Who decides what is acceptable from what is not? Where does one draw the line? Who makes the decision to pull the plug once something has been published?

Freedom of Speech is the foundation of the American Idea. It is in fact protected by the very first amendment that our Founding Fathers wrote into the Constitution on the United States. So it must be important! I certainly think so.

Censorship in its basic form is a type of bullying. Those in the position of power to suppress those not in power from being heard. It is a slippery slope. Where does it stop? Do we apply the standard of good judgment? There were many at the time that did not believe our Founding Fathers were exercising good judgment when seeking to separate from England. Yet hindsight being 20/20 those of use who call ourselves American think they did. However, at the time if they were to have been caught they would have been hanged.

One does need to realize that the freedom of speech in the United States is not absolute. The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 were the first real test of this. It prohibited individuals from making “false, scandalous, and malicious writing” against the United States government and then president John Adams. This wasn’t too popular at the time.

Fast forward to today we still just can’t say anything we want. While you may not get arrested you might find yourself in civil court defending yourself against false or inaccurate statements.

One of the beautiful things about the United States is that we can celebrate our difference in beliefs and be protected against prosecution simply because of those beliefs. We can speak out about our dissolution in the American Dream caused by the actions of our elected officials. We can make speeches filled with our hatred of other races, sexes nationalities and religions. It seems most everything is fair game.

I believe that everyone should have say and I’ve tried to live by this principle even when I don’t want to hear what is being said. In fact, I have often made it a point to protect one’s right to speak even when others wish the person not be heard.