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Can't We Just Have a Conversation?

Updated: Dec 15, 2021

"Proclaim the truth and do not be silent through fear."

-St. Catherine of Siena

Today, I’d like to use my daily post to address a criticism I have constantly received while trying to progress the principles of free speech. Many people have accused me of only promoting free speech in an effort to be allowed to say things that are harmful to others. While many of you may not know me, I can tell you I have never dedicated my time to hurting others. I think that’s an utter waste of time, and I have too much on my plate to focus on punching down on anyone.


Freedom of speech does mean you’re allowed to say things that are offensive to others. Let’s be honest: We live in an overly sensitive climate where everyone is able to find a reason to be offended by anything. Even speech that is unintentionally offensive is labeled as hate speech by those whose feelings are hurt.


What’s the alternative to free speech? Having the government ban anything that can be deemed hateful? You may not realize this now, but your mind is going to change on a lot of subjects as you get older and have more experiences. The speech you want to ban now could be speech you want to express ten years in the future. You won’t be able to, unfortunately, because you will have joined a mob that all had their minds made about everything before they were 20 years old.


Conversations where disagreements occur are not inherently harmful. We need to stop taking offense when somebody challenges our views and give listening across the aisle an opportunity. There’s not one person who is right about everything, except for maybe Ron Paul. We all have room to learn and grow, but we’re creating a culture that allows neither. We have created a culture that frowns on education if said education impedes on what so many have labeled as “social progress.”


How are we progressing as a society when we cannot be taught? How can we even categorize this as “progress” when some of the most highly educated people in this country are afraid to speak? We need to do better if we want our children to lead better lives. Banning free speech is not the answer. Instead, we have to learn how to have conversations, even when there are disagreements present.


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