Chuck Hobbs is a trial lawyer and freelance writer who won the Florida Bar Media Award, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and is a featured writer for The Hill and has been featured in the New York Times.
Contributing Editor, The Atlantic and National Journal
Jonathan Rauch is the author of six books, including "Kindly Inquisitors: The New Attacks on Free Thought." He's contributed to The New Republic, The Economist, Reason, Harper’s, Fortune, U.S. News & World Report, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and Slate, among others.
On April 19th we'll examine the founding ideal of free speech in "Free Speech in the Age of Political Correctness and Bad Manners." At a time when too often bad manners and ill-tempers replace conversations of substance, sometimes free speech seems to have simply gone to seed - and we find ourselves wishing someone would control the din. At the same time, our society's reaction to legitimately held and asserted opinion that differs from our own has at times become toxic and damaging in its own right. While charges of "hate speech" sprout like crab grass on an un-mowed lawn and college students debate micro-aggressions, when a bad choice of words can tank your career, we seem to be in a societal-wide spitting match about just who is themost tediously offended. And before we get too haughty about those who might possess a somewhat more sensitive constitution, we have to admit that as a people we seem to be doing a near-professional job of elevating being offensive to an art form. In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo tragedy, in the current age of opinion overload - when it's usually the most despicable sentiments that break out of the pack - at a time when a graduation speaker better hew to our own beliefs or we won't even listen, how do we walk the fine line between protecting the critical right to free speech and maintaining something quaintly reminiscent of being civilized? Is it possible that everyone hasgone a wee bit too far?
The story of America is the biggest, boldest idea in human history writ large and offered for almost 250 years to its citizens, and as a beacon to the world. It's also a story of some its most central ideals - equality, liberty, free speech - still straining to be realized. And our country's story is also the story of the founding sin of slavery, a legacy that still lives - squarely in the events of our time. Through this season of Dinner at the Square, we'll both celebrate the greatness of the ideals our country was founded on and ask ourselves how we can better live into them. After this last year of deep, heart-wrenching division across race, religion and political perspective - division that seems too often to create civic dialogue that finds the worst in us instead of calling our better angels - we think this is a conversation for our time, a checking back to consider how well we are hewing to the ideals of America, and perhaps a renewed promise to get there.
Free Speech in the Age of Political Correctness and Bad Manners
St. John's Episcopal Church
Generously donated by
Traditional Caesar Salad ~ Chicken Marsala ~ Tri Tortellini with Sundried Tomatoes in Basil Pesto Sauce (Vegetarian Option) ~ Broccoli and Red Pepper Parmesan ~ Ciabatta Bread ~ Chocolate Amaretto Mousse with Raspberry Sauce ~ Iced Tea and Iced Water
Read about Jefferson and Adams and learn how you can win two tickets to this program by clicking the chairs