“House Divided” speech
A speech made by Abraham Lincoln to the Illinois Republican convention in 1858. In the speech, Lincoln noted that conflict between North and South over slavery was intensifying. He asserted that the conflict would not stop until a crisis was reached and passed, for, in a biblical phrase Lincoln used, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” He continued: “I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other.”
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Those are troubling numbers, for unfettered speech is not incidental to a flourishing society.
There is no such thing as speech so hateful or offensive it somehow “justifies” or “legitimizes” the use of violence.
We need to recover and grow the idea that the proper answer to bad speech is more and better speech.
Tend to your own garden, to quote the great sage of free speech, Voltaire, and invite people to follow your example.
The simple, awful truth is that free speech has never been particularly popular in America.
It was a decayed house of superb proportions, but of a fashion long passed away.Checkmate|Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
A Yankee, whose face had been mauled in a pot-house brawl, assured General Jackson that he had received his scars in battle.
On the thirteenth of the same month they bound to the stake, in order to burn alive, a man who had two religious in his house.
Old Mrs. Wurzel and the buxom but not too well-favoured heiress of the house of Grains were at the head of the table.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3)|Charles James Wills
Alessandro turned a grateful look on Ramona as he translated this speech, so in unison with Indian modes of thought and feeling.Ramona|Helen Hunt Jackson