Free speech for everyone

Much has been made recently about the subject of free speech, in particular the statements made by Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame.

Many agree with his comments. Many disagree with his comments. But I remind all that the concept of free speech as put forth by the Founding Fathers was never intended to protect speech we agree with. It was intended to protect speech we disagree with – the idea being that, in the public square, good ideas will rise and poor ideas will fall.

By silencing ideas and speech we disagree with, we remove the dynamic of debate from the public square. Granted, no one has the right to yell “fire” in a crowded theater, but every free person has a right to his or her own beliefs. Moreover, they have a constitutional right to espouse those beliefs whether we agree with them or not.

If anyone would deny someone their right of free speech, then would they be willing to give up that very same right for themselves? I think not.

William Davis

Augusta

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