Thursday, September 8, 2011

I Like Free Speech

I like.....free speech. I have always liked free speech, but a facebook friend of mine had a post about free speech..... and manners and being offensive....and it got me to thinking. So here is my like for the week along with a little soap boxing to boot.

Free speech is an integral part of any free society. It keeps free thought flowing and allows new ideas to grow. It can uplift a country, improve moral and support a movement. It can also start wars, destroy self-worth and turn people on one another. Words have great power....and with that power....comes great responsibility.

I would never support the extinguishing of anyone's free speech. Regardless of how blasphemous, hateful or hurtful someones words are....it is their right in this country to speak them. It is also my right to counter their words with my own or to simply ignore them and walk away. I do not have the right to silence any ones words....unless of course they are coming out of my children's mouths....then that is something quite different. My house is run under a Momarchy which means I have complete control over what is verbally acceptable. But once again....I digress. If we start silencing those we don't want to hear....then we are on a slippery slope to eventually being silenced ourselves.

No....I don't particularly like having political views and religious or non-religous views that I don't agree with thrown in my face. Nor do I like to hear or have my children hear language that is vulgar and inappropriate, but I am not without power. I can speak up and use my power of free speech to voice my own views or my distaste for the vulgar and inappropriate.

And what about being offensive? Should we police that which is offensive? Another very slippery slope. Anyone can choose to be offended. I could talk about being a Catholic and my religious beliefs with no intention what so ever of offending anyone, but because I was speaking of being a Catholic, or a Christian, or simply because I was speaking of religion at all, someone could choose to find what I said offensive. The same if an atheist spoke their beliefs. The content alone could insight offense to someone who chose to be offended. And then there are those who deliberately choose to offend. They stand up and call someone of a different religion, political view point, color or sexual preference derogatory names. This is deliberate offensive free speech at work. Do we squelch them? Put restrictions on what they say? No....because again...where do we draw the line? How long before someone becomes offended by what we say....deliberate or otherwise and we too are restricted or squelched?

Finally what about free speech and manners. It ties in so closely with being offended or rather choosing to be offended. If I spoke about abortion and my beliefs with no intention at all of offending anyone or speaking rudely about anyone, my manners could be impeccable, but you can bet someone will still choose to be offended thus making me yes, mannerly, but in their eyes...also offensive. On the other hand, if someone comes up to you and says you have a face only a mother could love, although very unmannerly, if you were in a setting with friends joking around....it might not be considered offensive, because the individual it was directed at...chose not to be offended.  So how do good manners and free speech go hand in hand? I believe it all comes down to the fact, that when our founding fathers decided that free speech should be a right....they never once envisioned modern day America. They had the expectation that because the people in this new land had fought so hard to get to this place and to not live under the thumb of a king who dictated their every move.....that they would see the importance of free speech and use it with respect......and yes.....manners. In other words....they expected people to be civilized adults and live with the idea that just because you can say something....doesn't always mean you should. And back then, I am sure this was a very valid expectation. Little did they know that well over 200 years later.....a lack of common sense and a certain amount of indecency...not to mention a complete lack of respect for fellow humans and their personal beliefs and the ability for anyone and everyone to find offense just about anywhere......would cause a no holes barred kind of mentality where free speech was concerned.

Are you with me? Are you lost? Are you off getting a snack? Okay...here's my bottom line and what I put on my fb friends post: I am a huge proponent of free speech. The problem with free speech is.....people "love" free speech as long as they are not offended by it. Once offended...that is when people start wanting free speech to be one sided....usually their side. As far as manners go.....I have always lived by the rule, "just because you 'can' say something.....doesn't always mean you should." Why deliberately say something if you know it is going to offend someone else? Why make someone feel less than they are if you can simply keep your mouth shut and avoid it. This is not to say that if you believe strongly in something that you shouldn't speak out, but it is not usually what you say, but how you say it that has a positive or negative effect on others. It you are going to use free speech as your mantra....then learn how to use it for the greater good, not just the ability to run your mouth!


And truthfully....I could have probably said this whole piece in that last paragraph...but I needed a little soap box time....so sorry. So you got both the long rambling version where  I needed to vent a little....write a little and give you more words than your bargained for. And also.... the short, concise, doesn't sound like I am on meds version. Hope you enjoyed them both. 


Oh....and let us not forget to end this day with a smile and remember that tomorrow is FRIDAY! Happy Thursday everyone. 



8 comments:

Anonymous said...

You certainly use your right to free speech well. You seem to love offending at will. Good piece if it just didn't feel so hypocritical.

Anonymous said...

Great blog.

But I would like to add a point. and that is too many Americans have no idea why they have FREE speech. It is not an automatic. Its not considered a basic right, nor is it even a human right in most of the world.

Throughout most countries to freely and openly express your thoughts is an quick death sentence.

My strongest disagrement with too many people in this country is they demand their rights as Americans without any willingness to respect or even understand who earned their FREEDOMS. Our freedoms has been paid for by the spilled blood of selfless patriots for over 200 years. And it continues to this day.

Freedom of Speech is NOT a given. Sure it is written in the Constitution that we have free speech. But it has to be protected by someone. And the people that pay the heavy price to protect the Constitution and the many freedoms is gives us are often disrespected, hated and ignored.

As an example this week in Carson City, NV, several members of our military were gunned down while they where in a restaurant. In reality, they were executed by a madman. Where is the outrage? How does a known lunatic get his hands on not just one, but 3 guns? I'm a gun owner, and I have gone through extensive background checks with ever gun purchase I've made. Our government and its bureaucracies continously show us they cannot manage anything. But yet, we keep handing them our trust.

That aside, I ask you. No. I challenge you that the next time you see a serviceman in uniform to stop and just share a quick thank you for their service and their patriotism with him or her.

They deserve nothing less from us but complete respect and gratitude. After all, they are willing to die so that we may live FREE.

God Bless them one and all,

Steve J.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,

You speak out of complete ignorance once again. Nonetheless, your right to speak stupidly is protected. But know that with FREE speech comes responsibility. And you seem to have no grasp of that concept at all. No one owes you anything. Not even happiness. You got to earn it.

And it seems the only right you are willing to defend is your own selfish, hurtful and juvenile behavior.

After your done playing your video games and watching mindless TV, please take the time to read not only the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, but the history behind those documents. These documents give you the right to spew your immaturity. By reading what is so important to us as Americans, you might learn something. And maybe, just maybe you might think before you post next time.

Grow up,

Steve J.

Thiry said...

Did I mention the word jackass, the other day...today I will go with stupid ass...it really doesn't get any more pathetic

Cmom said...

Well said both Steve and Thiry!

Melissa said...

GREAT post! I am sharing with all my friends! This has been on my mind lately.

Buddy said...

Hey It's me Buddy, I think I will start following your posts now good job!

Marni said...

Great blog Lisa.
Anonymous....Lisa does not purposely go out of her way to offend people. That is never her intention. On the other hand you purposely come to read her blog to pick out what YOU feel is offensive and you drill out an offinsive comment right at her. You choose to be offinsive. I believe that you are being hypocritical.
BUT as stated that is what Free Speech is all about. Some choose to use it to carry on a valid purpose and others, like yourself just choose it to be offensive to others.

Steve....what you wrote....THANK YOU so very much for your words. This weighs very heavy on my heart as to how our Heros are treated. Please everyone SAY Thank You...they deserve it!!!!!