Freedom of Speech
With varying opinions and beliefs, our society needs to have unlimited freedom to speak about any and everything that concerns us in order to continually improve our society. Those free speech variables would be speech that creates a positive, and not negative, scenario in both long-terms and short-terms. Dictionary.com defines Freedom of Speech as, “the right of people to express their opinions publicly without governmental interference, subject to the laws against libel, incitement to violence or rebellion, etc.” Freedom of speech is also known as free speech or freedom of expression. Freedom of speech is also known as freedom of expression because a person’s beliefs and thoughts can also be expressed in other ways other than speech. These ways could be art, writings, songs, and other forms of expression. If speaking freely and expressing ourselves freely is supposed to be without any consequence, then why are there constant law suits and consequences for people who do. Freedom of speech and freedom of expression should be exactly what they mean. Although most people believe that they can speak about anything without there being consequences, this is very untrue. One of those spoken things that have consequences is speaking about the president in such a negative way that it sends red flags about your intentions. Because of the high terrorist alerts, people have to limit what they say about bombs, 9/11, and anything they may say out of anger about our government or country. In the documentary called Fahrenheit 9/11, Michael Moore spoke of a man who went to his gym and had a conversation with some of his gym buddies in a joking way. He made a joke about George W. Bush “bombing us in oil profits”. The next morning the FBI was at his front door because someone had reported what he freely spoke. Although the statements might have been derogatory, they were still his opinion, and he had a right to say whatever he wanted to about the president. In the past seven years there have been laws made that have obstructed our freedom of speech, and our right to privacy. Many of us have paused in the recent years when having a conversation because we are afraid that we are eavesdropped on. Even the eavesdropping would not be a problem if it were not for fear that there would be some legal action taken because of what you say. As mentioned in TalkLeft about the awkwardness in our current day conversations, “We stop suddenly, momentarily afraid that our words might be taken out of context, then we laugh at our paranoia and go on. But our demeanor has changed, and our words are subtly altered. This is the loss of freedom we face when our privacy is taken from us. This is life in former East Germany, or life in Saddam Hussein's Iraq. And it's our future as we allow an ever-intrusive eye into our personal, private lives.” Because of tighter security and defense by the United States there have been visible and invisible changes to the meaning of freedom of speech and expression. One wrong word or thing could lead to a disastrous consequence.
Another topic that has been limited for a long period of time is religion. Speaking about religion in certain places is severely frowned upon. One of those places is schools. Since I could remember, schools have always had a rule that certain things could not be spoken of related to religion. If they were, that person could receive consequences. As a young child I could never understand why students and staff members could not openly express their love for God. I also thought that prayer was not permitted in schools when they are. Prayers are permitted in school, but not in classrooms during class time. Also wearing religious symbols or clothing is banned in schools. If we are free to speak our thoughts and feelings, then how are we “banned” to do these things? It is like saying that we are free to speak whatever we want, but we may not say anything. In the article A...
References: Definitions from Dictionary (2007). Browse. Retrieved February 21, 2009 from
Privacy vs. Tyranny and Security vs. Liberty (2006). Retrieved February 21,
Contemporary Issues Companion: Civil Liberties. Ed. Jill Karson. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2006. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. Apollo Library. 21 Feb. 2008 .
Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. Apollo Library. 21 Feb. 2009
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