The Discovery Institute still doesn’t understand free speech

The Discovery Institute has a persecution complex. They have a hard time distinguishing between rejection and mockery of their silly ideas and violation of their right to free speech. They’ve created a ‘Censor of the Year’ award to protest their treatment. The previous winners are noted free speech opponents Jerry Coyne and Neil deGrasse Tyson.

For the past month, they Institute has been in an absolute tizzy over the decision of the United Methodist Church’s decision to exclude (‘ban‘) them from its General Conference coming up in May. Because they don’t understand that free speech doesn’t obligate others to provide a platform, they think this decision amounts to ‘intolerance‘ and ‘censorship‘.


Persecution complex? Image from an Evolution News & Views post on UMC.

The Discovery Institute’s blog, Evolution News & Views, has complained of their treatment at the hands of the Methodists in a series of over twenty posts, culminating with naming the Commission on the General Conference of the United Methodist Church as Censor of the Year.

Strangely, they acknowledge that

As a private organization, the UMC has the right to exclude us as an exhibitor.

and (from John G. West)

As a matter of religious liberty, I certainly defend the legal right of UMC officials to do what they did.

and (from David Klinghoffer)

…the UMC has every legal right to ban from its upcoming General Conference any organization or idea it finds objectionable.


Yes, exactly! UMC has no more obligation to provide the Discovery Institute space in their conference than they do to provide space for the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Scientology, or the Church of Satan. None of these exclusions would qualify as censorship.


EDIT: replaced images that were lost in the move from (2018-11-27)

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