Balance in Free Speech on Campus

Here are a couple of articles that reflect the needed balance on the matter of free speech on college campuses.

First, Tennessee passed a law banning so-called “safe spaces” and free speech zones, as well as rescinding invitations to speakers because they may be controversial or some might find their messages offensive. This is good news. Colleges and universities have gone too far in limiting the free exchange of ideas on college campuses and have kowtowed too much to the demands of students who believe that the college experience means being protected from any idea with which they disagree or any speech they find offensive. The last thing a college or university needs to be is a place where student are “protected” from the free exchange of ideas.

Harvard College, on the other hand, has done the right thing is rescinding offers of admission to ten students who were determined to have engaged in posts on Facebook that were obscene in the extreme, racially charged, and even demeaning of child abuse and child sexual assault. Should the government arrest these students? No, not unless there is evidence that their statements went beyond mere words into action. But, just because such speech is protected by the Constitution from punitive action by the government doesn’t mean that Harvard is obliged to ignore the obscene nature of the posts and place their confidence in people who clearly lack moral character. Free speech does not give one the right to yell “Fire!” in a crowed theatre. Harvard acted rightly in this matter. Hopefully, the students involved will learn an important lesson.

Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.

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