Sunday, October 21, 2007

Free Speech

I have grown tired of talk shows yammering that we have "free speech" in the United States, so anyone can speak whatever drivel they want and suffer no consequences. The Constitution protects people from government constraint on speech. No government in the United States can stop me from speaking or writing what I choose. Other entities are free to try to constrain any speech that they find objectionable by any legal means.

This means that television networks can decide who can have air time; they can fire anyone that voices comments that the network heirarchy deems objectionable. I wish they would do more of this. Networks seem to think that they should not censure anyone and that there are two sides to any argument, each of equal value. Performers eccho these sentiments.

I believe as a society that we should object to some things that are said, that there should be economic consequences for making comments that the majority finds objectionable. This applies to religion in particular. Christians need to demand economic sanctions for attacks on the faith. Christians seem to think that Christ wants us to tolerate attacks on our faith. Christ stood up for what he believed, we can do no less. I do think he wants our response to be made in love, not hate. How do we do that?

One simple way is to respond to a celebrity's attack on Christianity with a clear statement of our beliefs. We need to be very aware that many who attack Christianity do so by creating a caricature of the faith or what they want to believe is Christianity. Some who believe they are Christians perpetuate these caricatures. We must object to such false prophets.

We need to stop pandering to celebrities that attack faith and demand unbelief. Do not watch or attend their performances. Boycotts are a legitimate protest vehicle. I fail at this, often viewing or listening to performers making outrageous statements about my faith because I want to learn their arguments. I think a better course is simply to turn them off.

Finally, I think we need to find ways to express Christian love for those that trash our faith. One way I would like to try is to give to the charity that these trashers support, to make my donation with the designation made in Christian love and say nothing more.

We must remember that we are free to speak and free to suffer the consequences. Only the government is barred from stopping our speech.

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