This land was made for you and me

I've been both busy and not feeling well over the last few days, so blogging hasn't really been a priority for me.  While I haven't been writing, I have been reading a lot of blogs but commenting, like blogging, has been less of a priority than just reading what others have had to say.  On that count, while making the rounds, I read something that really upset me.  I don't want to address everything this person said, because I feel like this person was always more capable of upsetting me than anyone else might, and we have very different opinions and debating the issue would just upset me more and get nowhere.  However, there is something I want to say because it's been bothering me and I need to get it off my chest.  Please, understand that I'm not interested in debating politics (another reason I'm not discussing the other person's opinions), but the point I'm about to make is one I stand firmly upon and when I say "you" or "me" I mean everyone, including myself.

It is never okay to tell another person that they should leave their own country just because they have a different opinion or political persuasion than you do.

Yes, that one sentence gets to be its own paragraph.  Calling someone less patriotic than you are, or "inviting" them to go find another country to live in, because they may be more liberal or more conservative than you are is degrading and should cross the line of what is and is not appropriate to a debate on political matters.  We live in a country where everyone has the first amendment right to exercise free speech and freedom of religion.  They should be able to do so, on both counts, without fear that someone who doesn't agree with them will ostracize them, or worse yet, "invite" them to exile, or worse even still, commit an act of violence against them.

Every single American should have the right to their opinion, so long as their opinion does not injure someone else, it's called liberty.  When it does injure someone else, it becomes license and should not be tolerated, as license treads upon the fabric of liberty.  Trying to silence those with different opinions, in telling them to leave their own country, is inexcusable and should never happen.  We are all responsible for what we say, and what we do (a lesson I've learned in technicolor recently) and that responsibility extends to knowing what is and is not appropriate to say in the interest of winning an argument or making a point.  Just like with any argument, it is possible to cross the line.

Restraint should come into the picture somewhere, as without it, freedom of speech means nothing.  If we abuse our rights, then they mean less. Every single American should have the right to say what they think, or believe, without fear of retribution but should also understand that every other American has the same exact right.  We should all be able to have an opinion on our government without being told our opinions are inferior and that we should leave. 

This country belongs to every single citizen living in it.

It even belongs to those citizens with a different opinion than you have. I acknowledge that the person whose opinion offended me has a right to it.  Likewise, that person, and people like them, should have the same understanding that if my opinions are different I'm still entitled to them as an American.  I would never suggest that they move to another country because I don't believe the same thing they do, and they should likewise not infer the same about me.  It is when they do, when they tell others who disagree with them that they should go somewhere else, that they have committed license against that person's freedoms and liberties.

No person has the right to make fellow countrymen feel inferior for thinking.

11 comments

  1. See, that is the reason that I don't really write about politics (aside from my enemies list posts.
    .-= MC´s last blog ..Week 28: Pageant of the Transmundane =-.

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  2. Overall, my policy is to walk a long line around political discussion. Sometimes, though, I see something so upsetting, I feel like I need to talk about it. I tried very hard, with this post, not to be political but express how I felt on this one issue.

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  3. I know exactly who wrote the post in question (it wasn't exactly rocket science figuring that one out). I re-read it, trying to see what you were seeing. Most of it seemed fine (merely someone's opinion), but I can see how that last paragraph could be offensive...which is hard for me to say, because you know where I stand regarding politics. Anyway, I can't say that I completely agree with everything you expressed in your post, but thanks for sharing your viewpoint. It's always an eye-opening experience to get a glimpse of both sides of the coin.

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  4. I'm glad to oblige, Jodi, and I didn't expect for anyone to just see what I said and agree with me. I just needed to say how I feel and I appreciate you respecting that. :)

    Though, I must say, it wasn't so much that I was trying to hide who offended me. It was more that I was trying to present the issue in a way that people who hadn't read what was said could still consider what I said in a meaningful way, whether they agreed or not.

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  5. Kristyn,
    I absolutely agree with you on this, and it is an offense for which the left and right winged are guilty of committing. Your statement, "No person has the right to make fellow countrymen feel inferior for thinking"...it reminded me of how the lamestream media and MSNBC treated the protesters of the healthcare bill. They called them "tea baggers," and Nancy Pelozi compared them to Nazis, even though these were just people excercising their right to protest. I admit it--I just utilized your whole point to push forward my political agenda, haha! However, your message IS universal, regardless of where your political affilations lie. It's simple: Be respectful. Even if you disagree.

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  6. Oh, I never thought you were trying to "hide" who offended you Kristyn; honestly, I was just proud of my detective skills, hence my announcement of "I know exactly blah blah blah." LOL--pathetic, I know. ;-) And your rationale about presenting the issue in an objective way makes a lot of sense.

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  7. I absolutely support the right for every person to have opinions and a "political agenda." I know that you and Jodi don't follow along the same political line I do, but I think this is an issue both sides are guilty of. I mean, debate is fine, even my husband Matt and I don't always agree on everything. His political opinions are closer to the middle than mine and we debate all the time, I know he doesn't support some of my ideas.

    I just wish it didn't come down to people telling others they should leave the country if they don't agree with them. It comes down to one thing, we're all here, we all work and live together, we should all be respectful of one another. It's something I've recently become much more conscious of because of you and Jodi, honestly. We're accountable for what we say and do and we should respect one another. Absolutely.

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  8. LOL. :D No, I didn't think it would be difficult for you to figure it out. I didn't want to link there because I feel like he should have a right to whatever he wants to say. I just wanted to say what I had to say in a way that didn't stir things up.

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  9. Reading your post again, Kristyn, and reading Shannon's comment, I have to completely agree with both of you. Regardless of where Americans reside on the political spectrum, the second they are made to feel inferior based on their beliefs, a line has been crossed.

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  10. I just have to add one more thing, and then I am going to bed (long day today!). One of my good friends (who has very different political views than I) recently commented on a status update of one of her facebook friends. The status update was a conservative political opinion, and my friend had commented (politely) her disagreement. When my friend checked back later, her comment had been deleted! Her facebook friend admitted shortly afterwards that she deleted the comment because she disagreed with it. She also deleted one other non-conservative comment by another individual. My friend was very upset,..and so was I! Why would this girl delete non-offensive comments just because they didn't reflect her beliefs? Is she that insecure? She can only keep those comments that are cheerleading for her? Plus, she dissed my friend! Haha.
    I was reminded of this incident, because of what we were saying about respect. I think if we are firm with our convictions, than it is good to surround ourselves with others who share our views AND who have different views. Only those who are shaky with their beliefs should feel the need to interact with ONLY those with the same beliefs, as they need the continuous reinforcement. If one chooses to interact only with those who have the same beliefs/ideas as them, they are losing out on a learning opportunity to experience a different perspective.
    Thanks for the this recent post--I loved the core message.
    By the way, regarding the above mentioned "facebook friend"...my friend deleted her ass!

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  11. Hahaha!!!
    Yea, politics is usually something that I try to avoid with a 10 foot pole. But - Like you, sometimes I can't keep quiet about it. I have been known to "retort" on occasion.

    My posts are usually quick and to the point then I move on. Just have to get it off my chest. Love your opinions Kris!

    ~SjN
    .-= Shawn´s last blog ..Politics Today, Sesame Street Style! =-.

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