Mon | Sep 20, 2021

Shauna-Gaye Brown | Freedom of speech does not exist

Published:Wednesday | August 4, 2021 | 12:06 AMShauna-Gaye Brown/Guest Columnist
Freedom of speech does not exist. Where there is freedom, there are no consequences.
Freedom of speech does not exist. Where there is freedom, there are no consequences.

Recently, there have been talks about the right to freedom of speech, with the emphasis that we are living in a democratic society. However, I wish to suggest there is no such thing as freedom of speech. If we were free to say whatever comes to our mind, then we would be free to do what we want to do without having consequences; but this is not the case. There are always limits or boundaries to action and expression.

Our society is governed by rules of laws that aide in shaping good behaviour, with the aim of promoting good values, morals and ethics. Citizens and visitors alike are expected to conduct themselves appropriately within the confines of the law. Those who choose, or refuse, to conform are faced with consequences.

On the other hand, there are some practices that can be referred to as customs; they are not written as a rule of law, but the expectation to conform still exists within the society.

The same way that we are only at liberty to do what is acceptable within the law, we are only allowed to speak what is considered to be pleasant and peaceful in our conversations. This does take away from our right to express ourselves; however, our spoken words should never insight violence, cause disturbance, and make others feel uncomfortable. Otherwise, we would be infringing on the rights of others, noting that everyone within the society is allowed to have basic rights such as these.

The breath of God made man a living soul and gifted us with emotions, the ability to think, and a will. We laugh when we are happy, and weep when we are sad. We are able to consider our ways before we put them into action, and we are able to choose to do what is right or wrong. The fact that we are able to choose to do right or wrong means there is an established law, because where there is no law there is no offence.

THE FIRST RULE

This is first conversation with man after he was placed in the Garden of Eden: “the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die’.”

Hence, man was always governed by rules and laws; being free to do everything...except. Therefore, the ‘freedom of speech’ narrative that is uttered loudly by even influencers has never been in existence, even when man was in the Garden of Eden.

War broke out in Heaven when the Devil said in Isaiah 14:1,4 “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” The Devil possibly thought he had freedom of speech as an angel. However, we know the drastic punishment he and those angels he was able to influence faced. They were dismissed from Heaven by God, never to return.

Let us consider what is referred to as the law of the universe and the law of the harvest. The law of the universe is governed by action and reaction, and cause and effect. The law of the harvest is governed by sowing and reaping. In other words, the law of the universe and the law of the harvest are saying, ‘whatsoever you think, say and do, you should anticipate a response.’ Note: these laws exist to maintain order and decency.

With that said, for influential voices and others to be propagating that us living in a democratic society allows us to express our views, without taking into consideration how what we say or do affects or infringes on the rights of others, is totally provocative. All things must be done decently and in order; no society can exists without order.

Respect and manners must be kept alive in this country and never die. As children, we were taught to do unto others what we would want to be done to ourselves. We were taught that if we had manners, it would take us through the world without a dime. We were taught that if we spit in the sky, it would fall in our face; and we were also taught to be nice to people on our way up, because we’ll meet them on our way down. All of which, in essence, is warning us to be careful of the things we say and do to others.

A NUH ONE DAY MONKEY WAH WIFE

Have we now become so modernised that we no longer want to obey and submit ourselves to those who have the rule over us? Have we forgotten that we ought to give respect and honour to those who are in authority? How did we become so self-centred and selfish that we are no longer interested in being respectful in our words and actions to others? Have we forgotten that ‘a nuh one day monkey wah wife’? Have we forgotten that no man is an island, no man stands alone? We must always remember, the deeds we do, whether they are good or bad, will come back to us and our lineage.

Hence, this narrative about freedom of speech does not exist and seeks to create confusion, chaos and lawlessness in our homes, communities, parishes and, by extension, our society.

A note of caution is given unto us in Proverbs 18:21: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” In other words, we have been given two options: to speak respectfully, showing manners, or to be disrespectful and ill-mannered, being prepared for the repercussions of whichever we choose.

Why was this caution of consequences written if there was freedom of speech? There is no freedom of speech, because whatsoever we say, whether good or bad, it is coming back to us. This was reiterated in Job 22:28 that says, “Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways.”

We should let brotherly love continue in our society. We should never get so modernised that we throw away basic principles that are established to maintain law and order in our society. Let us never forget that it is righteousness that exalts a nation.

The conclusion of the whole matter is that we should be responsible with the words we speak. We aren’t paying taxes for the words we speak, but as night follows day, the law of the harvest is going to bring forth the fruit of our echoed words from the universe, and we shall feast upon them. There shall be no way escape.

Freedom of speech does not exist. Where there is freedom, there are no consequences.

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