Letter: Exercise your right to free speech

Anti-abortion, anti-gay or homophobia, climate denier, Islamophobia, plus other negative and hate labels are all linguistic ways to shame, suppress or silence free speech by those who wish to dominate a social agenda.

Prolife has been dubbed anti-abortion with its own positive opposite of pro-choice — a useful way to deflect the reality of death in the pro-abortion position. Sadly, pro-choice is a misnomer for 50 percent of the human lives involved — the choices of unborn living babies.

Straight is now anti-gay or homophobic and any beliefs or reports that promiscuity, homosexual or heterosexual, could be harmful and can be reformed is classed as hate or religious bigotry.

Climate denier is assigned to those critical or disagreeing with the much touted yet unsubstantiated claim of 97 percent of scientists. Critics dispute that percentage and say the assertions are based on skewed data and dubious assumptions which, in turn, result in speculative projections and alarming predictions.

Similarly, Islamophobia is a convenient label for those who have studied the history, teachings and current realities of Islam and Sharia Law around the world and who are critical of their compatibility with the U.S. Constitution and freedoms.

I wish for a return to critical thinking, free speech, honest disagreement and respectful dialogue among people, in the press, on the internet, and in schools. Moreover, when words misrepresent, mislead, or manipulate, I wish for people to stand up, speak up and exercise their right of free speech.

Tim Bickel

Cedar Rapids

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