The way I’ve always understood it, freedom of expression is exactly what the phrase implies: freedom to say anything one wants, even if it’s unpopular or offensive.

To me, that includes any kind of expression except what’s expressly forbidden by law. If, for instance, I decided to go totally naked, or encourage others to do so, I’d be in trouble, because public nudity is expressly forbidden by law in Texas and in most other places in the U. S.—and freedom of expression doesn’t extend to encouraging anyone to do anything that’s actually illegal. It would be perfectly legal, however, to advocate creating an observance in which the law was suspended to allow everyone in the U. S. to go naked one day a year, because that would simply be a proposal—not a call to break any existing law.


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Forney Messenger

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