By Michael Patrick, Ph.D.
Nearly six years ago, two Muslim brothers, Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, forced their way into the offices of the French satirical weekly newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, in Paris. They shot up and killed 12 people and injured 11 others because they dared to publish a cartoon of Muhammad.
I commented on their actions in Facebook, joining millions worldwide who posted the cartoon in defiance of the fanatics and in support of free speech. This week, years after the fact, Facebook found and took down my post, saying it offended them.
My, my, my, how times have changed. Every day, Americans are now turning on other Americans. The censoring and silencing of voices will only end badly because free speech has served for more than 200 years as the life blood of free republics, French or American.
Sadly, free speech is never free from attack. Political and religious extremists, whether they work at Facebook, Twitter, Google, CNN or the New York Times, are taking rapid action to censor stories or silence anyone who offends or disagrees with them.
They do it in the name of “community”. These Americans believe censorship strengthens our communities if only particular voices are heard, if stories are only repeated with an approved narrative, and somehow they can silence the opposition.
In the late 1700s, French journalist Jacues Mallet du Pan wrote “Like Saturn, the Revolution devours its children.”
Todays “progressive” revolutionaries, brimming with self-righteousness, seek to overthrow their world. No matter how noble the cause, without the essential ingredients, without truly free speech that sets all at liberty, the reptiles of their own ambitions will prove their undoing.
The footsteps of history are right behind you. That’s too bad. Happy Thanksgiving.