The Westboro Baptist Church should be classified as a hate group
Debate Rounds (4)
Round 2: Facts/Argument
Round 3: Facts/Argument
Round 4: Closing statements
I look forward to my opponent's argument. Good luck.
The Westboro Baptist Church is a hate group for sure.
All people have the right to hate other people, or to hate ideas they do not agree with. It's human nature. Hate is also protected speech under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. You could classify the Ku Klux Klan, NAACP, the Red Cross or Unitarian Universalists as hate groups if you want, and it will make no difference in the scheme of things. They will still exist, they will promote their ideas, and there is nothing anyone can do about it.
Further, classifying the superstitious cretins of Westboro Baptist Church as a "hate group" only reveals the hatred of those who wish to classify it as a hate group. I recommend simply ignoring them.
Further, the Supreme Court of the United States of America has already adjudicated this case, and has affirmed Westboro Baptist's Constitutional right to picket funerals, even those of children, while holding their ridiculous placards, and chanting "god hates f*gs", "thank god for dead soldiers", etc, etc, ad nauseum.
That said, the late Fred Phelps, emeritus head lunatic of Westboro Baptist Church, said that his god "hated f*gs" - not he nor his congregation, and according to Christian scripture, specifically Leviticus, the god Elohim does consider homosexuals abominable in its sight, which can be interpreted as "hating" by a deity, which is beyond the scope of this argument.
Therefore, the fanatics of Westboro Baptist Church are simply practicing their form of religion, distasteful or not, which is a right all people have under the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America.
Pointedly - how does one determine what "hate" is, and who should be the arbiter? Every human being on this planet hates something, from beef liver, to other people, to entire nations. Why should any particular group be arbitrarily classified as "haters" by another group who finds their stance distasteful? Resentment or loathing of one group's stance by another group can be considered "hate" as well, and thus begins a vicious circle of recrimination, based only on emotional opinion. I personally find any group that has an agenda to force their worldview down another's throat odious, but I do realize that they all have the right to their opinion, whether they are of any race, creed, or sexual preference.
One could attempt to counter that the loonies of Westboro Baptist Church are "immoral", but history has proven that morality is a relative construct, based on societal normatives. Conversely, the parishioners of Westboro Baptist Church believe that homosexuality is "immoral", whatever that is or may be, based on their parochial worldview.
Quite simply, one man's hate is another's dissent.
That is an opinion, not a fact. For one thing, you do not know that "everyone" in the Westboro Baptist Church thinks that their god is a hater. Further, what do they really have, other than a Church building and their personal property? In your opinion they hate too much, and for that reason, you state that they should be recognized as a "hate group".
I again ask, who is to be the arbiter of such a pronouncement, and what possible penalties could be accessed against them for being such, without violating their First Amendment rights? Even if you or I decided to arbitrarily classify them as a "hate group" it will make little or no difference to the Westboro Baptist Church, and would only strengthen their charge that they are being "persecuted" by "heathens and atheists". As they are non violent, I think ignoring them is the best option.
According to the Bible, which I think is nothing more than a collection of myths and fairy tales, the god of the Hebrews and Christians, Elohim, is in fact a "hater" of homosexuals, for whatever reason. Examples of this include verses in Old Testament books Genesis and Leviticus, and in New Testament books Romans, Galatians and Jude. One may consider that odious, but the fact remains that such admonitions are part of the Christian and Jewish faiths, which both religions consider to be the words of god itself. So do the parishioners of Westboro Baptist Church, for good or ill; in fact, the words of the Bible do indeed support their position.
That aside, the First Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the right of anyone to practice any faith they want to practice, without governmental interference. In addition, they have the right to think that their god is a "hater", based on their scriptures, referenced above.
One man's hate is another's dissent - not only that, when it comes to Westboro Baptist Church, it is their belief, and beliefs cannot be sanctioned, let alone prohibited.
Thank you for this argument. You did good.
Basic human rights, e.g., freedom of speech, are not granted, nor are they rescinded by a majority. The right to dissent, no matter how odious, is guaranteed for everyone by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution; it must apply to everyone or it means nothing.
A governmental body classifying any group as a "hate group", would abrogate that right. In the case of Westboro Baptist Church, their right to behave like annoying, puerile lunatics has already been decided by the Supreme Court, in Snyder v. Phelps, 131 S. Ct. 1207 (2011). That said, rather then reiterating, I stand by what I have written earlier.
Thank you for your time.
No votes have been placed for this debate.
You are not eligible to vote on this debate
This debate has been configured to only allow voters who meet the requirements set by the debaters. This debate either has an Elo score requirement or is to be voted on by a select panel of judges.