Free Speech And The Silence Movement In 2014

It is one of the fundamental values we take for granted every day. From our favorite football team, to that ice cream we don't like, to speaking out about corruption government and corporations. Free speech is everywhere, but so is the silence that is falling around it. While it may not be good to go around offending people, that can't always be said, and even if you don't like it, free speech isn't free if we don't all have the same access to it.

Let me start out by explaining. Free speech is not consequence free speech. It is far from that. The language you choose to use, and the things you say can prevent you from ever getting a job in your specific field. It can make you have to go to court. It can cost you time, it can get you fame. It can bring you up, and it can throw you down.

Some examples of this are the GOP, who have systematically attacked women and their right to their own sexual organs. Rush Limbaugh who has called women "Sluts" and accused them of needing "A pill every time they have sex." Another is Paula Deen, thee former cooking channel queen, who used enough butter to congest the arteries of every American watching her. When she said she wanted to hire some "Ni****" to work for her at a slave themed wedding reception.

Those things went viral, outrage ensued, and people called for removal of them from their jobs. While the cooking channel did remove Paula Deen, it was because her free speech didn't agree with their ideas of being represented.Rush Limbaugh, however, is listened to by even his most outraged opponents because they know that they will have to counter what he says, and this has given him millions of listeners world wide.

As much as we would like to silence all the horrible things we hear, there is a reason why they are important to hear. It's not because they don't offend, it's because they do. Just because we disagree with someones ideas does not mean that we have to silence them. In fact, it's better to listen. Often if you want to know what your political opponents are asserting, it's best to stop and listen. Even when the speech is ugly, and full of hatred, or misinformation. One of the most effective ways of challenging your opponents, and opening up change and debate, is letting someone speak.

It can be hard, because some people will drag the most foul and disgusting of ideas up, or be as racist as they can, or even try and abuse you with their right to speak, but it is vital that America hear the things it does not want to hear. Because, tuning out and silencing is devastating when you look at the aftermath of what can sneak by you.

Our founding fathers designed the constitution to protect free speech for a reason. They wanted future generations to be able to challenge authority, and the elected officials, and wanted us to take to task ideas that threatened our future, health and well being, and the right to express ourselves freely.

In a world with facebook trying to quash the best of free speech, we need to ask ourselves, should we really be telling someone not to say things? Perhaps their deplorable language, or assertions of superiority, or arrogance, or dominance, or doubt, or intellect offend us. It is possible that their ideas are absurd, or their bias is completely infiltrated with misinformation, conjecture, and dogmatic thinking. This does not give anyone the right to silence them. It means you should challenge them, call them out, ask them how they feel their opinions are justified.

Free speech is not just for those we agree with, it is most important to listen to those we disagree with, because their ideas can alter the outcome of our future when they spread in areas we refuse to look. So let free speech be vital, especially among atheists, who need this vital form of expression to assert the value of our thinking, our logic, and our lack of beliefs and need for equality. Forward thinking is about encountering the opposition and facing it with dignity, and highlighting the errors of their method of thinking and bringing further logic to light.

So speak freely, and oppose those ideas which you believe to be in error, and face those things which are revolting.

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