This NY Times article illustrates a real problem facing free speech in our society. As I see it there are three solutions that in some combination will hopefully mitigate this over the long term, but we must be vigilant.
First legal protections, such as those in Colorado and Minnesota and/or judicial protections under the First Amendment will help. Second, many companies and union contacts also have policies or provisions against religious or political discrimination when activities are off of company hours and property. Third, as public disclosure of personal information becomes more common, then individuals will hopefully become more accepting of the diverse opinions and activities of others.
Until these happen and are universally accepted, many people (perhaps including myself) will find it necessary to blog anonymously, which in light of recent and well minded efforts by some groups to protect children and/or security, could itself becoming a suspicious activity.
As I recently stated in a reply to a comment, advances in communication, transportation and the hard sciences [physics, chemistry and biology] have brought not only awareness of differences in cultures and peoples often profound differences in closely held beliefs, but also outright confrontations, especially where two groups both have strong but opposing views of what is right and what is wrong.
In the early years of the internet (before the world wide web), this most often took the form of simple "flame wars". But as the Internet has gotten easier to use and the population using the Internet has expanded, so to have the off line consequences expanded for expressing decenting or unpopular opinions.
I don't know for sure, but I suspect that a former boss may have substantially changed his opinion of my abilities and work performance because he didn't agree with political / religious views expressed or implied in this blog.
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