Do we cherish the constitutional rights which our veterans valiantly served and fought for?

President Reagan warned, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

Today there is a war being waged against freedom. American citizens are willingly giving up Constitutional rights. In a recent poll, the majority of millennials felt the “First Amendment should be rewritten” and that “possible jail time would be an appropriate consequence for ‘hate speech.’”

Once considered the arena for intellectual freedom and debate, universities have enacted “speech codes” to insulate students from confronting language that makes them feel uncomfortable. Colorado State University condemns the use of words such as “Freshman,” “male or female,” and even “long time, no see.” The Austin, Texas School District now instructs students and teachers from using the words “mom” and “dad.”

Policing speech directly ties with determining what ideas and views are acceptable. Fifty-percent of the students report they believe colleges “should be able to restrict expression of political views that are hurtful or offensive to others.”

In a recent ruling against a doctor by a British court, belief in the Bible is “incompatible with human dignity.” This week, a politician from Finland will be interrogated by police for “hate speech” for a picture of a Bible passage on social media.

The war on speech and religion is real and daunting. Do we have the courage to stand up for the rights that veterans have sacrificed to preserve, or we will retreat to our “safe spaces” and surrender our freedoms?

Deanne Howell

Emporia

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