In his most recent blog entry at The Huffington Post, FIRE President Greg Lukianoff discusses his recently published article in Free Inquiry magazine, co-authored with FIRE Director of Legal and Public Advocacy Will Creeley.
The Free Inquiry article, as discussed previously here on the Torch, discusses the culture of political correctness driving much of the censorship of college speech, and how this trend has revealed itself particularly in the realm of political speech (both right and left) and religious speech (whether in support—or opposition—of Christianity, Judiasm, or Islam).
What can we do to turn back the tide? As Greg writes:
[B]y shutting down speech—whether that speech is religious, atheist, conservative, liberal, or what-have-you—we teach students that the proper response to speech they find offensive is censorship, not an engaged debate. What we need to be teaching students to do is not only to tolerate speech they don’t like, but to jump into debates and encourage discussion of different points of view. If you think you are right and the other person is wrong, no harm in hearing them out, and who knows, maybe you’ll learn something in the process. But this process cannot take place in an atmosphere where the first reaction to dissenting opinions, challenging views, or uncomfortable discussions is to figure out a way to silence it.
Read the rest of Greg’s Huffington Post blog here and be sure to pick up the latest issue of Free Inquiry to read the full article by Greg and Will.