Company of Disciples: Free Speech . . . But?

Date(s) - February 26, 2015
7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

The Vancouver Club

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Pope Francis on Free Speech

“In his provocative, almost teasing way, Pope Francis seemed to lean towards that side of the argument when he declared, on a flight across Asia, that if somebody insulted his mother, the offender would get a punch in return. To some shocked listeners, that was the nearest any public figure had come to making an excuse for the Charlie Hebdo killers. On the flight back from Manila, he elaborated on what he meant. As well as libertarian theory (anything non-violent must be allowed), and Christian theory (turn the other cheek) there was human reality.

“We are human and there is prudence which is a virtue of human co-existence. I cannot constantly insult…provoke a person continuously because I risk making him/her angry, and I risk receiving an unjust reaction…For this reason, freedom must be accompanied by prudence.”

Excerpt taken from “Mothers, Punches & Turning Cheeks – Christianity & Free Speech,” The Economist January 20th, 2015

Tonight we will discuss a topic that many of us take for granted: Free Speech. Not until the recent incidents at the office of Charlie Hebdo (a political satire cartoon magazine) and a Jewish supermarket that free speech has been “murderously challenged.”

What is free speech? Should there be limits? How should free speech be governed especially in a globalized world and the prevalence of social media? What, if anything, should be done if free speech spurns violence and hate? Retaliation, Punch in the nose, turn the other cheek or…?

We will discuss the various threads of free speech: globally, nationally, locally and yes, even within our own peer communities through panelist presentations and group discussions while Pat and Jonathan provide an atheist and theist perspective. Hope you can join us! $5 to RSVP online, $10 at the door

Cash bar is open to purchase beverages

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