Get unlimited digital access to $0.99 for 4 weeks.
News Opinion Readers Respond

Free speech, downsized

It seems we have reached an odd kind of stage in the United States when the Supreme Court has ruled that campaign spending by corporate fatcats is permissible "free speech," but Dr. Ben Carson's utterances against gay marriage are considered impermissible bigotry by his employers.

I would note that Dr. Carson did not advocate punishment, imprisonment or persecution for same-sex couples; he only questioned their right to marriage, an institution millions of straight Americans have foregone in favor of mere cohabitation. In an age where the average U.S. marriage lasts only five years and I have seen English as a Second Language textbooks list the "benefits" of divorce (leaving the non-native students, as a language exercise, to come up with the disadvantages!), it is interesting that marriage is seen as an important civil right at all.

In an earlier stage of American history — roughly corresponding to the Vietnam war era — sharply opposed viewpoints in relation to civil rights, war, women's equality, LSD and space exploration were debated intensely across this country. People offended each other with their views, and yet rarely tried to silence each other. Has the Age of Obama sunk to a lower standard of freedom of expression?

Mark Chalkley, Baltimore

  • Text NEWS to 70701 to get Baltimore Sun local news text alerts
  • Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
    Related Content
    • President Carson? [Letter]
      President Carson? [Letter]

      I'm glad to see Dr. Ben Carson is leading the Republican field of Presidential "hopefuls" — as in "I hope this isn't all they have to offer" ("O'Malley lags behind Clinton," Feb. 17). I'm sure he will prove to be just as viable candidate as Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, Sarah Palin, Newt...

    • Carson defenders doctor the facts
      Carson defenders doctor the facts

      Given the despair I felt at reading the recent letters to the editor from Michael W. Kohlman ("If Drs. Ben Carson and Andy Harris oppose Obamacare, how great can it be?and Benedict Frederick Jr. ("Obamacare-slavery comparison isn't so ridiculous," Oct. 18) defending Dr. Ben Carson's...

    • Turns out Ben Carson is not expert on everything
      Turns out Ben Carson is not expert on everything

      Hopkins neurosurgeon Ben Carson's equating of the Affordable Care Act with slavery shows that expertise in one area does not necessarily carry over to other fields ("Sorry, Dr. Carson, but Obamacare is not like slavery," Oct. 15).

    • Obamacare-slavery comparison isn't so ridiculous
      Obamacare-slavery comparison isn't so ridiculous

      In his commentary ("Beneath contempt," Oct. 17), columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. of The Miami Herald is very critical of Dr. Ben Carson's recent comparison of Obamacare to slavery.

    • Ben Carson sinks beneath contempt
      Ben Carson sinks beneath contempt

      Neurosurgeon's claim that Obamacare is the worst thing since slavery lends racism a sheen of respectability

    • Cheap shots at Ben Carson
      Cheap shots at Ben Carson

      For reporter Jean Marbella to take shots at Dr. Ben Carson for his political views makes her look like she is not too bright — particularly in a Baltimore-based (albeit liberal) newspaper ("Carson is quoting Lenin to criticize Obamacare. Is the reference bogus?" Oct. 12).