spirit of tolerance

I was dinking around the internet today and stumbled across a site for quotations. www.quotationspage.com/

It’s a lazy day here today so I was sifting through a few of the more familiar names in an effort to kick start my brain when I found this tidbit:

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population. Albert Einstein

Laws alone can not…..

Here is the law:
The Bill of Rights — Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Where is the spirit of tolerance?

It seems more often than not people use their freedom of speech to tell other people their opinion doesn’t matter. Frankly this is a waste of time, but you have the freedom to waste as much time as you want. That’s one of the luxuries we have as U.S. citizens.

Never forget the fact EVERY citizen has the SAME right to speak. (If I had the power I would amend the law to say every LAW ABIDING citizen, but that’s another discussion.) George Genius has the same rights as Mike Moron. The SAME. Mike’s opinion might be less accurate, less intuitive, less pertinent, (or more) than George’s. These factors are totally irrelevant to the right to voice said opinion. Each has the right to speak. Being stupid or smart is an individual choice left up to the speaker.

It seems more and more people think being offended by what another says or does entitles them to something other than being offended. (Here we exempt libel and slander from today’s discussion as those are personal attacks and not general comments.)

Here are a few tips for all you offended people:

1- If you don’t like what’s on TV, change the channel until you do. There is no law in this country that forces you to watch TV programs with content you find objectionable. If you are so offended you lose the ability to work the clicker go find something else to do with your time.

2- If you don’t like a slogan or poster in someone’s place of business, don’t read it or don’t go there again. They have the right to post information they like without getting your approval. EVER. Just as you have the right to not do business with them. I’m sure someone will say what about public places? Ok. If Mike or George has the right to post info on a public wall then so do you. Go right ahead and put up whatever you want. Just don’t cover up theirs as this constitutes a violation of their freedoms.

3- If you don’t like how someone is dressed, too bad.

4- If you don’t like what people do on their own property, too bad.

I could go on, but by now even you offended people should see the pattern.

If you don’t like it, fine. You have the right to not like whatever you choose. Your not liking it, in no way constitutes me being required to stop. You see, MY LIKING IS JUST AS VALID AS YOUR NOT LIKING.

So.
If I want to put a flag out on my lawn I’m gonna. If said flag happens to offend you; stay off my lawn. Incidentally my big fuzzy dog gets offended when people walk on the grass where he poops. I’ll let you discuss that with him if you want. If you persist and need further persuasion to let me have my freedom, you should remember: on my dirt I can carry anything I want, loaded, in a holster, in plain view, on my hip.

If you are late for your arrival at your next destination; I am in no way required to drive above the speed limit to accommodate your poor planning. No amount of noise from your vehicle’s horn is capable of convincing me I need to break the law.

If you walk within 6 feet of me while I am walking my dog and I have not given you permission to pet him you have invaded his/our personal space and you get what you deserve.

If you walk up and stand in my campfire and get burnt, that’s on you. It’s not my fault you don’t look where you step.

At no point did I say “you should not do” any of the above (although that would be my recommendation). You have the freedom to step in dog poop, honk your car horn, attempt to pet a werewolf, test my aim or walk through fire if you choose.

In summary: you have the right to speak. You speaking should in no way restrict MY right to speak. While you are out exercising your right to free speech, never forget to be tolerant of mine.

We should also remember the wording of the first amendment. It reads “Congress shall make no law …” not ‘the people have rights’. The Bill of Rights is not merely a list of our freedoms; it is a list of freedoms the FEDERAL government is expressly not allowed to violate. It is not ‘giving the people permission’ it is ‘restricting the federal government’s power’.

from The Preamble to The Bill of Rights:
The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

Essentially meaning: a number of states will only adopt the constitution if the federal government is limited in this fashion from infringing these rights of the people.

The fact we continue to elect politicians who seem to think offended people have more rights and we keep letting them draft more and more legislation to limit our freedoms offends me.

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Posted on June 23, 2008, in constitution, freedom. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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