My thoughts on Morality, Reverence, and Free Speech

It’s sad to realize that sometimes freedom of speech is not freedom. Sometimes it represents oppression and hopelessness. Sometimes it protects the ugliest of human expression, and emboldens those that use it to their advantage, and we are forced to stand in dismay.

Apparently you cannot reconcile freedom of speech with moral character, for in a really truly democratic society moral character should not have to be defended at all. So, we create laws to protect morality, so we believe, but we end up having a protection that violates what we created it for in the first place. Thus, laws are flawed. Thus, laws are used and interpreted depending on motives. Thus, laws are used and manipulated by moneyed interests. Thus, laws should never be used as absolutes. Absolutes create lack of freedom.

There are no absolutes in any law. But, when law and morality are used together you have hope for a just system. Not perfect in any manner, but overall well serving to the community. This, I believe, is what we thought we had. Clearly, we are waking up, delirious, from a bad dream.

One day, after a Trump supporting murderer kills journalists, in what most likely was an action brought about by our president, I drove by a gun shop that had a huge Trump flag posted on the entire right wall of their store. I live in the north in a very liberal town. This was the day after the shooting.

The first amendment, the law, protects this owners right to be an asshole on a day when he should be flying the American flag at half mast, to represent reverence for life. Instead, he, what I must assume is a white male, sticks the middle finger to the American flag, to the American Constitution, all in the name of defiance against reverence. There is nothing honorable or patriotic about what’s happening to this country right now. I know what patriotism is, and this is spitting in it’s face. No freedom.

This would have never happened prior to this administration. The boldness and defiance of right wing conservatism is fed by this administration and we shall all suffer for it. All in the name of a freedom I do not recognize. Freedom of speech that will protect the ugliness that will come. And it will come, make no mistake. Will we be left prostate?

The price of protecting freedom of speech sometimes is a loss of moral character, and those who don’t have moral character know that well. They use it to their advantage. We are coming to terms with the fact that we cannot police moral character. Matter of fact, many police squash your freedom of speech because you fear that your life will be in danger. You must suppress your freedom to survive. This is the frightening reality for a very large portion of the population. This is tyranny which squashes freedom.

We felt this country was founded on the principle of moral character, only to discover that history is not that kind. We are still grappling with what that means. It will prove our greatest struggle. I am aware as never before that I do not trust my fellow human anymore. This is a travesty of spirit.

I clearly don’t have all the answers. But, I do know, for myself, this is the most important fight ahead of us. How do you define our moral character without religious zealots deciding for us? How do we define freedom FROM religion? After all, this clearly was the intention of our founders. Separation of church and state. That is at stake now.

Law and religion are very similar. Thus, religion is flawed. Thus, religion should never be used as absolute. There are no absolutes in any religion. Religion has not gained our trust. Religion has, throughout time, represented oppression more often than it has stood against oppression. This is important now because religious zealots want to change law to represent their beliefs. If you truly study history you will realize this mission is in direct conflict with what created our constitution in the first place. We did fight England for our independence, but we also decided who we were going to be going forward as a nation. Considering separating our laws from the church was no small consideration. I have to believe it was one of the most important parts of who we were desirous to become.

I am not an atheist. You can believe in God, and faith, and still have the highest moral character, while questioning what place it has in government and law. For me, I believe my country was founded on protecting and valuing my freedom of choice. My responsibility to my country is to validate this by my moral character. Religion, where I use it or not, is part of my choice, not to be regulated or mixed with my country’s responsibility to protect my choice. This is the America I believe in, the America we all deserve to value and protect, with the ultmost reverence and dignity. Trump represents everything we are not.

Originally published at on June 29, 2018.



Writer, researcher, lover of history, philosophy, politics and critical thought

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Daniel Louis Duncan

Writer, researcher, lover of history, philosophy, politics and critical thought