I live in the greatest country in the world. I know this because there is no other place on Earth quite like it. It is amazing the vast riches we have, and this minor thing we wrote called a Constitution. There is a clause in this wonderful system that gave us the right to be able to say whatever we have on our minds. Freedom of Speech. I am a big fan of it, because, it allows me to state my opinions today, and share them in this blog.
However, there is a time and a place for my thoughts to become public ones. I have to use some measure of restraint when I am putting together these posts. One, I would hate to look ignorant on the topic I am speaking about, and two, it has to be a coherent message or else, no one would come back. So, I put a little thought behind it, give it a few once-overs before hitting the publish button, and I think that serves me well.
What I can not stand is when people take their thoughts, throw them out into the air, and have little regard for the context, content, or the presentation of what they are saying. It drives me nuts, even more than the point that I am already certified for. So, today, I was going through the news, and I came upon this article on at Huffington Post, or blog post from the Executive Religion Editor.(http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-raushenbush/phil-robertsons-atheist-fantasy_b_6938564.html) I had no idea there was such a job in the first place, but none-the-less, it was not a bad blog. I had a problem with the lumping of all Christians into the same category and portrayed as fanatics, but I think the point that he was getting at was respecting and listening to all points of view. The biggest problem I had was the 210ish comments that came afterwards.
Have we as a nation let anger become our prevailing feeling? Have we become so closed minded to anyone’s view point that we have no decided that we can spew forth hatred and anger at everyone? That is all it was, line after line of pure bitterness towards our fellow neighbors. I don’t agree with Phil Robertson wholly, and I don’t agree with Paul Brandeis Raushenbush wholly. I am not saying I support either one at all. I am saying, the free form comments that came about after this article made me really wonder how we even survive together on a daily basis. No one (except maybe one or two people) had any respect for each other, or seemed to care about lumping groups of people together and spewing rhetoric towards them in a demeaning manner. Is that really how jaded of a society we have become? These comments are out there forever now, and anyone can see them, forever. If you had never stepped foot in my country today, and used this blog and all of its comments to get a feel of what it is like, you would turn back around. I was not proud to read this, or proud of my fellow neighbors after this.
This is not what we should be doing. We should be teaching respect for one another and their views. We don’t have to agree, but there should still be some dignity brought to a debate. It is barbaric for people in a “modern and free society” to have such little respect for each other, and throw word our with little regard for researching the other sides history or even asking them to clarify a statement. We should show dignity to our fellow humans. I am a proud Catholic, who is an individual with opinions. Not everyone will agree with me all the time, but I will show them respect, just as I should be shown respect in return. Freedom of Speech comes with great responsibility, and just because the microphone is in front of you, doesn’t mean you have to use it all the time, nor should you use it at the expense of others. God says to Love Thy Neighbor……….