“[Liberalism] has upset and permanently unstabilized practically every government in Europe, and has let loose a veritable flood of fallacious emancipations such as divorce, “free thought,” “free speech,” “free press,” “free trade,” unrestricted competition, “ open shop,” etc., etc.”
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
-United States Constitution, 1st Amendment
While the United State’s Constitution allows for both the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press, in actuality both are liberal policies. Liberalism as has been noted elsewhere puts forth the erroneous principle that any doctrine can be propagated by anyone, so long as it does not incite violence.
Provided that the speech or press does not corrupt the faith or morals of the population, there is nothing wrong with it, but as the history has shown this has not been the case. To allow truth and error the same rights is to fail in the public responsibility for the moral well-being of the populace. It is a flattering opinion that most persons are perfectly capable of separating truth from error when presented both.
The intention behind the first amendment has been inferred by the Supreme Court:
“Those who won our independence . . . believed that freedom to think as you will and to speak as you think are means indispensable to the discovery and spread of political truth; that, without free speech and assembly, discussion would be futile; that, with them, discussion affords ordinarily adequate protection against the dissemination of noxious doctrine; that the greatest menace to freedom is an inert people; that public discussion is a political duty, and that this should be a fundamental principle of the American government. They recognized the risks to which all human institutions are subject. But they knew that . . . fear breeds repression; that repression breeds hate; that hate menaces stable government; that the path of safety lies in the opportunity to discuss freely supposed grievances and proposed remedies, and that the fitting remedy for evil counsels is good ones. Believing in the power of reason as applied through public discussion, they eschewed silence coerced by law — the argument of force in its worst form. Recognizing the occasional tyrannies of governing majorities, they amended the Constitution so that free speech and assembly should be guaranteed.”
-Justice Brandeis, Whitney v. California
Attend to an important phrase from above: “discussion affords ordinarily adequate protection against the dissemination of noxious doctrine.” This is a liberal and erroneous principle.
Here is one example why. As of this October, Protestantism will be 500 years old. One of the principles of Protestantism is sola scriptura or the Bible alone. With no recognition of an authoritative interpretation of the Bible, Protestants have been discussing what the Bible means for almost 500 years. The United States has always been a majority Protestant country and it continues to be so. Today the vast majority of women walk around in men’s clothing (i.e. pants) which according to the Bible (which Protestants profess to adhere to) is an abomination. In contrast, in Catholic Europe (before the so-called “Reformation”) one famous holy woman known even today was burned at the stake for doing this (she was exonerated later).
One of my college professors put it like this: in Catholic Europe it was a policy that if you have the truth you do not tolerate error.