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These are some common-sense ideas that I took the time to write as they seem to be called into question in the controversial discussions surrounding events like “Blasphemy Day” and “Draw Muhammed Day” (which today–5/20–has been unofficially dubbed)—events organized to offend people to remind them that free speech protects offensive speech. However, it is my opinion that events like these fail to account for a hugely important aspect of free speech: responsibility for what you speak.

1) Freedom from censorship, not consequence. Speech may be free from censorship, but that doesn’t mean that we are without responsibility regarding what we speak. Speaking recklessly still has consequences. To restate, “free speech” refers to speech which is free from censorship, not consequence. You may have the right to speak offensively, but you should understand that, free or not, offensive speech still has consequences.

2) Self-censorship is protected by, not in violation of, free speech. Just because our “right to free speech” protects provocative and offensive speech doesn’t mean we are required to speak as offensively as possible in the name of free speech. The same free speech that protects your right to make offensive statements also protects my right to abstain from making those same statements. The right to free speech encompasses the right to be respectful speech—just because I don’t speak offensively for the sake of offending doesn’t mean I’m an opponent of free speech, it just means that I am responsible to speak provocatively only when it is necessary and unavoidable.

3) Responsibility. Points 1 and 2 can be tied together with this term. Free speech (and other freedoms) entail responsibility. I have the right to speak freely, but I have the responsibility (social, ethical, and moral) to speak constructively. And when any responsibility is not met, there are consequences—this is to be expected. This is an important part of the social contract and moral mandates.

So in conclusion, yes, you have the right to offend the Muslim community today insofar as free speech goes, but that same freedom also makes you responsible for the consequences that come from your destructiveness. Were you really concerned for free speech, I think you would find a more creative and constructive way to find it. Using hate and offensiveness is rather lazy and destructive, moreover, it will do more harm for your supposed cause than good.


This is one of my favorite short stories and the direct link can be found here (the story in its entirety is posted below, so just scroll down to read it). It came to my mind this morning as I think about all of the beautiful broken people in the world. I’m just kind of absorbing how great a tragedy it is that people don’t know how much God loves them and how blessed we are to have opportunities to be instruments through which God expresses that love to a broken world. And at the same time, how much we squander those opportunities–the very thing we are here on earth to do–in the name of pursuing mindless, practical activities like work and school (these things exist to enable us to fulfill the purpose God has given us, yet so often we mistake work and school to be our purpose).

I pray that God changes our [believers’] hearts and gives us opportunities to share His love to people who need to know about it, like in the following story. I pray that he wakes us up from our monotony so we can share life with the dead. I just pray that I can be part of this great adventure that is God’s work on Earth. I pray that he would use my humble life to reach out to a broken and dying world. I want my life to look like this, at least on occasion: Continue reading ‘This Needs To Be Happening Everywhere, Always’


Using your political party to further God’s kingdom is great. Using God’s kingdom to further your political agenda is downright blasphemous. To insinuate that entering God’s kingdom is not only dependent upon Jesus’ testimony concerning you but also upon your ability to fit in with American conservative evangelical Christian culture is a terrible lie.

Jesus refers to people in His day who spread these sort of lies as a “brood of vipers”. Apart from Jesus all people are enemies of God. It doesn’t matter how “Christian” your home was growing up; it doesn’t matter whether you voted red or blue in the last election; it doesn’t matter how frequently or infrequently you sin; and it sure as Hell doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks of you. The only thing that matters is Christ’s testimony concerning you (Matthew 25:31-46). In light of that, the enemy of God is not liberalism or homosexuality or unrighteousness–it is us! The friend of God is not conservative or a person who boasts in their own righteousness–it is a people made righteous by Jesus!

Stop bundling things to the Gospel! Stop insinuating that salvation is contingent upon how much people look, act, and vote like you! If God is as Holy as He says He is and you truly fear God like you profess, why in the world would you behave so irreverently towards His holy Gospel? Why would you put the Gospel on par with your nationality, your political beliefs, or your lifestyle!? You’re burdening people beyond what Jesus requires of them! You have the key to the gates of heaven but you don’t allow others to pass!

Stop acting like Jesus looks up to you or that God would vote the way you vote because He admires your political candidates as much as you do! God exists above any political party and, indeed, America! Also, God doesn’t look up to America’s political system. He isn’t envious of our capitalist economic system. America’s not God’s Holy Land. We are citizens of the Kingdom of God who happen to live in America (at least if we are truly on God’s side)… We shouldn’t try and change the Kingdom of God to match up with the ideologies of our political parties–at best we should change our political ideologies to match up with God’s work here. Worshiping our nation or our political parties or anything else above God is idolatry. Yes, even if you are an American Republican. If you call yourself a Christian, your primary identity should be in Christ, not country.

Honestly, I think that the “Christian” people (those who say to Jesus, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?”) who do these things and behave this way are the people to whom Jesus will say, “depart from me, I never knew you.” Not just the liberals or the homosexuals who never knew Christ. (Matthew 7:21-23)


DISCLAIMER: I just realized this theme doesn’t do bullet points. I’ll see about fixing this later. For now I must sleep. Enjoy the post, the parts that are formatted funny should have bullets in front of them. Use your imaginations. Peace out.

This week was sort of tumultuous (as in turmoil-filled, I think. Link here for definition as I had to look it up for this post)… Mostly just peppered with drama and some general rebelliousness on my part. Continue reading ‘Some Points From My Week’


Anita is running to the right at 5 m/s, as shown in Figure P3.21. Balls 1 and 2 are thrown towards her at 10 m/s by friends standing on the ground. According to Anita, what is the speed of each ball?

Friends Fail: Anita needs new friends

So today I walked into my Programmable Logic Controllers class late (as per usual) to find that everyone had been taking a test for the last five minutes. And, as usual, I spaced the test and had made no effort to prepare for it. And, as usual, I was done with the test in about half the allotted time. And before anyone else.

This is why I love math/logic/physics classes: they require no studying, no memorization, no reading, and they are almost purely objective. Unless your teacher lives to make his/her students miserable, these classes could (and probably should) be the easiest classes you take in college. And here is the simple 1-step method to success:

Continue reading ‘How To Be Good At Math’


Amen

01Apr10

I really liked this post about the absoluteness of truth. It’s something I’ve been thinking about lately and the author did a good job of summarizing most of my thoughts on the topic. Props.