Opinion

ROBERTSON: Free Speech Is Under Attack — Especially For Christians

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Phil Robertson Contributor

Interview after interview, the media has attacked my love for Jesus and my commitment to his truth. As we say down here in Louisiana, though, it don’t bother me a lick.

Jesus used his freedom to preach the truth, all the way to the cross. The Apostle Paul used his freedom of speech to preach the good news, even when it landed him in prison and cost him his life.

God’s people are his prophetic voice in America and it’s time to use our freedom to preach the good news. If we do, we can turn this ship around before we lose our right to speak.

But is it a stretch to imagine a day when the tide turns, when the masses, their non-profits, the worldly corporations, and a corrupt government will work together to shut down the spread of the gospel message? Hardly.

There’s no better way for a faithless world to insulate itself from conviction and pursue their own desires than to shut down the Christian’s right of speech. Just look at Russia, China, and so many of the Muslim-controlled countries. See how quickly tyranny can spread when the evil one persuades us with his lies, primarily the lie that Christians shouldn’t have the right to speak the truth?

America’s Founding Fathers knew the importance of individual liberties. They believed all Americans should enjoy the freedom to practice their religion, the freedom to gather together as people of faith, to own property and the freedom to share what they believed through free speech.

In their infinite wisdom, our forefathers hoped to protect us from some future tyrannical government that might try to remove these liberties. They also knew that if individual liberties were to be scaled back, it would most likely start with the erosion of freedom of speech. In fact, Ben Franklin wrote, “The Security of Property, and the Freedom of Speech always go together; and in those wretched Countries where a Man cannot call his Tongue his own, he can scarce call any Thing else his own. Whoever would overthrow the Liberty of a Nation, must begin by subduing the Freeness of Speech.”

George Washington recognized as much too. In an address to the army, George Washington said, “If men are to be precluded from offering their sentiments on a matter, which may involve the most serious and alarming consequences, that can invite the consideration of mankind; reason is of no use to us — the freedom of speech may be taken away — and, dumb & silent we may be led, like sheep, to the slaughter.”

What’s more, our forefathers believed these liberties were granted to all men by God as natural rights, rights that couldn’t be taken away by any government. As Thomas Jefferson noted, “Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?”

Nope.

That’s why they took measures to limit the government’s interference with these liberties by including these words in the United States Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech.”

Ultimately, the Founding Fathers knew that America would be on shaky ground if we removed the right of godly citizens to speak the truth. Freedom of speech was a foundational liberty, and if protected, it would allow the citizens to protect all other liberties. They also knew that if free speech eroded, if people couldn’t speak the truth in love, America would slide into chaos and tyranny.

Make no mistake, freedom of speech is under attack these days, especially if it’s the speech of Christians. Don’t believe me? Try speaking about sexuality — or any manner of sin, for that matter — in the public square, the public school or the public courthouse. If you do, prepare yourself. You’ll be called bigoted and hateful. They’ll ridicule you, call you outdated, tell you to shut your trap. Folks will even threaten you with hate-speech legislation. Why? It’s simple. The American masses, in their philosophical killed God, the granter of true liberty, and now, they’ve fallen for this lie of the enemy: Freedom of speech shouldn’t apply to religious speech.

See how it works? Kill’n God ultimately leads to the erosion of God-given liberties.

It doesn’t take much to imagine America’s slide into tyranny, especially if it’s tyranny against Bible-believing folks. What about the day when the lie of the evil one becomes a legislated prohibition on sharing our faith?

As for me, I plan to exercise my obligation to speech because I believe the truths of the Bible can save my neighbors from death and my country from chaos. So even if the masses think it’s foolishness, even if the government enacts laws to shut me up, I’m gonna keep on preaching. And if the day comes when they tell me I can’t call a sin a sin, or I can’t spread the good news of Jesus or I can’t talk about how America should return to the truths of the Almighty, guess who they can throw in a jail cell, just like Paul? Me.

Why? Because no government will take away my God-given and Founding-Father-recognized right to speak the truth that might save their very souls.

This is adapted from Phil Robertson’s latest book, The Theft of America’s Soul: Blowing the Lid Off the Lies that are Destroying Our Country.

Phil Robertson (@DuckCommanderPR) is a professional hunter, founder of the Duck Commander Company, and star of the A&E television series Duck Dynasty. He is presently the host of the subscription television series “In the Woods with Phil” and is the author of two New York Times bestselling books, Happy, Happy, Happy and UnPHILtered.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.