Free Speech: For Liberals Only

October 6, 2003

By Gary W. Aldrich and Ashley N. Varner at

A Michigan teenager has won the right in court to wear to his high school an extremely offensive message on his clothing. The reason this hateful message is allowed in school? It only offends those who actually respect our president and support the country during a time of war.

The 16 year-old was ordered by his assistant principal to take off the shirt, bearing the label “International Terrorist” under a picture of President Bush. The student wore the shirt to school in February on the day he was to give a speech to his English class comparing President Bush to Saddam Hussein.

The US District Judge Duggan upheld the student’s free speech rights, stating, “There is no evidence that the T-shirt created any disturbance or disruption.”

The ACLU declared victory, stating, “The court’s decision reaffirms the principle that students don’t give up their right to express themselves…once they enter school.”


Someone should remind the Cal Poly State University Judicial Affairs Office. Cal Poly actually punished a student, Steve Hinkel, for posting an advertising flier in the student commons area for a campusapproved speech by a conservative author.

For this serious offense, Hinkel was sentenced by the Judicial Affairs Office to write letters of apology to each of the offended students, and was threatened with expulsion if he did not comply.

Where is this student’s First Amendment right?

Likewise, a Texas senior’s center now forbids their elderly patrons from bowing over their food before they eat. The concern is that the senior’s center is a public place, and someone may be offended by observing Grandma or Grandpa saying a prayer before their meal.

Where are the rights of these senior citizens?

The answer is: the First Amendment doesn’t apply to these people.

You see, Steve Hinkel is a conservative student, whose speech promoted conservative values such as love for country, independence from government and personal responsibility. But we can’t have any of that garbage passed around in public.

And the senior citizens? Their prayers are not welcomed by someone who doesn’t believe in the same God, and we can’t have a bunch of older people silently proselytizing by praying to themselves in front of others.

What we can have is the kind of hatred spewing forth from this Michigan kid, whose speech served no other purpose than to display utter contempt for our nation and president, and cause division amongst the student body.

Who ARE these people who get deeply offended by hearing about what a great nation they live in, or are scarred over observing someone else pray at mealtime??

And yet, we are supposed to sit back and smile, knowing that this brat in Michigan is just “exercising his right” to demoralize our country?

Can we just pass an amendment to the First Amendment?

Because we really need to clarify this whole “free speech” thing. A majority of the country is terribly mistaken about how “freedom of speech” works, and they need to be educated.

What happened to Steve Hinkel and these senior citizens is outrageous, but can be anticipated by anyone promoting conservative values. Anyone who professes a belief in the Judeo-Christian God, supports the military and our troops in combat, and wishes to expand capitalism and uphold freedom from a tyrannical government sees the legal door slammed in their face time and time again.

However, anyone who wants to make obscene or polarizing statements about religion, our country, its leadership, or our way of life, gets the green light more often than not.

The entertainment community chastised the American public for boycotting the Dixie Chicks after making their anti-Bush statements during a European concert. The American people were offended by the Chicks’ display of hatred toward their president, but were scolded by other rockers for not letting the Chicks exercise their First Amendment rights.

The message is clear: free speech applies only to those who seek to tear down America and her freedoms and opportunities.

Conservative values are just plain offensive—that’s what we are to believe when we can’t display them anywhere.

It’s high time conservatives take back the First Amendment. The Bill of Rights was written for every citizen, no matter what the liberals try to tell us.

Download file "Free Speech"

Schools: California Polytechnic State University Cases: California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly): Use of Disruption Claim to Suppress Free Speech