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they themselves shall be in full accord and sympathy with our form of government and the system of society under which we live. . . Having these considerations in mind, the Committee has recommended that a law' be placed upon the statute books of this State which shall require the teachers in public schools to secure, before the first of January, 1921, a special certificate certifying that they are persons of good character and that they are loyal to the institutions of the State and Nation. (Vol. I. p. 16)
In entering the public school system the teacher assumes certain obligations and must of necessity surrender some of his intellectual freedom. If he does not approve of the present social system or the structure of our government he is at liberty to entertain those ideas, but must surrender his public office. If a change in our social system or in the structure of our government is at any time demanded by the people of this State or of the United States, the mandate must be disclosed by the verdict of the polls. The public school must not be allowed to spread the gospel of discontent among the people. No person who is not eager to combat the theories of social change should be entrusted with the task of fitting the young and old of this State for the responsibilities of citizenship. (Vol. III. p. 2343)
JOHN L. TILDSLEY'
No person who adheres to the Marxian program, the program of the Left Wing of the Socialist Party in this country, should be allowed to become a teacher in the public school system, and if discovered to be a teacher, should be compelled to sever his connection with the school system, for it is impossible for such a person to carry out the purpose of the public schools as set forth
Such a law was enacted in 1921, but was repealed in 1923.
8 Associate Superintendent of Schools of New York. Quoted in the New York Times, from statement made by him April 26, 1919, in a speech before the Public Education Association.
by Commissioner Finegan, that the public schools of any country should be the expression of the country's ideals, the purpose of its institutions, and the philosophy of its life and government.
The right to freely utter and publish whatever the citizen may please and to be protected against responsibility for so doing except so far as such publications for their blasphemy, obscenity, or scandalous character may be a public offense, or as by their falsehood and malice may injuriously affect the standing, reputation, or pecuniary interest of individuals.-Freedom of the press in 1791. Cooley. "Constitutional Limitations."
Liberty of the press means no more than a freedom for everything to pass from the press without a license . . . from any authority . . . but this does not imply the liberty of reviling and calumniating.—Chief Justice of Massachusetts, 1767. P. Hildreth. "History." Vol. V. p. 166.
WILLIAM BLACKSTONE, 1723-17801
idea and practice of political and religious liberty flourish in their highest vigor in these kingdoms, where it falls little short of perfection. (Commentaries. Vol. I. p. 126)
All these rights and liberties it is our birthright to enjoy entire; unless where the laws of our country have laid them under necessary restraints-restraints in themselves so gentle and moderate as will appear upon further inquiry that no man of sense or probity would wish to see them slackened. For all of us have it in our choice to do everything that a good man would desire to do; and are
1 English jurist, famous for his Commentaries on the Laws of England.
restrained from nothing but what would be pernicious either to ourselves or our fellow citizens. (Vol. 1. p. 140)
In this, and in other instances which we have lately considered, where blasphemous, immoral, treasonable, schismatical, seditious or scandalous libels are punished by the English law, some with greater, others with less degrees of severity, the liberty of the press, properly understood, is by no means infringed or violated.
The liberty of the press is indeed essential to the nature of a free state, but this consists in laying no previous restraint upon publication, and not in freedom of censure for criminal matter when published. Every free man has an undoubted right to lay what sentiments he pleases before the public; to forbid this is to destroy the freedom of the press; but if he publishes what is improper, mischievous or illegal, he must take the consequences of his own temerity. To subject the press to the restrictive power of a licenser, as was formerly done both before and since the revolution, is to subject all freedom of sentiment to the prejudices of one man and make him the arbitrary and infallible judge of all controverted points in learning, religion and government. But to punish, as the law does at present, any dangerous or offensive writings which, when published, shall on a fair and impartial trial, be adjudged of a pernicious tendency, is necessary for the preservation of peace and good order of government and religion, the only solid foundations of civil liberty. (Vol. IV. p. 151)
Everything is now as it should be with respect to the spiritual cognizance, and spiritual punishment of heresy; unless perhaps that the crime ought to be more strictly defined, and no persecution permitted even in the ecclesiastical courts, till the tenets in question are by proper authority previously declared to be heretical. Under these restrictions, it seems necessary for the support of the national religion that the officers of the church should have
power to censure heretics, yet not to harass with temporal penalties, much less to exterminate or destroy them. (Vol. IV. p. 49)
BARUCH (BENEDICT DE) SPINOZA (1632-1677) '
The individual justly cedes the right of free action, though not of free reason and judgment. No one can act against the authorities without danger to the State, though his feelings and judgment be at variance therewith. He may even speak against them, provided that he does so from rational conviction, not from fraud, anger, or hatred, and provided that he does not attempt to introduce any change on his private authority. . . Thus we see how an individual may declare and teach what he believes, without injury to the authority of his rulers, or to the public peace; namely, by leaving in their hands the entire power of legislation as it affects action; and by doing nothing against their laws though he be compelled often to act in contradiction to what he believes, and openly feels to be best. From the fundamental notions of a state, we have discovered how a man may exercise free judgment without detriment to the supreme power; from the same premises we can no less easily determine what opinions would be seditious. Evidently those which by their very nature nullify the compact by which the right of free action is ceded. . .
JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564)*
There are two sorts of seditious men, and against both these must the sword be drawn; for they oppose the King and God himself. . . First they find out corruptions in the Government, as a matter of grievance, which they expose to the people. Secondly, they petition for Redress
2 Dutch philosopher.
8 Swiss divine and reformer. Quoted by Sir Rober l'Estrange, in "A Seasonable Memorial in Some Historical Notes Upon the Liberties of the Press and Pulpit."
of those Grievances still asking more and more, till something is denied them. And then, Thirdly, they take the power into their own hands of Relieving themselves, but with Oaths and protestations that they act only for the Common Good of King and Kingdom. From the pretense of defending the Government, they proceed to the Reforming of it; which reformation proves in the end to be a Final Dissolution of the order both of Church and State... Their consciences widened with their interest. . . First, they fell upon the King's Reputation; they invaded his authority in the next place; after that they assaulted his Person, seized his Revenue; and in the conclusion most impiously took away his Sacred Life. The Transition is so natural from Popular Petition to a Tumult, that the one is but a Hot Fit of the other; and little more than a more earnest way of petitioning. They Preach the People into murther, sacrilege, and Rebellion; they pursue a most gracious Prince to the scaffold; they animate the Regicides, calling that Execrable villainy an act of Public Justice, and entitling the Holy Ghost to Treason.
I introduced the subject of toleration. JOHNSON. "Every society has a right to preserve public peace and order, and therefore has a good right to prohibit the propagation of opinions which have a dangerous tendency. To say the magistrate has this right, is using an inadequate word: it is the society for which the magistrate is agent. He may be morally or theologically wrong in restraining the propagation of opinions which he thinks dangerous, but he is politically right." MAYO. “I am of opinion, Sir, that every man is entitled to liberty of conscience in religion; and that the magistrate cannot restrain that right." JOHNSON. "Sir, I agree with you.
4 From Boswell's Life of Johnson, edited by George Birkbeck Hill. 6v. The Clarendon Press. Oxford. 1887.