This past week the Supreme Court upheld the rights of Westboro Baptist Church to protest at the funerals of fallen service men. I was somewhat surprised that the Supreme Court ruled in their favor, but I was really surprised at the vote. It wasn’t even close! The Supreme Court voted 8 to 1 that the insensitive protesting by the church was protected under freedom of speech. Even though I don’t like what Westboro Baptist Church does, I do have to admit that I think the Supreme Court’s decision was the correct one.
The main lesson behind the Court’s decision is this: Freedom of speech does not protect you from the foolishness of speech. You may have the right, constitutionally, to say something, but that doesn’t mean you should.
Anytime I see the Westboro Baptist Church protest, and I have seen them both in person and on the news, I think of Jesus’ words, “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). What I see Westboro Baptist Church speaking is hatred.
But what is true of them is also true of me. If the eyes are the windows of the soul then the mouth is the gateway. What I say comes out of the overflow of my heart as well. The Constitution may give me freedom of speech, but only the Holy Spirit can protect me from the foolishness of speech.
What do you think about the Supreme Court’s ruling and Westboro Baptist Church?
Here is my prayer, and I hope it is yours as well, “May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).
What do you think about the Supreme Court’s decision and Westboro Baptist Church?