The Instigator
kels1123
Pro (for)
Winning
35 Points
The Contender
Perception
Con (against)
Losing
27 Points

Laws to protect soldiers from protesting

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/11/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,336 times Debate No: 258
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (29)
Votes (18)

 

kels1123

Pro

I think we need to come up with some laws protecting our troops from protesting that is attacking them. I have no problem with quiet peaceful protesting of the war, however when soldiers are personally attacked I do. For example , the soldiers who are being buried and Phelps and her group show up at their funerals with signs calling the soldier a murderer and many comments about them being homosexual. I find this to be deformation of character. I understand there is freedom of speech , however if you call someone by a racial slur there are consequences. It can be considered hate speech and a hate crime. So why should our soldiers be any different. They sacrafice their lives, their time with their families, risk their lives everyday...and yet someone can call them baby killers. This isn't right and I believe we need some laws protecting these men and women from this kind of protesting. To protest the war is one thing, but to verbally attack these brave men and women is wrong...and an abuse of freedom of speech and I think although they are not a race or a real "group " of any kind , they deserve the same rights to protect them and their families.
Perception

Con

Can you agree that speech against soldiers should be held to the same standard as the speech against others? You give no reason why freedom of speech is bad. I would say that it is perfectly within the rights of an American citizen to protest a soldier. What you have done is changed the topic entirely, you are not saying that protesting a soldier is bad, you are saying personal racist attacks on anybody are unjust and should be censored. While this is arguable, for the purpose this debate i will agree. The simple truth is that Phelps going to the funeral of a soldier to protest is no different than him going to my funeral. If it is hate speech it should be censored if not then no, the law is there it seems like your problem may be more with judges who are interpreting hate speech. Separate legislation protecting soldiers specifically is simply unnecessary and bad in general. First it is bad because it is unequal, there is no reason that soldiers deserve more verbal protection than others. Second, I most certainly want to protest a specific soldier who committed rights abuses at Guantanamo Bay. The consequences of eliminating this right of mine are unchecked abuses to possibly innocent citizens of both the united states and other countries. With only protest against the war in general there is only control over government policy not individual abuses due to restrictions on bills of attainder laid down by the constitution which prevent judicial actions on an individual by the congress and president, which are the only branches of government that citizens can lobby. Meaning that there is never any effective solvency for individual abuses with no specific protest, only for overall national policy. Thus banning the protest of specific soldiers ends with rights violations.
Debate Round No. 1
kels1123

Pro

Okay , first of all , Phelps isn't going to your funeral they are going to SOLDIERS funerals, and harrassing the families that have just lost a loved one. If we can make specific rights as to hate speech for people of a different race, why not a soldier. We are not talking about them protesting a specific act. These people are upset about the war and therefore think it is okay to protect these men and women doing their jobs and may I add protecting the freedom of speech these individuals have. the stress of being a military family with a loved one who is deployed is very hard, without people calling your loved one a baby killer when many of them have never even killed anyone. If you slander a celebrity , they can sue . if you call someone a racist name they can sue , but there is nothing in place that protects these soldiers. What about the children of theese soldiers ? Haven't they had to go through enough without reading or hearing that their parent is a murderer or a homosexual or a baby killer? Why should this be okay? Why is it okay that you deformate a soldier's character, yet if you call someone a racial name it's considered hate speech.
A bigot (according to the dictionary) is;

a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance
So can't you say that the military is the said group therefore it is bigotry or hate speech.
Perception

Con

You are not actually responding to what i am saying. I am saying that yes soldiers deserve protection equal everyone else, not other laws. You are not actually giving any reason why soldiers deserve anything different than other people. All you say is that other people have such and such protection but the facts remain to tell you that the family of the soldier can take these same steps against Phelps if the speech is actually hate speech or slander. What would the law possibly say? soldiers are unassailable and people should be put to death if they disagree? This is ridiculous it leads to massive government control and destruction of the most important element of free speech, protest against the government. This is why we have free speech, the reason that America was and is great. We are equal and we can talk. They deserve the same protection as everybody else, and you still haven't given a reason otherwise. I have already made arguments about why it is bad to have separate laws, so i will not bother repeating them. I can look up words in the dictionary too. All that says is that Phelps is a bigot. why can't the military be that group. It is really hard to argue against something when your opponent doesn't give any reason for anything. i can say that restrictions on speech lead to nuclear war, that doesn't make it so. In your last argument please give some actual reasons for me to disprove.
Debate Round No. 2
kels1123

Pro

Why should they deserve to be protected ? Maybe because it is the government (although I agree with the war) that is putting them in the position to have this stuff said . I am not saying you can't protest a soldier as an individual but you shouldnt be able to protest against a soldier just because he goes to war... He is doing his job as ordered by the Unites States Government. Im not asking that people get put to death , I never implied that .I am asking that it is not allowed. That the police can make groups like Phelps who is a lawyer and knows how to skirt the law .. leave when she goes across the street (just an inch further than the law requires her to , she knows how to avoid the law) and she yells obscenities to families that are burying their loved ones .. That is not right , the military as a whole should be able to require a restraining order of some sort to protect their soldiers from people that continually harrass members of the military. The reason why it needs to be a law protecting soldiers as an individual is because they target any military event, funeral and social gathering there is. They cause problems for soldiers holding up their return to their families. They attend events such as Christmas parades and harrass families and soldiers by throwing horrible obscenities. Im not asking that quiet peaceful protesting isnt done , Im asking that people do not target military functions, gatherings, arrivals home, parades, and funerals to deformate all soldiers character. It is unkind that these men and women who give their lives to follow orders to protect our country , give back to our country , and sacrafice their lives for this country are able to be abused because people can find loopholes within the laws that are currently in place.
Perception

Con

Here is the thing; you are never actually responding to the main argument i make about how soldiers ought to have the same protection as everybody else. The lack of response to this is not surprising considering there is no reason you can give without going against the basic American tenets of freedom and equality. Stop calling Phelps a woman or a group, his name is Fred. Every thing you have as a reason to ban this speech is a sensationalized example with no real harms to it. A slippery slope to violence against military families is ridiculous. We don't preemptively execute all citizens who speed on the chance that they could get worse and kill somebody in an accident. It is their right to protest verbally, just as it is your right to make the nonsensical arguments you are making now. If the family wants a private funeral it can have it as long as that is made clear. When violated that would be a crime. Tossing garbage in a grave is well beyond the scope of the debate considering we are talking about speech. There is no way to draw a line between free speech and abuse, that is why free speech is allowed completely. If it hurts somebody there are civil suits. So yes soldiers deserve protection-the exact same protection as everybody else.
Debate Round No. 3
29 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by kels1123 9 years ago
kels1123
Don't know why it makes you so mad ... its late
Posted by kels1123 9 years ago
kels1123
I have an argument and you can agree or not agree ... I don't why it makes you so mad to consider laws to help the soldiers defending those freedoms you talk about....
Posted by artC 9 years ago
artC
Okay, one more time, it doesn't matter what your opinion is, it matters what your argument is, and you don't seem to have one. The End.
Posted by kels1123 9 years ago
kels1123
artc , how am I narrow minded because I don't agree with you. You are coming off narrow minded as you are getting so angry I do not agree with you . Like I said you have the right to your opinion , just as I have the right to mine. If you think freedom of speech should include harassment and hate speech and being allowed to protest at someone's funeral that is your opinion , but my opinion is different.
Posted by artC 9 years ago
artC
Jesus christ! Can someone help me out here?? Anyone speak narrow-minded?
Posted by kels1123 9 years ago
kels1123
I get but do you ????? Try putting yourself in their shoes and see what it would feel like. You may have your opinion but I have mine... I told you what I think. I told you why I feel it should be stopped, you can agree , or not , but to act as though I am stupid because our opinions are different is immature. I told the story as an example.
Posted by artC 9 years ago
artC
I give up, you are just not giving any argument for it becomeing LAW. The KKK is free to discriminate against whom they wish. They just can't commit hate crimes. And I didn't say the pregnant widow was a made up story, I'm just saying you are using stories that tug at the heart strings as an argument instead of any sort of real argument.

This is pointless. You don't get it.
Posted by kels1123 9 years ago
kels1123
Pregnant widow stuff , thats not playing with emotions it is reality. That is a true story and there are countless others. Good , people should feel for these people. they don't deserve it , just as I would be the first to say any other group that was being targeted with hate speech doesn't deserve it. You are in no way taking everything into consideration and being objective you are only looking at the law in black and white. Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing , being able to protest is a great thing. but sometimes there is a fine line and when that line is being crossed over and over again to a certain group of people or a person there must be something done to protect them. I don't believe it should be okay for African American groups to be targeted and taunted and harassed by the KKK either , I just haven't started a debate on it. I am not only saying protect soldiers , I am saying they need to be protected. They serve their country and deserve to not be harassed or targeted for that. The families deserve to grieve in peace. Funerals for soldiers (as well as all others) should be off limits. Harassing soldiers families and saying stuff that hurts one's character that are not true should be off limits. Obviously the law is starting to feel that way as well since one father of a soldier sued Phelps and company for them calling his son stuff at his sons funeral and he WON!
Posted by artC 9 years ago
artC
They do deserve to be treated fairly, only for the fact that they're people, we are in agreeent on that. I just don't think it's right to have laws protecting them from free speach. I am being totaly objective because I am taking everything into consideration.

You still have not presented a good reason for such a thing to become a law. You are only playing at peoples emotions with this pregnant widow stuff. Everyone thinks it's horrible and wrong, so you don't have to argue that point.
Posted by kels1123 9 years ago
kels1123
artc , You sound so objective yourself.There is no reason we as a country can't have laws to protect the men and women that are fighting for our country from being harassed. There is also no reason that we can't have laws to protect the rights of Grieving widows, parents, children, families and friends so that they may go lay their loved ones to rest in Peace. If you think thats me not being objective , then so be it. You tell me how you feel after watching your pregnant friend have people yell things at her about her dead fiance while they bury him a week before she gives birth. Do you not honestly feel that there should be some protection for these people from this hatred. I am not saying we need to prohibit protesting or everyone should have to support the war, I am asking that since these men and women give up so much , sacrifice so much that they and their families get a little respect and protection. They are heroes and they deserve to be treated fairly.
18 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by JakeF 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by kels1123 8 years ago
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