Freedom of Speech, not Freedom to Hate
Freedom is only Free, if everyone has it
Freedom of speech seems to be a big topic at the moment, particularly with people coming out for or against things like health care reform, gay marriage, homosexuality etc. Think Kirk Cameron, and his declaration of homosexuality being 'unnatural' etc. People are up in arms on both sides of that debate.
Lets Look a Little Closer at That
So, lets look at that - yes, for one, Kirk is entitled to his opinion, and entitled to the freedom to express that opinion. As are those who are against his views - such as the gay community, as well as those who agree, but disagree with the gay community's outrage at Kirk. So, there are a few things there:
- Kirk is famous. He knows this. He also knows that if he expresses a public opinion on a dividing subject that he will experience backlash from the disagreeing side.
- The Gay Community are outraged, that someone in his position would say such things publicly, and are upset that his opinion is such. They are entitled to feel this way.
- The Kirk supporters are upset at the backlash Kirk is receiving, and think that the gay community are infringing on his right to free speech.
- And the real kicker is - in doing so, the Kirk supporters etc are infringing on the free speech of the gay community, but are also entitled to their opinion on the matter.
So, Is Anyone Actually In the Wrong?
So, in the end, no one is actually wrong. Yet, people are shouting, and waving their arms, and saying "the gays are infringing on my/kirks/any against homsexuality person's rights to free speech!", and the LGBT community are saying 'hey, that really pissed us off what you said. But that's just our opinion." Everyone is infringing on everyone else's right to freedom of speech.
I read in the comments to another hub, that we are "confusing freedom of speech with freedom from consequence" http://exleftist.hubpages.com/. This is so true. Kirk, and others like him, accept that there are consequences to their freedom of speech - as we have seen. There are consequences to freedom of speech for all over us, regardless of what side we are on of the argument.
But as long as no rights are being infringed on, on either side, freedom of speech should be enjoyed.
Remembering, that freedom of speech, is not freedom from consequence - you can't take it back, once you've said it. And, it is not freedom to hate, or incite hatred of a person/people/group.
Live well, love one another, express and accept opinions, and most of all - grant the same freedoms to others, you would have them grant to you.
Because, after all, Freedom isn't actually free, unless everyone has it.