At American Thinker, First Amendment activists Matt Patterson and Lindsey DePasse point to known history, show how to analyze it and how to draw conclusions from it.
The Greek city-state of Athens had no constitutional protections for people who advocated notions radically at odds with prevailing wisdom.
The result: Socrates was put to death for “corrupting” the youth.
Four hundred years later, the Roman province of Judea contained no constitutional protections for wild-eyed preachers who advocated radical alternatives to established political and religious orthodoxies.
The result: Jesus was crucified for claiming to be “King of the Jews.”
Sixteen hundred years later in Italy, there were no constitutional protections for thinkers who discerned profound restructuring of metaphysical realities.
The result: Galileo Galilei was tried and sentenced to house arrest by the Catholic Inquisition for advocating views contrary to Church doctrine.
Four hundred years later, the United States of America did provide constitutional protections of speech and assembly, allowing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to lead a movement that changed laws and expanded liberty for millions.
Socrates, Jesus and Galileo lacked governmental protection to say crazy things. As a result, they were put to death or imprisoned by the government for saying crazy things.
True, Dr. King also met with an untimely end, slain by a fellow citizen who denied him his constitutionally protected freedoms. But the others were killed or imprisoned by the government because they had no constitutionally protected freedoms.
That is all the difference in the world. And it is a difference that Dr. King died for.
Of course, no ancient history is taught in most public schools, much less the simple compare/contrast analysis displayed above. As a result,
A 2015 Pew Research survey found, “Four-in-ten Millennials say the government should be able to prevent people publicly making statements that are offensive to minority groups.”
Let that sink in for a moment: 40 percent of Millennials favor explicit, unconstitutional censorship of “offensive” speech. The same Pew survey found that 35 percent of all Democrats and 33 percent of all women “say the government should be able to curtail speech that is offensive to minorities.”
When the government comes after the First Amendment, look for it to come for the rest. Some argue convincingly that it’s too late. We’ll see.
Related: Condition: Unknown, Unknowns
Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game (click on left sidebar image), was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.
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