The First Amendment is under attack from both sides.
On the left, public colleges and universities are full of free speech violations. Many colleges have instituted designated “free speech zones” where students can speak and protest without getting into trouble. Of course, that means that free speech is disallowed elsewhere on campus, which is a violation of the First Amendment.
Some students have protested that idea and created free speech walls where anyone can write down their thoughts and opinions. Unsurprisingly, some people write controversial and gross things. These walls have regularly been torn down by college administrators who say that it violates their unconstitutional speech codes.
It’s gotten worse, in recent years, with the rise of students who want a “safe space” to protect themselves from hurtful words. Conservatives love to bash these mostly leftist students– but there are people on the right who don’t quite understand free speech either.
Case in point, Donald Trump.
He has recently made comments about closing down some mosques in the U.S.:
“You’re gonna have to do something. Some bad things are happening — and a lot of them are happening in the mosque. And you’re gonna have to do something. And I’m not the only one saying this. Other countries are saying this, frankly. But some really bad things are happening.”
Actually, Donald, that would be a violation of the First Amendment.
It specifically says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…”
Muslims have every right to practice their religion here– whether others like it or not because we have freedom of religion.
Freedom can be tricky. Free speech doesn’t mean just defending speech that you agree with. The whole point is that people have the right to say things that you disagree with. Whether it be someone saying something you deem offensive on a public university or in a mosque.
As Ron Paul says, “We don’t have freedom of speech so we can talk about the weather. We have the First Amendment so we say controversial things.”