Care to elaborate on the theory please as I am genuinely interested in it.
Do you believe that people in general should be held accountable for what they say or do ? Lets say I insult your mother in a nasty way. I'm exercising my right for speech am i not ? Are you just going to accept it or are you going to drop me instantly ? I know what I would do (No internet tough guy , I'm sure you would beat me up ) ,My point is that you would stop me from having my say, Well I hope you would , same as anyone else with a back bone would.
WBC are attention wh*res and they play the game well. They sue anyone that offends them ( Crazy logic eh ?) Idiots like this need to be held accountable for the poisonous bile they spew out.I fully support people having the right to protest and say as they wish. I take it you're a American ? I couldn't care less what happens in your messed up country to be honest.I do care about decency ,such an out dated word I know.Maybe I'm just old fashioned ?
Thankfully in my country (England ) we are now doing something about bigots that preach hatred , Its called deportation.If they hate my country so much , well we just send them back to the **** pit they come from or if they are wanted by another country we send them there. Obviously, If they are a British citizen we deal with them internally via the legal system.
This process in no way takes away any of my rights.These laws are in place to protect the decent people that live in my country.If i want to protest in a peaceful way ,I'm allowed to do so. The moment I step over the line I will be held accountable for my actions , and rightly so.
By the way , nothing in life is FREE , not even speech. "You always have to pay the piper for the tune".
Its interesting to hear from people in other countries regarding the idea of free speech. It certainly sounds like the US treats speech differently then many other countries.
I think one of the big issues regarding how you 'regulate' it is that most of us in the US feel very apprehensive about trying to censor speech. You can have all the best intentions in the world, but ultimately if you go as far as making laws restricting what you can say, your putting alot of power in the hands of the government you have. You have to really trust in that government to not abuse that kind of power and try to micro manage 'free speech'. While it may be easy for someone to point to something specific like say the WBC people or lets say some speech by Hitler, but how do you define that in a law that avoids it being abused? You can't just say that if anyone is offended by speech that it makes it hate. I suppose you could define it as anything that directly incites violence (i.e. saying that someone or some group specifically should be killed), but trying to define hate in a universally accepted way is tough.
Ultimately, the answer is not more laws (at least for the US), the answer is developing the culture and community that rejects the ideas that are unacceptable. There are always those that get out of line, but with a strong community, the consequences can keep them in check. I'm not going to comment on how it is in the UK, but in the US, most feel that decency is better defined by a community than its federal government. Just becuase we dont make strict laws does not mean there aren't advocates for decency. Of course you are right about something else, we seem to be in an era where 'decency' is not anywhere near what it use to be. You can trace it right back to how cultures and communities around the world have changed. So different countries are going to deal with that change differently.
Of course, we live in a 'pc' era that does tend to take things way too far trying to silence some topics while letting other speech go forward unchecked, making it all seem very arbitrary in application.