August 15, 2018
A hush fell over the courtroom as the jury returned to their seats. They had only deliberated 10 minutes. The prosecutor and judges tried to contain their pride as they were positive the jury would rule their way. As the defendant rose to hear his fate, the town leaned in as well. The foreman cleared his throat as he announced, "We find the defendant not guilty." The attendees erupted in cheers and applause as the Chief Justice tried desperately to regain control, yet the crowd's enthusiasm would not subside. And soon, neither would the country's.
Since the beginning, Americans have cherished free thought. To achieve that, colonists highlighted the importance of education, even from the time Harvard College opened their doors in 1636. Six years later, the Massachusetts Act of 1642 made it mandatory to teach the Bible in schools so as to read and understand Scriptures as well as the laws of the commonwealth.
Governments have always tried to suppress and restrain the spreading of ideas, but it became more imperative and more difficult once the printing press was invented. Martin Luther used it to lead the Protestant Reformation and the British wanted none of that in the New World. As Virginia Governor Sir William Berkley stated in 1671:
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“Hitler did not have to destroy democracy; he merely took advantage of the decay of democracy and at the critical moment obtained the support of many to whom, though they detested Hitler, he yet seemed the only man strong enough to get things done.”
- The Road to Serfdom
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"Knowledge comes not from limiting yourself to that which you agree, but exploring that which you don't.”
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“There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn't true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.”
- Soren Kierkegaard