The Relentless Assault on Free Speech

In the current environment, any strong opinion that opposes someone else’s strong opinion is not just a disagreement, now it’s on the verge of becoming a crime. If the emotion behind a criminal act is hatred toward a particular race, gender, sexual orientation, it is hate crime–worse, somehow because their identity is attacked. If a wedding service provider refuses to accommodate same-sex couples, in cases the monetary fine will be high enough to close the business down. If a political candidate dares suggest we restrict the flow of immigrants, he is labeled racist and a hate monger. Christians who stand against sin are homophobes, racists, fear mongers, and haters. In fact, it’s becoming harder and harder to call evil, evil.
Emory University, in Atlanta, Georgia – Someone wrote in chalk: “Trump 2016,” “Vote Trump,” and “Build the wall,” on walkways, stairways, and walls all across campus. About 50 students claimed this was racist and damaging to their psychological well-being. Emory president James Wagner denounced this as “perceived intimidation,” and wrote an email to all students promising changes and admitting the Trump chalking violated Emory’s values. Some believe they have the right to “emotional safety.”
Longview, Texas – Edie and David Delorme, owners of Kern’s Bake Shop and Southern Baptists, were asked to bake a wedding cake for a homosexual couple. Politely refusing, Edie said, “I’m sorry, but we don’t do cakes that might conflict with our spiritual convictions.” The gay couple reported them to the local newspaper and soon after, a story was published. That’s when the Delormes family began receiving threats of physical harm. They hired a lawyer in the event that charges are filed against them. Many other Christian bakers have been sued in the U.S., and several have lost their businesses.
The First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press . . .” The protection of public speech was initially designed to promote the search for truth. Today, the law still protects “hateful” speech unless the comments are intended to incite direct action against specific individuals or in a specific place. The Supreme Court recently reaffirmed that the law does not protect obscenity, defamation, fraud, incitement and speech “integral to criminal conduct.” If the current social climate continues, it won’t be long before that changes.
Why this Matters: The Bible is full of what some would call hate speech. And it is increasingly evident that most of the American public would be offended by the Bible–should they ever decide to read it. We are coming very close to the day when the “right to emotional safety” and the protection from being offended may be used to limit the First Amendment. At that point Christians will have to prove that we fear God more than we fear man. That will be the day when the old Silent Majority becomes the newly silenced minority. 
Pray we will have the backbone to stand when and if that day comes.
Luke 7:23 – And blessed is he, 
whosoever shall not be offended in me. 
Is. 5:20 – Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, 
and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, 
and sweet for bitter!

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