Friday, July 3, 2015

What does freedom in America really mean anymore?

Freedom in America. What does it mean? 

As I celebrate my freedom to sit on my porch and write as laundry flaps in the breeze, I am grateful for the bravery and sacrifice of so many who made this type of life possible. But there's a part of me that fears what's happening as I see freedoms being stripped away bit by bit.

Freedom of speech has become a joke in this country. While I don't subscribe to or condone name-calling, bullying, or speech that indicates any type of prejudice, I'm concerned about this freedom being taken away. It's getting to the point where I believe the government should just write their version of politically correct speeches and dole them out to the rest of us so we don't, gasp, misspeak at any time. This is especially true of public figures, newscasters, and celebrities. God forbid they speak their mind in this "free" country of ours. When will it stop? Will we all eventually be issued a list of forbidden words and phrases?

You know what? I was mocked for being skinny all through my childhood. It may or may not have caused me some permanent damage in the self-esteem department. Maybe I should petition to have the word "skinny" banned. What do you think? 

The bottom line is, not everyone is going to agree with your beliefs, lifestyle, clothing choice, size, hair color, tattoos, body piercings, sexual preference, taste in music, religion, or which side of the climate change debate you end up on. We're all different. When, my dear friends, did that become wrong? When did we lose the freedom to think as individuals, rather than as a so-deemed politically correct group??

Personally, I subscribe to the life choice of being kind. Therefore, I'm not going to resort to name calling, even when I may not agree with someone. 

Here are some things I hate:
  • tattoos
  • pee on public toilet seats
  • barking dogs
  • rap music
  • prejudice against a group of people
  • smoking
  • wastefulness
  • self-righteousness
  • inflexibility
  • people's intolerance of Christian beliefs
  • corporate greed
  • Monsanto
  • backyard fireworks
  • toxic products
  • disposable diapers
  • GMOs
Okay, the list could go on. But let me tell you something -- none of the above gives me the right to be unkind. But I do have the right to feel the way I do. And so do you. Your list may differ vastly from mine, and that's okay. Freedom dictates that it's okay, doesn't it? Didn't our forefathers establish this country to escape a forced belief system? 

Let's make a deal. I will respect your choices, feelings, and beliefs, if you will do the same for me. Perhaps you think some of my beliefs are just plain crazy. That's okay. But it's not okay for you to treat me like an idiot because of them. Or is it? After all, we're living in the United States of America, Home of the Free and the Brave. Let's suck it up, folks, and toughen up a bit. We're free. We're brave. Let's unite in our fight to keep it that way. Can I hear an Amen?

May you have a safe and happy 4th of July weekend,

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