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February 23, 2009

Too bad U.S. can’t ban Fred Phelps

Kudos to the British government for banning Fred Phelps, Shirley Phelps-Roper and their band of Westboro lunatics from the United Kingdom (2/20, Local).

I doubt that our founding fathers had Phelps and his crew in mind when they secured our freedom of speech. Apparently, their twisted application of the First Amendment does not travel well beyond our borders.

It’s unfortunate that we can’t allow them to leave the United States and lock the door behind them.

Dean D. Garland
Olathe

Comments

TinaMcG

Uhhh, not too familiar with that one. I only know 'Jack (Jack) the Idiot Dunce'. It always reminded me of a kid who sat next to me in fifth grade. I always felt real sorry for that poor kid.

Casady

I will anxiously await for you to start quoting lines from Schoolboys in Disgrace.

TinaMcG

Heheheh...love the Kinks. LOVE 'EM.

Casady

Wow Tina, first you had a "Celluloid Heroes" reference a while back, now this obscure bit of trivia. Ray Davies would be proud!

Pub 17

Roger Liar, you've done it again, you cute little snugglebunny, you. Now the Star is "pushing" letters. Remember that the next time you see one of your right-wing goof troop break through the liberal barrier and get a letter published.

Keep lyin', Rog, it secures your reputation as a dutiful little right-wing robot.

Roger Lambert

Who knows, maybe Fred Phelps is against the stimulus bill.

If so, then we've had letters two days in a row that fully support silencing him. I have no idea why a newspaper, of all groups, would push this meme so hard. You'd think that they all of groups would support free speech the most. But, then again, they support Obama 100 percent of the time, so perhaps they consider their position safe.

Stifled Freedom

Yes, and then we could segregate nonwhites from white folks, then ban gays, then take thier right to vote away (and woment too), then kill all the American Indicans, then make any surviving nonwhites 3/5 of a person for legilsative reasons, then just ban all nonwhites outright and enslave them. Sound like the last 150 years in reverse?

mike d

No Dean, Fred Phelps is exactly who the founding fathers had in mind when they made free speech an inalienable right. Would you really want it any other way? Really?

TinaMcG

It isn't that the Phelpses "twisted view of the First Amendment don't travel well beyond our borders. The British place a lot morelimits on free speech than we do. They have far stricter libel laws. Their government can censor the media with impunity.

There are (or were) also weird regulations about the mention of brand names in the media and in the entertainment industry. Back in the 60s when the Kinks released "Lola", there were two versions, one for the UK and one for the rest of the world. The band had to replace a reference to "Coca cola" with "cherry cola" for the British version.

My husband is British. I'm well aware that the feeling in the UK is that the government cracks down too harshly on free speech. So be careful what you wish for.

The Phelps crew are truly undesirables, but as long as they are US citizens who have committed no crimes that would prevent their entry into their own country, they are protected by the Constitution. For better or worse, that's just the way it is.

 
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