Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act (H.R. 3717) May Contain Hidden Threat To All Free Speech!

Kent Snyder
The Liberty Committee

March 10, 2004

Can "The Passion of the Christ" be judged indecent by a small group of powerful federal bureaucrats and kept off broadcast television because of the film's message or scenes of violence? Can your favorite radio talk-show host be fined $500,000 every time he expresses an opinion that is labeled "hate speech?" Can you also be fined $500,000 when you call in and agree with his opinion?

"Can't happen here," you say? The Department of Justice has already been petitioned to evaluate Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" for violation of hate crimes statutes.

Senator Rick Santorum has proposed amending Title IX of the Higher Education Act to punish American colleges and universities if those institutions permit professors, students or student organizations to openly criticize Israel.

"Political correctness" has silenced certain groups of Americans. The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (McCain-Feingold) puts the muzzle on average Americans during political campaigns. And now, the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act....

Are the political elite in Washington the ones we want to give such unchecked power and control?

Our country's founders thought not. "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech...." The Founding Fathers might not have imagined radio or television, but it is precisely because they could not have imagined everything the future would bring that they established timeless principles.

The U.S. House will vote on the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act (H.R. 3717) tomorrow afternoon. We strongly urge a "no" vote on this dangerous legislation. To send your message, go to -- .


Cutting Edge Note: While this situation is very serious and a great threat to our Freedom of Speech, it will not directly affect Cutting Edge because the FCC has no authority over the Internet (World Wide Web) -- ( )