All Aboard the Censorship Train

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Ah, education! The institution of free thinking, speech, and action. The place where individuals can write their thoughts, ignite their passions, and ultimately…be confined to a box, be told “No! You can’t talk about that!” and be forced to follow a constricting path that inevitably kills thinking and creativity.

Why is this? Don’t answer out loud…it was rhetorical, and people will look at you with interesting faces if you’re seen mumbling to yourself. Institutions, particularly the private ones, have a bad habit of preaching free thinking and exploring thought, just so long as it stays either in our minds or in a closed classroom tucked away somewhere. The minute that someone references, again I say REFERENCES, something that may not align directly with the doctrines of the institution it becomes an out-of-line action.

Better yet, the moment someone shares an opinion on a subject and people object because their ‘feelings were hurt’, suddenly the whip is cracked and walls are put up in order to contain the threat. When did we become more concerned about what we feel as opposed to what we know is right? (You can answer that one out loud…no really, go for it. I’ll wait.)

The problem with letting our ‘feelings’ guide us is that ‘feelings’ are misleading and ever-changing. Feelings are based on our emotional state at any given moment and can lack root in truth. Instead of educating people to feel, we must educate to think and lean on truth, especially in a Christian environment. Now I’m not saying emotion is bad or that we must not feel, but rather let feelings be a secondary line of thought.

Institutions all over America are faced with the problem of allowing classroom discussions but banning those discussions outside the classroom. Why is information being allowed in the classroom but banned from being public? I’m no expert, but that doesn’t sound like it makes much sense. If we, as students, study different cultures, religions, and other areas of interest in the classroom then we should be allowed to use those areas of study in writing and speech. But institutions are afraid that what is taught inside will get out and wreak havoc upon the campus and surrounding community, tarnishing the gilding of the institution.

As Christians, we cannot and must not censor our beliefs in order to maintain the status quo or avoid being politically incorrect. Whether that is in the form of written papers, speech, worship, music, or art; why must we restrict these things to a select few forms? Why are only certain things okay to do? This article is not meant to attack one institution in particular; but rather, to challenge you to question why people ask you to not speak about your beliefs. Or for another example, to not play instrumental worship music because they don’t like it. I’m not saying be a jerk about it and force your way of worship down someone’s throat, but don’t back off because someone ‘feels’ offended by you praising of the Creator of the universe.

So, next time you want to get offended because someone did or said something that hurt your feelings, take a minute, maybe a deep breath, and get over it. We live in a country that allows for religious and speech freedom. And while people can be dumb and over-step this freedom and say something idiotic and absurd, don’t forget that censorship should not be used to keep feelings from being hurt. Idiotic feelings will get hurt no matter what is or is not said. If the goal is to avoid offending people, then we need to ban speaking. Think about how wild that last sentence is and how dumb it would be to ban speaking.

So quit focusing on not stepping on toes and just use common sense. If it’s idiotic, censor yourself and don’t say it. If you know it’s the right thing to do, do it, and stand by it.

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