Freedom of Thought and The Freedom of Speech

Our Constitutional Right of Freedom of Speech is in actuality a Civil Right. Thomas Paine describes civil rights as rights  that grow out of a Natural Right, meaning unalienable as in God-given.  Freedom of Speech is so very vital it is one to die for.  The right to express freely through speech, art,  music, poetry, writing, dance and all other means that reveal many of the thoughts we do have as individuals, is what allows societies the ability to reform and grow for the betterment of both the individual and the society.  The paramount right we each have is the freedom of our own thoughts, but thought itself is practically meaningless without the Freedom of Speech (expression).

Freedom of Thought is what is necessary to exercise Freedom of Speech.  Without thought speech is often garbled.  With deep thought speech can be enlightening, helpful, healing and purposeful.  It can also be irritating, malicious and deceitful and hurtful.

In his letter to the people of the ancient Greek city of Philippi Paul wrote, "...whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are  pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." (Philippians 4:8)

Neither, Thomas Paine nor the Apostle Paul believed for a moment that no thought should be given to lies, dishonesty, injustice, impurity, the ugly things of the world, or even bad news.  Rather, Paine would argue that to speak and write about things that are amiss in society gives rise to the revolutionary practice of returning to the natural rights of man where individuals established societies in order to better preserve and enhance the rights of man.  (See Part I, Article 10 of the NH State Constitution)

Similarly, Paul urges the adherence to the emerging Christian faith to think on the things Jesus thought on (the Godly) in order to recognize the ungodly.  Paul's reasoning is that In order for the believer to do what Jesus did, which we are told was all about going about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed. (Acts 10:38), one needed, among other things, to meditate and embrace good thoughts.

Thomas Paine, a Deist and a critic of organized religion including Christianity, and Paul, who was committed to the divinity of Jesus and the ministry of the Holy Spirit, were both warriors in the cause of every individual finding happiness and purpose.  Paine through reason, Paul through faith.

We all are allowed to think as we might.  However, without the conjoined twin of speech we will not be able to get rid of stinking thinking and will be doomed to think amiss, or worse to think in accordance with some government or ecclesiastic order's dogma, doctrine, or law.  Without Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Thought we will be cursed to return to  medieval habits of ignorance, fear and death.  With Freedom of Thought and Freedom of Speech we will be able to begin the world over again - where needed.