Response to “Censorship, freedom of speech” article
Letter to the editor
I would like to respond to Larry McDermott regarding freedom of speech and censorship.
It is a good idea to be aware of laws regarding slander and libel; one can get into a lot of financial trouble with careless or reckless speech. That being said I believe he should refresh his memory of the content of The Bill of Rights, First Amendment. Our Founders clearly valued freedom of religion and freedom of speech above all other Rights. It is also worth remembering that our Founders clearly understood that our Rights derived from our Creator.
We should write and speak as our founders intended, with courage, with forethought and intelligence. We should not look over our shoulders before we speak, being in fear of a government and a legal system that are more and more intimidating every day.
Censorship is always a tricky subject. Our nation has engaged in it during war time. It has been handled by the government and has always been regarded as a necessary evil to achieve our victory. Newspapers have used editorial discretion in publishing letters but there used to be newspapers of differing political viewpoints so that failure to be published in one did not necessarily preclude publishing in another.
Worth noting is that the phone company has never censored phone calls. The phone company has assisted law enforcement with wiretaps but has never on its own authority censored. Now we have communication giants, Facebook and Twitter deciding who can use their services and what their users are allowed to communicate. If FB and Twitter think individuals are a criminal threat, they should certainly contact appropriate law enforcement but otherwise it is not their business to control communication. My personal opinion is that they are monopolies which should be broken up as Bell Telephone was.
We Americans should remember that we are a free people, our problems come from an overbearing gov’t and people who value security over freedom.