Freedom of Speech – what is it?

I think we’re all aware of the climate we’re living in now. Our country is divided. Name calling, bashing, hate, rioting, looting, fighting all around. It’s deafening. Each group claims they have freedom of speech and will say what they want. Is that true?

Editing the First Amendment Erosion of civil liberties in the United States.

The First Amendment of the Constitution (annotated) says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. (https://constitution.congress.gov/browse/amendment-1/)

On its face, it says it pretty clear. We have the right to our religion, our speech, to assemble and to ask for redress of grievances.

What has happened, over time, is that social media sites have slowly eroded our rights. I first noticed it on Facebook. Friends began complaining that their religious posts were removed and labeled hate speech. Hate speech? When did Facebook become the expert on hate speech? Some of my friends could appeal these determinations, many could not. I won’t pretend to know how Facebook decided it was hateful to post about your love of God, is it a human removing the post? Is it a bot gone wild? Is it someone who is not of a faith that is sick of seeing religious posts and reporting them? I don’t know. But, it’s frustrating and shameful.

What I do know is, citizens of the United States have the right to Freedom of Religion. The water gets muddy when a social media site is not only for citizens of the United States. So, someone of a muslim faith, may find another’s post of religious preferences offensive. But, here’s the crux – where does that stop? Personally, I feel like I have the freedom to talk about God, or my church or my religion without someone reporting me for it. If you don’t like it, you have options.

Keep scrolling.

Unfollow me.

Unfriend me.

But, having my religious post removed violates MY freedom of religion and the freedom to express my faith.

Of course others will say that Facebook has the right to remove posts if they want. After all, they are a private company (actually they have gone public now and sell stock), but still the stock holders can do what they want with their company. So what are my options if I’m unhappy about this? I can leave. I can find another social site I enjoy spending time on and go there.

This holds true with freedom of speech, freedom to assemble and to ask the government to decide issues.

So, I have taken the steps I feel are important to ensure that not only will I continue to post what I want to post about, whether religion, or (gasp, clutching my pearls) show some man nipple, I will be able to do that. I’m not leaving Facebook, but I am expanding my social reach and preserving my freedoms by expanding where I post.

If you want to expand your social interactions and want to preserve your free speech, find me on Gab.com (link below). Gab is a social media site committed to free speech for its members. Please don’t get this confused with it being a crass conservative site, I’ve seen all kinds of posts on Gab, not all conservative. There’s a huge book group out on Gab, there are several actually, search books and you’ll see them.

https://gab.com/PjFiala

I joined MeWe a couple of years ago, but didn’t do much with it. Largely because no one was there, except pervs. But, after some recent events where censorship has increased, so has the audience on MeWe. So, if you prefer that site over Gab, you can find me there using this link:

https://mewe.com/i/pjfiala

There are also book groups on MeWe. Something for everyone.

Above all, I want to thank you for listening and giving thought to your freedom of speech, religion and more. Mostly, our First Amendment Rights. It should concern everyone when censorship goes unchecked. They do it slowly so you notice, but not really. Then before you know it, all of your rights are taken and you’re left with nothing. Don’t let this happen to you. We’ve worked too hard to earn our freedoms.

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