People in the U.S. seem to forget the precious fragility of free speech.
To many, being offended by speech trumps one’s ‘privilege’ to voice an opinion, being regarded as a social construct where the listener determines the rules.
Such is not the case in the U.S., a place where 300 years ago a group of smart fellas decided to try an experiement. What would happen if you couldn’t arrest someone for telling the truth or speaking their mind?
Up to that point, speech was restricted when things became uncomfortable for the ruling government. Today, if you see something wrong you speak up. Free speech is a safety valve to corruption and tyranny.
As a contrast, in most other countries, and there are 194 of them, saying something that offends someone or a ruling government can get you killed.
Not all speech is protected in the U.S. of course, you can’t lie or mistate something in a court of law, or cause someone financial or physical harm, but this wasn’t the framers’ intent with the first ammendment, it was mostly to make sure all persons could speak their conscience without fear of being hauled off to jail or end up with a bullet in their head.
Political Correctness, or Cancel Culture, as it is now called, is antithemic to free speech, it kills it and injects into society a seed of its own future destruction.
When free speech is vanished from the world, it may not reappear for quite some time, in due course mankind will live under an auspacious illusion that truth is no longer attainable.
In China, for example, anything expressed which embarasses the People’s Republic of China is deemed a threat, which provides instant vanquishment of any individual found trespassing upon this trangression. The tentacles of this rule is far-reaching. A brother who studies in the U.S. who speaks with disdain on Facebook against China policy, can find his mother or sister in prison as a result of his social media post.
Another example. If I found myself catching a connection flight through Hong Kong on my way to India, authorities could detain me and send me to China to face obscenity laws for my numerous blogs criticizing Xi Jinping.
Free speech is a fragile concept, embolden only by an idea that men and women derive their rights from a higher power than the material kingdoms of men, which makes these rights transcendant from age to age, perennial with the time.
But slowly the temptation enters the bloodstream of humanity where control of speech becomes but a feeble attempt to preserve ones’ power, and this is why government -and people with collectivist proclivities- always succumb to such temptation as speech control.
For example, a teacher who boldly claims there are only two human sexes (male and female) was recently fired from his job. His remark was felt to be offensive to those who believe otherwise. In another case Father’s Day is seen offensive to childless fathers, neccesitating its removal from culture; Christmas becomes holiday, Easter Break becomes Spring; Columbus Day becomes Indeginious People’s Day, all attempts to control speech, to control truth.
Herein lies our illustration of the fragility of free speech: are those who take offense afforded the right not to be offended?
Hath God given us eyes that we cannot see, with ears that we cannot hear?
Truth must be the foundation of any enduring society.
Protection of free speech, of the free exchange of ideas AND criticism is truth in action and provide pathways to truth discovery, truth prevents tyranny from taking root.
Human beings have no discernable use for living in falshood, except when usurping power from others. People, as well as societies, commit suicide when free expression is denied to the individual. Every human has the Diety-bestowed right to be free in mind, body and spirit.
Such a noble concept is what compels so many to come here. It is why so many have died to protect liberty, which simply means the right to live unscatherd, the right to simply be left alone and be allowed to express one’s thoughts.
Thank you to so many who have sacrificed their own life to protect liberty, freedom, truth andprotection from tyranny.
To every soldier, you have my deepest and eternal gratitude. As a way of giving thanks, I, too, will always fight for liberty, in your honor.