As you read through the liner notes for Walt Disney Record's Legacy Collection version of The Little Mermaid soundtrack, there's an anecdote in there that's sure to blow pop culture fans' minds.
The problem with granting heckler's vetoes over speech is that it incentivizes threats of disruption or violence from the least tolerant members of our society.
There and hundreds of teachings contained in the 4 Gospels of the New Testament, teachings that, if we obeyed, would absolutely flip our lives and world upside-down for the glory of God and the good of all people.
All. Black. Lives. Matter. Not just the ones who make White America comfortable.
Muslims are no different than anyone else, they have the same goals and aspirations as anyone else. Islam is not the problem, and has never been the problem.
Young diaspora Muslims are flocking to Syria and signing up with ISIS to fight in a cosmic war while others plot domestic violence against secularism in their adopted homelands. Nothing as horrific as 9-11 or 7-7 has yet to take place but some believe it's just a matter of time.
What this world has become is something so undefinable and sometimes scary that I don't think anyone would make it without the belief in something bigger than themselves and people in general.
Is it better to be void of all talent but be famous, than be full of talent and an unknown? In America, the answer is yes. Or at least that's what society teaches us.
Since his highly controversial exchange with Ben Affleck and Nicholas Kristof on October 3rd, Bill Maher has insisted that he's simply stating the unpleasant facts about the Muslim world. But there are two particularly noxious myths that need to be debunked.
Freedom of speech is an exceptional American value, indeed, that is what separates us from the rest of the world. I urge the University not to ban free speech, let Bill Maher speak, and let students bring Reza Aslan or myself to speak against Bill Maher's non-sense talk.
Expressive activity of any kind should be considered part and parcel of free speech, and thus deserves protection from viewpoint-based censorship. And just because students won't be allowed on stage to debate Maher point-by-point doesn't mean he isn't participating in an exchange of ideas.
It's nothing new to feel like our intelligence is being questioned. There has always been a sense that we're being talked down to and that most of what is said is gibberish to placate and appease us without really saying anything of substance.
Maher is right that we should stand up for liberal principles everywhere, but it does no justice to our principles if our arguments are stacked on a foundation of stereotypes.
The day liberals confuse real talk and passionate debate with bigotry is the day Bill O'Reilly and Fox news shape the narrative of our nation.
Fifty years ago this month, the school became the vanguard of the free speech movement when left leaning Mario Savio led a movement to challenge campus restrictions on free expression. This week's attempted revocation of HBO Real Time host Bill Maher's invitation to deliver the fall commencement threatened the institution's proud legacy.
Let us put this to rest once and for all. This is not a struggle between radical Islam and the West. It is between radical Islam and the rest of us, Muslims and non-Muslims. Freedom is not a Western value. It is a universal value.