Monday, May 18, 2009

Free Speech – An Endangered Species

When the year 1984 arrived and left, George Orwell’s futuristic novel “1984” suddenly seemed archaic. America had no “groupthink” or “Thought Police” as Orwell envisioned in the fictional totalitarian regime. Fast forward to 2009 and it seems his prognostications just might have been off about 25 years.

Recently Miss California Carrie Prejean, while competing in the Miss USA pageant, was asked by an openly gay-activist judge to give her views on same-sex marriage. It was a classic lose-lose situation, like asking a man if he has stopped beating his wife.

Prejean attempted a polite but honest answer: “Well I think it's great that Americans are able to choose one way or the other…. You know what, in my country, in my family, I do believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, no offense to anybody out there…."

For her response, even though Barack Obama and Joe Biden took similar stances while seeking election, she was blasted by the 21st century’s version of the Thought Police. How thoughtless of her to wave her beliefs in the face of “politically correctness.”

In 1791 the Bill of Rights was ratified, stating, “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press….” Obviously, this excludes the “right” to yell “Fire!” in crowded theaters. But opposing same-sex marriage is hardly yelling “Fire!” Nor is it “hate speech.” Prejean was simply asked for – and expressing – her sincere, personal opinion.

The Bible states, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Colossians 4:6). Prejean seemed to be trying to be gracious in her reply, but apparently that’s not good enough.

If we don’t act quickly to protect free speech, groupthink may soon become more than a fictitious notion.