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Tag Archives: free speech

Jerry Bowyer: A Banner Session for the First Amendment


SCOTUS 2018 is shaping up as the “free speech” session of the court.

Masterpiece Cake ruling upheld the free speech rights of a cake decorator who did not want to decorate a cake celebrating a same-sex marriage.

The court sent a case back to a lower court involving a florist who did not want to create a floral display doing the same thing. Then there was the NIFLA decision—regarding the pro-life crisis pregnancy centers—where the court overturned a California law which compelled them to essentially advertise for abortion.

In Justice Kennedy’s opinion, the law forced them to “convey a message contrary to their deepest convictions.”

Each one of these cases was litigated by the Alliance Defending Freedom, which has emerged as the most important First Amendment group in the nation.

It’s a banner session for the First Amendment.

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Owen Strachan: California’s Effort to Silence Speech


The best way to overhaul a culture is to change the way it thinks. Here’s one major way to change cultural thinking: stifle the free exchange of ideas.

This is what’s happening in California right now. Assembly Bill 2943 would make it an “unlawful business practice” to engage in “a transaction” aimed at promoting “sexual orientation change efforts with an individual.”

This pernicious bill is an attempt to silence those who want to help people with unwanted sexual feelings. Many religious and non-religious people agree that we flourish when we honor the basic design of our bodies for both sexual practice and personal identity. This bill is Orwellian: Silencing those who seek to provide help and wholeness to people who are reaching out.

California legislators ought to do what the people have elected them to do: protect free speech and enable people to live a free life.

 

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Jerry Bowyer: Poland on the Verge of a Big Mistake


I’m a huge admirer of Poland. I love the way they have embraced their national identity, including their Christian heritage.

As an investor in Poland, I have admired their embrace of human productivity which helped to make Poland the best performing market in the world last year.

But this wonderful nation may be on the verge of a big mistake. It has passed a law which would illegalize speech about the small role which Polish collaborators played in the holocaust. Israeli leaders have reached out and officials from both nations are meeting in Jerusalem to discuss it, while Poland reconsiders this law.

Pope John Paul II, perhaps Poland’s greatest gift to the world, probably did more than any Pope in history to heal the relationship between Catholicism and Judaism. His compatriots should follow his great example.

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Albert Mohler: Chance of Big Change on America’s Political Landscape

Billy Graham

Can Americans be financially coerced to underwrite labor unions when they are opposed to positions taken by unions?

That was the big issue this week before the nation’s highest court—whether workers can be coerced to financially underwrite and undergird labor unions when the positions taken by the union would be opposed to their own convictions.

The case is known as Janus v. AFSCME—the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees—and it challenges Supreme Court precedent that goes back four decades, requiring persons in certain categories of employment to contribute union dues and fees even when they do not want to be members of the union.

Today, with Justice Neil Gorsuch on the court, it is expected that the court will reverse its 40-year-plus precedent.

This may mean a big, big change on America’s political landscape.

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Albert Mohler: Masterpiece Cake Shop And The Future Of Religious Liberty

Headlines

This past Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case formally known as “Masterpiece Cake Shop vs. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission.”

In terms of religious liberty, there has been no recent case before the Supreme Court more important than this one.

The backstory is that in 2012, Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cake Shop, denied a request made by two men to create a cake in order to celebrate their marriage.

Jack Phillips and his attorneys from the Alliance Defending Freedom argue that in requiring Jack Phillips to make a cake, and thus compelling him to use his artistic expression in support of same-sex marriage, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission is violating his religious liberty and protection against forced speech.

What we are looking at here is basically the sexual revolutionaries bullying a baker. This baker and that profession will not be the last.

On religious liberty, there’s been no recent case before the Supreme Court nearly so important as this one on Masterpiece Cake Shop.

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David Davenport: Free Speech On The Decline

Compromise

One reason to be concerned about the future of America is the reduced commitment of its young people to freedom, starting with free speech.

A recent survey from the Brookings Institution indicates that 44 percent of millennials do not believe hate speech is protected by the Constitution. Moreover, 51 percent believe it is appropriate to shout down a controversial speaker, with 19 percent saying it is ok to use violence for that purpose. Mistakenly, 62 percent say the First Amendment requires one controversial speaker to be balanced by another speaker.

Today’s college students are coddled by helicopter parents and seek safe spaces on campus, not freedom. And, with little or no civic education, students do not understand the First Amendment.

Founder Benjamin Franklin said that “whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freedom of speech.” Wake up, America, the message from our campuses is that free speech is on the decline and, ultimately, so is freedom itself.

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