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Free speech zones suspended in Brigham City

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  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 14, 2012 8:43 a.m.

    Will the ACLU be equally involved if someone decided to pass out material offensive to Muslims outside one of their mosques in Utah?

    No, I didn't think so, either.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Sept. 14, 2012 8:57 a.m.

    Geez, the ACLU needs better hobbies. No one's rights were trampled when the pamphleteers were restricted to a certain area to pass out their propaganda. They could still pass it out. I for one might of punched one of them if I had been met at the bus with them waiving their stuff in my face as I stepped off the bus, had I gone to the open house.

    As I recall, there are free speech zones outside of the Conference Center in Salt Lake where the protesters, anti-Mormons, etc. are restricted to. The ACLU seems to be in favor of that. Same thing.

    The free speech zones have ample precident, and Brigham City was just trying to prevent the type of incident that seems to happen almost every time General Conference convienes in Salt Lake.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Sept. 14, 2012 9:00 a.m.

    Several years ago I was involved in a protest outside the office of House Speaker Denny Hastert. Barricades were set up around a 50 foot square buffer zone. Each "side" of the issue could extend as far back from the barricades as needed to accomodate the size of their group.
    No one was injured and we could express our point as much as we wanted. People could gather literature from either side if they chose.
    My point is that there are ways to allow freedom of speech/assembly and still provide unrestricted passage to the temple grounds.
    Of course, if your intent is to get "in your face" with people, such a plan won't work. I'm not sure that has anything to do with the First Ammendment.

  • middle class Cedar City, 00
    Sept. 14, 2012 9:28 a.m.

    Our Constitutional freedoms come with consequences. Often religious beliefs conflict with those freedoms. The anti-Muslim film of this past week is an example. Such religious intolerance and evil distortion incite peolple in various ways. We've seen cartoons that do the same.

    As for the Brigham City ordinance restricting free speech on public property, the ACLU is exactly correct. The ACLU is usually correct. We all want the Bill of Rights freedaoms. But we also do not want others to exercise theirs "in our face" or within our space.

    And religion may be the most sensitive and dangerous realm for freedom conflicts.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    Sept. 14, 2012 10:09 a.m.

    DN Subscriber, you are wrong. The ACLU doesn't choose their clients based on any political viewpoint. They've defended neo-Nazis, Rush Limbaugh (I couldn't post a link, but Google "Rush Limbaugh and ACLU" -- it will get you to a Fox news article that talks about it) and many other people/groups you wouldn't consider "liberal". Their goal is to protect Constitutional rights. Some people get confused as to why the ACLU won't defend a conservative when a liberal individual speaks out against them, etc., but the ACLU only gets involved when the government is involved in the issue. In other words, your Constitutional rights aren't being violated if the government is not involved (Bill of Rights protects people against government not other individuals). So, if someone wanted to pass out anti-Muslim literature and the government stopped them from doing so, yes, the ACLU would defend them.

  • the hawk Sandy, UT
    Sept. 14, 2012 10:11 a.m.

    Re flashback, that would be possible jail time as well as a civil suit against you. They have the right to speech and assembly on the sidewalk as that is publicly owned. The grass owned by the church would be a different matter.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Sept. 14, 2012 10:55 a.m.

    "I for one might of punched one of them if I had been met at the bus with them waiving their stuff in my face as I stepped off the bus, had I gone to the open house."

    Ah, there's the Christian Spirit we like to see. Did you learn that in Church?

  • CottageCheese SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Sept. 14, 2012 11:17 a.m.

    JoeBlow

    Sarcasm, cynicism and mockery. Did YOU learn that in Church?

  • RedWings CLEARFIELD, UT
    Sept. 14, 2012 11:28 a.m.

    DNSubscriber - The ACLU came out in support of Chik-Fil-A's owner and his right to express his opinion on marriage. They defend ALL of our Constitutional rights. That's the tought thing for some wth the Constitution - it protects those we disagree with.

    The Main Street Church has long been an anti-Mormon group. They produce videos challenging many things - DNA and the Book of Mormon, the Book of Abraham, etc. I would be concerned about their actions while handing out their literature, but would not agree to restrict their right to do so. I also feel that those attending the open house have a first ammendment right to do so without harassment.

    That said, the Main Street Church folks seem to be nice people. I got some free popcorn and water from them at Peach Days last Saturday...

  • IndeMak South Jordan, UT
    Sept. 14, 2012 11:36 a.m.

    I am all for free speech. Although it is allowed, it is rarely effective. I have seen people at political events, church events, schools, etc. In this case, this church simply wants to be able to hand out pamphlets and talk to any member of the LDS faith and others that are not LDS that are touring the new temple in BC. Most people coming already have their minds made up before attending any event. Most people that are protesting usually come across as a little fanatical and usually lose the attention of the people they are most trying to convince.

    In any case, let them hand out their pamphlets. Allow people the opportunity to see if they want to pursue other churches, organizations, etc. Most of it simply isn't effective.

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 14, 2012 11:46 a.m.

    middle class

    We all want the Bill of Rights freedaoms. But we also do not want others to exercise theirs "in our face" or within our space.
    --------------

    There is a reason we don't want that -- It isn't free speech.

    Free speech doesn't mean you can say anything, anytime, anywhere you want.

    You can't come into my home to tell me what you think, unless I invite you. Otherwise, that is trespassing.

    You can't make untruthful claims about me that cause me harm in reputation with or without financial consequence. That is defamation (or slander, if verbal), not free speech.

    You cannot incite others to violence against a person or group based upon their race, religion, etc. That is unlawful hate speech, not free speech.

    While some who rail against others may then physically abuse them, which is battery, merely instilling fear of physical violence is grounds for a charge of assault, a crime, not protected speech.

    Holding one against one's will is unlawful detention, whether or not the detainer is some kind of government official.

    Presumably, given you are online, you are adept enough on the internet you can educate yourself on these matters.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 14, 2012 11:58 a.m.

    Wonder, Redwings,

    99.999999999% of what the ACLU supports is anti-christian and anti-conservative. They take the occassional conservative case to put on a front. The VAST majority of what they do is to suppress religion.

  • middle class Cedar City, 00
    Sept. 14, 2012 12:08 p.m.

    to Rational...

    Yes, you are right, but you have taken Free Speech out of context... Free Speech liberties are guaranteed. Those that assault, cause harm, threaten or instill riot have violated other laws, not the Free Speech liberty.

    The Government (in this case the City) cannot restrict Free Speech because they don't want a particular event affected by these folks. Nor could the City restrict you from going into a theatre because they were afraid you would yell "FIRE!"

  • middle class Cedar City, 00
    Sept. 14, 2012 12:09 p.m.

    to Rational...

    Yes, you are right, but you have taken Free Speech out of context... Free Speech liberties are guaranteed. Those that assault, cause harm, threaten or instill riot have violated other laws, not the Free Speech liberty.

    The Government (in this case the City) cannot restrict Free Speech because they don't want a particular event affected by these folks. Nor could the City restrict you from going into a theatre because they were afraid you would yell "FIRE!"

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Sept. 14, 2012 12:25 p.m.

    CottageCheese said: Sarcasm, cynicism and mockery. Did YOU learn that in Church?
    Actually yes, I learned it from the people who attended my church, the dominant Church in Utah.

    I learn it from watching Mitt, mock the president.

    lost in DC said: 99.999999999% of what the ACLU supports is anti-christian and anti-conservative.
    Making things up again? This is why people tend to not take your arguments seriously.
    Why do the republicans hate free speech? Except when their idols on the radio yell it at them?

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    Sept. 14, 2012 12:30 p.m.

    @lost in DC -- The ACLU only gets involved with religion if government is establishing or sponsoring a specific religion or if it is denying someone the right to exercise or practice their religion. They aren't "against" religion. It only seems that way to you probably because the governmental action that the ACLU has opposed agreed with your particular religious beliefs. Now if the government started promoting, say Scientology, you'd probably not like that and would think the ACLU was fabulous.

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 14, 2012 12:33 p.m.

    Ironic that the ACLU argues that protesters may not block people from being at the main access point of an abortion clinic (supporting buffer zones), but they have that right at LDS Temples (opposing buffer zones).

  • AZRods Maricopa, AZ
    Sept. 14, 2012 12:40 p.m.

    middle/class "The ACLU is usually correct". Now that's something you don't read everyday.
    If we choose to pretend that to be true, even though legal history proves that to be far from true. I would ask that they at least be consistent in how they go about defending/attacking different religions.
    Example: Have you ever seen the limited access given in areas of the United States where Islamic celebrations are going on? Police put up barriers 2-3 blocks away.
    Photos are not allowed. Filming is not allowed.
    Didn't see the ACLU taking on that group.
    So as another here pointed out, the credibility of the ACLU and those who conceal their true intentions under the guise of feeling discriminated against are simply too easy to expose.

  • georgeman Kearns, UT
    Sept. 14, 2012 12:42 p.m.

    @middle class

    The free speech of the pamphleteers was never restricted, it was fully allowed within the zone permitted. I highly doubt the ACLU will win this court case, as it would set a precedence for other free speech zones set up by cities. Could you imagine what the effect would be if they couldn't limit the free speech zone when the president visits Utah?

    Free speech zones help to provide a buffer for the public safety and safety of others (like the pres), you take away that buffer in this case and you have to take it away in ALL cases. Hey that would also mean that I could just walk along the red carpet in Park City when the celebs come for the film festival, this could get interesting.

  • AZRods Maricopa, AZ
    Sept. 14, 2012 12:47 p.m.

    A good Catholic friend of mine here in AZ went with me to the annual Easter Pageant in Mesa.
    As usual, the anti's and their pamplets were there on each corner chanting their loving remarks and handing out poorly printed materials.
    I hadn't prepared my friend for what was coming, so when they tried to talk to him he gave a most perfect response to the group.
    He said "Do you people really have no more respect than this?" Is your religion so shallow that you have nothing better to do than stand here and annoy and offend these people?
    He then told them that he was a proud Catholic, but felt grateful to be invited to a beautiful program depicting the life of Christ. And ended saying "shame on you".
    I just smiled and thanked him for expressing his honest feelings.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    Sept. 14, 2012 12:54 p.m.

    @AZRods -- No, I haven't seen the government putting up blocks around Islamic celebrations. To be truthful, I haven't seen any huge outdoor Islamic celebrations, so perhaps that is why. However, if someone were trying to peacefully protest these celebrations and the government would not allow it, I feel confident that the ACLU would step in.

  • NedGrimley Brigham City, UT
    Sept. 14, 2012 1:12 p.m.

    Flashback: Really?? You might have had some creedence without that quip. Probably best that you stayed in Kearns...

    Obviously very few people read and or understand the actual points of what is going on here. So no further regurgitation of the reality of the situation is warranted.

    Main Street Church can now press forward in their efforts to save the Mormons from themselves. Party on!

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 14, 2012 1:29 p.m.

    @Wonder

    I respectfully disagree with your post
    Yes; the ACLU is very active in enforcing the non-Establishment clause of the First Amendment, but often at the expense of the non-interference clause and the free speech clause (regarding religion) by pushing for a hard line suppression of religious speech in most, if not all, public venues.

    The ACLU fails to comprehend that mere accommodation of religious expression, is not the same as governmental establishment of religion, but suppression of religious speech is a suppression of free speech (and tacit establishment of atheism as the enforced religion).

  • mightymite DRAPER, UT
    Sept. 14, 2012 1:47 p.m.

    I love the smell of victory. THe ruling party has kept the 'Gentiles" down to long. I like this pattern of reason.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Sept. 14, 2012 3:27 p.m.

    "Yes; the ACLU is very active in enforcing the non-Establishment clause of the First Amendment, but often at the expense of the non-interference clause and the free speech clause (regarding religion) by pushing for a hard line suppression of religious speech in most, if not all, public venues."

    Another ACLU case was in Santa Fe Texas - (June 19, 2000) where the ACLU sided with a Catholic and Mormon family to stop student led prayer before football games.

    Seems the heavily Baptist community didn't want to play nice with those religious persuasions.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    Sept. 14, 2012 4:56 p.m.

    Regarding Joe Blow's comment -- I'm not familiar with that case, but it doesn't surprise me. It illustrates what I was saying in my earlier posts that the ACLU is not anti-religion or anti-Christian. In the case Joe Blow describes, the Baptist community would think that the ACLU is "against religion" because it represented someone who was fighting the "establishment" of the Baptist religion. However, that wouldn't be the way the Catholic or LDS people in that example saw it. That said, Counter Intelligence, I think you might have a point in your earlier comment about the ACLU not protecting the rights of protestors at abortion clinics. I've seen some articles that claim that they have not protected those protestors to the same extent they have protected other types of speech. I have no reason to believe those articles are wrong, but I still think, in general, the ACLU stands for protecting Constitutional rights regardless of political persuasion.

  • twinb Brigham City, UT
    Sept. 14, 2012 5:00 p.m.

    The whole thing is rediculous! The extra traffic AND foot traffic here has been amazing, and the city only did this for safety and traffic control. For those many,many thousands who have come here to tour the temple, the crowds (especially in the evenings and on Labor Day) have been amazing, long lines, etc. If we had to deal with protestors getting in the way, it would have been disastrous! It wasn't like the city banned them from handing out their anti pamphlets, they were given ample area to waste their time. The ACLU could have it's place, but more often than not, they're a bunch of misguided liberals and wasting time and money on such cases! Seriously!

    Also, you don't see Mormons out picketing or protesting at other church's functions! What happened to being Christ-like?

    For those of us who aren't just visiting Brigham City, but live here, it's been nice to have a bit of control and safety concern from the city. They should be applauded, not condemned. No one's freedom of speech was EVER denied!

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Sept. 14, 2012 7:19 p.m.

    Wonder - Google Santa Fe School Prayer. Comes up first.

    Twinb

    Picketing and passing out literature at a temple open house is certainly in poor taste.
    Very few would disagree. Although they probably had intentions of saving some souls.

    "Giving them ample area to waste their time" is not really the point. Obviously, all who would be protested would love to get to pick a spot for the protesters to protest. Kinda defeats the purpose.

    This is one of those things, just like the guy who made the derogatory film on Islam. We wish they didn't do it, and while we denounce the message,shouldn't we stand up for their right to do it?

    That applies even in areas that affect us personally.

    Lastly to Cottagecheese who posts "Sarcasm, cynicism and mockery. Did YOU learn that in Church?"

    I am sarcastic and a cynic at times. God made me that way.
    But, don't you see just the slightest bit of irony when a guy, going to a temple, wants to punch another guy for passing out religious literature.

    Cmon, not even a little bit amusing?

  • indycrimson Franklin, IN
    Sept. 15, 2012 3:39 a.m.

    Nice post AZRods...
    I think most civil Americans react inwardly or outwardly like your friend did. Deep in our American souls, lies not only those rights of free speech but the clarity of civility. It bothers some and motivates others.

    I wouldn't picket my old girl friends wedding, or enemies funeral...or find respect for a church who does something like this church in Brigham City did. Free speech? Yep! Civil? Nope!

    I think to most descent Americans these two principles travel in the same bag.

  • cambodia girl Phnom Penh, Cambodia
    Sept. 15, 2012 5:39 a.m.

    People complain about not being able to go into the LDS Temples. This is exactly why Temples are not show places. Unity, love and peace abide inside Temples that cannot be felt anywhere else. I'm thankful for that.

  • CP Tooele, UT
    Sept. 15, 2012 5:56 a.m.

    Looks to me times haven't changed since Jesus, Our Savior, was on the Earth. Whenever he did something good the Pharises and certain lawyers always were there causing problems. Well, now it's the ACLU that have taken the roll of the Pharisee. But, it's a shame that this Main Street Church doesn't want to rejoice in glad tidings with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints that their is a beautiful Temple there for all to see. Instead they have chosen to have a not so Christ like attitude about it and act disruptive instead of peaceful.

  • ute alumni Tengoku, UT
    Sept. 15, 2012 7:29 a.m.

    joe blow
    i dealt with your bubbas when there was an open house at the Columbia Temple. I told them then and I'll tell you now, biggoted people will not move the church anywhere. Get use to it. It is not the mid 1800s. BTW, just exactly did you learn from your church?

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Sept. 15, 2012 8:17 a.m.

    "BTW, just exactly did you learn from your church?"

    I learned that religion/churches are mostly about money, power and control.

  • justme001 Salt Lake, UT
    Sept. 15, 2012 8:47 a.m.

    Rational

    None of the things you listed were don in front of the temple. Now I someone can sit in front of your home (as long as they are on the sidewalk not touching your property, or blocking passage) and distribute flyers of a nature you may not believe in. There would not be anything you could do about it, you can call the police and complain, but as long as they are not on your property or blocking the way they can do this.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Sept. 15, 2012 9:19 a.m.

    These people really are pathetic and need to get a life. I feel sorry for them.

  • snowman Provo, UT
    Sept. 15, 2012 9:32 a.m.

    justme001;

    "Now I someone can sit in front of your home (as long as they are on the sidewalk not touching your property, or blocking passage) and distribute flyers of a nature you may not believe in. There would not be anything you could do about it, you can call the police and complain, but as long as they are not on your property or blocking the way they can do this."

    Actually no they can not. In most cities they need a permit to distribute fliers or even knock on doors.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    Sept. 15, 2012 9:53 a.m.

    the aclu has defended the LDS missionaries right to go door to door postalizing something everyone on this thread likes to pretend never happened.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Sept. 15, 2012 10:06 a.m.

    When one of their attornies died, that didn't stop this type of action. This is not an issue of free-speech and is of public safety. What was the intent of that man when he filed the law suit. Did the ACLU come to him to push his rights? The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has had similar incidents as have parents and families of military personnel when they had funerals. We live in a free country where people can express freedom of speech. There was plenty of space for these people to do what they wanted to do. They could have gone to parking lots at both ends of town, where people who went to the temple boarded buses to hand out their material. The temple parking lots and entrances to and from the parking lot had a lot of activity. This is not a large temple with an expansive parking lot. The other parking lots had people waiting to get on the bus with ample opportunity for people to hand out pamphlets without as much congestion. The temple ground is a place to meditate and think about the beautiful message the work will be.

  • AZ Blue & Red Gilbert, AZ
    Sept. 15, 2012 11:16 a.m.

    Usually several of those that protest are somewhat curious. I say that we invite them to tour the temple. We could babysit their signs while they go. Maybe they will feel something there. Betting some will become interested.

    I have a good friend that has protested the AZ Easter Pageant with his "Christian" church. I told him that we do not protest his church and beliefs. My son did his Eagle project for his church. So this year I asked him to come to the pageant and be on the other side. He was coming but ended up in the Hospital. But he is planning on it this year.
    If you have some lemons make lemonade. I do not appreciate people demonstrating but I also understand they have that right. I have the right to knock on their door too and often they do not appreciate it as well. But reading some of the posts it looks like we all need to go back to being a Sunbeam or Sunday School at other churches or just the Golden Rule. If this and any other Temple did not bring some controversy I would be disappointed.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Sept. 15, 2012 11:36 a.m.

    to Wonder

    The case is Santa Fe Independent School Dist. v. Doe, 530 U.S. 290 (2000).

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Sept. 15, 2012 11:51 a.m.

    The fact remains that Brigham City is using the governmnet to favor one religion over another on public property. You just can't get away with that.

    I think it's a shame the Church has so many enemies but actions like this aren't going to help.

  • Phranc SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Sept. 15, 2012 12:26 p.m.

    so when the ACLU protects the right of LDS missionaries to come onto my private property and knock on my door to spread their religion it is a good thing but when the ACLu protects this churches right to hand out pamphlets on a public street corner it is wrong and they are evil and have always been evil?

  • justme001 Salt Lake, UT
    Sept. 15, 2012 4:16 p.m.

    Snoman,

    Really so the next time the two mormon boys come knock on my door for the millionth time, they need a permit? Glad to hear that i will make sure I ask them for one. Now should I call the police if they do not have one? You know since they are on private property without my prior consent.
    Sorry you can't just have it on way

  • NevadaCoug Overton, NV
    Sept. 15, 2012 6:09 p.m.

    Saving Mormons from themselves. Those kinds of comments make me laugh. I'm just curious. Exactly what is it that I need to be saved from? Seriously. What is it exactly that the Church teaches or does that is endangering me in any way that I need to be saved from it?

  • justme001 Salt Lake, UT
    Sept. 15, 2012 8:51 p.m.

    JWB
    So you are OK with free speech as long as it does not get in your way? Are you ok with missionary's going on private property without consent to spread their views? If so why?

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Sept. 16, 2012 9:00 a.m.

    Many ACLU attorneys are home grown and graduate from the BYU law school.

  • snowman Provo, UT
    Sept. 16, 2012 9:27 a.m.

    justme001: Missionaies don't normally need a permit to knock on doors in Utah. In some states and countries they do. But if You don't want them there ask them to stay away and they will. They don't need your consent to knock on your door the first time.

  • JohnH Cedar City, UT
    Sept. 17, 2012 8:51 a.m.

    Will Hillary Clinton condemn me if I insult the prophet Muhammad in one of these free speech zones? How about if I say something unpleasant about Mormons? Please advise.

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 17, 2012 9:59 a.m.

    @JoeBlow

    All you did is prove my point: The ACLU is eager to suppress public religious speech

    (and is slow to support non-interference with religion or the accommodation of religious free speech)

  • NedGrimley Brigham City, UT
    Sept. 17, 2012 1:48 p.m.

    Ah, the lack of a sarcasm font... Rats.

  • sg newhall, CA
    Sept. 19, 2012 1:10 a.m.

    I wonder if this same group has travelled to Dearborn Michigan to spread their beliefs among the thousands of muslims? They should. It's about time that the differences between muslims and christians be clearly explained. Particularly pertaining to Sharia Law and the ten commandments and our Constitution. Or is the ACLU going to ignore the attrocities committed by these muslims against the local christians?