Most American’s are passionate and protective of their right to free speech…
Or are we?
How many people have willingly signed away their right to free speech because of their job or career.
Companies, school systems, municipalities, government agencies, and even religious organizations don’t want their employees making them ‘look bad’ or liable; so they make one of the conditions of employment a contract that ‘limits’ what they can say publicly if they are to remain employed.
I’m talking about speech that’s respectful and responsible, not reckless.
Ephesians 4:29 (NKJV)
29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary [a]edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
Colossians 4:6 (NKJV)
6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.
Are you free to say what you want to say about your company and where they stand on issues?
Are you free to say how you feel about the culture of your organization without fear of retaliation?
Is there something that you want to responsibly express or share about your organization… about your faith… about what’s in your heart, but if you do so you know you could lose your job?
How many people endure toxic cultures, bullying, inequity, unfair policies, abuse of authority, basically from people who are merely ‘working for a living’ just like them because they fear losing their job…career…even their retirement?
Is that freedom of speech?
Restricting our ability to respectfully and responsibly be critical and hold accountable the leadership in our places of employment or our concerns about social or spiritual issues is quite frankly not allowed in many workplaces.
It can’t be equated to shouting ‘FIRE’ in a public place. That protects life. And there is some speech that is not protected by the constitution because it’s a threat to the ‘public good’ however, withholding what’s on our mind about our employers sometimes only protects egos, reputations and the threat of litigation.
Think about this, Americans are more free to say how they feel about their national, state and local leaders… their pastor… their loved ones… than their boss.
Many people even express their criticism to God Himself before the do so to their boss!
We are more free to tell God how we feel without fear of relaliation than the person for whom we work.
Psalm 142:1-2 (NKJV)
I cry out to the Lord with my voice;
With my voice to the Lord I make my supplication.
2 I pour out my complaint before Him;
I declare before Him my trouble.
God is more willing to ‘reason with us’ than many of our places of employment.
Isaiah 1:18 (NKJV)
18 “Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the Lord,
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool.
Is you freedom of speech that’s protected by the Constitution, surrendered in your contract?
Think about it, but be careful what you say about it at work.