Further To






"Freedom of expression is the matrix, the indispensable condition
of nearly every other form of freedom."
Benjamin Cardozo (1870-1938)





The Cheek!

Oh, did I upset you? Said something you didn't like? Sorry, how wrong of me.
I guess I got carried away with one's right to free speech — oh yes, and liberty.
I shouldn't have said anything but what you actually wanted to hear,
'Cause after all, who wants folk to disagree with them, or opposite views share.

Yes, how thoughtless of me, I should've kept my thoughts to myself, just zipped my lips,
But I guess it's so easy for us to say what we think, and so out it slips.
Sorry, I shouldn't be myself, should only consider what you have to say,
Rather than letting my selfish individuality get in the way.

By Lance Landall





YOUR OPINION:

NO LONGER WANTED, APPARENTLY,
AND LAST SEEN IN THE VICINITY OF SACKINGS,
NASTY VERBAL ATTACKS, OSTRACIZATION,
AND LOST BUSINESS.





"I can understand the heat of an argument, but I find this age of accusation and the need to
condemn
irrational. I find the level of hatred that people express about views that differ from
theirs, and the
violence of language towards others, disturbing."
Ralph Fiennes


CANCEL CULTURE:

“To stifle an unwanted opinion is to sit on the throne of a dictator. And to vilify and persecute
because of such, is to wield the sword of an executioner.”
The poet, author

Medieval mobocracy.
Reverse bigotry.
 A manipulative, controling, bullying, punishing and conformist mentality.
Militantly aggressive, unforgiving, ruthless and unbending behaviour.
Skewed judgment and mob justice.
Tyrannical vilification.
A form of fascism.
A very real threat to freedom of expression.
Generates fear of speaking out and suppresses open debate.

Boycotting someone’s business can hurt their employees; those who supply or buy from them,
which in turn hurts one’s community.
Demanding that someone be removed from their job or position can hurt their wife,
children and even extended family.





A CLUSTER OF QUOTES OF MY OWN MAKING ON FREE SPEECH.

“When the right to say whatever we think or believe is lessened by law, the power of
government and the opportunity for evil is increased.”

"Laws will never stop hatred, racism or bigotry, because laws are purely directive and punitive, not a cure,
and thus simply strengthen the arms of power rather than the arms of creative love."

"Hate speech is a horrid thing, but any inroad into freedom of expression is a perilous thing."

"We can shut down hate speech but not hateful hearts — and therefore, our loss much greater
than our gain come freedom of expression and liberty."

"There's greater danger in trying to limit freedom of expression than
there is in permitting its abuse."

"The greatest theft is stolen rights."

“To stifle an unwanted opinion is to sit on the throne of a dictator. And to vilify and persecute
because of such, is to wield the sword of an executioner.”

"We can't make any inroad into freedom of expression without endangering it."

"You may not like what someone says, but let them say it lest the cork in their bottle blows."

"Truth and discovery are always better served by open forums and unshackled voices."

"The preservation of everyone's right to speak freely, should be pursued as strongly as that
need to halt climate change."

The poet, author





The following article stands on its own.


HATE SPEECH

(My own comments and other sources)

There isn't any evidence showing that banning hate speech lessens the presence in society of racist ideas or racist crimes. And no surprises there, because banning hate speech hardly deals with the root cause.

"Laws will never stop hatred, racism or bigotry, because laws are purely directive and punitive, not a cure, and thus simply strengthen the arms of power rather than the arms of creative love."
Lance Landall

No, criminalising hate speech does not stop hatred, but merely drives it underground where it continues in a more inventive form, where it can’t be kept an eye on the same, and where that hatred can fester (their platform and safety valve having been removed, and then pow!).
If it’s in the heart to say and do, it’s most likely that it’ll be said or done, and all why rapes and murders continue as well. Such people respecting and recognising no law.
Hence why criminalising hate speech is counter-productive, it punishing rather than changing people, simply antagonising citizens and making them more dangerous. Enter those free speech martyrs whose hateful message will get a larger platform than it might have otherwise got.

To gain something at the expense of what we can’t afford to lose, even partly, is folly. There will always be those who wait in the shadows and who shouldn’t be given half a chance. No matter how much we may abhor hate speech, some things should always be beyond any government's reach, and free speech being one such thing, and given that free speech is the first thing that tyrants interfere with or remove.
Hence why where there has been those shouts for democracy in places like Hong Kong, Myanmar, Cuba and so on, there has been a social media crackdown, shutdown.

"Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech."
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

Thus better to allow a lesser ill here in order to prevent a greater ill — the endangering of liberty itself; that individual right to self expression that allows us to be truly free, bearing in mind the following:


"Freedom of expression is the matrix, the indispensable condition of nearly every other form of freedom."
Benjamin Cardozo (1870-1938) Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Thus any inroad into freedom of expression would render it an oxymoron. Restrictions and free speech being incompatible. Part of respecting people’s autonomy is letting them express who they are and what they think, even if we strongly disapprove. Silencing one form of speech ultimately opens the door for all speech to potentially be sanctioned. Criminalising hate speech inhibits free speech given that it effectively prevents others from speaking.

It’s dangerous to give the government the power to restrict dangerous speech, given that it’s likely to misuse that power (either by making mistakes about what is genuinely dangerous, or by abusing that power for political purposes). Protecting hate speech is necessary because the alternative—granting governments the power to punish any speaker that it doesn't like—risks even greater harm.

"The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning
but without understanding."
Louis Dembitz Brandeis (1856-1941) Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Thus it's safer to entrust people with access to ideas than to entrust the government with the power to decide which ideas we may express or hear. 

"There's greater danger in trying to limit freedom of expression than
there is in permitting its abuse."
Lance Landall

People can't be forced into abandoning their erroneous, hurtful and/or dangerous opinions. They can only be argued out of them.
Therefore, the most effective way to counter the potential negative effects of hate speech is not through censorship, but rather through more speech. By debunking what we deem to be hateful rhetoric through discussion, not force, we grow in our own conviction of what’s right while preserving liberty in the process. Thus people learning from each other.

Hateful views are often the product of ignorance. By permitting the expression of dangerous views (or ideas), we’re better able to defuse their danger by arguing against them. Treating people as adults means letting them hear bad views (or ideas), so that they can make up their minds for themselves.

Hate speech is too subjective to be defined. Across the world there is no consistency regarding what actually constitutes hate speech. Thus what one may determine to be hate speech, another may consider a legitimate argument that's worthy of debate. The whole point of free speech is to create the conditions for robust debate, which includes the challenging of obnoxious views.
One could say that the biggest issue isn’t over what qualifies as hate speech, but who gets to decide what speech is objectionable and punishable.

Hate speech and violent speech are two different things, and provisions already exist for prosecuting those who threaten,  incite harassment, violence , injury and murder.

The censorship of hate speech has been shown around the world and throughout history to do more harm than good. Creating an atmosphere in which some people can be prosecuted for what they say can make everyone feel afraid and unwilling to say what they think, which is far from healthy.
Free speech and democracy are intimately linked. Free speech being a universal good. And this being why societies flourish more so where there's the greatest extension of free speech.
In fact, democracy only works where everyone believes that their voice counts, which means both the voices of antagonists and protagonists.

"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all."
Noam Chomsky  

So where might it all end — The banning of certain religious beliefs? After all, you can't protect freedom of worship without protecting freedom of expression.

Criminalising hate speech simply encourages both that horrible dobbing in (which reminds one of Nazi Germany) and cancel culture. And both of them only aggravating the situation, creating a divide.

“Democracy and the ability to have civil and honest conversations is already becoming imperilled,
which is why this is the worst possible time to empower lynch mobs who choose to take offence
at ideas they don't support.”
David Seymour

Lets remember that hate speech is about some of us while free speech is about all of us. Why should all of us pay for that incursion because of the few.
All why hate speech should be protested and challenged, not criminalised.



Altered or added to on 15 July 2021.





LONE QUOTE:

"The principle of free speech is the bedrock on which free societies are built. It ensures we can, without threat of legal sanction, discuss controversial things in order to sort out good ideas from bad. It is precisely the expression of controversial, and potentially offensive, ideas—not safe or mainstream ones—that the principle of free speech is required to protect.
Viewed in this light, hate speech legislation is simply a euphemistic term for handing to the state the power to determine what is and is not acceptable political discourse. That is just not a power the state ought to have in a democratic society.
Even if it were possible to draft laws that would ensnare only people who, deliberately and in bad faith, say ugly and offensive things with intent to cause upset and distress, they would still be a bad idea. That is because they would put in place a legal principle antithetical to democracy. Once the precedent of the state controlling speech in the name of avoiding offence is established, it can, and—over time—inevitably will, be used to control political discourse more broadly.
Dr Michael Johnston, associate dean in Victoria University of Wellington School of Education."







TOLERANCE

We can’t “tolerate” other people unless we disagree with them. Or to put it another way, we don’t “tolerate” those who share the same views as us. In other words, we don’t “tolerate” something that we accept or are plain indifferent towards, and the reason why is, because it requires nothing of us.
Tolerance is something that’s reserved for those whom we consider wrong. Tolerance (by definition) implies disagreement or dislike. Given that tolerance requires a disagreement and an initial objection, it surely follows that the least tolerant person is the one who accepts everything. Why? Because such people aren’t required to overcome any internal objections. Hence why much that masquerades as tolerance today is hardly genuine tolerance at all, but rather, cowardice — yes, such people frightened of becoming unpopular in the eyes of our relativistic culture. 


Unsure of source






WHY EXPOSING ERRORS IN ANY DENOMINATION OR RELIGION ISN'T BIGOTRY

Because that information made public can help prevent others from embracing that same error.
Because that information made public can help those who’ve already embraced that error to see why it is in fact error.
Because that information should naturally be made available in order for people to not only make up their own minds but truly have freedom of choice.
Because people often come up with opposite arguments from the very same source as us — the Bible, say — thus one not only having to find and present the correct position, the truth, but show and prove the error in any counter argument (which some people wrongly call knocking when it's really informing and aiding).
Because certain beliefs that some people are holding to are unhealthy, or very destructive — ISIS being one example. And such passing from generation to generation.
Because much that's been said and done in the name of God hasn't been of God at all.







"Truth and discovery are always better served by open forums and unshackled voices."
The poet, author


1.  Questionable Movements

Most of us were generally getting along until enter the Me Too,
Black Rights and LGBTQ plus movements, but now, what have things come to?
Are we really a sexist, racist, homophobic lot, like they seem to say,
Or is such not so, but how they see it, and thus has other ill come our way?

These movements may have their merit, but when things are taken too far, that’s not good,
Credibility suffering — and as far as questioning goes, people should.
Just like we should question any lawlessness come Greenpeace, and hypocrisy,
Or that taking things too far, that stretching of facts, underhand activity.

Some accusations have caused anger and dismay, a widening of the divide,
Which once only existed in certain minds and hearts, but then in came the tide,
A wave of unbalanced, ill thought out, rioting and persecuting attacks,
And so, rather than moving forward, does danger now lurk behind our backs?

Yes, can’t say this or that, people hyper now, it all threatening liberty,
Even one’s religion, that right to express differing beliefs openly.
Seems we’ve exchanged one problem for another, and laws hardly solving a thing,
They naught but patches, ’cause out of the unwell heart, ill and evil will still spring.

Meantime, who’s lost customers, friends, or their job — oh, the share nonsense of it all,
And people too scared to disagree anymore, which all of us, should appal.
Such no way to deal with sexism, racism or homophobia, and
Will there come a backlash; a different festering on its way through the land?

Oh, how that pendulum is forced to swing, there always a better and right way,
But anger not having a bar of it, it’s simply this or else, sad to say.
Yes, it’s a kind of people dictatorship, some things only pushed underground,
And who knows where that will end — oh, the folly of those who seek to force and hound.

Thus men, white people, and straight people feeling set upon, losing sympathy,
It all counter productive, pitting humanity against humanity.
A world fixated with the outside, not the inside, and why ill still remains,
Because any change for the better, the unchanged and forced person simply feigns.

There’s two sides to every story, and many reasons, hence healthy debate,
Education and example; not copycat tactics, which adds to ill’s plate.
The world no better off, ’cause it’s oft just certain people getting their own way
(Taking us on their trip), and some seeming to have too much say, or all the say.

There seems to be tailors of sorts who’re wanting a one-size-fits-all world, and so
Busy they are, oft gagging dissenting voices when that’s not the way to go.
Such heightening the desire to speak, 'cause the gagged feel that they can’t breathe too,
And where would those movements be but for free speech; all why they should mind what they do.

By Lance Landall





2.  Some Consideration From You Too, Please

Many of us have changed, or have made great strides, and are trying to live rightly,
But now, appear to be guilty of racism, sexism or bigotry.
Yes, it’s all so discouraging, depressing, as if we’ve made no change at all,
And why I want to shout, “Stop finding faults! Since when is our opinion your call?”

Oh, how hard and unfair it is, more condemnation coming our way, and why
It all needs to stop, cause it’s going too far, and it kissing free speech goodbye.
Some wanting this world swabbed clean, and even to the point of clinical, and why
We need to stop this rising madness, certain voices hysterically high.

Rather than fixing things, it’s simply creating more problems, and we’ve enough,
People desperately in need, or dying, without this PC kind of stuff.
And cancel culture causing pain to the accused one’s employees or family
Due to “Don’t shop there!” or “Sack 'em!” — yes, past witch hunts still plaguing society.

If God was as intolerant, we would’ve been wiped off the map long ago,
And why the same grace He’s shown, we should show, and tolerance being how we grow.
But some wanting no growth, just punishment, another law to add to the rest,
Just when, given the struggles and obstacles in our life, we thought we’d done our best.

But no, our best not good enough, we now accused of this or that, unfairly,
It oft over the top, just creating divides, not facing reality.
This world’s hardly Heaven, and even God not wanting robots, so who are we
To force and oppress in our own little way, rather than acting lovingly?

All why I'm just trying to get on with my life, so hey, how about you too,
You who appears to want perfection, yet how many flaws might be found in you?
So if you must point, point at the real offenders, those who threaten and incite,
Not those whose opinion might differ somewhat, and who're trying to do what's right.

But not what you think is right, having taken on the role of judge and jury,
The world according to you, while indulging in your own kind of injury.
And having taken on the role of policeman too, quick to collar someone,
Hence how you lose sympathy and support, not realising just what you've begun.

By Lance Landall


This poem was added to 19 July 2021.





3.  Woke Zealots

It’s right to call out racism, say, but please don’t be a woke zealot, ’cause there
Is seen another “String ’em up!” pack, horde, company, another group to fear.
Yes, another group of vigilantes, and dangerously self-righteous, who
Effectively take the law into their own hands, stamping their beliefs or view.

Oh, how they look for any little thing, under rocks and behind any tree,
Their howls mob-like, yet they piously demanding, no kind appeal, entreaty.
No, reason and debate giving way to another form of hate, bigotry,
And it all in the name of love, supposedly — and we call this democracy?

It doesn’t matter how right they are if they’re going about it all wrongly so,
Judging, vilifying and persecuting, when if right, shouldn’t they better know?
And thus those they accuse (rightly or wrongly) angered, or made much more angry,
The woke squad getting their way, but not changing hearts, and there lies the tragedy.

By Lance Landall





4.  Dobbing In

It’s clear that a horrid dobbing in culture is being created today,
Such pitting person against person, and now many afraid to have their say.
It’s so unhealthy and destructive, reminding me of Nazi Germany,
So what on earth are these people thinking, and who’s behind this insanity?

It’s horrid to tell on others, and it also reminds me of my school days,
Those objectionable little tell-tales, and haven’t we learnt that such never pays?
After all, what goes ’round comes ’round, ’cause we were never meant to be spies or narks,
And telling on people being how to create enemies, ’cause how it rarks.

Yes, “Liar, liar, your pants are on fire!” we used to holler, angrily,
’Cause many accusations weren’t fair or true, and such kids disliked intensely.
But dobbers seemingly encouraged today, though still disliked just as much, and
Harming as much as they think they’re helping, when guilty of their own sins they stand.

Yes, there's a time and place to report things, things that are serious enough, but
These days, you can't even say what you think without being told to keep your mouth shut,
Or without being abused, sacked, boycotted
yes, dobbed in, accused of a crime,
The world having gone crackerdog, we living in a sad and dangerous time.


By Lance Landall


"Rark" meaning: To anoy, rile someone.
The title of this poem was changed on the 11 August 2021.




5.  Children Will Be Children

There was a chap I used to know, one I now remember with fond regard, who
I could discuss anything with, be such controversial or not, and who
Didn’t treat me any less, allowing me that freedom of expression, and
Despite disagreeing with me at times, and who I wish was still close at hand.

He clearly believed in free speech, true democracy, all why I miss him so
Given cancel culture and the likes, and how so easily one’s rights can go.
Yes, it's all so sad, because when we mistreat those who share an opposite view
We act undemocratically — and as for maturity, that gone too.

Such behaviour’s childish, that “I’m not going to play with you anymore” stuff,
Or that “I’ll tell on you” stuff — yes, too many not having grown up enough.
And thus their character and/or state of development clearly on display,
They giving themselves away, and how they can lose their right to this or that say.

By Lance Landall






6.  Throw Some Spikes On That Crazy Road

It’s a romantic moment, his lips on her mind, and their heads moving closer,
Their gaze on each other; he hoping that it’s what he thinks is coming from her.
Yes, a kiss. Wait a minute! She hasn’t sought consent! Naughty, naughty — oh dear,
Too bad both were willingly caught up in that desired, hopeful atmosphere.

Oh, that boy and girl thing such a risk now, candlelight manoeuvres out, you see,
So go on, you lot, spoil everything, too bad about spontaneity.
Yes, mind that hand on her back as you usher her across the road like a man,
’Cause you’re touching her body, you know, I not recalling her saying you can.

You might laugh, but this is where things are heading, so much being taken too far,
The world having gone mad, or it a certain group forcing all into their car.
And who knows where they're heading — so please, someone, throw some spikes on that crazy road,
Lest some princess not awaken, or another prince be turned into a toad.

To be honest, this world needs to grow up, it having become childish and petty,
And there’s way too much hypocrisy, some John behaving no worse than some Betty.
But modern witch hunts, book burnings, kangaroo courts, losing sight of balance and sense,
And how one's opinion and innocent words and actions have become an offence.

By Lance Landall





7.  Don't Toss Good Because Of Bad

If someone’s creation is a worthy thing, perhaps a set of paintings, say,
And you find that that person raped, say, why throw their beautiful paintings away?
Surely those paintings stand alone, they something good that that criminal has done,
And hey, would keeping those paintings be more likely if that rapist was your son?

A telling question, I suspect, yet worthy creations and sins worlds apart,
Each being the product of two compartments existing within the same heart.
The good compartment we accept, the bad compartment we reject, acting fair,
A great book a great book, a great song a great song, hence why sense is needed here.

But no, out goes the baby with the bathwater, feelings running high, askew,
So off the bookshelf, no more air time, and as for those paintings, they’re tossed out too.
Oh, when will we start playing grownups, bearing in mind that good folk err too,
That a rapist can turn the corner, “And as for my creation, what did you do?”

And what would you say? You having tossed what one should applaud, that excellent side,
Confusing and discouraging him, and why rather than rise, further he’ll slide.
And so, we not selling our house because the builder who built it raped someone,
But appreciating his worthy contribution, any good that he’s done.

However, too many are judged guilty before they have even been to court,
Losing their job or position, possibly because of someone’s false report.
So much for blind justice, that lady with the scales, it public opinion now,
Strong pressure coming from certain quarters to which cowardice is seen to bow.

Anger and not sense steering, others caving in, dropping any good too,
That person penalized before a court finds the accusations false or true.
It all like going back in time — mob rule — messages going from phone to phone,
It all shameful and wrong, and seemingly the contemporary way to stone.

By Lance Landall

Another poem like this one called Talent And Sins Are Two Separate Things can
be found in the orange box titled Follywood, Poems page, secular section.





8.  Creative Love

Sadly, too many come to the table with a left or right mentality,
A bias of some kind, or are driven by something that has made them angry.
And as a consequence, a new law or law change is sought; such almost standard fare,
Instead of creative love, which isn’t driven by bias, anger or fear.

And creative love knowing that laws simply punish and not change, and therefore,
Hate still in the hearts of those who’re into hate speech, and who recognise no law.
And hence why that hate just continues, but in a more inventive form, which means
The problem isn’t solved, but pushed underground, where even greater hatred steams.

Yes, the safety valve having been removed, their platform gone, and where are they now,
Unable to be watched the same, countered in some way, and then suddenly, “Pow!”
Such being the reality, laws not changing hearts, which creative love knows,
Seeking better and lasting answers, which those gaping doors of hatred will close.

All why creative love fosters better relationships, educates wisely,
Starting in the home, continuing in the school — but by example, mainly.
Force nothing but force, and oft just anger’s demand, which can trample on rights too,
Simply because of a few, and thus free speech encroached upon, though foolish to.

If it’s in the heart to say and do, it’s most likely it’ll be said or done,
All why rapes and murders continue, and thus laws not how the battle is won.
Such merely patching things, appeasing certain voices, and all when laws there are
That cover those who incite, threaten or injure; so why on earth go too far.

Don’t we realise how precious free speech is, how hard it’s been fought for? All why here,
Creative love should rule, lest further down the track, we have greater things to fear.
Thus some things kept beyond the reach of governments — and one, our autonomy,
That individual right to self expression, that we may be truly free.

Seems everyone’s looking to laws when they’re not the answer, but oft failure, and
In this case, treading on ground that should be sacrosanct, built on rocks and not sand.
Such a law pleasing some whilst angering others, and running a risk as well,
Given free speech is the first thing evil seeks to limit; but push, people will.

To gain something at the expense of what we can’t afford to lose, even partly,
Is folly, and usually the path of those who do not understand fully.
Creative love knowing this too, and that there are those who wait in the shadows,
Who shouldn’t be given half a chance, ’cause any door ajar, simply temps toes.

Those who demand, often scorn those who don’t feel the same way, thus posing a threat
(’Cause all are entitled to their opinion), and how a worrying scene’s set.
Thus where to come the future? Cancel culture taking no prisoners, and so,
It accept or else, democracy their way — and down the tubes, here we all go.

But creative love working in the interests of all, bridging the divide,
Generating both tolerance and understanding whilst favouring no side.
Laws the last thing on its mind, and especially where there’s greater loss than gain,
And why the following quote should be kept in mind midst that “Ban hate speech!” campaign:

"Freedom of expression is the matrix, the indispensable condition of nearly every other form of freedom."
Benjamin Cardozo (1870-1938)
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Creative love also seeks to find exactly what’s causing that hate, that ill,
Thus working on the root cause, surgery and not punishment serving us well.
In other words, it’s the heart and mind that needs attention — and hey, who knows why,
The lives of many complicated, but we won’t get anywhere ’till we try.

Punishment counter productive here, another law just adding to the list,
And here, courting danger pointlessly, laws not stopping hateful words, some gun or fist.
Laws purely directive and punitive, and thus hardly extinguishing hate,
And so unworthy of any rush that will hardly change that sad inner state,

That only creative love can change.


By Lance Landall


This poem was added to on 27 June 2021.

This poem can also be seen on Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7Yq25WVD5k


See my poem Hate Speech which is on my page: This World And Us.
Also see my article Creative Love which is found on my page titled the same,
purple box, Home page.





Christian content or degree.


9.  Everyone's Looking To Laws

Seems everyone’s looking to laws when they’re hardly the answer, and hence why
(And as an example only), we’re hearing that strident “Outlaw hate speech” cry.
However,
If it’s in the heart to say and do, it’s most likely it’ll be said and done,
Hence why laws aren’t the answer, but more creative love — and with which, we should run.

Force never changes hearts, nor God’s Ten Commandment Law, ’cause that’s not where it’s at,
And therefore, one simply going around in circles just like a tail chasing cat.
All why salvation’s about God’s grace alone, and not effort, ’cause God knows too
Change can’t be forced, but needs to come voluntarily, divinely, or it not true.

Yes, it just feigned, all why those who’re into hate speech are simply pushed underground, 
Their ill still continuing, and thus they simply faking smiles when above ground.
Much like those works-based Christians whose hearts haven’t changed, and therefore, they still the same,
Laws only directives, and many lawbreakers there are, some Christian in name.

Though there’s a place for laws, there shouldn’t be more than are truly necessary,
Hence God’s Ten, but we, tying ourselves in knots with that law-based mentality.
Laws punishing, not changing — necessary, but just laws all the same, and so
It all about attitude, none of us perfect, and why we grow as we go.

So why’s everyone looking to laws all the time, and not creative love,
Anger making them just as bad, hence that fighting fire with fire, not from above.
Two wrongs not making a right, and force not the answer, and thus all why we see
The same ill occurring, but more inventively, because change there needs to be.

At the end of the day, it’s all about an inner moral code, inner law,
We being driven by the heart, something that's beyond us, thus well at the core.
Hence the words education and training, it all starting in the home, and thus
One having been taught at the feet of sound parents, or that God who’s called Jesus.

Laws may show us how we should act, like God’s Ten Commandments, but that’s where they end,
They hardly able to save or change us, and hence why most people still offend.
So, enter creative love, or a divine transformation, and then we see,
Real change, greater change, lasting change, change that comes willingly and genuinely.

By Lance Landall





Christian content or degree.
Last three verses taken from two other poems.


10.  The Christian Right Has No Right

Things you saw on Capitol Hill had nothing to do with Christianity,
But certain Christians, who, as far as their Saviour’s will goes, acted contrary.
So please don’t judge God or the Christian faith by them, and nor other Christians too,
Who wouldn’t think to take that path, nor act like that, and why they condemn such too.

And many of them being conservative evangelicals, so please mind,
Not throwing the baby out with the bath water, ’cause that’s acting just as blind.
The rightly informed Christian knowing not to interfere with the authority
Or administration of those who’re in power, as did Peter, foolishly.

Hence why Christ rebuked both him and such militancy, force and weaponry out,
Along with riots and demands, even that angry “Ban hate speech!” shout.
It’s one thing to express views via the proper channels, but quite another thing
For Christians to agitate or aggravate, and thus troubles on themselves bring.

“My kingdom’s not of this world,” Christ said, thus Christians to simply witness and love
(Knowing that laws don’t change hearts), and that they’re to run to the tune of God above.
And as for being offended, they’re hardly to indulge in such luxury,
But rather, they should ponder on the following text, and act accordingly:

“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who  hate you,
and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44, NKJV).

Such hardly what we saw on Capitol Hill, the means not pure, nor the ends sought,
And all how both the believer and non-believer have ended up in court.
The believer having brought shame on God, put others off Christianity,
When they should’ve stayed at home, kept aloof, and not indulged in such anarchy.

Dare it be that any Christian be seen as a domestic terrorist, or
Turn anyone off the Good News Gospel; Christ condemning all who break the law.
“Slaves, obey your master,” Scripture states, liberty soon coming with Christ’s return,
The Christian bearing all things, both the Church and State separate — oh, when will they learn?

Earth’s not where the Christian’s hope and trust is meant to be, nor in those plans of man,
Because only Christ’s their answer, and Christians should know this, scrapping any plan.
In other words, they leaving things in His hands, their job just to impart and shine,
Church and State and patriotic fever being where such Christians cross the line.

In God we trust, huh, but it not seeming so, more store in presidents, I say,
Or that Church and State scenario that many are wishing would come their way.
God not found in either, but in faith and trust, that daily walk that stands alone,
Because the plans of humans and nations will always leave us with cause to groan.

And so, for the Christian, it’s all about hanging in there and causing no grief,
No matter the circumstances or oppressor, lest they run aground on some reef.
Yes, Christians suffering in the meantime, maybe for their seventy odd years,
But what’s that compared to an eternity in Paradise where there’s no tears.

No, the Christian right has no right, God never having told them to interfere,
Politics not their domain, nor the earthly, but only the heavenly sphere.
So they shouldn't cause any trouble, nor turn to men instead of God, 'cause they
Run to the tune of a different order, He who is the life, truth and way.

By Lance Landall


For more such poems, see my page Apologetics, accessed via
my page With God In Mind, Home page.





"Our response to an opposite opinion or belief (and indeed the person them self)
reveals our
true character and/or state of development."
The poet, author


11.  This World's Hardly Heaven

People say horrid things, be they racist, sexist or whatever else they might be,
And as sad as that is, don’t make it your problem too by responding as badly.
Words are just words, and bigger we must be in order to attain maturity,
And this world’s hardly Heaven, so putting up with things being how one needs to be.

We can protest about this and that, and standing up often has its place, of course,
But that sad old human condition isn’t going away, so just forget force.
Yes, changes are needed, but such is more an inner thing, and some folk never change,
Though life and people as random as it gets, and trials test, so count it not strange.

By Lance Landall





12.  Something To Dwell On

No one should be prevented from saying what they believe,
Nor from penning such — otherwise, we’ll all have cause to grieve.
Freedom of expression is a right, and necessary,
'Cause how else is truth found and error exposed, please tell me?

Hence why political correctness is not a healthy thing,
'Cause out of such, even more can eventually spring.
Yes, it all starts with those small things that invariably grow,
And which in time see liberty and democracy go.

By  Lance Landall





Religious take.
The following poem was penned November 2019.



13.  Regarding Israel Folau

Israel Folau is a young Christian man, one who’s committed to his walk,
And who, via his blog, said that Gay folk will burn in Hell, thus creating much talk,
Though many have been seen to balk.
His blog statement having seen him removed from his team, his contract having said, “No,”
But he still conveying his beliefs anyway via that strong statement on show.

However,

It’s same-sex sexual acts, not born Gay people, that the Bible condemns, so
Israel Folau has erred here, given every Christian should better know,
Because stating something is one thing, but getting it wrong quite another, and
Therefore, public reaction more anti, people less likely to understand.

And midst it all, Israel Folau’s thought and care for the fate of others lost,
He truly believing that ultimately same-sex sexual acts will cost,
And thus seeking to warn, albeit rather poorly, love and sense not quite wed,
But even so, he taking the time to bother, though it’s all about how it’s said.

It’s rather sad, because it’s great to see young people trying to live rightly,
And he a fine sportsman as well, but here, he not having acted too brightly.
We all erring somewhere, and the good in us, or the good we’ve done, getting lost,
And an overreacting public simply creating yet another cost.

Yes, because more young men and women who’re trying to warn and right are needed,
And especially given that many sound warnings are not being heeded.
Society hardly a bright and shiny example today, much astray,
And Israel conveying things as he believes them to be, and who’s to say?

He may be right, he may be wrong, but surely he’s entitled to say it, and
Lest it be so, because should something be so, what might the wrong decision hand?
Much scoffed at having proven true, yet, one can always ignore things that are said,
Rather than rounding on decent young folk, who like us, don’t always quite use their head,

When sincerely conveying what they think should be said.

Where people can be proven wrong, lets reason with them rather than condemn them,
And where things can’t clearly be proven either way, lets take hold of wisdom’s hem.
And thus not proving a threat to freedom of expression either way, ’nough said,
Both sides showing the same thought that they desire from each other, using their head.

Yes, freedom of speech is all about protecting Israel Folau’s rights too,
Many only concerned about their own, and not that compass that’s gone askew.
Rights being a two way street — and just as important too, is living rightly,
Not just wanting what suits us, and hardly worrying about society.

Well, Israel is worried about society, hence his blog statement, and
He not just pointing out that one thing mentioned, but other things, I understand.
Things he believed would also cost if they weren’t turned from (and how sad that would be),
He not inciting folk to hate, beat or kill, but to think more seriously.

Perfection’s not found in anyone, we all getting things both right and wrong, and
Aren’t always conveying things well, over exuberance colouring our stand.
Hence how we can be misread, though too many are rushing to judgment too soon,
And some seem stuck in their own little world that seems as far away as the moon.

And nor should we make laws to cocoon everybody from what might upset,
Otherwise, there being no end to such decrees, and soon, serious regret.
Yes, we living in a world that’s not real anymore, but simply window dressed,
And thus tolerance, forbearance and forgiveness unable to meet the test.

To be frank, if anything’s offensive, it’s the hopelessness of Darwin’s theory,
Which also removes morality and just scoffs at accountability.
Now there’s a worry, ’cause if God doesn't exist, anything’s permissible,
And therefore, the soundness and value of Darwin’s theory but invisible.

Okay,

So Israel’s now attributing Australia’s bush fires and drought to
Gay marriages and abortion legalisation, which is also askew.
But say it he’s entitled to, askew as it is, and ignore it we can,
Focussing (like I said) on the better aspects of this good but mistaken man.

At the end of the day, Israel hasn’t raped, stabbed or killed anybody
(As far as I know), and thus just his Facebook posting has done, genuinely.
Not said to assault, maim or murder, and yet you’d think that he’s a criminal,
Going by the roar of many, and some, whose own lives an awful lot could tell.

By Lance Landall





LIBERTY AND FREEDOM QOTES


We should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe.
Oliver Wendall Holmes, Jr (1841-1935)


The truth is found when men are free to pursue it.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945)


If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
Eric Arthur Blair, pen name George Orwell (1903-1950)


The price of freedom may be high, but never so costly as the loss of freedom.
Ronald Reagan (1911-2004)


The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning
but without understanding.
Louis Dembitz Brandeis (1856-1941)


The loss of freedom seldom happens overnight...Oppression doesn't stand on the doorstep with
toothbrush moustache and swastika armband. It creeps up insidiously; step by step; and all of a
sudden the unfortunate citizen realizes that it is gone.
Baron Lane (1918-2005)


The purpose of freedom of speech -- especially in a properly protected political debate -- is to allow a verbal
outlet in the marketplace of ideas, and to thereby avoid conflict and violence.
Becky Hawkins


I prefer liberty with danger than peace with slavery.
Jean Jaqueas Rousseau (1712 -1778)


Freedom is one of the deepest and noblest aspirations of the human spirit.
Ronald Reagan (1911-2004)


The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.
Albert Camus (1913-1960)


Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it.
Edmund Burke (1729-1797)


Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.
Ronald Reagan (1911-2004)


If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.
George Washington (1732-1799)


They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)


It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.
Emiliano Zappata (1879-1919)


God grants liberty only to those who love it and are always ready to guard and defend it.
Daniel Webster (1782-1852)


The condition upon which God has given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is
at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt.
John Philpot Curran (1750-1817).


He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemies from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.
Thomas Paine (1737-1809)


Freedom of expression is the matrix, the indispensable condition, of nearly every other form of freedom.
Benjamin Cardozo (1870-1938)


No man survives when freedom fails, The best men rot in filthy jails, And those who cry 'appease, appease' Are hanged by those they tried to please.
Hiram Mann


The deterioration of every government begins with the decay of the principles on which it was founded.
Charles-Louis De Secondat (1689-1755)


Woe to that nation whose literature is cut short by the intrusion of force. This is not merely interference with freedom
of the press but the sealing up of a nation’s heart, the excision of its memory.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008)


True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else.
Clarence Darrow (1857-1938)


If I am to be hedged in on every side, to be fretted by the perpetual presence of arbitrary will, to be denied the exercise of my powers, it matters nothing to me whether the chain is laid on me by one or many, by king or people. A despot is not more tolerable for his many heads.
William E. Channing (1780-1842)


It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government.
Thomas Paine (1737-1809)


Man is not free unless government is limited. There's a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.
Ronald Reagan (1911-2004)


The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.
Tacitus (AD 56-AD117)


When the people fear the government there is tyranny, when the government fears the people there is liberty.
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)


Liberty has never come from government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of government. The history of liberty is the history of resistance. The history of liberty is a history of the limitation of governmental power, not the increase of it.
Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924)


My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)


A nation of well-informed men, who have been taught to know and prize the rights that God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins!
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)


A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.
Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 BC-43 BC)


Many journalists now are no more than channelers and echoers of what George Orwell called the 'official truth'. They simply cipher and transmit lies. It really grieves me that so many of my fellow journalists can be so manipulated that they become really what the French describe as 'functionaires', functionaries, not journalists.
John Pilger, Australian journalist


It is not enough for journalists to see themselves as mere messengers without understanding the hidden agendas of the message and the myths that surround it.
John Pilger, Australian journalist


There are two histories: official history, lying, and then secret history, where you find the real causes of events.
Honore de Balzac (1799-1850)


Propaganda is the executive arm of the invisible government.
Edward Bernays (1891-1995)


Official truths are often powerful illusions.
John Pilger, Journalist


The Press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of the government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people.
Justice Hugo L. Black


Every man should know that his conversations, his correspondence, and his personal life are private.
Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973)


One of the things that bothers me most is the growing belief in the country that security is more important than freedom. It ain't.
Lyn Nofziger (1924-2006)


Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)


Secrecy, being an instrument of conspiracy, ought never to be the system of a regular government.
Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)


To renounce liberty is to renounce being a man, to surrender the rights of humanity and even its duties. For he who renounces everything no indemnity is possible. Such a renunciation is incompatible with man’s nature; to remove all liberty from his will is to remove all morality from his acts.
Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)


Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army.
Edward Everett (1794-1865)


According to Gestapo records…they had little need to engage in direct spying on the citizens since the citizens themselves were more than willing to do their spying for them.
Kort E. Patterson


Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official.
Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)


Without an unfettered press, without liberty of speech, all the outward forms and structures of free institutions are a sham, a pretense -- the sheerest mockery. If the press is not free; if speech is not independant and untrammeled; if the mind is shackled or made impotent through fear, it makes no difference under what form of government you live, you are a subject and not a citizen.
William E. Borah (1865-1940)


The very word "secrecy" is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it.
John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)


We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.
Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965)


If cruelty is no longer declared unlawful, but instead is applied as a matter of policy, it alters the fundamental relationship of man to government. It destroys the whole notion of individual rights. The Constitution recognizes that man has an inherent right, not bestowed by the state or laws, to personal dignity, including the right to be free of cruelty. It applies to all human beings, not just in America -- even those designated as 'unlawful enemy combatants.' If you make this exception the whole Constitution crumbles.
Alberto J. Mora, former Navy General Counsel


Liberty may make mistakes but tyranny is the death of a nation.
Giacomo Matteotti (1885-1924)


A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008)


There hasn't been peace on earth because people cant seem to figure out that the real enemy is the people manipulating world events from behind the scenes for their own selfish interests.
James Dye


People don't start wars, governments do.
Ronald Reagan (1911-2004)


We are on the precipice of being so ignorant that our democracy is threatened.
Walter Cronkite ( 1916-2009)


Government is never more dangerous than when our desire to have it help us, blinds us to its great power to harm us.
Ronald Reagan (1911-2004)


Unless bureaucracy is constantly resisted, it breaks down representative government and overwhelms democracy.
Ronald Reagan (1911-2004)


When governments fear the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny.
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)


Government is not a solution to our problem; government is the problem.
Ronald Reagan (1911-2004)


I hereby certify that I do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force as a means of achieving political or
social goals.
The Libertarian Party of the United States


How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.
Adolf Hitler (1889-1945)


Democracy lies in the public knowing the state's doings.
Newspaper Headline





SEPERATION OF CHURCH AND STATE QUOTES


"A civil ruler dabbling in religion is as reprehensible as a clergyman dabbling in politics. Both render themselves odious as well as ridiculous."
James Cardinal Gibbons (1834-1921)


"When a religion is good, I conceive that it will support itself; and, when it cannot support itself, and God does not take care to support it, so that its Professors are oblig’d to call for the help of the Civil Power, it is a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one."
Benjamin Franklin (stated Oct. 9, 1780)


"All religions united with government are more or less inimical to liberty. All, separated from government, are compatible with liberty."
Henry Clay (1777-1852)


"Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church, and the private school, supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and state forever seperate."
Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885)


"The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state."
Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)


"Every man, conducting himself as a good citizen, and being accountable to God alone for his religious opinions, ought to be protected in worshipping the Deity according to the dictates of his own conscience."
George Washington (stated May 1789)


"Religion is essentially distinct from civil Government, and exempt from its cognizance; ...a connection between them is injurious to both."
James Madison (stated March 19, 1823)


"It is a fundamental human right, a privilege of nature, that every man should worship according to his own convictions... It is assuredly no part of religion to compel religion—to which free-will and not force should lead us."
Tertullian (c. 160 - c. 200 AD)


"Once you attempt legislation upon religious grounds, you open the way for every kind of intolerance and religious persecution."
William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)


"Almighty God hath created the mind free; ...all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burdens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion, who being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do."
Thomas Jefferson (stated 1786)


"If God himself was not willing to use coercion to force man to accept certain religious views, man, uninspired and liable to error, ought not to use the means that Jehovah would not employ."
W.J.Bryan, in introduction to “The Writings of Thomas Jefferson.”


"To discriminate against a thoroughly upright citizen because he belongs to some particular church, or because, like Abraham Lincoln, he has not avowed his allegiance to any church, is an outrage against the liberty of conscience, which is one of the foundations of American life."
Roosevelt’s letter on religious liberty.


"The notion that the church, the press, and the universities should serve the state is essentially a Communist notion. In a free society these institutions must be wholly free -- which is to say that their function is to serve as checks upon the state."
Alan Barth (1906-1979)


"I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish — where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source — no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace
or the public acts of its officials — and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is
treated as an act against all."
John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)


“Those who would renegotiate the boundaries between Church and State must therefore answer a difficult question:
Why would we trade a system that has served us so well for one that has served others so poorly?”
Sandra Day O'Connor


“We establish no religion in this country. We command no worship. We mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are and must remain separate.”
Ronald Reagan (1911-2004)


"As Christians we are not here to provide an ethic for society or the state, but to clearly define an ethic for disciples of Jesus Christ. In the American system of government it is difficult for this stance to be understood. We operate with the myth of being a Christian nation, and we seek to interpret for society an ethic that we can bless as Christians. We need a new awareness of the pluralism of the New Testament, that the crucial issue is the difference between the church and the world, and that the church operates "within the perfection of Christ," while the world operates outside the perfection or will of Christ. Christians influence the state for good through Christian ethics and integrity, but they do not equate church and state. Only an indepth understanding of this issue can save us from a cultural and a civil religion."
Myron Augsburger


"We Christians may not do as Americans something that we must not do as Christians. As we listen to and debate arguments about going to war, note how often our Christian identity is subordinated to our American identity. We have been so formed by the collusion of the church with America that we find it difficult to even distinguish between Christian and national identity, and harder to subordinate our national identity to our identity in Christ."
Jonathan R. Wilson


"Religious and racial persecution is moronic at all times, perhaps the most idiotic of human stupidities."
Harry S. Truman (1945-1953)


"To take the sword, gun, or bomb in Christ's name is to repudiate both Christ and his message."
John C. Lennox


"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it with religious conviction."
Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)


"Of all bad men religious bad men are the worst."
C.S. Lewis (1898-1963)


"A religion which requires persecution to sustain it is of the devil's propagation."
Hosea Ballou (1771-1852)


"Persecution is disobeying the most solemn injunction of Christianity, under the sham plea of upholding it."
Paul Chatfield


"There are only two things in which the false professors of all religions have agreed -- to persecute all other sects and to plunder their own."
Charles Caleb Colton (1780-1832)


"The invention of printing and the Reformation are and remain the two outstanding services of central Europe to the cause of humanity."
Thomas Mann (1875-1955)


"It is iniquitous, unjust, and most impolitic to persecute for religion's sake. It is against natural religion, revealed religion, and sound policy."
William Murray (1705-1793)