January 30, 2012

Responding to hate

Most people, especially those in the US, are familiar with the Westboro Baptist Church. The group's beliefs and behavior have received widespread media attention. And in a landmark case, the US Supreme Court ruled that its actions are protected under the First Amendment.

However, many people consider those actions to be reprehensible. Other groups have organized counter protests in an attempt to block the messages of the church, or at the very least to speak out publicly about its methods. And there has been strong public outcry against the group.

I watched a news story on this topic recently and it got me thinking - do we have the same response to hate messages and behavior online? I'd love to get a discussion going about this. If your answer is yes, please share examples of the kinds of responses you personally have had or seen. If your answer is no, why do you think that is? And should we have the same response to online behavior?

Please note - this is not intended to be a discussion on the Westboro Baptist Church or the Supreme Court decision, rather a look at how we as a society respond to hate behavior, which seems to be a growing issue, especially online. I look forward to your thoughts.

Comments below should adhere to the principles of The Mom Pledge. Any which do not will be deleted. Let's have a respectful discussion. Thank you.

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