This week it seems the United States has been inundated with information on flags. I wish we would quit focusing so much on flags and focus on the issue and feelings.
The Confederate Flag elicits quite a few reactions. I try to be unbiased and understand both sides. I am a Southerner. I understand that it is part of our heritage. But I also understand that some people are offended by the fact that the flag is flying on governmental property. Since the governmental property is actually owned by citizens, maybe we shouldn’t fly it there. If you want to fly it at your residence, feel free. Although a flag isn’t truly speech, I have heard it falls under the protection of the Freedom of Speech. So what you do at home is fine. What politicians are saying for us by flying the flag on public property is not fine.
The rainbow flag has been everywhere because of the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage. Many Christian groups are very upset about this and are quite vocal about it. As a Christian, I believe that sins of others have no bearing on my life typically. Unless these people are infringing on my rights and life, I have no right to infringe on theirs. People often quote pieces of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence to speak negatively about all of this. One important thing the Declaration of Independence states, which is a chief cause for our nation to have separated from England is:
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
I didn’t write that. Thomas Jefferson did. If it makes people happy to marry (which I really wonder about their sanity j/k), then let them. Their “sin” won’t affect you and you will not have oppressed someone by denying their unalienable right to happiness (again questioning someone’s sanity about happiness of marriage).
Now, by the same token that I am saying we shouldn’t oppress someone, I am also stating that I believe we shouldn’t deny people who disagree their right to the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.
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.
Pretty much it means that you have the right to say what you want and I also have that same right. We may not agree, but we have the right to say, think and feel the way we do. It is my opinion that we should be tolerant and accepting of people’s right–even when they are not our own. I certainly wouldn’t want that right taken from me. Would you?