Christians Sentenced for Proselytizing, A Free Speech Issue
I know we have it pretty good here in the US. In Algeria two Christian converts were sentenced to two years in jail and a 5,000-euro (7,700-dollar) fine for illegally practicing a non-Muslim religion.
Algeria is mostly Muslim. It’s not that you can’t share about any other faith. It’s just that you have to obtain a permit to do so. And these two people didn’t.
There are many countries that limit speech. This is, of course, the extreme of doing that. But in other cases in France, Britain, and Sweden I have read about over the last few years have limited what they call ‘hate speech.’
Now I’m not for hate speech. But I am for free speech. The fact is, if you can control the message you can control the people and take away their freedoms.
Free Speech is one of the founding principles of America, but it will be the beginning of the fall of freedom here if speech starts to becomes limited.
What will this mean? In a very practical sense, I think it will eventually mean the limiting of certain beliefs. For example, churches won’t be able to teach certain things because they will be classified ‘offensive’ or ‘hateful’ or ‘intolerant.’
It could be as simple as saying that children do best when they grow up with a married mother and father under the same roof. Even though every study ever done supports this fact, it could be taken out of context because some think it implies:
*marriage should be between a man and woman only
*single parents should be looked down upon
*divorce is wrong
Of course, this is not what someone may be saying. I think the fact stated simply celebrates the family unit, which is a good thing. But it could very easily be slanted in order not to ‘offend’ anyone and limit speech.
The open expression of thought and ideas, no matter what they may be, is the founding of any free environment. The Algerians don’t have it, but we still have it here in the US. And it should continue to be protected.