Controversial and Religious Speech: Not So Free on College Campuses

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The Free Speech provision of the First Amendment is one of the hallmarks of liberty in the United States. It is one of the freedoms that distinguishes this nation from most other countries on the face of this earth. And nowhere in America should free speech be more protected than on our public college campuses.

The reality, however, is that almost nowhere in America is free speech being more routinely violated than it is on our college campuses. Some on campus even go so far as to say that free speech should be abolished!

You may recall about a year and a half ago when a then-senior at Harvard University made headlines, claiming that freedom of speech should be done away with on college campuses across the country because it allows liberalism to be criticized and it prevents the complete and total indoctrination of the liberal ideology. Not long before this incident, administrators at the University of Alabama trampled on the free speech rights of students when they removed a pro-life student group’s display because it was “offensive.” As the president of the Students for Life group on campus so eloquently stated, “We don’t have the First Amendment so we can talk about the weather.” Well said.

These types of scenarios occurred all over the country last year, the year before, and the years before that. And they will happen this year. These types of situations are exactly why we need free speech and why the National Center for Life and Liberty steps in when administrators and teachers at public universities and colleges feel the need to trounce free speech rights on campus.

As a new school year gets underway, the NCLL is ready to defend free speech on campus—particularly in those instances where the voices of Christians and pro-life students are being unconstitutionally suppressed. Our Founding Fathers saw the glaring need for a free speech clause. And we are committed to defending it. Healthy, robust debate is absolutely critical in America—especially on campus.