Salon/Bohm Dialogue 1/17/21 – Free Speech

Jake Angeli – noted US Capitol invader and QAnon member.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

– First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

Disinformation, misinformation and propaganda spread via Fox News, right wing talk radio, and social media have amplified crazy belief systems in our national culture leading to the recent riot/insurrection in Washington DC. Is our sacred freedom of speech still compatible with our sacred democracy? Must it be limited to save our democracy or would limiting it destroy democracy?

Corporate America is currently putting some limits:

Shortly after the Capitol attack on January 6, several media companies leapt into action, scrambling to modify the infrastructures of misinformation that had been a source of steady profits throughout the Trump years.
Facebook, Twitter and other social media companies pulled the plug on President Donald Trump’s accounts. while Google, Apple and Amazon de-platformed Parler, a social media site popular among far-right users. In its letter to Parler, Amazon Web Services included nearly a hundred examples of posters inciting violence, calling for, among other things, hangings, bombings and targeted assassinations of politicians and journalists.
But perhaps the most surprising announcement came from Cumulus Media. The talk radio company, which carries popular right wing shows hosted by Mark Levin, Ben Shapiro and Dan Bongino, circulated an internal memo (first reported by Inside Music Media and later the Washington Post) telling hosts they needed to stop spreading false information about the election.
“We need to help induce national calm NOW,” the memo said. “The election has been resolved and there are no alternate acceptable ‘paths.'” Saying otherwise on air would lead to immediate termination.
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Bohm Dialogue is a freely-flowing group conversation in which participants attempt to reach a common understanding, experiencing everyone’s point of view fully, equally and nonjudgementally. This can lead to new and deeper understanding.

Join us to listen to what others think and to share what you think.  The Religious Exploration Salon is a group that meets 3rd Sundays to discuss various topics in the format called Bohm Dialogue which emphasizes respectful listening and balanced, synergistic sharing. For more details about how Dialogue works, please see this intro.

Everyone is welcome. You are welcome to think about the topic beforehand but no preparation is required or expected — come as you are with whatever thoughts/intuitions you have, ready to listen, learn and contribute.  We next meet Sunday January 17 at 7pm via Zoom. Past attendees should receive an email with instructions. Or contact Tom Yelton  or Jan Hardenbergh  for instructions on how to join the Zoom meeting.

Contact Paul Reising, Tom Yelton or Jan Hardenbergh for more information.