Honoring Those Who Died – Orson Scott Card

Brother Orson continues to pump out some good article. In this one, he proposes something I could really get behind:

Here is what I propose. Forget the constitutional amendment about flags. Let’s demand that Congress pass a law banning any kind of political demonstration within the sight or hearing of people in attendance at the funerals, viewings, or burials of men and women who died in uniform, and forbidding demonstrating at or defacing their grave.

Patriotic display would be exempted, of course — because the rituals of leavetaking should include the right of family and friends to speak in favor of what the soldier sacrificed for.

Anyone who breaks this law by holding up signs or shouting slogans or throwing things at such a funeral would receive a felony conviction, including the loss of their right to vote, and a mandatory sentence of exactly one year.

I would support such a law 100%

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1 Response

  1. Reluctant says:

    The Centrist responded (by email) with the following:

    Doesn’t a one-year felony conviction with the loss of voting privileges
    sound a little over-the-top for the crime of tastelessness? I think
    protests, etc. at military funerals are despicable, but they are not a
    jailable offense any more than most things done in bad taste with no
    consideration for decency. I think that extremely bad taste in media
    (e.g. pornography, extreme violence, etc.) does more to damage the
    fabric of society than a war protest at the funeral of a serviceman.
    You can’t jail someone just because he’s stupid and uncouth and lets it
    show.

    Wouldn’t it be ironic to have a protester jailed for demonstrating at
    the funeral of a serviceman who gave his life trying to bring free
    speech (among other things) to a foreign nation?

    And I responded with this:

    > You can’t jail someone just because he’s stupid and uncouth and lets it
    > show.

    But this is a little different. A funeral is something sacred as it is. But when it’s a soldier that has given the greatest sacrifice it’s even that much more sacred.

    This is different from the flag-burning. The flag is a symbol, albeit sacred. This is an individual and a family.

    > Wouldn’t it be ironic to have a protester jailed for demonstrating at
    > the funeral of a serviceman who gave his life trying to bring free
    > speech (among other things) to a foreign nation?

    I guarantee that if you somehow could to ask that soldier that he would side with me. Freedom of speech has it’s limits. There are laws protecting people from slander and such. There are also laws (as indicated in OSC’s article) that prohibit certain demonstrations in front of abortion clinics.

    This should be one of those limits. Perhaps not a full year, but at least some jail time (3-6 months) and a financial fine.

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