When the Westboro Baptist Church tried to roll into Joplin, Missouri to protest President Obama, they were met by hundreds of patriotic bikers. 3 days ago.i agree with you in essence, however, i don't believe the first amendment's purpose was necessarily respectful discourse. Around the time the amendment was penned, the American revolutionaries were everything but respectful toward the English crown.
While i most certainly believe that mutual respect is the most expedient way of coming to an understanding, and getting what one wants, there isn't (and nor should there be) any legal guarantee that speech be respectful. Some people simply don't deserve respect, and to mandate that they be addressed respectfully is to mandate disingenuousness. Free speech means just that; that one can say whatever they wish, without government reprisal. That isn't to say, however, that speech does not have consequences. If it didn't have consequences, then words wouldn't mean anything.All the first amendment says it that there can't be any laws that prohibit free speech or the right to peacefully assemble. Nowhere in the text does it say the amendment will protect you from getting your ass kicked by a biker gang because of what you say. The state gave them a place to protest, they were not infringing their rights.
Phelps has run in various Kansas Democratic Party primaries five times, but has never won. These included races for governor in 1990, 1994, and 1998, receiving about 15 percent of the vote in 1998. In the 1992 Democratic Party primary for U.S. Senate, Phelps received 31 percent of the vote. Phelps ran for mayor of Topeka in 1993 and 1997.
Phelps supported in the 1988 Democratic Party primary election. In his 1984 Senate race, Gore opposed a "gay bill of rights" and stated that homosexuality was not something that "society should affirm". Phelps has stated that he supported Gore because of these earlier comments. According to Phelps, members of the Westboro Baptist Church helped run Gore's 1988 campaign in Kansas. Phelps' son, Fred Phelps Jr., hosted a Gore fundraiser at his home in Topeka and was a Gore delegate to the 1988 Democratic National Convention