CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW RESPECTING AN ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION, OR PROHIBITNG THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF; OR ABRIDGING THE FREEDOM OF SPEECH, OR OF THE PRESS; OR THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE PEACABLY TO ASSEMBLE, AND TO PETITION THE GOVERNMENT FOR A REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES.
These are perhaps the most important freedom words ever authored by any government. They were crafted December 15, 1791, some 229 years ago. They are the INDISPENSABLE words of the First Amendment of our beloved Constitution. It is the first emphatic, unconditional, fundamental First Amendment, the First of Ten in what we call THE BILL OF RIGHTS.
Hear these incredible words clearly. First, Congress shall make no law. That is, House and Senate of our federal government shall make NO law, none whatsoever, none of any kind, none which in any way abridges freedom of religion, speech, press, peaceful assembly and petition for government redress of grievances. NONE!
But it does, our Congress House and Senate. It does make laws which abridge, qualify, condition or otherwise water down that absolutely unconditional requirement that there be no law, or any abridgement, not even the slightest qualification to those fundamental freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition. NONE.
One example. The so–called HATE SPEECH LEGISLATION. Radical, progressive, anti-constitutional and anti–American progressives have found a way to convince Congress that so–called hate speech is not free speech. That has been determined as a qualification (an abridgement) to the absolute and unconditional demand of the First Amendment. And there is more, and more to come.
Our country is built upon the most fundamental of freedoms, and that is free speech. We are absolutely free to state our opinions, to say whatever we wish whenever we wish wherever we wish. We the speakers, the free speechers are indeed responsible for our words but we the speakers cannot be prevented from SPEAKING! But, it is just incredible how this progressive, in so many ways anti–American day and age attacks the First Amendment and especially freedom of speech and seeks to curtail it or at least control it any way possible.
That happens perhaps more often in the world of education, shockingly so. Our colleges and universities block the use on the internet of:
1,800 UNIQUE TERMS
on social media pages. ONE THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED words no longer considered to be free speech by these learned educational institutions. And more. Secret filters automatically remove comments mentioning political figures, Corporate partners, sports teams and faculty members just to name some. Almost every college and university in our beloved country employs a certain kind of SPEECH POLICE who do nothing more than monitor, control and render null and void any speech they do not like.
And more. EIGHTY SEVEN PERCENT OF COLLEGES BLOCK USERS ON FACEBOOK OR TWITTER, 87%! Don’t you find that unbelievable? College administrators abuse social platform tools to secretly and illegally censor posts and users. Eighty seven percent! The majority of top public colleges and universities use a blacklist of secret words created by no less than FACEBOOK to automatically censor comments on university social media pages. That was so when colleges were alive and active. But today, when so much of student life moves online, such censorship is even more alarming, radical and of course UNCONSTITUTIONAL. That led the FOUNDATION FOR INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS AND EUCATION (FIRE) to conclude that the vast majority of educational institutions are “impermissibly censoring public dialogue.” Are they ever. Many believe that these educational speech police are radical, progressive, even anti–American and anti–Constitutional individuals who somehow have obtained these positions of power and importance and are determined to control the dialogue with regard to local and national issues, campus controversies, criticism of the Corporate partners of the universities, and the sport teams and anyone or anything else they deem to be undesirable. And this comedy educational environment is where any and all speech, free to be sure and any and every point of view and the thinking behind it should be encouraged and fostered to grow the understanding and maturity of the young college individuals. In so many cases at so many universities, it is exactly the opposite!
“There is no social media exception to the First Amendment. Government or university actors cannot sanitize public discourse, which includes American colleges filtering dissent on their social media accounts. By selectively eliminating particular viewpoints, universities are violating the First Amendment.”
So said Adam Steinbaugh, a strong defender of the First Amendment and free speech. It is absolutely illegal and unlawful for colleges to ban more than 1,800 words and phrases from any kind of public use and to curtail speech in that fashion. Many of these educational institutions use the so–called profanity filter of FACEBOOK. Facebook has what it calls a strong, and a medium, and a light PROFANITY FILTER which contains a list of words and phrases which are prohibited and which are not known by the public which uses Facebook. Zuckerberg and his cohorts engage aggressively and often openly in this illegal and anti–Constitutional prohibition of free speech and by and large he and Facebook get away with it. But there are, thankfully, excellent organizations well aware of these banning, blacklisting policies of Facebook, Twitter, Google and the like and they are demanding accountability, and change, and they take legal and congressional action against them in order to hold them accountable to the First Amendment. Organizations like FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights and Education), AIM (Accuracy In Media), and MRC (Media Research Center), organizations which stand tall for the First Amendment, for freedom of speech and aggressively so. They stand with author Adam Steinbaugh who states the following:
“Government actors cannot sanitize public discourse!”
Freedom of speech is fundamental not only to our country but to any and every educational environment.
And, three in ten colleges and universities use their very own “CUSTOM BLACKLIST.” It is simply unbelievable the types and kinds of words and phrases which are blacklisted and forbidden. Aiding this illegal censorship, Facebook and its automated content FILTERS allows educational institutions to automatically hide user comments which allow public colleges and certain governmental agencies to quietly remove critical posts, transforming their Facebook pages from public forums into vehicles for their own publicity and points of view. In short, these social media behemoths like Facebook and Twitter do not consider themselves subject to the First Amendment even though courts have held they are. The free speech organization FIRE discovered that 87% of colleges blocked particular users on Facebook and Twitter, a shocking percentage don’t you think? Zuckerberg and other leaders and decision makers of social media defend their policies, and hypocritically state that they are believers in and stand for free expression, free speech and free and full access to their social media sites, even though the facts of the matter are exactly the opposite. Facebook in fact provides the tools to these state and public universities which allow them to censor large swaths of speech which of course alters the public discourse with just a few clicks of the mouse! These Facebook, Twitter and Google policies make it easier than ever to silence Americans and stifle their opinions and ideas. Many Americans use these social media sites to express their ideas or to publish other content they deem valuable, thinking such content has full access to the worldwide exposure and reach offered. But in fact, if what is published is contrary to the philosophy, thinking or priorities of the social media entity or run afoul of the secret blacklist, the content goes nowhere. Most users and publishers have no idea that what they posted is seen by no one. And as the entity FIRE has well said:
“Protecting freedom of expression online is all the more important as the Coronavirus pandemic drives our communities online.”
Is it ever. In the post Coronavirus age and economy, online activities will become more important than ever, trumping much of what has normally occurred in the real world with real time and the interaction of real people never to be the same again.
Imagine if you can the effect this kind of blacklisting and censorship will have on freedom of religion, and especially freedom of religious speech. For example, the concept of sin, that as the Bible, scriptures plainly state is applicable to all humankind can be readily viewed by these social media entities as HATE SPEECH and consequently banned. And, any criticism or disagreement with the agenda and priorities of LGBTQ. And even anti–abortion speech. And so much more. It is a day and age when entities like Facebook would either ignore or eviscerate the precious freedoms of the First Amendment. These are not possibilities. THEY ARE ACTUALITIES! They are actually happening today and WE THE PEOPLE are either unaware or unresponsive to these incredible threats to our freedoms.
It is absolutely critical that we stand up for our rights to free speech, and press, and assembly, and perhaps most importantly to those of us who are Christians:
FREEDOM OF RELIGION.
The entire American concept is built on the core principle of FREE SPEECH. We must be free to dialogue, state our opinions, argue and persuade, all peacefully and without violence or physicality. But without free speech, if Americans are muzzled by radical anti–Americans, the only remedy would be civil disobedience or in worst cases violence as a result. I pray that will never happen, but it will if there is no longer or the continued attacks on freedom of religion and freedom of speech. Stand up to Facebook, my fellow Americans, and Twitter, and Google, and Apple and the dozens of other entities which are determined to control speech not only in the marketplace but most especially ONLINE. Online speech is First Amendment speech and fully protected. Please, don’t ever lose that precious online freedom.
For, if you and I lose those online freedoms, once lost, those freedoms are: