Toward a ‘New Birth of Freedom’

A classroom with rows of wooden desks facing a blackboard showing a music theory diagram, flanked by a map and another chalkboard.

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A “pall of orthodoxy” has descended over an increasing number of American institutions. The stifling of dissent and the pressuring of people to conform to ideological dogmas that began in universities has spread to the media and even to the corporate world. While official government censorship may be rare, we are living in a moment where the consequences of speaking out on the “wrong side” of controversial issues — or even supporting others who speak out — are often nothing short of personal and professional ruin. And while we can, and should, expect people to display some degree of fortitude when it comes to the private social consequences of free expression, the price has become so high that an ever-shrinking number of people are willing to pay it.