The right of free speech ingrained into the Constitution our freedom to say whatever stupid thing might pop into our heads. In general, this is a good thing. Within certain reasonable limits, we can express our opinions on everything from foreign affairs to Fanta soda. It allows us to question whether or not the President of the United States is an American and then choose not to believe the facts when he presents his birth certificate. It’s a powerful right, even if it tends to be wasted on people who seem to exercise it the most wantonly.
Luckily, it cuts both ways and occasionally leads to heart-warming images like this:
I wouldn’t say I’m generally in favor of book burning but I understand the sentiment. One time while living overseas I received a package at my local post office. Now, to release packages from the postal system in this country, you were required to pay by weight. I didn’t have a lot of money but it was a package and I didn’t get a lot of them so I paid up. The box was somewhat heavy and came from my grandma so I rushed home to open it up. Imagine my surprise when I cut through the tape to find a bunch of Reader’s Digest magazines and Bible devotionals. Not one of my better days, I can assure you. And I’m pretty sure a few of those items went up in flames.
The point is, I can understand the need to burn something. Like how I wanted to burn my 2011 Detroit Tigers’ team program when they finished rolling over so the Rangers could finish them off. But instead I just use my Freedom of Speech and write about it. Hey, it could be a collectible one day. The writings of Bill O’Reilly? Not so much.