The High Cost of Free Speech

freespeechmainLast week, a normally wise son texted something not-so-wise to a group of girls with whom he’d been dialoging. It wasn’t anything “wrong,” just something foolish he had said in one of those moments of light-hearted silliness we tend to slip into when bantering back and forth in the cyberworld.

Two nights ago the same boy and I were invited to hear David French, senior counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, speak on the topic of free speech. We learned that unless our speech falls under the category of slander/libel, incitement, child porn, true threats, or obscenity, we are legally free to say anything we want to.

The connection between my son's text and French's speech was not missed by either of us. (Right, dear? Dear?) In fact, it prompted further exploration: Does the fact that something is legally permissible mean it is necessarily morally permissible? And, if something is morally permissible, does that necessarily mean it is wise to say it?

[Read the rest of the article at]