Comments about ‘Free speech zones suspended in Brigham City’

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Published: Friday, Sept. 14 2012 8:05 p.m. MDT

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DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Will the ACLU be equally involved if someone decided to pass out material offensive to Muslims outside one of their mosques in Utah?

No, I didn't think so, either.

Flashback
Kearns, UT

Geez, the ACLU needs better hobbies. No one's rights were trampled when the pamphleteers were restricted to a certain area to pass out their propaganda. They could still pass it out. I for one might of punched one of them if I had been met at the bus with them waiving their stuff in my face as I stepped off the bus, had I gone to the open house.

As I recall, there are free speech zones outside of the Conference Center in Salt Lake where the protesters, anti-Mormons, etc. are restricted to. The ACLU seems to be in favor of that. Same thing.

The free speech zones have ample precident, and Brigham City was just trying to prevent the type of incident that seems to happen almost every time General Conference convienes in Salt Lake.

Say No to BO
Mapleton, UT

Several years ago I was involved in a protest outside the office of House Speaker Denny Hastert. Barricades were set up around a 50 foot square buffer zone. Each "side" of the issue could extend as far back from the barricades as needed to accomodate the size of their group.
No one was injured and we could express our point as much as we wanted. People could gather literature from either side if they chose.
My point is that there are ways to allow freedom of speech/assembly and still provide unrestricted passage to the temple grounds.
Of course, if your intent is to get "in your face" with people, such a plan won't work. I'm not sure that has anything to do with the First Ammendment.

middle class
Cedar City, 00

Our Constitutional freedoms come with consequences. Often religious beliefs conflict with those freedoms. The anti-Muslim film of this past week is an example. Such religious intolerance and evil distortion incite peolple in various ways. We've seen cartoons that do the same.

As for the Brigham City ordinance restricting free speech on public property, the ACLU is exactly correct. The ACLU is usually correct. We all want the Bill of Rights freedaoms. But we also do not want others to exercise theirs "in our face" or within our space.

And religion may be the most sensitive and dangerous realm for freedom conflicts.

Wonder
Provo, UT

DN Subscriber, you are wrong. The ACLU doesn't choose their clients based on any political viewpoint. They've defended neo-Nazis, Rush Limbaugh (I couldn't post a link, but Google "Rush Limbaugh and ACLU" -- it will get you to a Fox news article that talks about it) and many other people/groups you wouldn't consider "liberal". Their goal is to protect Constitutional rights. Some people get confused as to why the ACLU won't defend a conservative when a liberal individual speaks out against them, etc., but the ACLU only gets involved when the government is involved in the issue. In other words, your Constitutional rights aren't being violated if the government is not involved (Bill of Rights protects people against government not other individuals). So, if someone wanted to pass out anti-Muslim literature and the government stopped them from doing so, yes, the ACLU would defend them.

the hawk
Sandy, UT

Re flashback, that would be possible jail time as well as a civil suit against you. They have the right to speech and assembly on the sidewalk as that is publicly owned. The grass owned by the church would be a different matter.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

"I for one might of punched one of them if I had been met at the bus with them waiving their stuff in my face as I stepped off the bus, had I gone to the open house."

Ah, there's the Christian Spirit we like to see. Did you learn that in Church?

CottageCheese
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

JoeBlow

Sarcasm, cynicism and mockery. Did YOU learn that in Church?

RedWings
CLEARFIELD, UT

DNSubscriber - The ACLU came out in support of Chik-Fil-A's owner and his right to express his opinion on marriage. They defend ALL of our Constitutional rights. That's the tought thing for some wth the Constitution - it protects those we disagree with.

The Main Street Church has long been an anti-Mormon group. They produce videos challenging many things - DNA and the Book of Mormon, the Book of Abraham, etc. I would be concerned about their actions while handing out their literature, but would not agree to restrict their right to do so. I also feel that those attending the open house have a first ammendment right to do so without harassment.

That said, the Main Street Church folks seem to be nice people. I got some free popcorn and water from them at Peach Days last Saturday...

IndeMak
South Jordan, UT

I am all for free speech. Although it is allowed, it is rarely effective. I have seen people at political events, church events, schools, etc. In this case, this church simply wants to be able to hand out pamphlets and talk to any member of the LDS faith and others that are not LDS that are touring the new temple in BC. Most people coming already have their minds made up before attending any event. Most people that are protesting usually come across as a little fanatical and usually lose the attention of the people they are most trying to convince.

In any case, let them hand out their pamphlets. Allow people the opportunity to see if they want to pursue other churches, organizations, etc. Most of it simply isn't effective.

Rational
Salt Lake City, UT

middle class

We all want the Bill of Rights freedaoms. But we also do not want others to exercise theirs "in our face" or within our space.
--------------

There is a reason we don't want that -- It isn't free speech.

Free speech doesn't mean you can say anything, anytime, anywhere you want.

You can't come into my home to tell me what you think, unless I invite you. Otherwise, that is trespassing.

You can't make untruthful claims about me that cause me harm in reputation with or without financial consequence. That is defamation (or slander, if verbal), not free speech.

You cannot incite others to violence against a person or group based upon their race, religion, etc. That is unlawful hate speech, not free speech.

While some who rail against others may then physically abuse them, which is battery, merely instilling fear of physical violence is grounds for a charge of assault, a crime, not protected speech.

Holding one against one's will is unlawful detention, whether or not the detainer is some kind of government official.

Presumably, given you are online, you are adept enough on the internet you can educate yourself on these matters.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

Wonder, Redwings,

99.999999999% of what the ACLU supports is anti-christian and anti-conservative. They take the occassional conservative case to put on a front. The VAST majority of what they do is to suppress religion.

middle class
Cedar City, 00

to Rational...

Yes, you are right, but you have taken Free Speech out of context... Free Speech liberties are guaranteed. Those that assault, cause harm, threaten or instill riot have violated other laws, not the Free Speech liberty.

The Government (in this case the City) cannot restrict Free Speech because they don't want a particular event affected by these folks. Nor could the City restrict you from going into a theatre because they were afraid you would yell "FIRE!"

middle class
Cedar City, 00

to Rational...

Yes, you are right, but you have taken Free Speech out of context... Free Speech liberties are guaranteed. Those that assault, cause harm, threaten or instill riot have violated other laws, not the Free Speech liberty.

The Government (in this case the City) cannot restrict Free Speech because they don't want a particular event affected by these folks. Nor could the City restrict you from going into a theatre because they were afraid you would yell "FIRE!"

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

CottageCheese said: Sarcasm, cynicism and mockery. Did YOU learn that in Church?
Actually yes, I learned it from the people who attended my church, the dominant Church in Utah.

I learn it from watching Mitt, mock the president.

lost in DC said: 99.999999999% of what the ACLU supports is anti-christian and anti-conservative.
Making things up again? This is why people tend to not take your arguments seriously.
Why do the republicans hate free speech? Except when their idols on the radio yell it at them?

Wonder
Provo, UT

@lost in DC -- The ACLU only gets involved with religion if government is establishing or sponsoring a specific religion or if it is denying someone the right to exercise or practice their religion. They aren't "against" religion. It only seems that way to you probably because the governmental action that the ACLU has opposed agreed with your particular religious beliefs. Now if the government started promoting, say Scientology, you'd probably not like that and would think the ACLU was fabulous.

Counter Intelligence
Salt Lake City, UT

Ironic that the ACLU argues that protesters may not block people from being at the main access point of an abortion clinic (supporting buffer zones), but they have that right at LDS Temples (opposing buffer zones).

AZRods
Maricopa, AZ

middle/class "The ACLU is usually correct". Now that's something you don't read everyday.
If we choose to pretend that to be true, even though legal history proves that to be far from true. I would ask that they at least be consistent in how they go about defending/attacking different religions.
Example: Have you ever seen the limited access given in areas of the United States where Islamic celebrations are going on? Police put up barriers 2-3 blocks away.
Photos are not allowed. Filming is not allowed.
Didn't see the ACLU taking on that group.
So as another here pointed out, the credibility of the ACLU and those who conceal their true intentions under the guise of feeling discriminated against are simply too easy to expose.

georgeman
Kearns, UT

@middle class

The free speech of the pamphleteers was never restricted, it was fully allowed within the zone permitted. I highly doubt the ACLU will win this court case, as it would set a precedence for other free speech zones set up by cities. Could you imagine what the effect would be if they couldn't limit the free speech zone when the president visits Utah?

Free speech zones help to provide a buffer for the public safety and safety of others (like the pres), you take away that buffer in this case and you have to take it away in ALL cases. Hey that would also mean that I could just walk along the red carpet in Park City when the celebs come for the film festival, this could get interesting.

AZRods
Maricopa, AZ

A good Catholic friend of mine here in AZ went with me to the annual Easter Pageant in Mesa.
As usual, the anti's and their pamplets were there on each corner chanting their loving remarks and handing out poorly printed materials.
I hadn't prepared my friend for what was coming, so when they tried to talk to him he gave a most perfect response to the group.
He said "Do you people really have no more respect than this?" Is your religion so shallow that you have nothing better to do than stand here and annoy and offend these people?
He then told them that he was a proud Catholic, but felt grateful to be invited to a beautiful program depicting the life of Christ. And ended saying "shame on you".
I just smiled and thanked him for expressing his honest feelings.

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