Freedom of Speech is very much a topic that I have STRONG opinions about. I think it’s one of the most important freedoms we are blessed with in the United States and one that shouldn’t be taken for granted. I’ve also had it on my mind a whole lot lately and as I was looking at blogs the other day, I came across one where this lady was talking about people who were very obviously flaunting a message that she didn’t agree with but yet she respected their right to it. She had a couple of quotes listed as well and one of them really hit me to the core because it’s so in line with how I feel.
The quote was “If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all”. ~Noam Chomsky
I realize freedom of “expression” is more than just speech but it’s still such a true statement. We each have the privilege of speaking or expressing our opinions freely in America when so many people of other countries are not so lucky. People are attacked and even killed daily for speaking their minds. We are extremely lucky to be able to express ourselves publicly, through social media and blogs even, without the fear that others face. I don’t think this freedom should be taken lightly.
Nevertheless, I feel it is. Nowadays, it seems people are wanting to censor everything. Are we going forward with our freedoms or backwards? What was the purpose of us fighting for more rights if we are then going to turn around and try to take them away, a piece at a time?
I have my own personal beliefs that are unique to me. Some of them are firmly set in my mind and I see no swaying over them…others are not planted so tightly. Why? Because I feel that there’s too much in this world which I have not experienced that I SHOULD before deciding to plant ALL my views in concrete. That being said, I don’t consider myself easy to sway on even those views but more just that I am willing to be open minded and give ALL sides a chance. I have the freedom to do so and so does everyone else.
I despise the idea of censoring in general. Take for instance, banned books. I feel that we, as a people, should have the right to read whatever books or publications we so choose and make our own minds up as to whether the book is something we agree with or not. If not, simply put the book down and move on to another. Just because I don’t agree with what a book says doesn’t mean someone else shouldn’t be able to read it themselves and make up their own mind, right?
And even though I am a Christian, I wouldn’t want to see atheist publications censored any more than Christian ones. When it comes to politics, I believe Republican, Independent and Democratic literature, books, shows, etc. should all be available. Obviously, I, myself am not ALL parties and not ALL religions but for my own beliefs and views to be openly distributed then the opposite ones must also.
Like that quote, if we want freedoms for ourselves, we must also respect and allow that others with differing vies must ALSO be given the same freedoms. Once the opposite sides freedoms start to get chipped away at, you can count on the fact that YOUR freedoms will be next.
Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire
I am thankful for all the complaining I hear about our government because it means we have freedom of speech. ~Nancie J. Carmody
Every human being has a right to hear what other wise human beings have spoken to him. It is one of the Rights of Men; a very cruel injustice if you deny it to a man! ~Thomas Carlyle
I noticed just yesterday that one of my Facebook friends voiced her opinion regarding Osama’s recent death and one of “her friends” basically bid her good riddance because she didn’t agree. I found this very juvenile and added the first quote from this post to the comments section. It never ceases to amaze me how people get so offended when a person has a different opinion than them and they just refuse to hear it and walk away. If I defriended every person who doesn’t match up with every belief of my own, I would honestly have NO friends. I don’t think it’s possible to find someone who will agree with you 100% of the time. OK, there may be someone who has all the same integral beliefs as you do but along the line, there will be something, even if mediocre, that you differ on. No two people are completely alike…and the world would be a truly boring place if that were so. I love the fact that I have friends with different belief systems, different views and different opinions. Among them, there are many free thinkers and I think that’s a great and wonderful thing to be. It speaks volumes that my friends are smart enough to think about things on their own and come to their own conclusions. That the world is not forcing them to believe a certain way. I respect them all for their differences and when it comes down to it, a true friend is one that simply is a good person and genuinely cares about me. Their political beliefs, religious affiliations, even their sexual preference is no concern to me. I was not put on this Earth to be the judge and jury of what is right and wrong; God is the ultimate judge and it’s up to him to make the decisions. Again, this is my opinion. If you don’t believe in God or a god, that is your own choice, which you have the right to.
Another quote used in this person’s blog was this one: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”. ~Voltaire
That is how it should be! Defend the rights of others to speak their minds as well, even if it’s completely different from what YOU may believe! If they lose their rights then whose rights will they be coming after next?
Defend your right to have freedom of speech before you’re left with no freedom at all!