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What’s Speakin’ Your Mind Worth?

By:  Greg Allen   Special to GCN   1/16/15 
    
What would life be like with little or no choice?  What if we were restrained and hampered to the point of censored, no longer free to speak our minds with a sense of liberty?  But wait … we’re already there.

The founding fathers of America were visionary when they incorporated the lofty thought of freedom of expression into the Constitution, but there are those who stand in direct defiance of that very premise.
    
A satirical magazine called Charlie Hebdo in Paris, France published a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed in unflattering terms sometime back and extremists firebombed their office shortly thereafter in 2011.  And recently a small group of Islamic terrorists stormed that same building and executed 12 employees, including the publisher.
    
A Danish newspaper that ran a similar cartoon before Charlie Hebdo also got threats.

What’s speakin’ your mind really worth?  Is it worth losing your job?
    
The mayor of a large American city recently fired his Fire Chief for something he said in a book.  In a published work that same Fire Chief said:  “Homosexuality is immoral.”  The mayor of that town must not care about freedom of speech and would rather bow down to the nuances of political correctness.
    
Political correctness is nothing more than a fancy term for censorship, the silencing of thought, thrashing your opponent’s mind and rendering any opposing expression moot - the theft of liberty.
    
The extremists who carried out that attack on the Paris magazine said they wanted to be martyrs.  I can understand being a martyr for a cause, but not in doing so murdering innocent unarmed people.
    
What would our existence be if there were only one world order, one religion or a single belief?  It would be just that, a miserable existence.
    
Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Caesar, Napoleon and Hitler were all fashioned from the same mold.  They thought a one world order, a belief in their cause, would define everything and they set out to sculpture its definition.  But freedom is inbred in the soul and no man, government, or belief can completely extinguish what God has created in each individual.
    
When Hitler set out to conquer the world he believed an Aryan race was superior - it was a tyrannical belief.  He believed the Jewish people were inferior and should be extinguished.  It’s nothing really new for the Philistines, Egyptians, and others tried many times before in that same endeavor, but failed.  Now we have organizations and even countries trying to wipe out the nation of Israel.  In the words of Iranian leaders: “We’ll wipe the nation of Israel off the map and drive them into the sea.”    
    
When Hitler invaded his first country he did so rather quickly, within a day or two.  When he met no resistance from world leaders he set out to conquer other countries, and did so in short order.  That quickly emboldened the German dictator to try to conquer the world and inflict his beliefs upon its inhabitants. When global leaders finally realized Hitler wasn’t just a kook it was too late and a World War ensued.
    
Radical Islamists believe their holy book, the Koran, says kill infidels, nonbelievers, in the name of Allah - to do so they will be rewarded 72 virgins in heaven.  That would seem to defy logic because if you die you no longer have a body and sex would be unfeasible, unless you just want the friendship of a harem.  
    
Forty world leaders, along with over three million other people, recently attended a rally of solidarity in Paris in support of freedom and the condemnation of lethal retaliation of opposing views.  Ironically, President Barack Obama wasn’t in attendance, nor was any of his cabinet members.
    
As Muslim extremists amass armies many really don’t take the threat seriously, like many did with Hitler.  It’s time for those in the Muslim community to condemn such acts and no longer be complacent or fear to speak out.
    
Freedom of expression is indeed under assault.  What’s speakin’ your mind really worth?     The publisher of that French magazine, Charlie Hebdo, said after that firebombing in 2011: “I’d rather die standing up than live life on my knees.”


Greg Allen’s column, Thinkin’ Out Loud, is published bi-monthly.  He’s an author, nationally syndicated columnist and the founder of Builder of the Spirit in Jamestown, Indiana, a non-profit organization aiding the poor.  He can be reached at www.builderofthespirit.org or follow him on Twitter  @GregAllencolumn 
© Greg Allen ~ All Rights Reserved


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