Earl Warren Quote

“The censor’s sword pierces deeply into the heart of free expression.”

~ Earl Warren

Times Film Corps. vs. City of Chicago, 23 January 1961

Ratings and Comments

me again
  • Reply
me again    9/20/06

Nicely put.

Robert, Sarasota

I agree, but tell me this, if freedom of speech results in the unmitigated use of violence against any race, creed, or life style is that considered acceptable especially when it results in the harm and death of others. I have toyed with this conundrum for many years perhaps this celebrated forum can shed a little light on the subject. Freedom of speech can incite violence and war both of which kill innocent people who are not the subject of the speech - is that not the same sword that pierces the heart of the innocent.

Mike, Norwalk

The naziesk censors that have thrown the Word of God ((any/every one's god - bible, tora, etc., except the atheist and history revisionists) out of public education have pierced deeply into the heart of free expression.

Robert, Sarasota

Pushing or dictating ones faith on all humanity so that's good??????? - that to me smacks of a Pheocracy. It pierces the heart of those who love freedom of thought and expression. Religous fundamentalism should not be allowed in publiv places. Keep your bibles in your house or in a church but NOT in a public forum - don't insult the rest of us. If you belive in the Koran, the Torah, the bible, I will defend your right to do so with all my power but not when you make others believe by the power of politics or the sword.

Anonymous, Reston, VA US

There is nothing that keeps the study of these religions out of the public schools, as an acedemic study (e.g. comparitive religion, etc), but NOT as a means of indoctination... there are lots of other for such indoctrination (homes, churches, etc). It is not about "free speech", but rather about "inappropriate use of power" (something King George seems to sadly know a lot about). Thankfully our founding fathers understood this, even if most today do not.

  • Reply
EGL, LA    9/20/06

At the core of America's mythology is the idea that free speech is one of our fundamental pillars of Liberty, and when I say mythology I mean this in a positive Joseph Cambell sense. However the near complete failure of our educational system advances the danger that there will be little ability on the part of the body politic to discrimante for themselves when confronted by manipulative, power driven propaganda couched in the convenient accolade of free speech. This would make a case for education being more of a fundamental and pressing need than freedom of speech. What good is free speech when it is a corporately owned network spewing Orwellian double speak or a fundamantalist whatever preaching dominion over the infidel and uncoverted. If you can't tell truth from fiction you are vulnerable. The anitdote for freedom of speech gone awry is intelligence.

E Archer, NYC

The 3 core virtues, Love, Truth, and Courage are always integral in a free society -- and they cannot be legislated. The freedom to speak does not obligate one to listen, to agree, or to act. When Truth and Honor guide us, we cannot blame the inciteful (or insightful) words that may provoke us. Thoughts and words are not actions. And it is important to remember that the collective does not govern each other's actions -- that is the responsibility of each individual. The only thing the collective can do is resolve disputes in a just manner always leaning towards the innocence of the accused -- if there is any doubt in 1 in 12 then there is not enough to convict someone. Thus a free society is a permissive society that's survival depends on the collective honor and compassion of the individuals within it. We are influenced by others, of course, that is in our nature. The crux of the matter rests with how willing we are to tell the truth (to ourselves in particular) and to be kind to others. When we can see the wisdom of such actions, we will see more of it. Kindness cannot be governmed by anyone but the individual him/herself. That is the basis of our free society, and that is what we are banking on. The alternative is some form of servitude to the 'ruler' of the collective. The question is whether you want your madmen on soapboxes or in seats of power.

David L. Rosenthal

Several laws exist which define which types of speech are not legal or protected, including laws against inciting rebellion or violence. Some types of speech are punishable as hate crimes. Yes, in the United States.

Jack, Green, OH

What does the quote have to do with religion? The quote is true but the interpretation is wrong. Limiting where religion can be expounded is not censorship, nor a violation of the first amendment. Everyone has the right to practice and preach his religion, as long as it doesn't intrude on someone else's right not to suffer it. Religion is a personal thing and should not be forced on others, especially the captive audiences in schools and public activities. I won't preach my atheism if you don't force your religion on me, which usually happen to be a Christian sect of some sort.

David L. Rosenthal

Jack: Atheism is forced on children in school, when the creationist view they receive at home is ridiculed by teachers and by students with teachers' consent; as well as by the force-feeding of evolutionist theory that is erroneously taught as factual. Oh, I forgot, you have not been to school since the early 20th century.

Ken, Allyn, WA

Robert, did you actually read what you wrote? "Religous fundamentalism should not be allowed in publiv [sic] places." You have the true heart of a censor. Of course that is the creed of the left-freedom for me, but not for thee.

Jack, Green, OH

No teacher should ridicule a releigious belief. Those who do should be reprimanded. That is true suppression of speech, which is illegal, but Creationism has no place in public schools. Let the adherants suffer ignorance the rest of their lives. Evolution is not atheism. I know many Christians who accept it. Evolution is a provable fact, Creationism is a matter of faith.

David L Rosenthal

Evolution is a series of theories that do not agree, and are unproven. Isaiah 40:22.

Joe, Rochester, MI

... as gun laws pierce the heart of your right to keep and bear arms.


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