Freedom of Speech

Freedom of Speech

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Above image by Christopher Ross from Pixabay

Can You Speak Out?

Many universities and college classes foster ideological clubs, students who are quick and eager to devour any that oppose their views. Unfortunately, this has become the norm as opposed to a free exchange of ideas and opinions that cultivate thoughtful dialogues and debates. Moreover, many students, especially the minority conservative students, fear voicing their opinion because of the cancel-culture prevalent in today’s liberal universities. 

This problem goes well beyond our universities. Elon Musk has been very critical of the mega social platforms and their censorship. Musk has almost 8 million followers on Twitter, and he asked them if a new social platform was needed. “Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy. What should be done?”((Khaled, Fatma. “Elon Musk Asks if ‘New Platform’ Needed as Twitter Slammed on Free Speech.” Newsweek, 26 March 2022. https://www.newsweek.com/elon-musk-asks-if-new-platform-needed-twitter-slammed-free-speech-1692192. 1 April 2022))

Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube (owned by Google) yield massive power over American citizens and their freedom of expression.

The recent controversy over the transgender Penn State University swimmer Lea Thomas((Johnson, Greg. “Thomas concludes spectacular season with national title.” Penn Today, March 20th 2022. https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/thomas-concludes-spectacular-season-national-title. March 23rd 2022)) is a perfect example I addressed in a previous post. School officials told the girls on the team if they spoke negatively about the controversy, they would be removed from the swim team and never get a job offer. 

“Those who call for censorship in the name of the oppressed ought to recognize it is never the oppressed who determine the bounds of censorship.” – Human rights activist Aryeh Neier

The Penn State officials displayed cancel culture at its best. It took former Olympic medalist Nancy Hogshead-Makar to speak out for the young women on the Penn State swim team. The girls told her that if the media reached out, they were warned by school officials not to talk to them. Through the Olympian, the girls said, “We support Lia’s mental health, and we ask Penn and the Ivy League to support ours as well.”1 

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” – George Orwell

Yes, this is a complex issue. However, it should be evident to all that have given this any consideration; men should compete against men, and women should compete against women in sports. Sounds logical and straightforward; yet, universities and our government create policies that do not consider the consequences of transgenders competing. Who is paying the price? The athletes who are not transgender, in particular women. 

Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy. – Proverbs 31:8-9

But imagine for a moment if you had a good friend or family member who is transgender; most of us would approach the issue differently because it is not an issue anymore but a person. When faced with that person, it should change your heart, but not your theology. 

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. – Colossians 4:6

Simple Science

What is the solution for this complicated topic? It is not to allow women carte blanche to compete against women; the transgenders who are in the process of hormone therapy and taking testosterone will have a significant advantage in competitive sports. 

The Mayo Clinic reports women to expect the following when taking masculinizing hormone therapy. 

  • Stopping your period. 
  • Voice deepening. 
  • Facial and body hair growth.
  • Body fat redistribution. 
  • Clitoral enlargement and vaginal atrophy. 
  • Increased muscle mass and strength. 

“You’ll begin masculinizing hormone therapy by taking testosterone. Typically, your doctor will prescribe a low dose and slowly increase the dosage over a period of months. Testosterone is given either by injection or a gel applied to the skin.”2

I am not sure what the solution is concerning transgenders in sports, but I know it is not to shut down the opinions and thoughts of anyone who disagrees with you. 

Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth? – Galatians 4:16

“This is slavery, not to speak one’s thought.” – Euripides

The system of inclusion and tolerance espoused by the left threatens women to remain silent, which should tell you something is dreadfully wrong, and most Americans know it. Progressives know they dare not define what a woman is for fear of retribution, but also, since they define gender as shifting, fluid, adaptable to the individual, they can’t explain the label of a woman

“The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use them.” – Philip K. Dick

This became glaringly obvious when Senator Marsha Blackburn asked Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown to define what a woman is; Judge Brown couldn’t. Senator Blackburn responded, “The fact that you can’t give me a straight answer about something as fundamental as what a woman is underscores the dangers of the kind of progressive education that we are hearing about,” she said. “Just last week, an entire generation of young girls watched as our taxpayer-funded institutions permitted a biological man to compete and be a biological woman in the N.C.A.A. swimming championships. What message do you think this sends to girls who aspire to compete and win in sports at the highest levels?”3 

For some, the answer is as unmistakable as a penis caught in a zipper (granted, only 1/2 of my readers will truly appreciate that example), but Judge Brown couldn’t answer the question. Why? Because you can’t pin gender on anyone, it is fluid and is entirely up to the individual, according to liberal progressives. I would then ask, how can we create laws to protect women’s rights if we can’t even define what a woman is? Yet this fundamental truth is a severe dilemma for the progressives, but they will not even acknowledge it. Furthermore, if you quote the science of XX chromosomes in the gender debate, you will be silenced for hate speech and then shamed into submission. 

“I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to make an ass of yourself.”– Oscar Wilde

Diminishing Freedoms

A new poll by the New York Times and Siena College found cancel culture, or more specifically, the diminishing freedoms of our First Amendments rights, conscious in the minds of Americans. For example, only 34% of Americans feel all Americans fully enjoy the freedom of speech.((The Editorial Board. “America Has a Free Speech Problem.” New York Times, New York, 18 March 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/18/opinion/cancel-culture-free-speech-poll.html. 24 March 2022)) Furthermore, 84% said the lack of free speech has become a ‘very serious’ or ‘somewhat serious’ problem. “Americans do not speak freely in everyday situations because of fear of retaliation or harsh criticism.”4

PragerU  has certainly experienced that on Youtube, now owned by Google. Here is the list of videos that Youtube has removed.  PragerU is not alone in this; Youtube has removed many conservative videos because they don’t fall in step with the party line. 

Just before the elections of 2020, both Twitter and Facebook censored the New York Post on the story of Hunter Biden’s laptop and financial dealing in Ukraine and China. Now, two years later, the censored story we find had teeth. 

George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley said there is a “view that an indictment against Hunter Biden is likely.”5He was reacting to The New York Times story confirming the legitimacy of the Hunter Biden Laptop. Did you hear any of this on CNN, NBC, USAToday? 

The New York Times reported, “…prosecutors had investigated payments and gifts Mr. Biden or his associates had received from foreign interests, including a vehicle paid for using funds from a company associated with a Kazakh oligarch and a diamond from a Chinese energy tycoon. Prosecutors also sought documents related to corporate entities through which Mr. Biden and his associates conducted business with interests around the world.”6 The Times also reported, “Those emails were obtained by The New York Times from a cache of files that appears to have come from a laptop abandoned by Mr. Biden in a Delaware repair shop.”6

As the social media powerhouses Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter continue to filter to fit their view, ensuring political correctness, our freedom of speech slowly evaporates. 

“Political correctness is tyranny; just tyranny with manners.” – Charlton Heston

The New York Times reported when Russia blocked Facebook and Twitter last month, it startled Chinese Internet users. Many did not realize that Russia allowed that kind of Western influence in their country. “When Russia blocked Facebook and limited Twitter this month, many Chinese internet users were surprised. Wait a moment, they said: The Russians could use Facebook and Twitter? Both social media platforms have been banned in China since 2009.”7

“Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.” – Harry S. Truman.

Just a few years ago, Russia began to learn from the best (China) on how to control its country’s population and suppress undesired thoughts or words that some of the more independent thinkers might consider. Unfortunately, the invasion of Ukraine has only hastened the desire and implementation among the Russian Olgargy and government authorities. 

In 2015 China’s censorship czars spoke to leaders in Russia on how to control social media and the flow of information. Lu Wei told his audience at the forum, “Unlimited freedom can lead to terrorism,” and Fang Binxing known in China as the father of the Great Firewall said, “If borders exist, they exist in cyberspace too.”7

Under Xi and Lu, China has advanced the “doctrine of cyberspace sovereignty,” which would see the Internet turned into national Internets, in other words, country-specific, each with its own controls and boundaries. In large part, many countries have already experienced that, and our own country is making inroads toward that model. Lu Wei has since fallen out of favor. Found guilty of corruption in China, he took millions in bribes, but his ideas continue to influence China’s policies.((Griffiths, James. Jiang, Steven. “Former Chinese internet czar Lu Wei sentenced to 14 years in prison for bribery.” CNN. 26 March 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/26/asia/lu-wei-china-sentenced-corruption-intl/index.html 26 March 2022))

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 2:12

The editorial Board of the New York Times and the Pew Research Center reports that America is experiencing a “…a crisis of confidence around one of America’s most basic values. Freedom of speech and expression is vital to human beings’ search for truth and knowledge about our world. A society that values freedom of speech can benefit from the full diversity of its people and their ideas. At the individual level, human beings cannot flourish without the confidence to take risks, pursue ideas and express thoughts that others might reject.”8

“The only thing that should be upheld at all costs and without qualification is the right of free expression, because if that goes, then so do all other claims of right as well.” – Atheist Christopher Hitchens

I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speakMatthew 12:26

Have you experienced this yet? If not, your time will come. Here in America you are losing our fundamental right to speak out against what is considered mainstream thought. If your opinion does not fall in step with what is deemed tolerant, politically correct, inclusive, and gender-free, you will be silenced, shamed, and shunned.

We can’t debate bad ideas with good ones without freedom of speech. Abolishing the freedom of speech is the tool of dictators, oppressors, and tyrants. You should be concerned with our country’s direction concerning freedom of speech. If not, the time will come when you are concerned it will be too late, and your voice will be silenced. After that, your vote. 

Creative Commons License
Freedom of Speech by James W Glazier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

  1. Boas, Phil. “If Lia Thomas’ teammates can’t raise concerns about transgender athletes, we all lose.” Arizona Republic, March 21st 2022, https://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/philboas/2022/03/21/lia-thomas-teammates-concern-transgender-women-sports-swimming/7121544001/. March 23rd 2022 []
  2. Mayo Clinic Staff, “Masculinizing hormone therapy,” Mayo Clinic, mayclinic.org. 21 July 2021 https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/masculinizing-hormone-therapy/about/pac-20385099 []
  3. Weisman, Jonathan. “A demand to define ‘woman’ injects gender politics into Jackson’s confirmation hearings.” New York Times, New York, 23 March 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/23/us/politics/ketanji-brown-jackson-woman-definition.html. 25 March 2022 []
  4. The Editorial Board. “America Has a Free Speech Problem.” New York Times, New York, 18 March 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/18/opinion/cancel-culture-free-speech-poll.html. 24 March 2022 []
  5. Fox News Staff, “Jonathan Turley on why NY Times finally acknowledged Hunter Biden’s laptop was authentic.” Fox News, 22 March 2022, https://www.foxnews.com/media/ny-times-hunter-biden-laptop-authentic-turley. 26 March 2022 []
  6. Benner, Katie. Vogel, Kenneth. Schmidt, Michael. “Hunter Biden Paid Tax Bill, but Broad Federal Investigation Continues.” New York Times, New York, 16 March 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/16/us/politics/hunter-biden-tax-bill-investigation.html. 26 March 2022 [] []
  7. Yuan, Li. “China’s Information Dark Age Could Be Russia’s Future.” New York Times, New York, 18 March 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/18/business/chinas-russia-information.html?searchResultPosition=4. 25 March 2022 [] []
  8. The Editorial Board, “America Has a Free Speech Problem.” New York Times, 18 March 2022. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/18/opinion/cancel-culture-free-speech-poll.html 26 March 2022 []
The War In Ukraine

The War In Ukraine

Reading Time: 5 minutes

The above title is outlawed in Russia. Putin forbids my very use of the word “war.” Using that word could place a Russian reporter in the Gulag Archipelago for 15 years. They are not allowed to use “war,” “invasion,” or “assault” when describing their invasion of Ukraine.1

The New York Times reported last Friday, “Russia clamped down harder Friday on news and free speech than at any time in President Vladimir V. Putin’s 22 years in power, blocking access to Facebook and major foreign news outlets, and enacting a law to punish anyone spreading ‘false information’ about its Ukraine invasion with up to 15 years in prison.”((Troianovski, Anton. “Russia Takes Censorship to New Extremes, Stifling War Coverage.” New York Times, March 4, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/04/world/europe/russia-censorship-media-crackdown.html. March 8, 2022))

For Putin, it is all about controlling the narrative within his authority. Those critical of his actions will quickly be labeled criminals and face severe consequences. 

Instead, the Kremlin says their invasion of Ukraine is a “special military operation.” The Kremlin has also blocked access from within their country to major western news sources or popular social networks such as Facebook. Consequently, the general population within Russia will only hear the state-managed media.((Troianovski, Anton. “Russia Takes Censorship to New Extremes, Stifling War Coverage.” New York Times, March 4, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/04/world/europe/russia-censorship-media-crackdown.html. March 8, 2022))

This war will not end quickly, and those who have orchestrated the invasion and war in Ukraine will be suffering economically. But what does that mean exactly? First off, you need to understand that Russia is an oligarchy. What is that exactly? It is a government-run by a few very powerful and very wealthy people. Just a handful of individuals manage and own all the property, businesses, trade, and energy. To give you an idea, Putin is worth about 100 billion. Yes, I wrote billion, not million.((Mohler, Albert. “Thursday, March 3, 2022.” Audio blog post. The Briefing. albertmohler.com, March 3, 2022. Web. March 8, 2022)) Give that some thought. One hundred billion. For example, if Putin lost 99% of his entire wealth, he would still have 1 billion left. Can you picture a billion dollars? For those who are math-challenged, think of it this way, 1 billion dollars is a thousand million dollars. Could you live on that? Could a millionaire be comfortable with that? How about someone with a hundred million? You see my point. 

These sanctions will undoubtedly hurt the oligarchy, but what is a 90% loss of their billions? It is a nuisance, maybe an aggravation, but I would not even go so far as to say a discomfort. These men and women in power will not suffer one iota from our sanctions. Who suffers? The people of Russia. Many of them may disagree with the invasion of Ukraine but, out of fear, will say nothing against it. Why? Because the Kremlin passed a law making criminals out of those who speak out against their military or government. Vyacheslav Volodin, a Kremlin official, said with the new law, “those who lied and made declarations discrediting our armed forces will be forced to suffer very harsh punishment.”2

The sanctions may place such a general stress on the populace they could rise up and overthrow the government, but they are already cowed by laws, restrictions, and threats of harsh punishments. Constraints on free speech are in full swing and will only get worse. Those who don’t toe the line will quickly disappear and be examples to those who might consider speaking out against the invasion of Ukraine. 

World view matters, and I can’t say this strongly enough. Countries like Russia and China don’t care about the people; those in power only care about gaining more power and influence even if it costs their people or innocents, including women and children. Culture is downstream of religion, and politics is downstream of culture, always. So what Russia is doing and what China is planning on doing has everything to do with politics, culture, and undoubtedly a religion, or lack thereof. Those in charge are answerable to no one, and they will do whatever they can to keep it that way. 

Ukraine will fall. Those who fought to keep their country independent will either be killed or whisked away to prisons in Siberia, never to be heard from again. If you think Russia will be satisfied with Ukraine, you are sadly mistaken. It may not happen in my lifetime, but the Russian oligarch will continue to make moves westward. 

And I predict within my lifetime, China will take Taiwan. And like Ukraine, we will not want to go to war for another country’s freedom. So like it or not, it is simply a delay of the inevitable. Ideas have consequences, and the ideas coming from Russia and China have world-impacting consequences. 

Does injustice diminish depending on the distance? For example, what would you do if you were to walk out your front door and see a man abusing a woman or child just a few feet away? I think most men and women would immediately step in and put a halt to it if they could. What if it was across the street? Does your responsibility for the abuse that you have knowledge of lessen because of the increased distance?

David French, a conservative Christian and political commentator wrote, 

“The true battle for our country isn’t political, it’s cultural and spiritual…Our nation can survive lost elections, but over the long term it cannot survive a decayed culture.”3

As Christians, we should recognize secular ideas regarding ethics. Secular moralities such as the ones we find from the Kremlin and China are established on the belief that their own ideas and moral codes (what is right and wrong) are merely based on their views. Nothing more than that. No higher universal standard or judge that we may call God. They recognize this and act on it. “If there is no absolute beyond man’s ideas, then there is not a final appeal to judge between individuals and groups whose moral judgments conflict. We are merely left with conflicting opinions.”((Schaeffer, Francis. How Should We Then Live? Old Tappan NJ: Fleming H. Revell, 1976 p. 154))

You are mistaken if you think theology doesn’t matter. Theological arguments matter because they arrived in the form of jetliners on September 11. You are also mistaken if you believe Godless leaders are a better option. If you have heard and believed the party line that religion has been the cause of more deaths and wars than anything else, you’re deceived. Mao, Stalin, and Hitler, atheist dictators, were responsible for over 100 million deaths in the 20th century. 

The world war for worldviews is just beginning. What side are you on?

Creative Commons License
The War In Ukraine by James W Glazier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

  1. AFP, “Russia Bans Media Outlets from Using Words’ War,’ ‘Invasion.’ The Moscow Times, February 26, 2022, https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2022/02/26/russia-bans-media-outlets-from-using-words-war-invasion-a76605. March 8, 2022 []
  2. Troianovski, Anton. “Russia Takes Censorship to New Extremes, Stifling War Coverage.” New York Times, March 4, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/04/world/europe/russia-censorship-media-crackdown.html. March 8, 2022 []
  3. Friedersdorf, Conor. “How Breitbart Destroyed Andrew Breitbart’sLegacy.” The Atlantic, 14, Nov. 2017, https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/11/how-breitbart-destroyed-andrew-breitbarts-legacy/545807/. 9 March 2022 []

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