[COMPENDIUM: Our Lutheran Prof.-Missionary, Rev. Alan Ludwig, is located in Siberia, Russia. He teaches men who wish to become pastors at the Lutheran Seminary. For 14 years he has given the SELC, sister church of LCMS, men to build their churches in Siberia. It is remarkable that the ministry of the new Lutheran pastors in Siberia continues to grow and share the Word of God with many people across such a vast land.
I chose this blog as most Americans think today in terms of the Communist era, where people could not worship or speak about anything they wanted. When news of Russia regulating something comes out, we tend to think they are again tightening the screws, so to speak. BUT- this is not so! Thank you Rev. Ludwig for allowing me to reblog your post here.]
One of Americans’ most cherished—and most misunderstood—rights is the right of free speech. Most of us are at least vaguely aware that there are limits to public free speech, but how many of us stop to consider how these boundaries have radically shifted? Until the last several decades, it was acceptable, for instance, to tell jokes about minority races, women, and handicapped persons. On the other hand, profanity and vulgarity were unacceptable. Now the reverse is true. A public university professor may use as many four-letter words as he wishes in his lectures, but may lose his position over a single real or perceived racial slur. I’m not passing judgment on which is better; I’m simply pointing out the radical shift.
Free Speech in Russia?
American politicians and news media lead the public to believe that there’s little free speech in Russia. Wherever I speak in America about my work, the question comes up: What about free speech? Can you say what you want?
My answer is, Yes, I can. And so can others. There is indeed free speech in Russia. It’s just that the limits are set in quite different places than in America. Americans need to understand this if they want to grasp the real significance of news and events in post-Soviet Russia.