Benjamin Franklin on freedom of speech

“If you’d rather not be forgotten after you’re dead and rotten, either write things worth the reading or do things worth the writing.” – Benjamin Franklin

Out of Benjamin Franklin’s many notable accomplishments, Ben operated several printing presses and publications; His most famous publications were a newspaper called The Pennsylvania Gazette and his annual Poor Richard’s Almanack.

Benjamin accomplished more with his pen in my estimation than his many terrific inventions.
The ability to freely express one’s self is as important to liberty as any principle.

A few other documents that Benjamin Franklin signed was the US Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.  These documents would forever change our world and the way in which people have relationships with their rulers in Anglo society and eventually would spread to many areas of our world as a whole.

At the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Franklin reflected the risk and unity of purpose that led to America’s founding when he said, “Gentlemen, we must now hang together, or we shall most assuredly hang separately.”  But he also knew how uncertain was the maintenance of the vision of liberty which animated our founders.

  • Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in the world nothing can be certain except death and taxes.
  • History affords us many instances of the ruin of states…the ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy…An equal dispensation of protection, rights, privileges, and advantages, is what every part is entitled to, and ought to enjoy…

Benjamin Franklin made clear the ultimate intended result of America’s experiment in liberty, when he said, “God grant that not only the love of liberty but a thorough knowledge of the rights of man may pervade all the nations of the earth, so that a philosopher may set his foot anywhere on its surface and say: This is my country.”  As we reflect on the political developments of the day, we should take a moment to reflect on how far we are from that goal, and ask how new life can be brought to  that ideal which America was intended to embody.


I have to admit, I almost gave in to the temptation to remove a negative verbal battle of useless name calling on my personal facebook page, but I decided to retain the conversation and preserve the speech that was given freely, but remove the trouble maker from my personal facebook account, who has for years not been a particularly friendly associate on facebook.  I first thought about removing him when I saw him hack his ex-girlfriends facebook account and post as though he was her in October 2010.  I posted on her wall “I think someone hacked your account”.  That comment was removed, so I contacted her personally later.  She was able to regain access to her account, but she confirmed what I suspected.  But you never know what the truth is, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt.  But after this mornings verbal assault on my personal facebook page, he got the boot.

Here is the link:

This was my commentary afterward;

Freedom of Speech can not be lost on the those without comprehension, however it is important that they are not prevented from trying to comprehend!
~Reverend Ryan

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