Who should decide what speech is acceptable? P. Z. Myers appoints himself.

Why Evolution Is True

Over many decades, the United States court system has come up with an interpretation of the Constitution’s First Amendment that protects people from harassment and physical attack without deep-sixing the important right to express your opinion without censorship. Here’s that amendment again, just for review:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Today we’re neglecting religion, assembly, and the press (except insofar as they constitute “speech”) to deal with freedom of speech. The evolved interpretation is the following: the government has no right to censor or ban public speech unless it leads to persistent harassment in the workplace, constitutes an immediate incitement to violence, or falls into criminal categories like perjury, defamation…

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