Bill Hicks on Freedom of Speech Feb 3 2013
Interesting to look back almost 20 years and see the late Bill Hicks brilliant response to a complaint from a priest about a screening of one of his live shows on Channel 4:
I myself am a strong supporter of the ‘Right of freedom of speech’, as I’m sure most people would be if they truly understood the concept. 'Freedom of speech’ means you support the right of people to say exactly those ideas which you do not agree with. (Otherwise, you don’t believe in 'freedom of speech’, but rather only those ideas which you believe to be acceptably stated.) Seeing as how there are so many different beliefs in the world, and as it would be virtually impossible for all of us to agree on any onebelief, you may begin to realize just how important an idea like 'freedom of speech’ really is. The idea basically states 'while I don’t agree or care for what you are saying, I do support your right to say it, for herein lies true freedom’.
You really have to wonder what he’d make of the day and age we live in right now though, where freedom of speech seems to have eroded away, and where if something isn’t censored or sanitized, it’s quite likely that it’ll be lambasted as not being politically correct. I think we can stand to learn a little from an excerpt such as this - just because we don’t agree with something, doesn’t change the fact that someone has the right to support it, so long as it’s not hurting anyone.