Letter to the Editor
Views 96 | Time to read: 1 minutes | Uploaded: 2 - 3 - 2015 | By: Walker Douglas
When any group claims to support the freedom of expression, only to follow that statement with a qualifier, it is evident that that group either fundamentally misunderstands the concept of free speech, or they would rather that speech not be free.
After claiming, “freedom of speech is an inalienable right,” the Horizon staff is quick to point out that Charlie Hebdo’s content is “unnecessarily offensive.” It appears that the Horizon has joined the ranks of the mass media in its belief that speech should only be free when it is polite. Among the most persecuted groups in the world, it is important that Christians recognize just how dangerous and real the threat of censorship is. We must be wary of drawing lines that divide acceptable speech from unacceptable speech, for it is this very distinction that justifies state-sponsored execution of Christians in countries like North Korea, Iran, and Afghanistan.
For three centuries, Romans targeted the Church because it failed to succumb to societal norms; the Christian lifestyle was, in a word, “unnecessarily offensive” to Roman culture. As Western society’s aversion to offensiveness continues to grow, the marginalized, the fringe groups, and those who hold “unnecessarily offensive” convictions will need to exercise the first amendment to its fullest. My recommendation to the Horizon is this: exercise your right while you still have it, and hope that you will not have to explain to future generations what that experience was like.