The freedom of speech, one of our most cherished rights, is under attack. These attacks often take place in the form of government censorship, or attempts to chill constitutionally-protected speech through the use of fear, as the Texas Ethics Commission sought to do when it unconstitutionally tried to force THSC to disclose all of its donors.
Just this week, an ordinance passed in the city of Plano, Texas limiting our freedoms. The Duggar family, a home school family featured on The Learning Channel (TLC), recently stood up against a similar ordinance. The mother, Michelle Duggar, expressed her concern for the safety of children as a result of her local ordinance that would permit transgender men to use the same restrooms, showers, and locker rooms as women. Michelle’s concern, however, is not that transgender men are inherently dangerous, but rather that, absent safeguards, child molesters could use this law as a way to target children by posing as transgender men.
Such a concern is certainly legitimate, and just as important is the principle Americans should bear in mind that Michelle–like all citizens of this country–has the right to express her viewpoint, especially when her statement in no way harms any individuals.
Local city officials here in Texas are pursuing the same legislation. The city of Houston has attempted to implement a similar ordinance, which also would not include any sort of public safety measure for children. The City Council of Plano passed a change to the Code of Ordinances similar to the ordinance passed in Houston. Ironically, although advocates of the ordinance claim to promote the law in the name of tolerance and understanding, they are often part of the same crowd who wants to shut down the voices of those who disagree with them. In fact, in the case of Houston, the mayor actually went so far as to issue subpoenas demanding sermons and speeches from several prominent pastors who were leading the opposition to the ordinance. Many viewed this as legal intimidation of Christians representing a biblical worldview. Of course, this is exactly what is happening in the attack against the Duggars by the radical homosexuals seeking to have their program removed from TLC.
However, attacks to suppress freedom of thought and expression don’t originate solely from government agencies. Unfortunately, although America has historically been seen as a nation in which members of society are free to express their views, some seek to silence the voices of those they disagree with in the name of “tolerance.” If tolerance is to truly be embraced, individuals ought not to condemn others simply for expressing views contrary to their own.
The current trend is to be “tolerant,” “open-minded,” and “accepting” of other people’s religions, lifestyles, and beliefs–that is, unless your religion, lifestyle, and beliefs are based on a Christian worldview. If that is the case, other members of society are seemingly permitted to be intolerant, closed-minded, and rejecting toward your views.
As Christians, and as American citizens, we have to take a stand against attempts to silence the voices of our fellow believers. If we don’t stand for free speech now – whether against the unconstitutional actions of the TEC, freedom eroding city ordinances, or against the hypocritical demands of those attacking the Duggars – then our speech rights could be eliminated. Please take a stand now for your free speech.
6 Actions to Stand for your Freedom:
- Please join us in supporting the Duggars by signing the online petition to keep their program on TLC.
- Join the Duggars in Arlington on Mother’s Day weekend at our annual conference.
- Involve your kids in standing up for free speech. Take the #THSCDuggarNameChallenge! Promote the Duggars by posting your Duggar name challenge video to the THSC Facebook page. Don’t forget to nominate three friends to beat your time.
- Get involved in your local city council meetings.
- Give your best gift to our THSC Watchmen as they attend the 2015 Legislative Session fighting the battles to Keep Your Texas Family Free.
- Donate to or become a member of THSC today.