From what I understand, freedom of speech means just that, that we are free to speak our emotions our political views, and our religious views in public, without interference from the government.
In other words, they cannot arrest us for saying that we believe in Christ, or our voicing of political opinions. If we think that our choice of leaders are wrong we can voice that, and ask them to be replaced. Not like some countries, even Iran has signed on to the United Nations International chapter of freedoms but yet they arrest you if you voice your opinions about their government or speak of another religion besides the Shiite twelver religion that they abide by.
That said here’s what it actually says about are freedom of speech:
The version of Article 19 in the ICCPR states the exercise of these rights carries “special duties and responsibilities” and may “therefore be subject to certain restrictions” when necessary “or respect of the rights or reputation of others” or ” or the protection of national security or of public order (order public), or of public health or morals”. Therefore, freedom of speech and expression may not be recognized as being absolute, and common limitations to freedom of speech relate to libel, slander, obscenity, pornography, sedition, incitement, fighting words, classified information, copyright violation, trade secrets, non-disclosure agreements, the right to privacy, the right to be forgotten, public security, and perjury. Justifications for such include the harm principle, proposed by John Stuart Mill in On Liberty, which suggests that: “the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.” The idea of the “offense principle” is also used in the justification of speech limitations, describing the restriction on forms of expression deemed offensive to society, considering factors such as extent, duration, motives of the speaker, and ease with which it could be avoided. End quote.
With our freedoms come responsibility. It is our responsibility to make sure that we are not relaying false claims, because it’s our right to say things, we’re not using sensationalism, we’re not guilty of slander or liable and we’re not ruining another person’s reputation just because it’s our right to do so.
Freedom of speech does not give you the right to infringe on someone else’s right whether it be a right to privacy or a right to expect honesty, our freedom of speech is precious here. Men have died to give that right to us, which means that we have a certain Freedom that other countries do not , like Iran Pakistan ,China, and North Korea. We’re not allowed though, to slander and freely throw out opinions that are based on slander or gossip. Or anger or hatred. It means that we have a certain responsibility to tell the truth and to abide by these truths given us from God. We can’t just say whatever we want to say on public platforms, for instance I heard a woman tell another woman she wasn’t fit to be a mother and she should be sterilized, just because she said something that this woman didn’t agree with that’s wrong that is not a freedom of speech I’m sorry but it’s not. You don’t have the right to ruin someone else’s reputation.
I don’t like smear campaigns on the national level during elections and I don’t like smear campaigns on a local level simply because you’re angry.
We have such a precious freedom in that there are lots of ways to use this freedom to speak out and to engage even on a political platform and healthy debates and ask questions, but bullying sensationalism and twisting the truth is never, should never be acceptable yet it is. It’s widely practiced due to the increase of platforms like social media it’s very sad.
So use your freedom wisely and remember that there are hundreds of thousands, even millions of people in the world that would give anything to live in our great country, our great land, where we can voice our opinion without fear of being killed or arrested by our government.
One last thing it’s okay to call out corruption or something that you see as wrong, it’s okay to call that out but what is not okay is to hate that person that you’re calling out or act in anger even the Bible says that.
2 Corinthians 12:20
For I am afraid that perhaps when I come I may find you to be not what I wish and may be found by you to be not what you wish; that perhaps there will be strife, jealousy, angry tempers, disputes, slanders, gossip, arrogance, disturbances;