Ugh, these idiots give the whole idea of "freedom of speech" a bad name. Look, asshole, there's no slippery slope here, and there sure as hell isn't any intellectually honest comparison between Martin Luther King and these bottom-feeding scum. Sometimes you have to be an adult about shit, and realize that your sacred principles are only useful insofar as they uphold something of value, as opposed to something merely symbolic of value. Hey, maybe those Bahhhston Bullies (whose parents must just be soooo fuckin' proud) who harassed a classmate into hanging herself were just exercising their free speech, right? Sheesh.
The question of intent renders the free-speech douchebag's comparison useless. King's intent, it scarcely needs pointing out, was to end the violent, systematic oppression of an entire race of people in a large portion of the country. Phelps' sole intent is to cause emotional distress to families who are already enduring plenty. It is a particularly low form of abuse of that First Amendment right, no better than shouting "fire" in a crowded theater. Obviously Phelps would love to incite someone to violence against him and his fellow turds, and I honestly am amazed that someone in the long line of families Phelps has harassed hasn't just said "fuck it" and snapped off one of those stupid "God Hates Fags" placards in someone's ass.
One of the commenters in the linked Sun article asserts that Bill O'Reilly is going to pay the $16K legal bill in its entirety, which if true is a pretty damned decent thing to do. Now, if someone wants to pass the hat around to give Ol' Fred a taste of his own poison, I'm sure we'd all kick in a few bucks.