Free speech is a right that’s often claimed in emotionally charged conversations. We want to say whatever we want, because it’s a right granted to us by our county’s constitution. This is technically true: our country extends freedom for people to speak their minds. Although 100% agreement on what is said isn’t likely, we value the right to say what we think, ultimately trusting society to corral outlying ideas and shape them into a more refined understanding along the way. But what happens when the ideals of the majority begin to squeeze out fringe thoughts in ways that makes the society unhealthy?

In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson discuss several recent free speech kerfuffles covered in the news and online, including recent comments by Rosanne Barr and Samantha Bee and the NFL’s anthem ruling. All these happenings cause alarm and force us to consider if our value of free speech may presume too much in terms of society’s collective ability to handle its power and goodness. When are dissenting opinions and voices needed? Should abrasive or abusive words be shut down? Who decides what constitutes improper ideals in need of correction? Listen in to all this and more, and then continue the conversation on Twitter @PersuasionCAPC or in the CAPC members-only community on Facebook.

More to Read from Persuasion Episode 138:

Is there a biblical defense of free speech?ERLC

After Racist Tweet, Roseanne Barr’s Show Is Canceled by ABCThe New York Times

The NFL’s Capitalist Anthem PolicyMedium

Did you enjoy this episode of Persuasion? Give these a listen:

Persuasion 105: Sandwich Snobbery & Social Exclusion

Persuasion: When You Fancy Yourself a Prophet, with Sharon Hodde Miller

Persuasion Episode 59: Being A Better Listener with Adam S. McHugh, Author of ‘The Listening Life’

Theme music by Maiden Name.


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