Enforced Silence

March 3, 2022

By Reverend Paul N. Papas II

March 1, 2022

The disturbing trend of silencing speakers who don’t speak the official narrative is causing angst for Joe and Jane citizen as big tech happily joins in on the censorship. This high tech lynching has recently been expanded to forcibly silencing congressmen and state legislators. This enforced silence does not allow the full range of ideas to be aired in public. This forced silence also violates a foundational principle of our Constitutional Republic and the Free Speech clause of the First Amendment. Enforced silence is a form of abuse. Abuse is known to cause fear, anxiety, depression, and PTSD.

Attorneys are taught that if you can’t win on the facts, argue the procedures.

Those who don’t have the facts on their side and feel insecure feel they have the right to forcibly silence opposing views.

Writing for the majority, Justice William O. Douglas says that the “function of free speech … is to invite dispute. It may indeed best serve its high purpose when it induces a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with conditions as they are, or even stirs people to anger.” In Terminiello v. Chicago, the Supreme Court limits the scope of the “fighting words” doctrine (1)

In what would become one of the most famous passages in First Amendment history, Justice Brennan announced our First Amendment freedoms represented a “profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open.” , the Supreme Court  In New York Times Co. v. Sullivan.(1)

Justice Louis Brandeis writes in his concurring opinion a passage that becomes a fundamental First Amendment principle: “If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence” in  WHITNEY V. CALIFORNIA (1)

First Amendment

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Arguably, the First Amendment is also most important to the maintenance of our Constitutional Republic.

The first part of the First Amendment reflects the framers’ experience with the long history of religious strife in Europe. They realized that religious discord can be explosive and cause tremendous disruption in politics. It would be doubly so if one religious sect were favored over all others. So, they ensured that federal government cannot interfere in the citizens’ practice of their religion.

The freedoms of speech, press, assembly and the right to petition the government and seek redress of grievances proclaim that citizens have the right to hold the government accountable. Freedom of speech and press allows citizens to communicate their ideas verbally and in writing, while freedom of assembly lets them publicly express a common interest. The right to petition allows citizens to point out to the government where it did not follow the law, to seek changes, as well as damages for their missteps

“Liberty is to faction – [political parties or movements] what air is to fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires,” said James Madison, the principal framer of the Constitution. “But it could not be less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political life, because it nourishes faction, than it would be to wish the annihilation of air, which is essential to animal life, because it imparts to fire its destructive agency.” (2)

Robust debate is essential to our form of government, a Constitutional Republic. Without robust debate cigarette ads would still air on TV.  Without robust debate Doctors would still be recommending certain cigarettes in TV ads.  Without robust debate women could not own property. Without robust debate women would not have the right to Vote.

Let’s shut down enforced silence and return to honest robust debates.  

Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ) www.narrowpathministries.org  and www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org

References

(1) https://www.thefire.org/first-amendment-library/special-collections/timeline/the-history-of-free-speech/

(2) https://editorials.voa.gov/a/the-importance-of-the-first-amendment-/3733070.html

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Not The Time To Put A Lid On It

March 4, 2021

By Reverend Paul N. Papas II

March 2, 2021

It has been on a constant loop: “If you see something, say something”. I don’t remember hearing there was any fine print or exceptions to that “rule”. We can see there clearly are.

With all the talk of what is essential; one item was left off the written list of the essential and non-essential items, and that is free speech.

In practice the drumbeat was “Thou Shall Not Contradict The Official Pronouncement”. No matter what your station in life, should you wander off the official script and have a different point of view, the hordes of Huns will be released to destroy you, your family, your employment or business and employees. Even if you should recant your ‘error’ of having a different point of view and grovel coast to coast, you will be destroyed, not welcomed back, and canceled. This does not fit any definition of free speech that I have seen.

Freedom of speech has become vital because, without freedom of speech, some people won’t be able to communicate effectively and even say a word when things are going wrong.  Freedom of speech is essential because it can change the narrative of how people feel when they express themselves in public.

Freedom of speech is not a new concept. Freedom of speech can be found between the early 5th and 6th century. It was recognized by the Roman Republic which added freedom of speech and freedom of religion also. The fact that freedom of speech was essential at that time should tell you that freedom of speech is vital and very important even in these modern times.

Freedom of speech remain essential to us and our society, although the first amendment was instituted in 1791, the ideas of human rights that lead to freedom of speech is on paper in ancient human right documents.

The Founding Fathers of our Constitutional Republic saw Freedom of Speech as so essential to maintaining our Republic that they included it within the First Amendment.

When Freedom of Speech is fully operative:

  • It enables the dispersion of excellent and accurate information.
  • It enables media to present both sides of an issue accurately, eliminating Fake News.
  • People will get the impact of new ideas.
  • Freedom of speech is essential and ensures meaningful communication
  • If you can’t communicate you don’t have the liberty to express yourself freely.

Clarity of information depends on the extent to which freedom of expression of thought and freedom of speech is open in all the changes and processes taking place in society. It helps the community to stay in harmony, protects the business, and promotes foreign exchange. Free Speech gives individuals peace in running daily activities with people.

Without Free Speech we would live in a Socialist or Communist society where dissidents are punished brutally, perhaps purged to re-education or death camps. Socialists and Communists quickly silence, canceled, opposition.

Much of today’s media in cooperation of Big Tech parrots talking points of one point of view to which “Thou Shall Not Contradict”

In support I offer the following news story with a video:

 Fox10 Top Rated News Anchor Resigns, “I don’t like the way the media is going

 March 2, 2021 by Sundance

Fox10 News Anchor Kari Lake has reflected on the trend-line for U.S. media and decided she can no longer participate in an industry that has devolved to a system of narrative engineering.  Ms. Lake speaks directly to the issue of manipulated news feed script and she is no longer willing to participate in this activity.

Kari Lake: “Journalism has changed a lot since I first stepped into a newsroom…  I don’t like the direction it is going. …I’m sure there are other journalists out there who feel the same way.”

——–

Dangerous attacks on the Free Speech are well articulated by Paul Craig Roberts in his article titled “The New Journalism Is Destroying Us” https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2021/03/02/the-new-journalism-is-destroying-us/

Why Is FREE SPEECH Important?

——–

A denial of free Speech relies on and foments fear, the same fear the schoolyard bully relies upon. This fear leads way to anxiety and a whole host of mental health issues.

Here is one expression of  Not The Time To Put A Lid On It from the Network

—–

Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ) www.narrowpathministries.org  and www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org



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The American Mind

July 2, 2020

By Reverend Paul N. Papas II

June 29, 2020

This month we celebrate victory over a hard fought battle against the best military of its time to win independence in order that we may have Life and Liberty, and pursue Happiness.

According to Jefferson: The “the object of the Declaration of Independence,” he wrote, was “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of, not merely to say things which had never been said before; but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent, and to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take. Neither aiming at originality of principle or sentiment, nor yet copied from any particular and previous writing, it was intended to be an expression of the American mind.”  

Jefferson restated these noble sentiments in the Declaration of Independence, simplifying the prose: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” (1)

Today’s battles include the tyranny of those who are attacking the First Amendment especially Free Speech and the Freedom of Religion. The Second Amendment is also in the attacker’s sights.

To put it mildly, there are some who have strayed from the founding principles of respecting “certain unalienable Rights… [such as] Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” for all.  A certain combination of evil groups have banded together to try to turn our country into a third world nation.

First, there was the China virus attack which caused hurt, pain, and death from cabin fever, domestic violence, fear, anxiety, suicides and the catastrophic illness.

Then there is the invented word which has caused fear, pain, violence, and destruction of property since 1927. The word was invented in 1927 to browbeat dissenters of the communist ideology by Leon Trotsky and is still used today to shut down all nonconformists and businesses; the word is “racist” The destruction caused by and the misuse of the word “racist” is beyond measure and has become increasing vicious.

Since we can identify the perpetrators of this evil, it is incumbent upon us to stand up to these bullies and prosecute them for their appropriate crimes.

Bad apples can be found in many groups and organizations and they must be held accountable and if appropriate prosecuted as well.

Since we are a nation of laws, law and order must be reestablished in rogue areas.

And since we are a nation of laws, due process needs to be afforded to all, by all, without politically motivated knee jerk firings.

A close examination of the tactics of those trying to turn this country into a third world nation will reveal that they are using the communist playbook.

Fortunately we have some leaders, including the White House, who are leading the battle against the evil doers.

Together we will get back to the ‘American Mind’ that Thomas Jefferson wrote about, as we stand together against the bullies.

We know that good triumphs over evil. God is in charge. Let’s follow His lead.

Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ) www.narrowpathministries.org and www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org

(1) https://allthingsliberty.com/2013/03/thomas-jefferson-and-the-declaration-of-independence/


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