City Hall has been up to its usual stuff--a little more exciting due to the presence of some protesters exercising their free speech rights. Which brings me to the Ph*lps clan of Topeka, presently arguing before the Supreme Court about the outcome of a civil case that rewarded a military family money from the Ph*lps clan.
There is a right to privacy expected by regular citizens, that their activities will not be infringed upon by others without permission. There is the "yelling fire in a crowded theater" issue--are the Ph*lps' signs and megaphone pronouncements provocative enough to be a safety or life quality issue. Up against that is the issue of free speech. Can we restrict speech in this case and not start the slide downward that puts all speech at risk.
I hate to say it, but I want to err on the side of safeguarding speech. Laws restricting all public demonstration from private moments--distance and volume restrictions--I'm all for those. But if you are standing on public land, and you are not restricting my movements, or my ability to carry on my activities, as much as I hate your stuff, you have a right to say it. I have the concomitant right to have a group of people screening me from you and monitoring your activities.
Ignore the Ph*lps bunch. Eventually, the interbreeding will catch up with them and they'll disappear. Or a major figure in the organization will announce that they are homosexual. Then you'll know for sure that it's just a sad broken family that really needs to get some spiritual and psychological help.
(Using the * instead of an "e", hoping that these publicity hounds will not pick up this post in their Google reader.)