Fresh from his failed
California gubernatorial campaign, pornographer Larry Flynt recently lectured
at college campuses around the country as part of an effort by the American
Civil Liberties Union to recruit students to join their lethal cause. In
the past few weeks, Flynt has made celebrity appearances at Harvard University,
the University of Miami and the University of California at Berkeley.
"Freedom of speech is not for the thought you love but for the thought you
hate the most," Flynt declared to one audience. Hate speech is the appropriate
label for the "musical" talents who joined Flynt on the ACLU 2003 "College
Freedom Tour." Singers included the rapper Mystic, pop underground artists
Phantom Planet, and black supremacist rappers Dead Prez, whose top-40 lyrics
include such un-edifying lines as "Turn this m-----f---ing sh-up," "F---
the Bible," and "The only good cop is a dead cop ... Every police is a punk
a-- b----." No wonder in the midst of the ACLU tour, members of Dead Prez
were arrested for disorderly conduct and refusing to comply with New York
College Freedom Tour organizer and ACLU executive director Anthony Romero
explained to the Christian Science Monitor, "this is an investment in future
generations." Besides Harvard, Berkeley, and Miami, campus tour stops included
the University of Maryland, City University of New York, New School University,
University of Massachusetts, University of Wisconsin, and the University
of Washington. At each campus, the ACLU displayed an MTV-style documentary
glorifying the history of the ACLU and giving prideful attention to the ACLU's
infamous 1978 defense of Nazi parade organizers in Skokie, Illinois.
According to Romero, ACLU membership has grown by one third to 400,000 since
2001. Due to the ACLU's renewed focus on reaching out to Generation Y, an
increasing number of members are young people whose zeal for Leftist causes
is cultivated by their professors and the anti-traditional culture.
In addition to the cultural influences that are working in a thousand directions
to dissuade young people from the preservation of American order, the ACLU
is doing everything it can to nurture the roots of a budding generation of
radicals. "Freedom is why we're here," declares the College Freedom Tour
website. Of course, for the ACLU, freedom is defined as the ability to do
whatever one chooses. And as Larry Flynt would define freedom, it is the
ability to do whatever one chooses that traditional civil society will "hate
If freedom is in jeopardy, it is not the freedom to express the "thought
you hate the most" that finds itself at risk. Instead, we are losing the
freedom of the lovely and beautiful things whose greatest expression is not
of the flesh, but of the spirit.
Both Left and Right warn of a general slackening of freedom. But I am not
so concerned about a declension of freedom as I am worried about the dearth
of moral duty that plagues the souls of a generation of Americans. I am not
so despondent about the hyperbolized warnings about civil liberties and the
right to choose and the right to a job and the right to education and the
right to health care and so on; I am decidedly outraged by the culture of
irresponsibility whose highest expressions are found in the vile raps of
Dead Prez, the filthy smut of Larry Flynt, the noisome new doctrines of higher
education, and the quietly communistic agenda of the ACLU.
Only a people that are free in a perverted way can give such glory to the
things of the flesh while neglecting the spiritual responsibility upon which
true freedom depends. If it were true freedom for which we strived in our
music, our education, our press, and our courts, we would speak more freely
of the things of the spirit. We find ourselves free in the flesh and nearly
enslaved in the spirit because we have failed to recognize both the source
of our freedom and the imperative of our obligations. We have arrogantly
assumed that we can forget God while receiving an infinite selection of blessings
from some unknown source.
America's college campuses are already awash in the false faith of ethical
neutrality. The ACLU is exploiting the fields ripe for its harvest. Sadly,
those of us who've been called to labor in the spiritual harvest are neglecting
our duty, and a generation of Americans is growing up without a conscience,
without the courage to fight the rampage of the Left.
Where are the preachers and teachers of honor and character on our college
and university campuses to stand against the purveyors of hate who rule the
culture? Clearly, it is time for a counter-revolution to revive our culture,
to renew freedom in the spirit where it really matters.
Hans Zeiger is a Seattle Times
columnist and conservative activist. He is president of the Scout Honor Coalition
and a student at Hillsdale College in Michigan.