Crossing the Line: Free Speech v. Cruel Speech

When soldiers come home with body bags instead of victory,

Their family can only withstand so much grief.

But when protesters line up at the funeral with signs that say,

God hates you,

Thank God for dead soldiers,

How can those words be protected by the same government that sends our soldiers to war?

America, you are a place of new life,

New opportunity,

New beginnings,

But under your mask of freedom lies a web of red tape,

That binds our hands and feet until we are unable to move,

Let alone breathe.

Is it possible that the America I know and love,

The America I cherish,

Is able to defend those who say such unjustifiable and cruel things,

Like “Thank God for dead soldiers”?

How can you look that soldier's father in the face and say,


“Although reasonable people may disagree

about the appropriateness of the Phelps' protest,

this conduct simply does not satisfy the heavy burden

required for the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress.”


After his son has just been buried?

How is protesting that his son deserved to die not intentional infliction of emotional distress?

Thank God for dead soldiers?

How can you look that soldier's mother in the face and say,


“The protest was confined to a public area under supervision

and regulation of local law enforcement

and did not disrupt the church service.”


After she has just lost her baby boy forever?

How did the chanting of the protesters not disrupt the grief flowing from that cemetery?

Thank God for dead soldiers?

First amendment rights should,

No need,

To be protected.

But at what moment do we cross that line?

Who is there to tell us that we can only stretch that excuse so far?

Because America,

Right now it’s not you.

It’s a few individuals who know what is right and are trying to fight you,

But you are a force to be reckoned with.

Wake up America,


For the sake of that soldier’s mother and father,

And many of others just like them.

Because we can’t thank God for dead soldiers anymore.

This poem is about: 
My country


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