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MCCULLOUGH: Movie star misses mark on free speech

Hollywood’s latest “it” girl wants to save my feelings.

The beautiful and talented Jennifer Lawrence, whose star is rising like it’s on a rocketship, said the other day that “it should be illegal to call somebody fat on TV.”

I can’t help but shake my head.

Lawrence, star of “American Hustle” and the “The Hunger Games” movies, is one of Barbara Walters’ “10 Most Fascinating People,” and told the newswoman people should be protected from such hateful speech.

Similarly, one of the hosts of ABC’s cooking variety show “The Chew” said on Wednesday it should be against the law to play Christmas music in a store before Thanksgiving.

The ease with which a large portion of today’s society not only accepts but wishes for government regulation baffles me.

Of course, no one likes being called fat or any other derogatory term. And Lawrence was right to ask “why is humliating people funny?” (It’s not, but it certainly is popular, especially on trashy television shows.)

But against the law? As in revoking our First Amendment right to free speech? I’d rather have someone come around every day for the rest of my life and call me Fatso than to give up the right to speak my mind, to have my opinions be against the law, no matter how unpopular they might be.

And everyone hates hearing Christmas music in September or October. But to ban it? Come on.

I was telling my 20-year-old stepson the other day about how much this world has changed since I was his age. This country has become so unbelievably restrictive, prohibitive and regulated as to not even be recognizable to me anymore. And it’s because of people who have chosen security over liberty, people who think more government is the answer to every question.

“I mean, if we’re regulating cigarettes and sex and cuss words, because of the effect they have on our younger generation, why aren’t we regulating things like calling people fat?” Lawrence asked.

Those are the kinds of statements that chill me. because I know not only is she not the only one, but there are thousands of young people listening to her.

I don’t know why more people aren’t teaching the younger generatations about the price paid for personal liberty and the cost of giving it up. But I know this: You can teach your kids the way the world should be or pop culture can do it.

Which do you think is best in the long run, both for your kids and your country?

Email Nate McCullough at nate.mccullough@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Fridays. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/natemccullough.