Prior restraints upon speech are presumptively unconstitutional

Remember this phrase; we might be seeing it more and more in the days to come as people of faith and good will are threatened by the courts with criminal sanctions for speaking, videos, books, blogs, online publications, (eventually perhaps Facebook posts and Tweets).

The phrase is: “Prior restraints upon speech are presumptively unconstitutional.”

It means that if they tell you you can’t speak, or what you can’t speak, or how you can’t speak it, they are breaking the law. This applies to law enforcement, courts, governmental agencies and presidents.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Amendment 1

“The liberty of the press is indeed essential to the nature of a free state; but this consists in laying no previous restraints upon publications, and not in freedom from censure for criminal matter when published. Every freeman has an undoubted right to lay what sentiments he pleases before the public; to forbid this, is to destroy the freedom of the press; but if he publishes what is improper, mischievous or illegal, he must take the consequence of his own temerity.” Blackstone (4 Bl. Com. 151, 152.)

Immediately, the accurate and lively preaching of the gospel requires freedom of speech because it is offensive to just about everyone and effective through its great offense. The pulpits are the thunder of the future, if we are still salt and light.

Otherwise we will be of no offense but also of no consequence.

“Rise up, O men of God!
Have done with lesser things.
Give heart and mind and soul and strength
To serve the King of kings.”


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