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Letter: Misguided Senate bill threatens free speech

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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of Daily Journal.

To the editor:

The ongoing campaign by an overreaching federal government to literally control speech and thought of U.S. citizens seems to know no bounds. The latest indefensible action is a move by Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts to introduce and promote Senate Bill 2219. This hopelessly misguided — and extremely dangerous — bill mandates federal government review and analysis of all electronic media, speech and press statements with the goal of identifying “hate speech” (however that may be defined!).

This amounts to no less than an outrageous attack on First Amendment free speech rights since “hate speech” is so ill-defined that it becomes whatever some unelected federal functionary feels it may be on a given day.

The negative consequences regarding First Amendment rights should be obvious to any thinking citizen and range from challenging an ordained minister’s posted Sunday sermon to potentially criminalizing any stated personal beliefs regarding traditional moral and societal issues expressed via phone, Internet or even Facebook.

Such “big brother” federal intrusion into the lives of virtually all U.S. citizens must be stopped in its tracks or most of our cherished freedoms will eventually disappear into the wastebasket of “federally unapproved citizen dialogue.” I ask all Indiana citizens to contact Sens. Dan Coats and Joe Donnelly urging their opposition to this very ominous legislative proposal.

David A. Nealy


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