freedom of Speech has always had limits: Examples include: One CANNOT own and distribute child porn. One CANNOT yell "bomb" at an airport. One CANNOT threatened the President. One CANNOT publish simply anything because there are libel and slander laws. Copyright laws. Etc. Free speech has always had limitations to protect society: It is my opinion that funeral rites is an exercise of Freedom of Religion: In that, Westboro church has desecrated Holy Services, which also cost the family money (funeral services are far from cheap) and defies the surviving family's right of religious expression; desecration of Holy Funeral Services also causes assault* upon all members of survivors.
I also feel it is Shameful of the American Civil Liberties Union for supporting these abominations as "free speech" - at the expense of sacrificing freedom of religion (funeral rites is a religious ceremony), and monetary damages due to desecration of Holy Services that cost the family monies which the ceremony itself became personal property since it was bought and PAID for. (I feel Freedom of speech is not a defense in these cases.)
Emotions are intense during funerals, and at high risk of erupting into violence during these "protests". Actually the Westboro church does not fall into the interpretation of "peaceful assembly" because a funeral is supposed to be solemn-they are hollering with fists very insulting, abusive, and obscene insults (using derogatory terms "faggots", "fags") which can easily incite violence and riots due to the emotions running high during a funeral service (ritual), endangering public safety should that happen.
I propose these abominations of protest activities during holy Funeral services, are not freedom of speech, but violations of Right of Religious Expression, and causes monetary loss due to desecration of religious funeral rites which is a purchased product in itself. This is no different than defacing private property since the funeral services were paid for: Therefore is not protected under Free Speech.
*(Definition of assault: "The act required for an assault must be overt. Although words alone are insufficient, they might create an assault when coupled with some action that indicates the ability to carry out the threat. A mere threat to harm is not an assault; however, a threat combined with a raised fist might be sufficient if it causes a reasonable apprehension of harm in the victim.")Unquote. In my opinion hollering obscenities, hate signs, fists raised, etc., would make one feel apprehensive, intimidated, fearful, and threatened during a Funeral service.