Some Topics Which Incite Liberals to Attack First Amendment Right of Free Speech

  1. Defend a timeless moral values or institution such as marriage
  2. Suggest that current climate change is not primarily caused by humans
  3. Attempt to hold a political rally for a Republican candidate in a liberal city as occurred in Chicago yesterday evening when a Trump event had to be cancelled for security reasons

Before we go any further, let’s remember the inalienable rights which are protected by, not granted by, the First Amendment:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”1

(Second refresher, “inalienable” means something that can neither be taken away from nor given away by the possessor.)  Freedom of speech is a basic right.  Slander and libel aside, individuals do not forfeit the right to express their opinions simply because they are not in sync with a local majority.  As John Stuart Mill reminded us:

“If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.”2

Current  Trend

Three examples of the topics listed at the beginning.

  1. “Ben Carson, the noted pediatric neurosurgeon, has become the target of a petition by Johns Hopkins students who want him removed as the medical school’s commencement speaker this spring… Last Tuesday, he told Sean Hannity of Fox News that “marriage is between a man and a woman. No group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA3, be they people who believe in bestiality, it doesn’t matter what they are, they don’t get to change the definition.”4 He withdrew later.
  2. “One group of climate scientists is trying a different approach. Dismayed by what they see as a lack of progress on the implementation of climate policies that they support, these 20 scientists sent aletter to the White House calling for their political opponents to be investigated by the government.”5
  3. “Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump canceled one of his signature rallies Friday, saying he didn’t want to see ‘people get hurt’ after protesters packed into the Chicago arena where it was to take place… Protesters at the rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump rushed the arena floor in jubilant celebration after the announcement that he was calling off the event due to security concerns.”6

Those  Whose  Rights  Were  Violated  Are  Not  the  Only  Ones  Robbed

Universities have aided mankind’s progress by promoting open, civilized debate.  When this process is impeded, all are lessened.  John Stuart Mill cautioned:

But the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.”2

When it comes to Freedom of Speech, all ideas matter.

 

 

1https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/first_amendment

2 – From Mill’s essay “On Liberty,” Chapter II “Of the Liberty of Thought and Discussion, http://www.econlib.org/library/Mill/mlLbty2.html

3 – “The North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) is a pedophile and pederasty advocacy organization in the United States. It works to abolish age-of-consent laws criminalizing adult sexual involvement with minors and campaigns for the release of men who have been jailed for sexual contacts with minors that did not involve coercion. The group no longer holds regular national meetings, and as of the late 1990s—to avoid local police infiltration—the organization discouraged the formation of local chapters.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_Man/Boy_Love_Association

4 – He apologized to those he did not intend to offend with:  “Now perhaps the examples were not the best choice of words, and I certainly apologize if I offended anyone . . . But the point that I was making was that no group of individuals, whoever they are, whatever their belief systems, gets to change traditional definitions. The reason I believe the way I do, I will readily confess, is because I am a Christian who believes in The Bible.”

Yet, we also have “In fact, it was liberal Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor who brought up the issue of bestiality during this week’s oral arguments on a gay-rights case, openly asking if the extension of marriage laws to gays would open the courts up to lawsuits demanding equal marriage rights by polygamists and those who engage in bestiality.”

From “Dr. Carson Banned from a Commencement Speech,” by John Fund, 3/29/2013, http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/344291/dr-carson-banned-commencement-speech-john-fund

5 – Going further: “None of the Grijalva 7 was found to have engaged in wrongdoing of any sort, yet there have been significant career consequences for some.”

“The demand by Senator (Sheldon) Whitehouse (D-RI) and the 20 climate scientists for legal persecution of people whose research on science and policy they disagree with represents a new low in the politicization of science.”

“The role of these 20 scientists is particularly troubling.  The consequence of this persecution, intended or not, is to make pariahs of scientists who are doing exactly what we expect of researchers: to critically evaluate evidence and publish that work in the scientific literature.”

From “A new low in science: Criminalizing climate change skeptics,” by Judith Curry, http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/09/28/new-low-in-science-criminalizing-climate-change-skeptics.html, 9/28/2015

6 – From “Trump cancels Chicago rally, says he didn’t want to see anyone hurt,” by FoxNews.com, http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/03/12/trump-cancels-chicago-rally-says-didnt-want-to-see-anyone-hurt.html, 3/12/2016

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