A passion for Free Speech is a hazard of the job, I suppose. From my high School daze in Utah right down to today, freedom of speech and religion are two things about which I am both passionate and obsessive. In all likelihood, we could do a show every day about the benefits and the dangers to Free Speech. On Friday we talked about President Franklin Pierce and his willingness to allow people in Kansas to be executed for speaking out against slavery.
Every bit as disturbing as Franklin Pierce allowing the death penalty for free speech against slavery, is that today, there is a growing concept that “odious ideas” shouldn’t just be held in disdain, but outright silenced.
Let me be clear, I am not a Flat-Earther, I am not an Anti-Vaxxer, I am not a conspiracy guy at all. I was most definitely not a Birther. I once held a conspiracy theory of my own. Passionately. Those days are long behind me because I learned along my life’s journey that the conspiracies are less about the truth being out there than they are about the proponents needed to be stage center.
Now, however, we live in an era where those with odd or unusual beliefs, even beliefs that are “odious,” are seen as a threat. And threats, as you know, have to be eliminated.
The Freedom to Speak and worship have always been in danger. Sometimes gravely, sometimes surreptitiously. Still, those who want you to be silenced are rarely secret about their desire to silence you…