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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Do We Have Too Much Freedom Of Expression?

The so-called progressives in our world are guilty of an amazing hypocrisy that is never mentioned. They always come down on the side of pornography, profanity, slanderous character assassination of their enemies, and entertainment that celebrates amoral behavior. Hollywood is the "dream factory" in their eyes. They furiously condemn people who dissent with this belief as "religious fanatics" or "hypocrites" because - they say - nobody can be perfectly moral, so even the attempt to be moral is doomed to failure. Therefore you are a "hypocrite" for trying. There's no God anyway, so believers are delusional as well.

At the same time, they have invented political correctness, which is nothing less than an attempt to control our thoughts. All over America and Europe certain types of speech are absolutely forbidden and can even earn you a jail sentence. Talking about IslamoNazism, minority racism (which progressives have ruled impossible), or the rising tide of illegal immigrants swamping many states and countries is condemned and actively prosecuted. Why? Because such speech will encourage and amplify racism and bigotry, they say.

Isn't that also true of amoral entertainment? Of course. Either we are affected by both or we are not. The problem with censorship is that it's difficult and dangerous to manage. Is the truth too much to handle? Can lies overwhelm a people? Who decides what's safe to hear, or true? That's too much power to give to any group, but many people are so fearful they would allow it.

This attitude is exactly what George Orwell's landmark book 1984 was all about. Orwell saw what was happening in the Soviet Union and saw, too, that Great Britain was drifting in that direction. (They have now arrived at it. Britons are the most spied upon people on earth. There are more video cameras watching them than any other place on earth, yet their crime rate soars). Orwell didn't exaggerate the results of such attempts at thought manipulation in his book. In fact, Joseph Stalin invented the idea of political correctness to cement his tyranny and control over the minds of his people, and many millions were murdered for their dissenting thoughts.

The actual goal of progressives is to replace God with the State. In this way they believe they will become gods. They are no different Nimrod, Nebuchadnezzar, Ramses, Nero, or Napoleon. There's nothing more evil than trying to unseat the Lord, and it always leads to disaster and death.

The question of human freedom - and how much we can safely handle - has annoyed and haunted Americans since the founding of our nation. The early days of the republic were almost as raucous and uncontrolled as they are now. Particularly in the election of 1796 hysterical and violent rhetoric reached frightening levels. Tom Paine accused George Washington of being "an agent of the British monarchy."  Newly-elected President John Adams pushed through The Alien and Sedition Act which prosecuted speech and jailed people for their opinions. It was very unpopular and probably cost Adams his presidency.

Thomas Jefferson and other Founders believed that relatively unfettered freedom of speech was the only answer. He wrote, "We are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it." --Thomas Jefferson to William Roscoe


People must be free to counter any and all scurrilous attacks with the truth. There are a few exceptions, of course. You cannot yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater or slander a private individual without risking serious punishment.

So what is the answer to the problem? Personal virtue. It sounds a bit trite, I know, but personal responsibility is our only hope. This is just one more reason why we need God in our lives.