FROM MIND TO PAPER

There was a time when I would be burnt as a heretic, but those times are gone. No longer does a person who changes religions face an inquisition. I went from being a nominal Catholic to being a Christian. Thirty years ago there was a certain stigma to changing religions, but now it is an accepted event.
 
There was a time I would be jailed and put into prison for my religious writings. I have written some messages that have infuriated some people, but well what can I say. I wrote them and I am not about to change any of my writings to please those people.
 
Yes there is no doubt about it, there was a time when I would be correct in fearing for my life or my well being because of what I have written but that is no longer the case. Freedom of expression is precious to those who have a message to share.
 
I despise the Atheists very much, yet if anyone threatens their right to express themselves, I would defend their right to free expression. I do not care if I think they are fools and they say the total opposite of what I teach; I strongly believe that they have every right to say it.
 
Let everyone know that I am totally against the beliefs of the Atheists, the feminists, and the pagans, but I am also totally for their freedom to express their ideas inhibited. Censorship does not fly with me; I do not care how well intentioned some people are. I totally oppose censorship, for the simple reason that I believe that a person has every right to express his or her ideas and beliefs even if those beliefs are wrong or foolish.
 
Of course there are limits to freedom of expression, like yelling fire in a crowded theater (That endangers people’s lives) or advocating killing others (That is terrorism). Telling lies about others (That is Defamation or Libel) Also exposing secret governmental information (That is treason) and a few other necessary exceptions.
 
Book banning and book burning do not fly with me, there is not a single book I want to ban, not even the Satanist's bible. Would I burn a book I fervently disagree with, yes I would but it would only be my own personal copy, I would do it because I can do whatever I want with my personal property. I would not go around confiscating library books or other people's books and burning them. It is wrong to destroy other's property; even if you think that what they are reading is corrupting their minds.
 
Well what about the book burning incident in the book of Acts 19:19? They were burning their own books; they were not going around confiscating other people’s books and burning them. An atheist or a Satanist has the right to burn any book, whether it be the Koran, the Bible or whatever as long as that book belongs to him or her, but they do not have a right to burn my bibles for they belong to me.
 
Unfortunately this freedom is not universal. There are countries where a person who express their real feelings and ideas must hide under a pseudonym or face persecution and even death. The more tyrannical a regime is the more speech is suppressed.
 
Some will contend that freedom of speech is not total, that there are certain things a person can not advocate or say. Of course there has to be certain limits to freedom of speech. The government can not allow speech that seeks to destroy it in order to replace it with a totalitarian regime. This is called treason and for a very good reason.
 
That is the reason Nazism and communist speech is not tolerated. Because they seek to replace our government, which grants freedom of speech with a system, that would ban our freedom of speech. Despite this nazi groups and communists groups are still allowed to exist. No one goes to jail for the simple fact of being a Nazi or a Communist.
 
The Nazi or communist wants freedom to speak their minds and print their propaganda, yet they want the power to deny others this same right. That is not correct. Freedom must flow both ways.
 
The government tries to balance the freedom of speech with its own protection and the protection of its citizens. For the government to allow speech that seeks its own destruction would amount to the very destruction of speech rights for all.
 
The government must also ban speech that would cause destruction or that is obviously false. That is why there are laws against yelling fire in a crowded theater; people would trample each other to death to escape the non-existent fire. The only time you can yell fire in a theater is when there is an actual fire. There are also laws against publishing something that is absolutely false and harmful.
 
Neither can a person incite others to commit violence. I do not care how much you disagree with homosexuals or wiccans; you cannot advocate their destruction or physical attacks against them.  (Personally I would be jumping for joy if they packed up and left America, but as long as they are here, I advocate for their freedom of speech, but of course they must allow for my freedom of speech).
 
The problem with political correctness or “The thought Police” is that it seeks to only allow that speech which is political correct while also banning and punishing any person who speaks words that are not political correct. Political correctness wants to destroy freedom of speech.
 
There are also libel laws for people who have been defamed. No one can go around calling other people thieves without good reason. A person can not be called a thief unless that person has been convicted of thievery; otherwise the person has a right to sue for defamation. That is the reason when the police catches a thief, the newspapers always calls that person a suspect.
 
By the same token pornographers are allowed to exist, they have a right to spew their trash, but the law must limit the audience to whom they can pitch their products. That’s why pornography is and should be illegal to minors.
 
This delicate balance between free speech and protection of the people is a constant battleground between those who want to have unlimited free speech and those who want to protect the public or their own privacy.
 
That is the reason movies have ratings. Those ratings define who are the intended audiences. Movie directors have been known to fiddle with the film's content in order to get the desired rating. If the desired rating is not achieved, then they go back to the editing room and add or subtract scenes till the desired rating is achieved.
 
Ultimately each person is responsible for what he watches, hears or reads. If a person wants to watch pornography he has every right to do so. If a person wants to hear a Klan member speak he can do so. If a person wants to read a book on how to make explosives he has every right to do so as long as he does not actually makes an explosive device.
 
Freedom of speech does not give people the right to act upon those ideas. The pervert can not rape a woman, just because he saw it in one of his movies. The Klan member can not beat up minorities, and neither can a person make an actual explosive.
 
Of course these rights only pertain to people who are responsible for their own selves; they do not apply to minors under the protection of the parents or guardians. The parents and guardians have every right to protect their children's mind from anything they consider harmful to their minds.
 
That is why I have the right to object when homosexuals want to indoctrinate my child that their lifestyle is ok. I have the right to object when evolution is taught in the schools; I have the right to object when values clarification is taught in schools. The schools can not teach my children anything they want. They must respect the parent's desires.
 
As the protector and guide of my child I have the right to protect my child from reading books or magazines I consider objectionable. Once they reach the age of maturity then they can decide for themselves whether to read that garbage or not, but as long as I have the guardianship I will protect their minds.
 
Yes the Atheists have a right to teach evolution, but by the same token I have the right not to hear them. I have no obligation to listen to their garbage, and my children should not be under any obligation to listen to such nonsense either. Parents who object to their children being taught evolution should have the right to opt out of such non-scientific non-sense.
 
Some will cry this as censorship, but that is incorrect. Censorship means that I prohibit you from speaking, I am not prohibiting any evolutionist from speaking their nonsense, I just refuse to hear them. We Christians do not engage in censorship, we just refuse to be indoctrinated or hear non-biblical ideas.
 
If you are an atheist, feminist or communist you can speak to your willing audience as much as you want, and as long as you want, but just don't expect or demand that Christians must sit in the audience; neither can you demand that Christians send their children into the audience.  It would be like we demanding that atheists send their children to Vacation Bible School.
 
Yes some Christians might be willing to sit in a speech by a feminist, an atheist, or a Nazi, some out of curiosity and other out of a sense of fairness, or to understand what they believe, but the speaker has no right to force them or make them agree with his ideas.
 
Censorship is wrong, it inhibits ideas and change. It robs humanity of its creative spark and ultimately brings in darkness. Censorship destroys the truth and reality. It hides facts that are inconvenient and distorts history. That ultimate ends in people rewriting the real history in order to appease the current cultural sensitivity.
 
Censorship is the reason why we do not have a complete real history of the ancient times.
We have to rely upon biased writers and authorities to get our history. Of course we can put pieces together from other evidence and conclude that the writers were biased, but still we do not get the opponents real arguments, we only get what their enemies believe they said or stood for. And of course the enemy is always demonized and his ideas made to look ridiculous and erroneous. We have a one sided view of history the one of the victorious side.
 
The Catholic Church was and still is one of the biggest censors, they burned and destroyed the writings of their enemies and actually changed history books to fit their ideas. Such was their power that writers were forced to destroy many of their own manuscripts or be punished by Rome.
 
The Catholic Church went beyond burning books; they eventually burned the people who wrote those books. They resorted to the worst sort of barbarism to silence the voices of dissenters of the church. For centuries people were afraid to even voice their opinions, much less to write them down and have them used as evidence against them. Thankfully those times are gone, and it is doubtful the Catholic Church will ever again impose itself like in the Dark Ages.
 
The Catholic Church still keeps a list of censored books; it is called Index librorum prohibitorum. Catholics were forbidden to read those books under penalty of excommunication. Being excommunicated created a very real danger of being visited by the inquisition.
 
Censorship is done under the pretense of good morals, but that is just an excuse. The real reason is power over expression. It is a dishonest mean to silence the critics or those who disagree with us. I do not want any Christian preacher, selecting my books for me; let me do my own selection. I do have a mind, I can reason, and I can understand what is not a good book for me to read.
 
There was a time when censorship was the normal way things were; it took much blood sweat and fighting to finally get us to where we are in America today. This is a fight that has seesaw back and forth, yet freedom has eventually won. But the fight is not over by any accounts, this fight will never end. This fight must be carried to other countries of the world, till the whole world is has freedom of speech and censorship is only used in to destroy censorship.
 
Yet censorship has begun to rear its ugly head once again. A preacher in Sweden was sentenced to prison for speaking against homosexuals. College students have been punished or expelled for writing things against their colleges. Newspaper writers have been killed for reporting the news. I myself have been booted out of Internet chat rooms for expressing my beliefs.
 
The dark shadow of censorship is trying once again to put the world in darkness, but the brilliant light of the Internet prevents it. We can not allow censorship to come into the Internet. Yes it would be neat and nice if everyone had the same ideas, but that is not the real world.
 
The reality is that people have different ideas and beliefs and right or wrong, people have the right to express them. Yes some people hold wrong ideas and crazy beliefs, yet they also have rights, and only when all people are free to express their most intimate ideas without fear of reprisal are the people truly free. If they can write down their ideas in their mind from mind to paper without fearing a knock at midnight, then freedom is truly theirs.

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