Archive for July 9, 2015

confreenactAs creative Christians, one of the things that should concern us is freedom of expression and, like it or not, right now, that is under attack. I’ve never been a huge fan of the confederate flag, for example, but I also understood that it’s meaning to people was diverse and not as one dimensional as some would have us believe. I have no problem that some people are upset by it and yet to force people to remove it, is questionable, not to mention unconstitutional. When TV Land pulled The Dukes of Hazzard because the confederate flag is displayed on top of the General Lee, since let’s face it, that was the original General Lee’s flag, well let’s just say I think they were overreacting a bit. Then I heard that the Gettysburg Battlefield was removing all of the confederate flag materials from their shops, I almost lost it. What’s next, Confederate re-enactors flying flags that say “Bad Guys” on it (thanks to Bob Speck for that joke)?

I’m not arguing that the flag shouldn’t be removed from government buildings. What I am saying is free speech is still worth defending and we come against it in others at our peril. People say and do things every day that upset me profoundly, particularly the negative, nasty things people say about my faith and my God. I am frankly sick of it. I hate seeing people blaspheme the One who set me free, while seemingly bending over backwards to accommodate anything else that comes along. What people say about us, would be labeled hate speech (labeling things “hate speech” is another threat the free speech, by the way) said about any other people group. That being said, I feel the need to defend their right to say it, even though I really can’t stand what they say. Why? Because if I succeed at limiting someone else’s free speech, it’s only a matter of time before it comes back on me.

One of the things that made this nation great is the ability to debate, discuss and disagree without fear of reprisal. That is no longer the case. Political correctness, which looks great on the surface, might be the greatest threat to free speech we have ever seen. When we start to limit what people can say, freedom of speech goes away, and when it’s gone, it’s not coming back. There is a better way.

We were never once, anywhere, given the right not to be offended. It exists nowhere and it shouldn’t. Instead there should be a conversation between people who disagree, as people attempt to win each other over to their point of view, or at the very least come to an understanding and disagree agreeably. I fear this is ultimately what we are losing and we will miss it when it is gone.

I’ll be the first to admit, I hate what people say about my faith and my God. Should I attempt to silence them? No. I should speak the truth in love, and live to prove them wrong. 1 Peter 2:12 reminds us what offended (even persecuted) Christians should do “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”

Free speech is vital. Use it wisely.