By David Risselada
Over the course of the past few months we have seen the concepts of free speech pushed to its ultimate limits, if there are indeed any limits at all. The left has been using the issue of free speech as a means of trying to silence speech altogether, as they portray certain speech as hate speech, or offensive speech. This traps us in the left’s narrative, as the whole subject then revolves around whether or not we have the right to offend others who may hold a different point of view.
Conservatives argue that people don’t have a right to be protected from offensive language, and the First Amendment is meant explicitly to protect offensive speech. They argue that non-offensive speech doesn’t need to be protected. The problem with this position is twofold. First, it keeps us trapped in the left wing narrative, focusing only on the issue of offending people; and second, the real purpose of the First Amendment and its free speech provision becomes lost amongst the sea of senseless left wing drivel.
The most recent examples to which I am referring are of course the “Draw Muhammad” cartoon contests. The left would have us believe that a contest was so offensive it drove two Muslim terrorists to drive from Phoenix to Texas to commit mass murder. Somehow, the act of drawing a cartoon is deemed more offensive than the act of committing murder in response. Never mind the fact that such a callous disregard for our culture and the freedom we have is extremely offensive; we are supposed to feel shame for exercising our right to free speech.
Somehow, no one is offended when Muslims cut off people’s heads, or claim that the lives of Christians and Jews have no value, and their property can be taken because they are unbelievers. The very fact that the left could hide behind such fallacious arguments is a testament to the fact that we are failing to gain control of the narrative and define the First Amendment in its proper perspective. When we begin arguing about people taking offense, or the consequences of free speech, or whether or not such events should be allowed, we are aiding the left in the dismantling of the very right we think we are defending.
We live in a free society, that’s true. Unfortunately, freedom has been radically redefined over the past century. There has been a deliberate attempt by the left to corrupt our culture, discredit our Constitution, and make freedom seem like a bad thing. (See the 45 goals of the Communist Party.) Thanks to moral relativism (which I defined in my book “Not on My Watch”), people have increasingly been brought up to believe that they can do whatever they want without consequence because we live in a free society.
Patriots know that our Constitution was written for a virtuous people; after all, with freedom comes responsibility. Therein lies the point, by focusing our attention on nonsense revolving around First Amendment arguments, we are being conditioned to believe the First Amendment means something other than what it was intended to mean. The First Amendment wasn’t written so you could say whatever you wanted, whenever you wanted. We all know if we scream “fire” in a movie theatre we will face consequences. The First Amendment was written for the explicit purpose of protecting speech that seeks truth.
From the Heritage Guide to the Constitution pp 314-
The free speech /press guarantee extends not just to political speech, but also to speech about religion, science, morality, social conditions, and daily life as well as arts and entertainment.
Notice that arts and entertainment were mentioned as almost an afterthought. You could hardly deny the right to free expression in such areas when the basic right of seeking truth is held in such high regard. What has happened in our culture over the past sixty years is the perversion of this basic right, which has most definitely led us down the road to losing touch with its intended purpose.
Consider goal number 24 of the 45 goals of the Communist Party.
Eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them censorship, and a violation of free speech and free press.
This is a perfect example of how the left has used one of our basic rights against us, to the point where now they act as if something needs to be done to reign in the alleged problems caused by free speech. The “Draw Muhammad” cartoon contest demonstrated this perfectly, as the left argues that free speech should have limits because it can be offensive.
The argument that people don’t have a right to offend other people is as fallacious as they come. The very purpose of the First Amendment is to let ideas compete against one another in pursuit of truth. In order for this to occur, some of the most offensive speech must be just as protected as non-offensive speech, otherwise there is nothing to compare it to, and ideas are not competing.
From the Heritage Guide to the Constitution pp 314-
Under the First Amendment there is no such thing as a false idea. However pernicious an opinion may seem, we depend for its correction not on the conscience of judges and juries, but on the competition of other ideas.
What this means is that truth, while sometimes lost in the fog of ideas and propaganda, will eventually find its way if that’s what people truly seek. In order for this happen you not only have to recognize the lie, you have to have a virtuous society which will uphold the truth once it is found. You can’t do this if you have forgotten that it is your responsibility to uphold society’s values.
We are witnessing our civil liberties erode at a rapid pace; this includes our ability to stand for truth. We blame Democrats and we blame Republicans, but we forgot that this is a government of, for and by the people. This means that we are to hold these representatives accountable, and the means we have available to do that is the first amendment. Just as sure as the second amendment was written to defend against foreign invasions and government tyranny, the first was written to hold government accountable, period.
We are allowing the left to redefine the terms of the First Amendment, and by doing so we are surrendering its true meaning. How can a government of, for and by the people have any effect without the First Amendment?
If you enjoyed this article check out my book which details my true, personal experience of being educated by the radical left, and how it correlated with America’s fundamental transformation.
Article reposted from www.ForTruthsSake.com with permission.