One of the defining characteristics of art is its ability to affect people in staggeringly different ways. Some might find a painting inspirational; others might find it poignant; still others might find it offensive.
As the Supreme Court explained in 1971 in Cohen vs. California, “one man’s vulgarity is another’s lyric.” This is particularly true when an artist attempts to push boundaries. A society dedicated to freedom of expression ought to welcome such work and the potential for thoughtful provocation that it offers.
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Greg Lukianoff is president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, an organization whose mission of protecting campus rights concentrates on freedom of speech and expression; religious liberty and freedom of association; freedom of conscience; and due process and legal equality. Lukianoff is the author of “Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate” (Encounter Books, 2012).