Free speech insults me

Don’t say that; it is insulting! You hear things similar to this from liberals a lot, and also from religious people who feel hurt when their religion is criticized. When we’re challenged, our first reaction is to try and silence the challenger without facing what they say. This way, we’ll never have to grow and progress, and we never will. Progress is achieved through research, thought, education, and free speech.

There’s much hate in the world. One doesn’t need to stray far to hear people say things like homosexuality being immoral, all Muslims being monsters, and blacks being primitive. Such unfounded claims based only in ignorance cannot be tolerated; they must be fought in any way possible. But the way to do this isn’t to limit free speech; that won’t help anyone. People won’t change their minds because they aren’t allowed to speak; that will just make their hate take root even more deeply.

Furthermore, liberals have equated certain groups to victims. White people are in all cases the aggressor and Muslims are always the victim. The problem I have with this is that the Middle East and Islam are still very conservative and are in many cases the oppressor: many Muslims do view homosexuality as sinful and women have a subjugated position in society, which can be traced to the religion, just like with Christianity. That doesn’t mean all Muslims are evil, and there are Muslims who are also liberals. But Islam—like Christianity was in the past and still is in many parts of America—is a conservative religion, with values that conflict with liberal ones.

People like Bill Maher, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and myself for that matter are not bigoted toward Muslims, just like we’re not bigoted toward Christians… or communists. But bad ideologies that cause (or at least justify) violence and hatred must be criticized. Instead of listening to this critique and properly responding to it, liberals and Muslims write it off as bigotry, as that is just easier for them. Changing one’s mind is hard, but it is required for progress.

Islam must be reformed, which is a tough process Christianity hasn’t even fully made it through yet. The way to bring about reform is by sharing ideas and pointing out why other ideas are not so good, something that isn’t appreciated in many Muslim nations and also not by liberals in the west. Why? Because it is religion, which must be sheltered. All beliefs and ideas can be criticized except the religions of non-whites. How is this fair?

Free speech is important; it is a cornerstone of progress (with such things as education and science). Without free speech, new ideas will never come to light, conservative cultures won't make progress, and humankind will be stuck. Free speech is liberalism just as much as equality and tolerance. Don’t be like Ben Affleck and cover your ears while shouting racist, just so you won’t hear anything you won’t like. And don’t instantly condemn Sam Harris and Bill Maher as racists; always listen and think first.