According to the US Constitution, free speech is still protected in this country. Last week hundreds of students at Berkeley (U of CA) disagreed and rioted to block a scheduled visit by a conservative who they considered to be a purveyor of ‘offensive’ speech. Ironically, over 50 years ago students at the same institution initiated the ‘Free Speech Movement’ that pushed for the right of different views to be spoken on campus.
Now college students all over America are seeking to establish ‘protected zones’ on their campus where ‘offensive’ speech is forbidden. What is ‘offensive’ speech? That is the question, but considering the recent actions at Berkeley it seems to be conservative views that contradict prevailing progressive notions of the majority in institutions of’ so-called ‘higher learning.’
Where does this kind of thinking begin? A recent poll answers that question for us, the indoctrination obviously begins in high school. Over half of the high school students across America now believe that ‘offensive’ speech should not be legally protected. Here’s the story from The Blaze:
A new study of American high schoolers shows that they are quite conflicted on the First Amendment. …
The survey found that less than half — 45 percent — of high schoolers are OK with protecting the right to public speech if the content matter could be considered “offensive” to others and only 43 percent support those protections on social media. The numbers fall even further when it comes to bullying: Only 36 percent are OK with “bullying speech” in public and 30 percent on social media.
<Read the whole article>
Response: What really concerns me the most is the vagueness of exactly what could be considered ‘offensive’ and therefore should not be protected or allowed as public speech.
Some college and university administrators have decided that conservative Christianity is far too ‘offensive’ to be allowed on campus. In the process they have kicked Christian student organizations off campus where they can no longer dispense their controversial and ‘discriminatory’ views on campus.
In the UK, some Christians have been arrested for disseminating ‘hate speech.’ Exactly what was this offensive speech. Sometimes it has been street preachers merely reading those passages of the Bible that condemn homosexuality and on other occasions some got in trouble by debating Muslims and questioning Islam. Similar things have also happened in Canada.
The UK and Canada do not have the protections in place like those in the US as supported by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Also Christian Speech should be doubly protected by the First Amendment as religious and free speech .
Nevertheless, our rights and the Constitution are only as good as they are understood and interpreted by our judges. Some judges have already ruled that Christian teaching is only protected within the four walls of an official and zoning approved place of worship.
With the current support for the elimination of ‘offensive’ speech in our educational institutions, will minority views including Christian and Biblical public speech continue to be protected as a new generation of students graduate, practice law, and eventually become judges? One really wonders. *Top