In the midst of a pandemic and a rocky election season, there aren’t many things people of diverse opinions can rally around today. But one issue poses a threat for many across the political spectrum: cancel culture.
If you’re unfamiliar with “cancel culture,” this movement, often found on social media, seeks to demonize and blacklist people and groups of goodwill simply for expressing their views. And this “cancellation” does not discriminate among political and ideological factions.
Thankfully, signatories of the Philadelphia Statement prove that there’s a real desire for civil discourse even among people who disagree with each other.
One of those signatories is John Stonestreet, president of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. In a recent appearance on the World and Everything in It podcast, Stonestreet explained why he signed the Philadelphia Statement: “It is important that we can at least demonstrate that those of us on different sides of all kinds issues can at least agree on this call to civility and the significance of debating ideals instead of just canceling them.”
Fostering a society that encourages a free exchange of diverse opinions is beneficial both for those whose ideas are being silenced and for those whose ideas are embraced by society. Cancel culture not only poses a unique threat to that foundation of free expression, but represents a “wasteful deception,” Stonestreet points out in a post at Breakpoint.org.
“After all, a free marketplace of ideas provides the best opportunity for people to discover the Truth,” Stonestreet writes. “I signed the Philadelphia Statement because I believe every person is created in the image of God, and to deny anyone’s freedom of expression is to deny their worth. Stewarding this very good freedom is, in my view, a way to love my neighbor.”
Free speech is vital for a healthy society and for every one of us. The freedom to express beliefs and ideas in the public square without fear of unjust punishment is vital to a free nation—and the common good. But there’s still much work to do to ensure that our freedoms are preserved.
Sign the Philadelphia Statement to Stand for Free Speech Today!
Your voice is needed today. Right now, you can sign the Philadelphia statement and join the growing list of scholars, professionals, and community members who affirm free speech and reject the censorship and blacklisting that is threatening our democracy.
Please act now.
Raise your voice to defend free speech by signing the statement today!