On Facebook, the infamous social medial website, someone had posted a picture of a potato and written the words, ‟I am offended by this potato.” To this someone else responded, ‟Now I’m Irish, and that offends me.” Really! Seriously! OMG! As much as we love or hate Facebook, it has become the place where everyone expresses whatever opinion they may have regardless of who really cares. Honestly, it is the state of affairs where free speech is concerned. The person who posted the potato was making a not so subtle point. Was he not saying, ‟Oh, grow up!”
The potato man made his point very well, in my opinion. It should give us cause to reflect, however, the power of free speech and how important it is to us. Let’s face it, of all the rights we are guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, the right to free speech is perhaps the most difficult to defend and the one most often challenged. In America today, we are in great danger of loosing our constitutional rights all together if we don’t speak up and take action. The right to free speech is our most potent defense against exploitation and enslavement.I have often heard it said that we should exercise our right to free speech responsibly or respectfully. I agree. However, let’s face it, no matter how responsibly or respectfully we exercise that right, someone isn’t going to like what we said. In this country, even if you have the right to free speech, someone can sue you because of what you said. Worse, those who make their living from the exercise of that right, such as journalists, have been jailed and even murdered for even responsibly exercising their constitutional right. And if the powers that be in control of this country don’t like what you said, they may put a contract out on your life and tear you apart covertly or even kill you. The most horrible thing about this is that you can be sued or even murdered for telling the truth and exposing someone’s lie. Those who choose the live above the law, retaliate against those who tell the truth in such a way as to shield themselves from being held accountable. So this is much more serious than someone being offended by a potato.Words are powerful things. Yahweh spoke the universe into being n six days by the word of his mouth. It has been said that the fall of the Roman Empire occurred because the Bible, Yahweh’s written word, was finally translated into the common tongue of the people in the Roman Empire. People began to fight back when they understood what Bible was really saying. ‟Yahweh is for us, not against us.” It was the Roman Catholic church that perverted the gospel and used it to enslaved the people. It was the truth that set them free.When telling the truth, and knowing the truth becomes a crime punishable by lawsuit or death, then we need to seriously consider how important our right to free speech is to us. Those who retaliate against those who are simply exercising their right to free speech or their right to tell the truth, I contend have something they are trying to hide. If it is important enough to them to punish people for exercising their right to free speech, you have to consider what it is that they are hiding. Those that tell the truth are exposing the lie. The truth is what sets you free. It is the lie that enslaves us. Who benefits from keeping the truth from us?When we start arguing about political correctness, we are sinking our most important constitutional right. When we take offense at something someone has said, we are chiseling away at our freedom. We are warned in the scripture not to be easily offended. Perhaps the prophets knew, before there was a constitution, that the freedom to speak was vitally important to us. The FB community was shocked when a school principle demanded that the flag of the United States be removed because they had many native Mexican’s attending who might be offended. To this many responded with rage, ‟This is American. We have a right to fly our flag.” They are right, and right to speak up. Someone else was fined because he was flying the American flag from his porch. It was offensive to some of his neighbors. So he took the flag down, and instead painted the American flag on his roof.Often, people say senseless, shameful things that may rightfully offend us. Nerveless, we have to consider what it will cost us to deny them the right to speak freely. As believer’s in Jesus Christ we understand that people are offended by our faith. We still believe in a right and a wrong, the difference between the truth and a lie and other moral absolutes. We claim only one God, one faith and one way to salvation through Jesus Christ. Of all people we stand in opposition to the current political climate in this country and around the world. Ultimately, it is the believer in Jesus Christ that the world will try to silence.
Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense (Prover bs 19:11, ESV).
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, ... (Romans 1:18, HRB).