Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Is there a right to shout at people through a bullhorn?

I can't find it in my copy of the Constitution.  It's possible to do street preaching in a polite and considerate way.  The Salvation Army used to do it in my home town and I would often stop a while to listen to the preaching and enjoy the hymns.  Shouting at people through a bullhorn doesn't sound like Christian meekness at all to me

It's Friday night in downtown Gainesville and the intersection of Southeast Second Avenue and Southeast First Street is a hub of activity.

Pedestrians stream along crosswalks on their to way to have dinner, get a cocktail or see a play. At restaurants and bars along the street, customers take to patio seating to enjoy the evening.

And, on the southwest corner of the intersection, members of the Dove World Outreach Center take turns at a bullhorn, bellowing diatribes against homosexuals, the religion of Islam, President Barack Obama and Christian churches that preach tolerance.

Over the last few years, members of the controversial Dove World, 5805 NW 37th St., have gained infamy, at one point on an international scale. They have sent their children to school with shirts bearing the message “Islam is of the devil,” burned the Quran and sparked furor in the Middle East, and, most recently, hanged an effigy of Obama.

For the last several months, they have targeted downtown Gainesville when it is at its busiest. They have called themselves the Warriors of Christ and claimed, at first, to have no connection to Dove World.

Some local restaurant and store owners say the vocal and hateful protests are putting a significant dent in business.

“It clears out my outside patio. Nobody wants to sit out there and listen to this,” said Shawn Shepherd, the owner of Vellos Brickstreet Grill and the president of the Gainesville Downtown Owners and Tenants Association.

“I believe in First Amendment rights, but to just badger people and scream at them, it doesn't make much sense.”



Bird of Paradise said...

How else can you get someone to listen to you

Anonymous said...

If the guy was shouting praises for Justice Roberts' upholding of Obamacare, he'd be given a pass.

If the guy was shouting jeers about the Tea Party, he'd be given a pass.

If the guy was shouting praises of Allah, he'd be given a pass.

If the guy was shouting pro-abortion messages he'd be given a pass.

If the guy was shouting pro-gay slogans, he'd be given a pass.

uunfortunately, the guy dared shout pro-Christian statements, so he's obviously spewing nothing more than hate speech.

Anonymous said...

anon107 - prove it.

Anonymous said...

What is seen as hateful speech by one person, is actually free speech to another. Human nature being what it is, most people would like the First Amendment limited to only those things they agree with or enjoy.

There's no expectation of privacy in a public place, nor is there anything in the Constitution that gives you the right (not) to be offended. But, there are in fact local laws against disorderly conduct in public. Those laws usually require "the use of loud and obscene language which causes a crowd to gather".

But what happens when people disagree with, or dislike, what you have to say? Hmmm...

Anonymous said...

It's time that someone gets medieval on his ass, which is a form of self expression.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1:18 said...
"anon107 - prove it."

Common knowledge doesn't have to be proven, since it is widely known, except by those of you who obviously gulp too much Kool-Aid.

Anonymous said...

"Common knowledge doesn't have to be proven"

Same thing applies to the belief in god. Belief does not require any proof.

Use the Name, Luke said...

“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”
— Matthew 10:16

And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth,
— 2 Timothy 2:24–25

It's ironic that a group using "Dove" in their name apparently is having trouble with the concept of gentleness.

On the other hand, I frequently wonder about characterizations like "bellowing diatribes" because I see regularly see phrases like this used to paint those the writer disagrees with — especially Christians — as someone hostile and disagreeable even when they're not actually acting that way. (Like a group quietly praying being tagged as being engaged in aggressive hate speech.)

That businesses say they're driving customers away suggests that the writer's description may be mostly accurate. If so, that's not what the Bible teaches.

Anonymous said...

The first Amendment rights were bascially about free political speech, not about aggressively or loudly voicing opinions on random topics in public places so that it annoys passers-by and affects local business, which constitutes an actual public nuisance.

Anonymous said...

every time a thug drives by with their vulgar lyrics blasting on their thumping stereo I wonder why sound decibel laws are not enforced

Anonymous said...

1:18 prove the theory of gravity, it's obvious.

Anonymous said...

And while you're at it 1:18, prove liberalism is not a mental disorder, which is another widely known fact.

Anonymous said...

"1:18 prove the theory of gravity, it's obvious."

Mathematically? Or by testing a hypothesis, observation, and conformation? You know, that science stuff which you conservatives hate so much,

Anonymous said...

@anon 1:18, the proof evidenced throughout this very site. But then the obvious is typically lost on liberals.

Anonymous said...

I believe that conservatives are the spawn of the devil. Remember, beliefs do not require proof.

Anonymous said...

3:24, sounds like a phobia. Sorry to hear of your mental disorder.

Go Away Bird said...

I like the sounds of banjos