Free speech is the right to express your opinions out loud, in public or private, in print, by mail, or online. It is essential to democracy, and along with the right to keep and bear arms is the greatest deterrent to tyranny. The United States is unique in protecting a full right of free political speech under the First Amendment.
Leftists are the biggest opponents of free speech, as they demand liberal censorship of views they do not like, especially Christian, patriot, conservative, or libertarian ones. Such views are often demonized in the liberal media with its media bias. Ironically, however, Leftists used free speech to orchestrate the French Revolution by publishing damaging lies against King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, as well as ensure the promotion and domination of destructive ideologies such as Communism and Socialism during the Free Speech Movement of 1964.
Free speech is threatened by hate speech codes which define certain types of statements as hate crimes. While supposedly protecting vulnerable groups (such as "questioning gay teens") from verbal abuse, rules and laws provide no clear distinction between "hurtful" speech and simply expressing one's opinion. Religious people, accordingly, worry that hate crimes legislation in America will be used to stop preachers and others from saying out loud or in print that homosexuality is evil.
Not every form of expression is protected as free speech. For example, statements connected with unlawful conduct are typically illegal.
Examples of restrictions and/or censorship of free speech in the West
- United States
- In 2014, the mayor of Houston, a leftist and the first openly-homosexual mayor of the city, briefly issued subpoenas on pastors, ordering them to turn over sermons concerning homosexuality.
- Free speech is under attack on American public university campuses.
- A NASCAR driver was suspended indefinitely for what liberals claimed was considered to be an "intolerable and insensitive remark" - and they wouldn't say what the remark was! But the driver said his remark was "in no way meant to be disrespectful or insensitive to anyone."
- An event featuring Donald Trump, the leading contender for the Republican nomination for president, was disrupted to the point of requiring its cancellation at the University of Illinois, Chicago campus, on March 11, 2016.
- United Kingdom
- In 2010, a Christian street preacher was arrested for causing "harassment, alarm or distress" by calling homosexuality a sinful practice according to biblical teachings. In 2015, another street preacher was fined for calling homosexuality an abomination.
- A pastor in Northern Ireland was charged and tried for making comments (in 2014) in one of his sermons against Islam that were considered "grossly offensive." Although he was found not guilty (in 2016), he should have never been tried in the first place, as Christians should be able to freely express and advocate their biblically-based theological positions.
- In early 2017, two Christian street preachers in Bristol were convicted for quoting the King James Bible in public because they supposedly used "threatening or abusive words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour within the hearing or sight of a person . . . and the offence was religiously aggravated."
- Despite allowing Jihadists who had joined ISIS re-enter the country, in 2018, the United Kingdom banned several right-wing activists from entering simply because of their views.
- In 2016, the French Senate passed a bill making it illegal to post pro-life information on the internet. In February 2017, both houses of the French parliament passed the bill, with the National Assembly's more severe and broad wording ultimately being adopted. As of March 2017, the bill was being reviewed by France's Constitutional Council. Regardless, this law would effectively criminalize the freedom of speech (at least on the internet) of those who support the true human right to life for unborn human beings, and it illustrates the opposition to equal rights in the country.
- Marine Le Pen, right-wing populist French political figure, was likely to face prison time simply for sharing an image of ISIS on Twitter.
- In 2018, conservative French politician Nicholas Dupont-Aignan was given a fine of 5,000 euros for speaking about a "migrant invasion" a year prior.
The German government, with the help of major corporations such as Facebook, censors conservative points of view. In 2017, the German government passed an even stricter anti-free speech law. The German police have raided the homes of people accused of making comments on the internet that the German government deemed "hateful."
- In 2017, a Swedish local government unit forced a Christian preschool to ban prayer to God under the country's Education Act, but the preschoolers were subsequently instructed to thank the sun and the rain before meals.
- In 2017, a local Canadian school district, the Battle River School Division, ordered a Christian school to stop teaching "offensive" passages from the Bible, something that would alter the Christian message and omit key portions of the Bible from being taught.
- In January 2018, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau indicated that pro-life speech is not protected speech. When asked on where the Canadian government limits free speech, Trudeau mentioned abortion, stating that "an organization that has the explicit purpose of restricting women’s rights by removing rights to abortion, the right for women to control their own bodies, is not in line with where we are as a government and quite frankly where we are as a society."
- The Canadian state of Ontario enacted a bill in 2017 that banned pro-life speech around abortion clinics.
- Demonic by Ann Coulter
- Starnes, Todd (October 14, 2014). City of Houston demands pastors turn over sermons. Fox News. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
- Starnes, Todd (October 29, 2014). Houston mayor drops bid to subpoena pastors' sermons. Fox News. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
- Hallowell, Billy (August 3, 2015). Houston Gov’t Subpoenaed Pastors’ Sermons. Now, They’re Fighting Back. The Blaze. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
- Murphy, James (March 20, 2018). Despite Claims to the Contrary, Free Speech at Universities Is in Crisis. The New American. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
- Blake, Heidi (May 2, 2010). Christian preacher arrested for saying homosexuality is a sin. The Telegraph. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
- Tufft, Ben (March 29, 2015). Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'. The Independent. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
- Turpin, Simon (January 8, 2016). Northern Ireland Pastor Not Guilty of Criticising Islam. Answers in Genesis. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
- Weatherbe, Steve (March 2, 2017). Christian street preachers arrested, fined for ‘challenging Muslims,’ ‘homophobia’. LifeSite News. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
- Berrien, Hank (August 3, 2017). These British Pastors Were Just Arrested For ‘Challenging Muslims’. The Daily Wire. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
- Turpin, Simon (March 6, 2017). The Loss of Free Speech in the UK and How We Should React as Christians. Answers in Genesis. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
- Multiple references:
- Hosenball, Mark (March 12, 2018). British authorities ban three foreign right-wing activists. Reuters. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
- Kassam, Raheem (March 14, 2018). KASSAM: The Week In Which Britain Locked Up Journalists for Being Right Wing. Breitbart News. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
- Shaw, Adam (March 12, 2018). Right-wing journalist Lauren Southern denied entry to UK, purportedly over criticism of Islam. Fox News. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
- Hale, Virginia (March 12, 2018). Conservative Activist, Journalist Lauren Southern Detained at Calais, Banned From Entering UK. Breitbart News. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
- Montgomery, Jack (March 18, 2018). PEGIDA Founder Lutz Bachmann Banned from UK After Officials Find Speakers’ Corner Speech in Baggage. Breitbart News. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
- Goebel, Nicole (March 19, 2018). Far-right German PEGIDA founder Lutz Bachmann refused entry into UK. Deutsche Welle. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
- Kassam, Raheem (March 19, 2018). KASSAM: Southern, Sellner, and Pettibone… But Have You Heard of Polish Right-Winger Rafał Ziemkiewicz? Breitbart News. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
- McMorris, Bill (December 7, 2016). French Senate Passes Pro-Life Website Ban. The Washington Free Beacon. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
- Multiple references:
- Smits, Jeanne (February 17, 2017). France passes law imposing up to two years prison for running pro-life websites. LifeSiteNews. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
- Byas, Steve (February 21, 2017). France Criminalizes Pro-life Speech. The New American. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
- Camp, Frank (February 19, 2017). France Passes Speech Law That Could Cripple the Pro-Life Movement. The Daily Wire. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
- Hurd, Dale (March 11, 2017). Strangling the Pro-Life Movement: What in the World Is Going on in France?. CBN News. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
- Morrison, Robert (April 4, 2017). France Reneges On Equal Rights For All By Banning Pro-Life Websites. The Federalist. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
- Onyanga-Omara, Jane (March 2, 2018). French far-right leader Marine Le Pen could face prison for tweeting ISIS images. USA Today. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
- Tomlinson, Chris (April 6, 2018). French Conservative Given Suspended 5,000 Euro Fine for Mentioning ‘Migrant Invasion’. Breitbart News. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
- Multiple references:
- Hale, Virginia (September 28, 2016). Censorship: Facebook Deleted 100,000 ‘Hate Posts, Insults’ in Just One Month. Breitbart News. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
- Nash, Charlie (December 15, 2015). Facebook, Twitter, Google Collude With German Government To Censor Discussion On Immigration. Breitbart News. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
- Hayward, John (February 5, 2016). Facebook Censorship and the War on Free Speech. Breitbart News. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
- Multiple references:
- Evans, Patrick (September 18, 2017). Will Germany's new law kill free speech online? BBC News. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
- German hate speech law tested as Twitter blocks satire account. Reuters. January 3, 2018. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
- Yasmeh, Joshua (June 21, 2017). Thought Crime: German Police Raid Homes Of People Who Made ‘Hateful Postings’ On The Internet. The Daily Wire. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
- Chretien, Claire (June 28, 2017). Gov’t bans prayer to God; Christian preschool forced to thank ‘sun and rain’ for meals instead. LifeSite News. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
- Hale, Virginia (June 26, 2017). Christian Preschoolers Banned from Saying ‘Amen’, Talking About the Bible. Breitbart News. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
- Preschoolers in Sweden Banned from Saying 'Amen,' Mentioning the Bible. CBN News. June 29, 2017. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
- Canadian District Bans Christian School from Teaching 'Offensive' Parts of Bible. CBN News. June 22, 2017. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
- Haskins, Justin (June 24, 2017). Canadian Christian school under attack for teaching ‘offensive’ Bible verses. The Blaze. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
- Foley, Avery (August 6, 2017). Canada Forces Government Speech and Bans Bible Verses. Answers in Genesis. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
- Richardson, Bradford (January 13, 2018). Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau scolds pro-lifers as ‘not in line’ with society. The Washington Times. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
- Laurence, Lianne (January 13, 2018). Trudeau: Believe what you want, but ‘we draw the line’ if you try to restrict abortion. LifeSiteNews. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
- Laurence, Lianne (February 21, 2018). 70-year-old man first to be arrested under Ontario’s new ban on pro-life speech. LifeSiteNews. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
- Schlee, Maxime (March 6, 2018). Belgium convicts first man under anti-sexism law. Politico. Retrieved March 22, 2018.