It is that time of the week again. It is time to look at my favorite newspaper front page of the week.
As always, I culled through the front pages shown at Newseum.org and picked my favorite.
So here it is:
This is the front page of Thursday’s Express, a commuter tabloid produced for the Washington D.C.-area by The Washington Post.
I chose it not because of any spectacular design but because of the content of the front page.
See, the main story is about a case the Supreme Court of the United States is currently hearing.
It is a case about First Amendment rights. It centers on whether or not the Topeka, Kan., church, the Westboro Baptist Church, has the right to protest funerals as they spew hateful messages, such as “Thank God For Dead Soldiers” and “God Hates Fags,” just to name a couple.
The case is being heard because families who have experienced the protests feel like it is their right to have a peaceful funeral for a deceased loved one.
However, the church says it is their freedom of speech, freedom to peaceably assemble and religious freedom rights to do what they do.
The church’s followers are known for their in-your-face protests decreeing their hate for anyone outside of their own church by desecrating the American flag and holding signs that depict gay sex and carry other hateful messages such as “God Hates Fags” and “Thank God For 9/11″ and “Thank God For Dead Soldiers” and “Fag Vets,” usually at funerals of dead soldiers “to spread their belief that U.S. deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq are punishment for the nation’s tolerance of homosexuality,” the Associated Press reported at NPR.org.
What they do is, without question, despicable. It’s tasteless and doesn’t seem like the right thing to be doing.
In fact, when I first wrote about this situation in my March post, I said the Supreme Court should rule against the Phelpses because hate speech is what they espouse and hate speech shouldn’t be protected by the First Amendment.
I’ve changed my mind though. I still think what they do is wrong, but I think what they do should probably be protected by the First Amendment because they should have the right to say what they think, even if it is stupid and ignorant. No one should take away the right of others to be moronic.
I just worry if the Supreme Court does rule against them, it will set a bad precedent, and the First Amendment rights I hold so dearly could be chilled.
Without the First Amendment, our country would be a horrible place to live, and I don’t want that to happen.
So, that’s why I chose this front page. Not only is it very significant to journalists because of the First Amendment implications, but it also has a Kansas connection, which is interesting to me since I am a Kansan through and through.