Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Free Speech

"Congress shall make no law ... 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."

My name is Ephraim and I'm a student here at UVSC. I'm a foreign student.... Even though I have a strong accent, I'll let this message out. And please pay attention to me. I come from a country where the freedom of speech does not exist. When I came here to study as a foreign student, I'm proud of something you guys have here, and you don't know the value of it. It's how you and I can sit and stand here and talk about what is the truth.

We're standing here at this moment talking about stopping somebody not to come and say his side of the political view.... Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm telling you ... people like me, we want to learn from theose things, take them home, and build our nations. Please let Michael Moore come to UVSC and talk to us. (From Free Speech 101 by Joe Vogel, page 86-87, and seen in the documentary This Divided State)

I was speaking to some coworkers yesterday about the first amendment. (The reason for the discussion is why to disclaimer is at the end of the post. I have to be intentially vague about it.) Several of my coworkers were of the view that Kay Anderson has that the 1st Amendment works because most people have the good smarts to keep quiet. (See Free Speech 101 or This Divided State.)

Personally, I disagree.

You see, it is not the speech of the majority that needs protecting. It is the speech of the minority that needs protecting. In fact, it is this variety of ideas that makes this country great.

As a song by Janeen Brady teaches us, "In 1776 my friends, Americans were Englishmen." They had to have the audacity to stand up and tell their governemnt that they were madder'n hell and they weren't going to take it anymore.

The same thing that allows someone to stand on a street corner to complain about an percieved unfair workplace allows annother person to stand in the public square to tell his government their full of crap. The same thing that allows people to stand on North Temple and tell me I'm going to Hell is the same thing that allowed me to talk to people as an LDS missionary in Minnesota. The same thing that allows Bill O'Reilly to call someone a kook allows me to call A. Lucifer Coulter, well, A. Lucifer Coulter.

This freedom cannot be taken from us. If it does, all freedom will be lost.

And the terrorists will have won.



sarahbellum said...

janeen brady? oh, bob.

Cliff said...

What the hell Bob? I'm not on your blogroll?

I'm deeply hurt.