Letter: ‘Civility’ is not mentioned in the First Amendment


I find myself writing another letter to our community newspaper. No, I’m not mad, angry, nor riding a high horse pushing a candidate for elective public office. Believe it or not, it is because of a small, square white sticker tag attached to front of my Saturday newspaper.

For simplicity, I’ll refer to it as the “civility tag.” Yes, a call for civility in the wild, one could say. That being wilderness of discontent we find ourselves in today, I presume. Asking for or suggesting the signing of a civility pledge of a local group promoting civility.

Yes, I believe the tag, as well as the group, are well intentioned.

Freedom of speech, as granted in our Constitution with few if any restrictions on ways of expression, does not include “civility” as a stipulation or requirement. Civility is an ambiguous term anyway. Meaningful in different ways to different folks.

Speaking for myself, I found it to be a Trojan horse of censorship.

This time of discontent we find ourselves in a period of history in the making and, I believe, most exercises of our inherited freedoms have been reasonably presented.

I understand others may disagree, but there is the value in freedom of speech, discussion and debate.

Thomas Strang


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