It’s easy in this political season to speak before we think. The comments of some candidates have been so outrageous, in addition to being so polarizing, that it’s all we can do not to blurt out something equally inappropriate.
The same holds true as we read the almost daily news stories about the latest act of mass violence against police or gatherings of people. It’s too easy to react with generalizations that in calmer times we would never utter, let alone think.
But the anger and outrage and us vs. them mentality make it even more important to recognize that our hallowed free speech carries with it a serious responsibility. Just as there’s a fine line between free speech and yelling fire in a crowded, and not burning, theater, we need to understand the potential result of demonizing religions or nationalities or political parties and their candidates. Continue reading