About the University of Chicago and Free Speech

Let me give you some background: I’m one of those guys is very skeptical of the impact of contemporary social justice activists1 on free speech. One of the most-read posts I’ve ever published to Difficult Run was my manifesto on the topic: When Social Justice Isn’t About Justice. I stand by it. So when news broke that the University of Chicago had sent out a letter to students warning them that there’d by no “safe space” or “trigger warning” shenanigans, you might think that I’d feel a little sense of triumph,…

The Mero Moment: The Open Society and the End of Freedom – June 9, 2016

If there is one redeeming aspect of his character – if any at all – people seem to like that Donald Trump says what’s on his mind. People who like Trump often say that they like how he speaks. People like candor. I, too, often “think out loud,” just say what’s on my mind in the moment. But, unlike Trump, my candor can get me in trouble. Trump, it seems, is made of Teflon for many voters. But this commentary is not about Donald Trump. It’s about thought and speech…

Use government to silence viewpoints? Let’s not

By Dave Buer Utahns can set their watches by several worn-out themes that are repeated each and every legislative session. One such example is the influence that the state’s dominant faith, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has on public policy. Note that you will rarely, if ever, hear progressives complain about meddling from another faith, as when the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City weighs in on immigration, Medicaid, social services and so on. That’s because, critics argue, the LDS Church has an outsized influence in Utah…

Attack on offense

“You have every right to be offended. Just don’t cry when no one cares.” — Ricky Gervais Two events held two weeks apart. One was in Hollywood in front of a worldwide audience. The other, on the mean sstreets of Philadelphia. Both were a testament to the assault currently being waged on those who dare impugn on the most sacred and noble of American icons: Caitlyn Jenner. On New Year’s Day, the annual Mummers Parade was held in Philly…my hometown. I am a Mummer. I did not march in this…

The Mero Moment for May 28, 2015: Defending Free Speech

Nearly a month ago, a Jewish political activist against the imposition of Sharia law in the United States and elsewhere held, what she labeled, an art contest and, for a $10,000 prize, invited artists to submit renditions of the Islamic prophet Mohammad. She was fully aware of what happened in Paris, France, when Islamic jihadists killed most of the journalistic staff of Charlie Hebdo for publishing cartoons of the prophet Mohammad. She knew she was inciting at least an insult and maybe retaliation on par with Charlie Hebdo. She held…

Restricting Free Speech is a Pandora’s Box [Hub Debate]

Last week, Salt Lake Tribune columnist George Pyle wrote that the onus is on voters to choose the leaders of our republic.  Is it the voter’s responsibility to shift through the lies? Or is there a role for government in regulating speech and money in politics? Pyle is right. While allowing people to say false things is a bad option, it is the least bad option available to us. The subtext here is the Democratic Party’s attempt to amend the First Amendment to our Constitution because they find certain speech…

What do attacks on the religious say about America and free speech? [Publius Online]

The following is an op-ed I wrote that was published by KSL.  SALT LAKE CITY — With the Human Rights Campaign’s tactic of attacking supporters of Amendment 3 for their religious convictions, we have seen an ugly shift toward divisive politics over civil discourse. Last week, Fred Sainz of HRC attacked Gene Schaerr, Utah’s lead counsel in the Amendment 3 appeal, for Schaerr’s privately expressed religious convictions.