Few greater threats exist to faith in America at this moment than the shrinking space of freedom of speech in the public square. Whether it is self imposed censorship by bowing the knee to “political correctness” and the fear of man, or the mischaracterization of Christian conviction as “Hate Speech” or an arrogant overreach of social media imposing it’s political and moral views on its users, the verdict is in. Free Speech is no longer popular in America and much of the West. In fact True Christian FAITH and the expression of it has almost never been popular in secular society once its rebellion against God has reached meltdown … yet both are recognized in our Constitution and so are their source. These “rights” come from God Himself. Christians will soon face the choices set upon many who have gone before us. Will we obey God or man and will we go about the business of the Gospel no matter what persecutions that may bring?
Rev Thomas Littleton
Freedom of Speech is lodged firmly in the 1st Amendment of the Bill Of Rights along side Freedom of Religion and Freedom of the Press. All three have to do with expression by the individual in the exercise of those God GIVEN inalienable rights which the US Constitution recognizes and affirms . Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion are inseparable and cannot be denied without serious impact on individuals and society.
First Amendment Annotated
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
PROPHETS AND APOSTLES SUFFERED THREATS AGAINST SPEAKING TO AND FOR GOD.
The Name of Jesus Forbidden
Acts 4: 13 “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. 14 And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. 15 But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, 16 saying, “What shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a [a]notable miracle has been done through them is evident[b] to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. 17 But so that it spreads no further among the people, let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in this name.”
18 “So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. 20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”
DANIEL IN THE LIONS DEN FOR VIOLATING PRAYER LAW
3 “Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. 4 At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. 5 Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.”
6 “So these administrators and satraps went as a group to the king and said: “May King Darius live forever! 7 The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den. 8 Now, Your Majesty, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.” 9 So King Darius put the decree in writing.”
10 “Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. 11 Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help. 12 So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree: “Did you not publish a decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or human being except to you, Your Majesty, would be thrown into the lions’ den?”
THREE HEBREWS THROWN IN FIRE FOR REFUSING TO WORSHIP A GOVERNMENT INSTITUTED IDOL.
Daniel 3:4 Then a herald cried [b]aloud: “To you it is commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, 5 that at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, you shall fall down and worship the gold image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up; 6 and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.”
14 Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the gold image which I have set up? 15 Now if you are ready at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, and you fall down and worship the image which I have made, good! But if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you from my hands?”
16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. 18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND FAITH BREATHE THE SAME AIR.
The TWO and inseparable.
Todays threats to BOTH include:
Critical Theories- Identity politics – political correctness -“Civil Society ” # MeToo movement, and Common Good Socialism narratives. Victimhood status of race- gender sexual orientation – oppressed religious minorities . collectivism – secularism- atheism and more.
TRUMP ADMINISTRATION WORKED TO PROTECT BOTH
Trump admin 2017 passed Executive Order over concerns of Free Speech and Religious Freedom.
“in order to guide the executive branch in formulating and implementing policies with implications for the religious liberty of persons and organizations in America, and to further compliance with the Constitution and with applicable statutes and Presidential Directives”
It shall be the policy of the executive branch to vigorously enforce Federal law’s robust protections for religious freedom. The Founders envisioned a Nation in which religious voices and views were integral to a vibrant public square, and in which religious people and institutions were free to practice their faith without fear of discrimination or retaliation by the Federal Government. For that reason, the United States Constitution enshrines and protects the fundamental right to religious liberty as Americans’ first freedom. Federal law protects the freedom of Americans and their organizations to exercise religion and participate fully in civic life without undue interference by the Federal Government. “
“Respecting Religious and Political Speech. All executive departments and agencies (agencies) shall, to the greatest extent practicable and to the extent permitted by law, respect and protect the freedom of persons and organizations to engage in religious and political speech. In particular, the Secretary of the Treasury shall ensure, to the extent permitted by law, that the Department of the Treasury does not take any adverse action against any individual, house of worship, or other religious organization on the basis that such individual or organization speaks or has spoken about moral or political issues from a religious perspective, where speech of similar character has, consistent with law, not ordinarily been treated as participation or intervention in a political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) a candidate for public office by the Department of the Treasury.
“Conscience Protections with Respect to Preventive-Care Mandate. The Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Labor, and the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall consider issuing amended regulations, consistent with applicable law, to address conscience-based objections to the preventive-care mandate promulgated under section 300gg-13(a)(4) of title 42, United States Code.”
“Religious Liberty Guidance. In order to guide all agencies in complying with relevant Federal law, the Attorney General shall, as appropriate, issue guidance interpreting religious liberty protections in Federal law.”
MODERN MARXIST WISH TO CONTROL AND LIMIT FREE SPEECH
Karl Marx followers on Free Speech
Neo-Marxists … built critical theory as a vehicle for change and began the deconstruction of INDIVIDUAL thought and expression in the West.
The history of critical theory and its impact on free speech:
“Frankfurt School academics fleeing Adolf Hitler’s Germany transmitted the intellectual virus to the US and set about systematically destroying the culture of the society that gave them sanctuary.”
“America’s freedom of speech was its achilles heel. Critical theorists were given university pulpits and a constitutionally ordained right to preach, grinding its foundation stones to dust. Since 1933 they have been hellbent on destroying the village to save it. the intellectual source of modern identity politics in the United States can be traced to the migration of Critical Theory scholars from Germany to U.S. universities in connection with or after World War II.”
Definition of Critical Theory
“Critical theory, Marxist-inspired movement in social and political philosophy originally associated with the work of the Frankfurt School . Drawing particularly on the thought of Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud , critical theorists maintain that a primary goal of philosophy is to understand and to help overcome the social structures through which people are dominated and oppressed. (The expressed of CT goal is “human emancipation” yet the reality is ultimately oppression and bondage.) Since the 1970s, critical theory has been immensely influential in the study of history, law, literature , and the social sciences.”
TODAY SOME SECULAR PROGRESSIVES CALL CULTURAL MARXISM AND ITS INVASION A “CONSPIRACY THEORY “
(This approach is ,in itself, a tool of progressives to deny their efforts )
IMPORTANT !!! FREE SPEECH BECOMES HATE SPEECH
An endless narrative of victimhood define who is who culturally – who is victim and who is perpetrator is decided in have their cause advanced and who is guilty of oppression. Follow the talking points OR else you are the problem. You are RACIST- HOMOPHOBE- ISLAMA-PHOBE – XENOPHPOBIC – HATER – If you speak your opposing point of view it is.
WHERE DOES THE GOSPEL FIT INTO THIS CIRCUS OF WORDS?
Truth -especially Gospel Truth is no longer Free Speech BUT Hate Speech.
Speaking against sin or false religion or religious ideology or a cult can be twisted into and becomes hate speech- and must be silenced for the common good and “Civil Society”
Civility is the premium currency of Critical Theory and Cultural Marxism. ACLU and other organizations defend speech and freedoms of the “MINORITY” while they most often work against the rights of those who do not agree with them and their political and world views.
SOME NOTABLE VICTIMS OF CANCEL CULTURE AND DISMANTLING FREE SPEECH.
Trump – even THE President was silenced by Social Media and news outlets for speaking truth. He remains banned by social media Facebook and Twitter.
Mike Lindell of My Pillow has been censored and “cancelled” BUT is coming back strong in opposition to it! . So can others.
Some well known people in their words in Freedom of Speech
“What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.”
“Everyone is in favor of free speech. Hardly a day passes without its being extolled, but some people’s idea of
it is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone else says anything back, that is an outrage.”
― Winston Churchill
“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”
― Daniel Patrick Moynihan
“Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.”
― Edward Snowden
“The only security of all is in a free press.”
― Thomas Jefferson
“The framers of the constitution knew human nature as well as we do. They too had lived in dangerous days; they too knew the suffocating influence of orthodoxy and standardized thought. They weighed the compulsions for restrained speech and thought against the abuses of liberty. They chose liberty.”
[Beauharnais v.Illinois, 342 U.S. 250, 287 (1952) (dissenting)]”
― William O. Douglas
William Orville Douglas was an American jurist and politician who served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Nominated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt at 40 was one of youngest justices appointed
“Without Freedom of Thought, there can be no such thing as Wisdom; and no such thing as public liberty, without Freedom of Speech.”
“Let us dare to read, think, speak and write.”
“Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.” Thomas Jefferson
Quotes on Freedom of Religion
“Let the pulpit resound with the doctrine and sentiments of religious liberty. Let us hear of the dignity of man’s nature, and the noble rank he holds among the works of God…Let it be known that British liberties are not the grants of princes and parliaments.” John Adams
“We hold it for a fundamental and inalienable truth that religion and the manner of discharging it can be directed only by reason and conviction not by force and violence. The religion, then, of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate.” James Monroe
“The liberty enjoyed by the people of these States of worshipping Almighty God, agreeable to their consciences, is not only among the choicest of their blessings, but also of their rights.” George Washington
“Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society.” George Washington
MORE FROM THE SCRIPTURES ON FREE SPEECH INCLUDING SELF REGULATED MODERATION IN THE EXERCISE OF IT.
(Paul spoke the truth to the Galatians but was aware that people could turn on him for doing so.)
“Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?”
And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!
Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.
“Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,”
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”
Christians who think they are being noble or humble to hold their individual rights with little or no care – do so at the risk of their speech and their faith. Also Christians who do not watch and guard their own words must remember that we are accountable for them. We should choose and place our words well but we should never think it is a small thing when government and society wishes to choose them or silence them for us. Great momentum exist in todays culture to silence opposition to the cultural /political/ and media narratives. Time is short for passive Christians to awaken and arise for the sake of precious freedoms for our children and their faith.