"I sought among them for a man that might set up a hedge, and stand in the gap before me in favor of the land." Ezekiel 22:30

Monday, June 17, 2013

Is Free Speech An Excuse to be Mean?

"No foul language should come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for needed edification, that it may impart grace to those who hear." - Ephesians 4:29

You know the person; THAT person. The one who knows everything about every topic and can never lose an argument. You'll hear them say on more than one occasion something to the effect of "I don't agree with what you say, but I'll defend your right to say it", or "It's a free country, right?" or after a particularly edgy or downright offensive comment, "It's just my opinion." As if saying something simply because you can say it, makes it okay.

Sometimes I wonder if folks wrap themselves in the right of "free speech" only as an excuse to be mean.

Venting to commence in 3... 2... 1...

I know. Call me a hate monger. Tell me just how much I want to stomp on your freedoms. I'm sure you'll feel better. You have the right to say that, right?

Allow me to stand on a little soap box for just a little while and remind me what your mother taught you: "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." Well, I'm sorry to bring back horrible memories of back seat car fights on the way to Branson, but your mother was right.

The brilliant Constitution of the United States of America is a terrific document. It outlines some of the broadest freedoms ever known to mankind. But, as has been said before, just because you can do something does not make it right. And it seems like more and more folks are using free speech rights just to be mean.

Well, I'm here to say, we need to stop it. There is a line between saying what needs to be said on a given topic and offending someone's sensibilities. Bullying, for example, goes too far. It really is sad that we have to have PSA campaigns to tell kids they shouldn't bully. Where the heck are the parents?! Is it any wonder though? All kids see these days are movies, TV ads, and other forms of media glorifying the bully, the one who is simply exercising his right to "free speech."

Let's have some class people. I'm under no illusion that this little blog post of mine will change the world, but maybe you reading it now will understand: with freedom comes responsibility, and just because you have the God-given right to say what you want doesn't mean you should.

End venting session.

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