Is Every Opinion Valid?

Free Speech

So, Carleton University is in the news – again – and for the same reason as recently. It seems that Carleton was ranked quite poorly by Calgary’s “Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedom” in regards to free speech for various reasons that became very apparent in last year’s fight with Pro-Life groups of its own students on campus. Carleton has garnered quite the reputation for being anti-free speech but being a haven for the “progressive social justice” crowd, who, ironically, seem to see a lot justice in denying human rights to the people they think suck. Those people being, of course, conservatives, libertarians, the religious, and everyone who doesn’t celebrate their purported agenda.

So, we find that a group (again of students, the Faculty, Administration, and Staff are not friends of free speech) attempting to fight for some semblance of free speech on campus by having a “Free Speech Wall,” which was just a big piece of paper that came with a bunch of markers and that you could write anything you wanted on it.

Was it troubling that a high ranking member of the University Administration (Ryan Flannagan, Carleton’s Director of Student Affairs.) came to inspect the wall and make a decision due to the fairly innocuous statement, “traditional marriage is awesome?” Well, yes. For most of us, that would be indeed mind-boggling, but that was not what prompts this post. Basically, an enraged student named Arün Smith came and tore down this wall in a juvenile act of tantrum-like rage. Like this, I assume.

Why did he do it? Apparently it is because he saw the act of allowing free speech itself it be an act of violence against LGBTQ/Two-Spirited peoples. It seems, that though the wall included a fair amount of pro-gay statements, he was worried that this would somehow hurt the homosexual community. He is a self-described “Homophobia/Transphobia Campaign Coordinator” and in his seventh year of Political Science at Carleton (you read that right, I know, just move on) and sees free speech as dangerous to his conception of social justice. This caused him to utter a phrase that seems to encapsulate much of the Progressive Movement’s views on speech with, “Not every opinion is valid.”

That’s just it, isn’t it? These people are not out to promote equality and justice, they are out to socially engineer their own utopian vision of what they desire society to be, and are willing to restrict the human rights of, destroy the property of, and in some cases, violently attack, those that disagree with them.

Freedom and liberty are completely foreign concepts to them.

Listen, as a Christian, I find myself often around socially conservative Christians who I end up arguing with for greater freedom and rights for society, especially for those issues for which they think are sinful or morally wrong for whatever reason. I think enforcing many of these concepts on society through the use of coercive force is unjust and plain wrong. But in all of my conversations with these people I have never been seriously told by an otherwise intelligent and educated person that I don’t even have the right to disagree with them. That is a dark and dangerous point of view.

It is dark and dangerous. But Arün Smith, I will continue to fight and argue in public for your right to have that opinion. This is because simply that I know that culture changes, and whatever opinion is popular today may be in the minority tomorrow, and it is the same principals of freedom and liberty that protects both of us. Freedom is something that must be given to be retained, and I want as much as can get, so I will fight to give as much as a can.

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