Published: Sunday, May 4 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT
Much speech is disconcerting and uncomfortable. However, the First Amendment
was established to provide for the right to express our thoughts - even the ones
that sting and reveal ignorance. It is unfortunate that there are those that
advocate restriction of speech - for to do so leaves the empowered to decide
what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. Objective standards would go out
the door and the subjective would become the rule. Subjective opinion is
subject to change at the whim of the governing. The right to speak is much more
important than the right not to be offended by speech. I agree with this
editorial that basic understanding of these principles are not be understood,
because they are not being taught. Rather, political correct thinking is the
flavor of the times - leading to less principled thought.
How many think we actually still have freedom of speech in America? Better pay
attention to current events to note that the first amendment is dead in America.
We are closer to Communism than our Constitution in 2014.
Plain and simple - the restriction of Free Speech and the abuse of First
Amendment rights is a step toward the legalization of all forms of control in
the country by government. Whenever this has happened in history, the citizens
have been enslaved. Many who read this will be familiar with the quote: "We
have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of all men,
as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they tend to exercise
unrighteous dominion." This characteristic of "almost all
men" is why the founding fathers were pressed to include the "Bill of
Rights" as an addition to the framework of the Constitution. With insight
from the freedoms so vigorously fought, they knew that our Rights must be
guaranteed by an immutable governing document. And so it is. Those who seek to
change it, are traitors to all of us who seek to maintain the freedoms of this
land. There are those in government who are seeking to exercise unrighteous
dominion in so many venues that it boggles the mind that people are so willing
to stand idly by and observe this unrighteous demolition of our freedoms.
The problem is that those who perpetuate hate speech also want to shield
themselves from the consequences of that speech. You have a right to say what
you want, but you don't have a right to control the reaction of others.
The implications of being punished for having said something in the privacy of
your own home ought to scare everybody. As for the NBA, this has all the
appearance of an old western with judge, jury and executioner all being the same
guy and happening the same day. They could have got to the same spot but could
have appeared to be more fair by imposing a temporary punishment and then
letting the dust settle just a little. After time and a more thorough
evaluation would have given off the appearance of fairness instead of what we
"Hate speech" is arbitrary and is politically driven. It depends on who
says it and about whom it is said. For example, disagreements with liberal
ideology is called "hate speech". When liberals disagree in the most
vile terms with any conservative its NEVER called hate speech, only free speech.
For example, when Harry Reid lied about Mitt Romney that was "free
speech". On the other hand, just honestly criticize Obama's policies
and it gets called "hate speech" everyday. Therefore liberals invented
hate speech to denigrate and silence their critics!
Freedom of speech is a cherished right but leaders of authoritative
organizations must make it clear to their followers that their uttered thoughts
are not ‘the law’, neither secular nor religious. Their thoughts are
subject to evaluation, discussion, and criticism the same as thoughts expressed
In 2010 my son graduated from Syracuse University. World renowned biologist
(and Utah native) Craig Venter gave the commencement speech that included those
words:"We just celebrated the 10th anniversary of our first
decoding of the human genome, and from that, we learned some rather simplistic
things—we learned we have about 20,000 genes instead of the hundreds of
thousands that people had expected. And from our reading the DNA from an
African American, two Hispanics, two Caucasians and a Chinese individual, we
learned that we’re all extremely similar to each other, and that race is a
social, not a scientific concept."That statement should be part
of our dialogue relating to race and whenever we hear anyone making derogatory
remarks about anyone, we should quote this gifted scientist.
Some old adages still apply in this day and age.When the hate speech,
particularly from the older, bigoted population of our society gets out of
control, simply, consider the source. That explanation helps put the
problem into perspective.
Re: "The natural inclination of most people in power is to suppress dissent
and put an end to ideas that might threaten their power."And
that's particularly true of liberals. They know they'll never win
using their foundational, existential "liberal man's burden"
doctrine, so they attempt, instead, to suppress any dissent, calling pretty much
anything they don't disagree with "hate speech."Even
when they know there's no hate involved in it.
Freedom comes from God. Restrictions on freedom come from government.
Therefore, God and government are at odds with each other. God commands us to
worship Him before doing anything else of importance. Government tells us that
we cannot even pray in school. Not only has government restricted free speech
but it has legislated our right to be religious. Both freedoms, the right to
worship and the right to pray (speech) are clearly guaranteed in the 1st
Amendment. Freedom of speech allows all ideas to percolate until
the "truth" is found. Honest debate causes people to think.
Unfortunately, many people follow the example of "leaders" who attack
the person instead of discussing the message. We learned in kindergarten that
only an insecure bully attacks others. We learned in high school debate to
study both sides of an argument. If ObamaCare had been openly
discussed - in full detail - it would never have been passed. Because speech
was restricted our freedom and responsibility to care for our personal welfare
is in jeopardy.If NSA spying had been discussed, no complex would
have been built and our email would be secure.
@Thid Barker: "For example, disagreements with liberal ideology is called
"hate speech"."And disagreements against right-wing
ideology are called heresy and blasphemy and unAmerican and socialist and a
whole range of other condemning words and phrases designed to shut down thought
instead of engaging in discussion. The right uses religiously coded
words to identify "unacceptable" speech. As society moves away from
religion those code phrases have lost general impact. The left uses
"hate" which is more universally recognized and gets a visceral reaction
across more segments of society. Neither is accurate, both sides use
code to identify actions they want shut down. Currently, the left is more
successful in the general deployment of their code phrases. Not all that long
ago the right was ascendant by labeling every disagreement as part of the
"godless communist conspiracy." For reference see: HUAC, Red
Scare, Hollywood Blackball list, and the history of conservative religious
leaders during the civil rights. See also the condemnation of the anti-war
movement during Vietnam. Lots of code words there, and all couched
in religious and pseudo-patriotic terms.
No "liberal" wants to do away with free speech. The government should
not control speech. However, it doesn't violate anyone's First
Amendment rights if I say I don't like what you said. In fact, I am
exercising my First Amendment rights when I do. I don't know if you
understand the Constitution, procuradorfiscal. It only applies to government
suppression of speech. So who cares if a liberal says something is hate speech.
Maybe they are being rude and hurting your feelings when they tell you your
speech is hateful, but they are not violating your First Amendment rights, which
is what this discussion is about.
Every one of us has said things that we regret or do not honestly reflect our
true sentiments. If every conversation in our lives was recorded, then all of us
would be condemned. How long until people start coming after you?
Fortunately enough people abhor racism that it is not socially acceptable to be
supremacist of any kind. The NBA is a private organization so they can censure
what people say. Same as this newspaper can. The 1st amendment does give
people a right to be foolish though. Private organizations can do what they
want disciplining them as well.
Years ago there was an employee at the University of Utah who would use the
student newspaper to state the most close-minded intolerant views. He thought
their should be quotas on Mormons because he felt they were stealing from
others. He thought that the Jews deserved what they got in the Holocaust
because the Old Testament condemns homosexual behavior, etc, etc. In
today's climate he would have been fired immediately. But I thought that
it was beneficial for him to have his freedom of speech and the freedom to say
what he did.If not, I would not have learned that such views exist
and that when looking over a cultural divide that we should be open-minded and
not misinterpret based on our own cultural paradigms.
@RiverOfSun:"When the hate speech, particularly from the older,
bigoted population of our society gets out of control, simply, consider the
source."How about hate speech from the younger bigoted
population gets out of control, should we consider the sourcwe of that too.Just because you throw out the term 'bigot' about others,
doesn't mean that you are not a bigot in your own opinions. Don't
TELL me. SHOW me.
@Mike Richards: "Government tells us that we cannot even pray in
school."Government does not restrict you from praying in school.
It does restrict you from forcing me to be part if your prayers. It also says
that if you are going to insist that your prayer be part of a public spectacle
that you have to make room for others to also pray - not just Baptists and
Methodists, but also Muslims and Wiccans and others. Too often,
Christians seem to think first amendment religious freedoms are only for
Christians, and maybe for Jews. Not for those of other faiths and who are not
@Florien Wineriter“Freedom of speech is a cherished right but
leaders of authoritative organizations must make it clear to their followers
that their uttered thoughts are not ‘the law’, neither secular nor
religious.”I beg to differ. If I understand your point, I
agree that indeed, religious leaders’ uttered words are not secular law,
but in the case of the General Authorities of The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-Day-Saints, their statements are spiritual law in that they spell out
God’s will and commandments. Their words and revelations may
not be binding in the same way as secular or man-made law that man can enforce
in the ways he feels fit. But if you want to have the spiritual blessings of
obedience and avoid the consequences of disobedience, they are just as binding
or more. To both members and non-members, the consequences of breaking these
laws are spiritual but just as real. If man can issue laws, why
can’t God. And the closer the society’s laws are to the
Lord’s, the happier the society will be. I don’t claim it as
gospel, just my opinion.
re: Mike Richards"Freedom comes from God. Restrictions on
freedom come from government."What about commandments (the big
10, the word of wisdom, chastity, yada yada yada) Mike. Where do they come from?
re: Stormwalker"Too often, Christians seem to think
first amendment religious freedoms are only for Christians, and maybe for Jews.
Not for those of other faiths and who are not religious."Why am
I thinking of Ned Flanders & Apu from the Simpsons?
DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.— About comments