I was eating at the food court of Oak Park Mall a few weeks ago and saw a man having dinner with his two young children. From what I could tell, he seemed very kind. He was smiling, talking in that dad-to-child sweet tone of voice. I then noticed his backwards ballcap.
On the back side, now facing the front, I saw a cross with a red circle around it, and red line through it. It was Good Friday.
As a Christian, I of course found this offensive. Seeing the symbol of one’s salvation in this manner does not make that person particularly happy. It hurt my feelings. I found it hateful. However, just because I did not like this hat does not mean I think it should be illegal to wear such a head piece. That would be a violation of the man’s freedom of speech.
The extent of freedom of speech in the United States is unique. A couple of years ago, a bill in Canada passed which prohibits in certain instances by law not calling transgender people by their preferred pronouns.
Dr. Jordan B. Peterson, professor of psychology at the University of Toronto and clinical psychologist, spoke out against the bill.
In an article published by The Hill, Peterson stated, “To identify problems, solve them, and reach consensus, we have to do it foolishly. We have to mis-speak, and over-react, and engage badly in intense verbal conflict. We have to be tested and corrected by others. All of that requires legal protection. People become upset by differences of opinion, and want them suppressed. And it’s no wonder. But the alternative is worse.”
The answer to hate speech is not restricted speech, the answer is more speech. If bad, or even evil, ideas are restricted by law, they will rise secretly. If they are not restricted, then the public will see them, know they are wrong, and speak out against them.
However, some may never call transgender people by their preferred pronouns due to their religious convictions as the Bible states there are only two genders. Those who interpret it this way believe transgender people are confused, or even suffering from a mental illness in saying their gender is different than their biological sex. As a result, they see calling a transgender person by their preferred pronoun as acknowledging something that is not there.
Host of The Rubin Report Dave Rubin is gay-married, pro-choice, and an atheist, yet he believes the government should not have a say in someone’s religious convictions.
In a video done by PragerU, Rubin said, “A government that can force a group of Catholic nuns literally called the Little Sisters of the Poor to violate their faith and pay for abortion inducing birth control can force anyone to do anything.”
If the government starts telling the American people what to say, not even just what not to say, Rubin’s point will manifest itself more and more.
Different ideas are offensive to different people. Say anything in a crowd of one hundred people, and at least one of them is sure to be offended.
Say so if you don’t like an idea, but don’t demand the government stop speech just because you don’t like it. Be American, continue the dialogue.