University Safe Zones, a Danger for the First Amendment

Recently while on a speaking tour in California I spent an evening with a family in the San Francisco Bay Area.  They told me how wonderful it was to speak freely about their values with my wife and me.  Apparently their values weren’t very welcomed in the public discourse of their geographic location.  This brought to mind an idea postulated by Winston Churchill, “Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry on as if nothing ever happened.”

The First Amendment happens to be that truth for our American universities. Last week, journalism professors were telling students that the press doesn’t have a first amendment right to cover their protests and students are now asking for “Safe Zones.”  These zones are to be set up on the campus to be a place where students can shield themselves from uncomfortable or dissenting viewpoints.

“These are the same people who claim they are seeking diversity,” stated famed attorney Alan Dershowitz. “The last thing these students want is real diversity.  They may want superficial diversity, diversity of gender, diversity of color, but they don’t not want diversity of ideas.”

The founders of America staked their struggle on the ability to speak, assemble, and petition freely.  In fact, there would be no America if there were no First Amendment.

[See also, “Mizzou–Intolerance in the Name of Tolerance.”]

To be fair, freedom of speech has always been a double-edged sword. Constitutional law states few exceptions for free speech, such as speech presenting clear and present danger to national security or public safety; and speech soliciting crime, violence, obscenity, and defamation. Americans have always been able to freely express their values and opinions freely.

First Amendment values have of necessity been present in our universities as the intellectual debate seeks to progress humanity into greater light, liberty, and well-being. Because most of our universities in America’s founding era were used to train Bible scholars, that light would have translated to the teachings of Christ and the liberties found in His Gospel.

Colonial scholars – all scholars for that matter – would agree that having absolute emotional insulation and comfort at all times is extremely elementary and it’s anti-intellectual.

Free speech for me, but not for you has always been considered fascism, and that is the antithesis of liberty.

My suggestion to college students: quit being babies, use your intellect, speak back to what you disagree with, demonstrate and petition.  Your emotional weakness is not a foundation that will sustain freedom.

Ronald Reagan made the assertion that, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” That could not be more relevant than it is today, especially on our college campuses where it is apparent that students are not being taught the truth about the freedoms of the First Amendment and many other truths about the fundamental principles on which the United States of America was founded.

That is why I do what I do. And you can, too.  First educate yourself with your Bible, the original intent of the Constitution. Then, teach someone!  We would love to help you get started. Go to the theameicanview.com.

 

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