CAMBRIDGE, MA, March 17 ( – Speaking at a Harvard Law School Forum last month,  Charlton Heston challenged students to exercise intellectual independence, and condemned the stifling culture of “anti-intellectual” political correctness on university campuses as well as in society at large. He told his audience that America was engaged in a “culture war” and that sitting on the sidelines wasn’t an option. As president of the National Rifle Association, Heston has faced the wrath of almost every liberal pundit in America over the past year.

Rebutting some of those attacks, he said “If you talk about race, it does not make you a racist; if you see distinctions between the genders, it does not make you a sexist; if you think critically about a denomination, it does not make you anti-religion; if you accept but don’t celebrate homosexuality, it does not make you a homophobe.”

The key to prevailing against the “pervasive social subjugation,” Heston says is “simply disobey.” “When told how to think or what to say or how to behave, we don’t, we disobey social protocol that stifles and stigmatizes personal freedom,” says Heston. This was the lesson he said he learned “36 years ago, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., standing with Dr. Martin Luther King and two hundred thousand people.” “Simply … disobey,” says Heston, “Peaceably, yes. Respectfully, of course. Nonviolently,  absolutely.” But, he ads, “be careful … it hurts … Disobedience demands that you put yourself at risk … you must be willing to be humiliated … you must be willing to experience discomfort.”

Citing a personal example, Heston relates how against the advice of family and colleagues,  he stood up at a Time/Warner investors meeting and read the lyrics of Ice-T’s “Cop Killer”  song in order to force the company to abandon its promotion of the rapper. The entertainment giant was forced to terminate its contract with Ice-T two months later.

For audio and text of this uplifting speech, click here.