It has happened yet again. Yours truly has been banned from Facebook for the next 30 days. This is the fifth time I’ve been blocked for a set period of time. Why, you may ask, has Facebook targeted my pages? Answer: Because I use my God-given right of free speech and expression to voice views that are contrary to the Marxist perspective held by the Establishment and the media moguls who dominate Facebook, Google, YouTube, Twitter, and the other mass conditioning systems in our world.
Of all the times I have been blocked, had my pages and groups deleted, and had my content removed, this time was the lamest. Facebook is not allowing me to see which post it blocked me for, but I could see the commentary on the post in question. I wrote: “This made me chuckle. I thought it might make some of you laugh, too. Enjoy.” While I do not recall the precise post, I do remember it was a joke post. I believe I posted it several months ago on my Feminism is a Disease page – a fast-growing page with 3,412 likes and 3,559 followers as of this writing. Heaven forbid someone post an anti-feminist joke on Facebook!
Some people might immediately say: “Well, that’s tough luck. But Facebook is a private company, so they can do what they want to.” False. Facebook is absolutely not a private company. Facebook receives hundreds of millions of dollars in tax subsidies. In other words, Facebook receives hundreds of millions of dollars of tax payer money! And on top of this, they don’t even pay taxes. For proof of these facts, see this article, and this one, and this one.
To my sense of justice, the fact that Facebook (and Google, Apple, and other major companies) takes our money makes them a de facto public entity accountable to laws governing public speech. Yet, despite being funded by the American People – that is, by your tax dollars – Facebook believes they are above the law, and your opinions be damned.
Whether you choose to believe Facebook’s massive intake of public funds requires them to obey public laws is up to you. However, at stake is a bigger issue – the First Amendment. What is the First Amendment? What does it mean? What is its purpose? Why is it so tremendously important? And what is at stake when we allow publicly-funded entities like Facebook to censor legitimate speech that they simply don’t agree with?
The First Amendment was created to protect and defend the rights of speech and press, among other things. People were supposed to be able to say what they wanted to, within, of course, the reasonable limits of decency and decorum (for instance, you cannot yell “Fire!” in a theater, use sexual or profane language in public, or threaten someone’s life without consequence). But having the right to voice personal opinions on random topics is only one part – the less important part – of the First Amendment.
More than anything else, the First Amendment was a guarantee that the American People could always speak out against tyrannical government and hold their public representatives accountable. It was intended as a check on usurpation, lies, institutionalized corruption, injustice, and evil in high places. The First Amendment was not created so you could whisper your thoughts behind closed doors, but so that you could make your voice heard in the public arena. The First Amendment was designed, in short, to enable patriots to defend their nation.
The Sage of Monticello held such a high opinion of the rights of free speech and the press that he wrote:
“The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter” (Thomas Jefferson, letter to Col. Edward Carrington, Jan. 16, 1787).
Our government is based on, among other things, the sentiments and principles of the American People. The People is the source of political power. If they are to retain that power, they must safeguard their right to speak out. And elected representatives are duty-bound to defend that paramount right.
Another time, Jefferson asserted:
“The only security of all is in a free press. The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to. It is necessary, to keep the waters pure” (Thomas Jefferson to Marquis de Lafayette, 1823).
And if those quotes were not blunt enough, Jefferson accurately declared:
“[O]ur liberty . . . cannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press, nor that be limited without danger of losing it” (Thomas Jefferson to John Jay, January 25, 1786).
James Madison was of equal mind. From America’s revolutionary experience, he knew the importance of the right of the People to speak out against the abuses of their government, to publish and voice their thoughts, and to be included in the public dialogue. He said:
“[T]o the press alone, chequered as it is with abuses, the world is indebted for all the triumphs which have been gained by reason and humanity over error and oppression” (James Madison, Report on the Virginia Resolutions, January, 1800).
This famous quote might have more force when seen in context. The context was the infamous Alien and Sedition Acts instituted under the John Adams administration. The Sedition Act criminalized speech perceived as condemning the government at a time when national security was seen as precarious. Indeed it was precarious because of Jacobin agitation in the Union, but nevertheless it was an affront to the U.S. Constitution and to the rights of free speech, press, and conscience. Madison explained:
“In every State, probably, in the Union, the press has exerted a freedom in canvassing the merits and measures of public men of every description which has not been confined to the strict limits of the common law. On this footing the freedom of the press has stood; on this footing it yet stands. And it will not be a breach either of truth or of candour to say, that no persons or presses are in the habit of more unrestrained animadversions [criticisms] on the proceedings and functionaries of the State governments than the persons and presses most zealous in vindicating the act of Congress for punishing similar animadversions on the Government of the United States.
“The last remark will not be understood as claiming for the State governments an immunity greater than they have heretofore enjoyed. Some degree of abuse is inseparable from the proper use of every thing, and in no instance is this more true than in that of the press. It has accordingly been decided by the practice of the States, that it is better to leave a few of its noxious branches to their luxuriant growth, than, by pruning them away, to injure the vigour of those yielding the proper fruits. And can the wisdom of this policy be doubted by any who reflect that to the press alone, chequered as it is with abuses, the world is indebted for all the triumphs which have been gained by reason and humanity over error and oppression; who reflect that to the same beneficent source the United States owe much of the lights which conducted them to the ranks of a free and independent nation, and which have improved their political system into a shape so auspicious to their happiness? Had “Sedition Acts,” forbidding every publication that might bring the constituted agents into contempt or disrepute, or that might excite the hatred of the people against the authors of unjust or pernicious measures, been uniformly enforced against the press, might not the United States have been languishing at this day under the infirmities of a sickly Confederation? Might they not, possibly, be miserable colonies, groaning under a foreign yoke?” (James Madison, Report on the Virginia Resolutions, January, 1800).
In short, without the protection of what we sometimes call “First Amendment rights,” America might never have won her Freedom from British despots and the American People would have groaned under the yoke of foreign tyranny. Similarly, today we are beginning to groan under the yoke of Marxist-inspired political correctness and bureaucratic tyranny spewing forth from enemy-controlled D.C. We cannot afford to allow this to happen. This road leads inevitably to slavery and oppression.
People sometimes say, “Well, what if people are saying things that are wrong or offensive? How can we allow that? It is dangerous!” It is not our place to “allow” or “disallow” speech we disagree with, even if it is wrong (excepting, as noted, the reasonable restrictions). Thomas Jefferson wrote:
“It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others” (Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Rush, April 21, 1803).
If you go down the road of blacklisting, banning, blocking, persecuting, and bullying people for speech that is not legitimately harmful but with which you simply disagree, the precedent will reach to you.
The great patriot Thomas Paine once made a statement which applies to today’s politically-correct culture where communist “hate speech” laws are proliferating and wreaking havoc on the First Amendment:
“An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best of laws. He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself” (Thomas Paine, Dissertation on First-Principles of Government, 1795).
If you value your right to voice your opinions, justice dictates that you must defend the right of others – even those you disagree with – to do the same. If you do not, you bear at least partial blame for the destruction of the First Amendment.
To understand more about what is at stake when the Freedom of speech is restricted, we quote from another of our illustrious Founding Fathers. In a November 1737 article in The Pennsylvania Gazette, Benjamin Franklin wrote:
“Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government; when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins. . . .
“. . . An evil magistrate intrusted with power to punish for words, would be armed with a weapon the most destructive and terrible. Under pretence of pruning off the exuberant branches, he would be apt to destroy the tree. . . .
“. . . The construction of words being arbitrary, and left to the decision of the judges, no man could write or open his mouth without being in danger of forfeiting his head. . . .
“Upon the whole, to suppress inquiries into the administration is good policy in an arbitrary government; but a free constitution and freedom of speech have such a reciprocal dependence on each other, that they cannot subsist without consisting together.”
Will we defend free speech and, thus, support our free governmental system? Or we allow the arbitrary system of social control that is being constructed around us to shackle us? We jeopardize all of our rights when we allow the government, activist groups, biased judges, the lying Marxist media, or vicious segments of our population to limit, curtail, or restrict our God-given rights of speech, press, and conscience.
Don’t think that Freedom of speech is limited to speech and the press alone. Rather, our most sacred rights of conscience and religion are wrapped up in the right of speech. James Madison put it this way:
“The freedom of conscience and of religion are found in the same instruments which assert the freedom of the press” (James Madison, Report on the Virginia Resolutions, January, 1800).
If the Freedom of speech is limited, our most precious right to worship God as we see fit will be in peril. Our right of free conscience will also be in danger of overthrow if we’re not allowed to vocalize the thoughts and desires of our soul. If you value either the right to worship your God freely or to express the feelings of your conscience, it is your duty to fight tooth and nail to defend the First Amendment.
John Adams once said: “Let us dare to read, think, speak and write” (John Adams, “A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law,” 1765). In 2019, perhaps his statement should be amended to say: “Let us dare to read, think, speak and write – unless Facebook/Twitter/YouTube doesn’t agree with you” or “Let us dare to read, think, speak and write – unless the LGBT movement, radical feminists, or Black Lives Matter disagree with you.”
Our First Amendment is under serious assault. At least, the right of traditionalists, conservatives, and constitutionalists to speak out and defend or promote Christian values, moral principles, constitutionalism, Americanism, and truth is being curtailed in a major way. Our right to denounce the communist menace, publicize the truth about conspiracy, and point out the abuses of our government is also waning. Leading the charge in this politically-correct assault on logic, sanity, and tradition are the social media networks like Facebook and Twitter.
In the face of this tidal wave of peer pressure, Establishment oppression, and Marxist machinations against the sacred rights vouchsafed by the First Amendment, we must stand strong. We must defend the rights of others to speak if we value that right for ourselves. We must hold public institutions accountable for their violations of the sacred right of conscience and the right to vocalize our innermost feelings. If we are to survive as a free Republic, it is imperative that we push back the assault on our Liberty.
“Let us dare to read, think, speak and write.”
January 26, 2019.