Not only is free speech the First Amendment of our Constitution, not only is it the first of the Bill of Rights, but it is the first element of the First Amendment and first of the rights. For the same reason the Commandment Thou shall have no gods before thee had to be the first of the Ten Commandments. The other nine could have come in any order but until the people understood they would operate under the one and only God, one could not vindicate the other nine. By whose authority shall I be prohibited to kill, steal, or cheat on my spouse just because somebody etched some early alphabetic characters on a rock? But by committing to the First Commandment to have no god before the one and only God, the other nine laws become the divine wishes of our supreme being and obedience is required for the positive afterlife. The same is true at the secular and political levels with free speech. If freedom of the press preceded freedom of speech, the press, as free as it would be declared, could never establish any credibility since the written word is an extension of the spoken word and since the pen, typewriter, computer word processor, and social media channels are extensions of our hearts, minds, and tongues. Mark 4:14 tells us our words are our seeds and it is the power of the spoken word that separates mankind from all other species on Earth.
Recently, the terrorist attack on the Charlie Hedbo magazine in Paris, France and pre-recorded words of the recently slain employed at the magazine claiming they are already dead without free speech. As God’s children and members of the human race, our hearts cry out for the French. As conservative thinkers and crusaders for freedom and The Constitution, we find it quite intriguing that France speaks of free speech. It makes us think about how precious free speech is in America, especially since it the very foundation of a free country and a working democracy (or republic if you prefer). I have used the catch phrase on several blog posts of the past: dictatorships are made of iron, democracies are made of glass. The essence of substance to that phrase is that a democracy can vote in a dictator, but in a dictatorship, you cannot vote in a democracy, bloodshed is required. I also made reference on several occasions of that broken clock and the action of placing the big hand on the twelve, the little hand on the five, and hanging a sign under the clock that reads IT’S FIVE O’CLOCK SOMEWHERE. At the end of the day, the clock has not actually been repaired. Without free speech, the capitol building, the houses of congress, and the white house deteriorate and become merely the clock towers of the aforementioned clock. And every American citizen eighteen years of age and over that does not participate in the democratic process, at least on Election Day, represents a drop of arsenic in the river that bears the fish of free speech. Not voting is the same as not exercising free speech. Deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the employees at Charlie Hedbo, but my fellow Americans, we must take the tragedy in France as a lesson and reminder of how fragile free speech is in our own country; the world example for freedom and democracy.