I’m going to close out these first few posts on free speech with my second reply to these posts. This from another friend whom I forwarded the posts to. I’m going to post it in it’s entirety, because I think its a perfect sum up, and it’s introduced me to a movie I need to find and see.
I think a quote like this from the 1972 movie ‘1776’ would serve pretty well to sum up my feelings on the subject of your last 3 posts:
Stephen Hopkins: “Well, in all my years I ain’t never heard, seen nor smelled an issue that was so dangerous it couldn’t be talked about. Hell yeah! I’m for debating anything.”
In the movie, Stephen was voting on whether the continental congress could open up the floor to talk about the issue of independence. A topic which, at the time, was both illegal and treason. They knew speaking of it in a public forum could get them all hanged. They also knew that roughly half the people in the room with them were against it. They weren’t sainted men and half of them wound up on the wrong side of history but talk they did. It most likely wasn’t pretty and I’m sure a lot of it ended in hurt feelings and shouting – but they had to respect the opinions of the others in the rooms right to speak their mind.
If you loudly voice strong opinions in public forums such as a college campus then perhaps don’t forget that there are other opinions that differ from your own. Other people have the right to call you out on your publically voiced views and hold you just as accountable for your voice and actions.
To quote the same movie.
Dr. Benjamin Franklin: “A rebellion is always legal in the first person, such as “our rebellion.” It is only in the third person – “their rebellion” – that it becomes illegal.”
I have no issue with anyone’s right to speak their convictions. The objectionable part to me is the righteous indignation when the same twisted hammer that you used to clobber someone with different views down with is then turned on you, and you cry foul. What you say almost always has a potential cost. Sometimes you don’t see it but just because you’re speaking from your own vantage point doesn’t mean it won’t ever cost you.