A liberal pundit is calling out her fellow liberals for their growing intolerance, especially when it comes to conservative and Christian viewpoints.
Kirsten Powers, a Fox News contributor andUSA Today columnist, says the country is moving in an authoritarian direction, which endangers free speech and even free thought.
She writes about the trend in her new book,The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech.
Powers notes that even though the United States has a robust First Amendment that protects free speech and the free exercise of religion, societal forces are compromising the practice.
She said fellow liberals, who she calls the "illiberal left," are attacking free speech as part of a systematic silencing.
"They call themselves liberal, but they're completely illiberal so they are people who just really believe that their ideology and their partisan viewpoints are the right way and that anything that deviates from that needs to be silenced," Powers told CBN News.
"And they don't want to debate it," she said. "They don't want to have a conversation about it. They want you to shut up."
That shutting down of ideas is everywhere, Power says. It is accomplished by de-legitimizing and demonizing those with conservative viewpoints.
In her book, Powers cites what she calls a "vicious smear campaign" against Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy for saying he supported traditional marriage.
She warned of college campuses that have booted Christian clubs for supposed discrimination when they simply held fast to belief statements.
She says everyone should be concerned about the firing of Brendan Eich, the former CEO of the Internet company Mozilla. Eich was ousted after his company discovered he'd made a 2008 donation to Proposition 8 in California.
The proposition, which voters approved, held the state to a traditional definition of marriage.
"That was in 2008," Powers said. "And that's what Barack Obama thought and Barack Obama was in Rick Warren's church saying he opposed same-sex marriage for religious reasons. So what's the thing today that in five years is going to get you fired?"
Powers, who came to Christ nine years ago, said friendships with fellow believers have opened her eyes to attacks on conservative and Christian viewpoints. Perhaps her biggest concern is a university culture that squashes civil debate.
She cites a feminist professor in California who called pro-life demonstrators "terrorists" and stole their sign.
She's also alarmed that Georgetown University felt it had to send security to a recent event in which an outside speaker questioned rape statistics. Liberals on campus were outraged that the discussion was even allowed.
"What's happening is extremely authoritarian even though it's not the government," Powers said. "It's an attitude that 'We know best. We're going to tell you what you're allowed to think or say and if you don't do what we think or say, we're going to destroy your reputation.'"
Powers believes the stakes are huge. If attacks on free speech go unchecked, society could shift to group think and reject any dissent.
"I just don't think that most young people have any idea what that does to a society -- that you cannot have freedom without being able to disagree," she told CBN News.
As for her book, Powers won't be surprised if "illberals" try to silence it by working to destroy her credibility. Such a move, she says, would make her point.
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