Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Freedom of Speech at Its Best

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Freedom of Speech at Its Best

Article excerpt

The recent cartoon contest sponsored by the American Freedom Defense Initiative with the intention of satirizing the prophet Muhammad triggered a shooting by two Muslim-Americans who injured a security officer and were shot down (see "Anti-Muhammad cartoon contest: Free speech or deliberately provocative?," CSMonitor.com). As Monitor columnist John Yemma pointed out in his May 6 editorial, "Free speech and wise speech," freedom of speech in the United States does include the constitutional right to "use certain offensive words and phrases to convey political messages," but it does not include the right to "incite actions that would harm others" (see "What Does Free Speech Mean?" uscourts.gov). However, courtrooms, organized groups, and individuals are continually interpreting - often battling - this issue that has now come to Garland, Texas.

Rather than enter the debate of human law, I am prompted to pray - to take this to a higher, spiritual authority where wisdom and love prevail. Through my study and practice of Christian Science, I have turned to the law of God, divine Love, many times to examine my motives and be guided on what to say or not say in sensitive situations - political or otherwise. In each case, I have been led to answers that have contributed to solutions that benefit everyone. Through these experiences, I have come to recognize that talking with God in thoughtful prayer is the freedom of speech I cherish the most because it helps me to carefully consider what I say before I say it.

In his three-year healing ministry, Christ Jesus valued and relied on the constant communication he maintained with God, often referring to this eternal, protecting power as Father - the Father of us all. No matter the circumstance, he was always free to converse with God, the one Mind, and this Mind responded with guidance in the form of spiritual intuitions, inspiration, love, and healing. …

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