Bill Hicks and a Priest Don’t Walk Into a Bar – They Send Letters
Back in 1993 a priest wrote to Channel 4, complaining about their airing of Bill Hick’s “blasphemous” special Revelations. Smartly, and luckily for us, the network let Hicks respond directly. The result of which, is a funny, articulate, not particularly angry letter that perfectly encapsulates Hicks’ view on freedom of speech and religion. He writes:
“Where I come from — America — there exists this wacky concept called ‘freedom of speech’, which many people feel is one of the paramount achievements in mankind’s mental development. I myself am a strong supporter of the ‘Right of freedom of speech’, as I’m sure most people would be if they truly understood the concept. ‘Freedom of speech’ means you support the right of people to say exactly those ideas which you do not agree with. (Otherwise, you don’t believe in ‘freedom of speech’, but rather only those ideas which you believe to be acceptably stated.) Seeing as how there are so many different beliefs in the world, and as it would be virtually impossible for all of us to agree on any one belief, you may begin to realize just how important an idea like ‘freedom of speech’ really is. The idea basically states ‘while I don’t agree or care for what you are saying, I do support your right to say it, for herein lies true freedom’.”
The rest of the letter, which can be found here, is peak behind the curtain at the opinions and philosophy that informed his standup.