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Free speech isn't 'free'
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One of the signs that we are seeing a failure of the very core values that are supposed to make the United States different from other nations?
We are more and more frequently seeing Americans who only support the Constitutional rights of others, so long as they agree with their stand.
Consider the decision this week that the funeral protests of Westboro Baptist Church members, from Topeka, are Constitutional, according to the First Amendment protection of free speech.
And consider the number of people who are upset because they find the Westboro speech so disagreeable.
See, it’s when we are most opposed to someone’s speech that the Constitution is the most important.
When someone is proudly displaying the flag, no one wants to shut down their free speech — well, depending on which flag they display, of course.
Ken Webber, 28, of Medford, Ore. worked for four years at First Student School Bus Transportation Services until he refused to stop flying a Confederate flage from his personal vehicle.
He was ordered to remove it.
He didn’t.
And now he’s been suspended as a bus driver.
Not because he attached the flag to a school bus.
Because he had it attached to his personal vehicle.
It’s hard to tell.
If he’d been flying a rainbow coalition flag or a flag of Scotland or a flag proclaiming him as a member of the Barack Obama fan club, he might have been treated the same, but it’s doubtful.
As a society, we are becoming more willing to strip the rights from those with whom we disagree, from those whose beliefs we find objectionable, but history has proven that those are the very beliefs that our system must protect. Otherwise, this experiment in freedom that we call “America” is going to fail.
Let it not fail on our watch.
— Chuck Smith