“If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”– George Washington
America has the freest speech laws in the world. People can say whatever they want to say without any fear of being incarcerated or fined for their speech. However, there is a rapid movement to place restrictions on rhetoric known as hate speech. Hate speech is known, typically, to be something said that is offensive to a minority group. There is also a call to enforce the use of preferred pronouns for people who identify as non-binary, or some other made-up gender. There are a lot of dangers in the waters of speech restriction. Let’s break it down and see what’s going on.
The Speech Under Fire
Religious rhetoric and objective moral truth are the forms of speech under the most fire today. Pastors, preachers, conservative political speakers, church members, and conservative college students are the people who are directly under attack from censorship. They say things like, “there are only two genders”, “America wasn’t founded on racism and genocide”, “abortion is murder” ,and “Facts don’t care about your feelings.” These phrases are considered to be intolerant, racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, transphobic and bigoted ideas that are used to control communities and oppress racial and gender minorities.
However, this is a stark contradiction to how America was founded. The American Constitution, written by devout Christians, protects the right to individual soul liberty: which is the freedom to believe whatever one wants to believe. The Christian penned, Constitution also protects the right of people to pursue happiness, which gives them the freedom to practice things that don’t particularly align with Christian or conservative values. The first amendment thus recognizes a God-given freedom to believe whatever one wants to believe.
Even Christians and conservatives today recognize that people have the freedom to make their own choices based off their own beliefs, regardless of what Christians and conservatives believe to be morally correct. The only thing is, Christians and conservatives openly disapprove of certain lifestyles, and warn that actions have consequences. The first amendment stands for the freedom to disagree and openly discuss issues that are disagreed upon.
The Freedom Destruction Strategy
Those who commonly attack freedom are leftists (which is not to be confused with liberals). Leftists in the United States have mastered the game of identity politics, and have constructed this myth that everyone who isn’t a straight, white male is a victim to some sort of evil patriarchal system. If you identify with any kind of minority at all, then you have clearly been oppressed by business owning, white males and may still be facing oppression.
That’s bogus, because if it were true, then why do all the big businesses and corporations such as: Apple, Google, Amazon, Disney, Nike, most of the Media, most professional sports and many other businesses and corporations that are all owned and/or operated by white males, why do they all pander to minorities? They don’t pander to some of the minorities, they pander to all of them. I would call it minority privilege. If you’re a “woke” person, then you accept the pandering from these people, and the slap them upside the head for being white, straight, male, and wealthy, as if any of those things are inherently evil! …AND THEY STILL KEEP PANDERING…now, if that’s not minority privilege, then what is?! Now you may be asking, “What does any of this have to do with free speech?” Glad you asked, I’m finally getting to it.
If anyone calls for the enforcement of borders, or says there are only two genders, or claims that America wasn’t founded on racism, or openly opposes abortion and identifies themselves as “pro-life”, (basically if it’s a right wing view), that person is slapped with the label of intolerant and bigoted, is accused of hate speech and is censored or at least culturally canceled. Some have even gone so far as to call these ideas and words violence against minorities. That’s a really dumb assertion; being offended by words and ideas is not remotely the same as being a victim of a violent crime. Violence is a physical act of aggression with intent to cause physical harm. No speech is violence.
You have the freedom of speech, not the freedom from speech. If you’re offended by something someone says, don’t silence it, instead work to refute it. If you can’t refute what someone says, then be open to the possibility that they are right and you are wrong.
To say speech is violence is not only ridiculous and incredibly ignorant, but is also unprecedentedly dangerous, because it will inevitably lead to the restriction of “hate speech” (which as we have seen is only speech that doesn’t agree with leftism). There is only one entity that has the capacity to restrict offensive speech and that entity is the government.
Speech = Influence = Power
There is only one reason anyone would restrict any speech: because it disagrees with their proposed agenda and they have no way of refuting it. Governments have been in the business of silencing opposing opinions for millennia even up into recent history. An opposing opinion threatens the potential amount of influence necessary for power.
Now, if you’re a leftist or a Democrat, and managed to read this far, would you be willing to give the power of restricting speech to President Donald Trump? No? Yeah, didn’t think so; and honestly, I wouldn’t either. However, that is the risk you take when you call for the government to restrict hate speech. You give the authority, for determining what speech is hate speech, to whoever is in power at that given time. Once a government has that authority, they now have the ability to fine or jail someone for whatever words they feel like outlawing, especially words that involve open criticism of those in power. This has been practiced all over the world, and there has never been a good outcome from this.
Nazi Germany is literally a perfect example of this. (By the way, Nazi stands for Nationalist Socialist German Worker’s Party, for those of you who don’t think Hitler was a socialist.) Adolf Hitler, perhaps better than anyone else, understood the power of influence. After being elected to power in 1933, Hitler’s most effective way of securing his power was to control the way Germans thought, and the only way to control the way they thought is to control what they saw, heard, read and said. With these intentions in mind, Adolf Hitler seized control of Germany’s news publications, media outlets, churches, synagogues, music, and all public literature. Hitler went so far in his propagandic scheme for gaining significant influence, that he took control of the public-school system through the National Socialist Teachers League and taught socialist ideas to children. Hitler banned all literature and speech that contradicted him, and went so far as to burn religious books and commit genocide against German Jews.
Defend the First Amendment
There is a responsibility that we hold, to educate ourselves on our nations history and heritage. To learn and understand where our freedoms come from, and what they are and mean. It means that we should be reading religiously and politically motivated books. Books that we both agree and disagree with. Expose ourselves to ideas that we disagree with, and learn why we disagree with them. Don’t just take your pastor’s word for it. Don’t just accept something simply because Ronald Reagan said it. Believe something because you know it to be true.
To keep this from happening in the last standing, completely free state on the planet, we have the obligation to use our freedom of speech for our benefit. This involves petitioning government officials and representatives. This involves Pastors and preachers preaching on what is right, not what feels good or is agreeable. This includes conservative political speakers giving speeches on objective truth. It means we as citizens ought to peaceably protest for the unborn. This means that we should be engaging in civil discussion with people of disagreement, and work towards finding common ground. Build unity, not disparity.
America is the freest nation on earth because of the first amendment. Because of this freedom, millions of people want to move from their countries and live here where they can enjoy the same freedoms that Americans tend to take for granted. Don’t ruin freedom simply because you’re offended; that’s a very selfish thing to do. Instead, grow some thicker skin, take the idea that offends you and refute it rather than working to silence it. You’ll find yourself being a bit of a happier person when you stop letting other people’s words offend you. Also, remember that no speech is violence. Violence is a physical act of aggression with intent to cause physical harm. All speech is free speech, and free speech is worth protecting.