Monday, June 16, 2014

Freedom To Say...Part 2

Free speech is meant to protect unpopular speech. Popular speech, by definition, needs no protection.

Neal Boortz

Part 1

My first thought when I read about the "Merry Christmas Bill"  was who's going to stop me?  Even if  it's against the law, I can still say Merry Christmas.   There would be consequences for it, but could someone really stop me?   Lawyers use that trick all the come when they follow a statement by a hasty "withdrawn."
My second thought:  Censorship and Word Bullies.  (ok, those are two thoughts)
 We don't get to pick and choose when it comes to freedoms, especially of speech.  To have freedom risks that we are going to hear things we don't like. We either accept this or it borders on Censorship. 
It also means people are going to say hateful, stupid things.  That's their right.  Let them.  It makes them look as stupid as their words. 
The Freedom remains true even if the people act like morons. 
Stand Up to Word Bullies
Sticks and Stones--words hurt, but I'm the one who lets them control me.   
Most of the time it just makes me sad when people say mean things.  I'm know myself and my beliefs so am not threatened by what you say.  In fact, other views challenge me to exam my own ideas.  This is not a bad thing, but it does take confidence. 
The thing is, laws and governments don't make people get along;  some laws cause even more divisions.  Like Nietzsche said, interpretation is a function of power, not truth. Law can  impose consequences.  There will be people who believe their right is worth the price--including torture and death.
Even in America where we're so tolerant and free* there's divisions, anger, and even physical harm because of words. To stand up to these bullies isn't easy, especially when you're going against the majority. 
A part of Freedom of Speech is Freedom to Respond.  I can retaliate out of anger and hurt. Or I can respond out of Love and Respect. 
It takes individual responsibility to break the chain--just one person saying "No, that's not true."  or "No, I'm going to choose not to continue this." is what it takes.  Sure, you may just be planting a seed, but someone else waters it, etc....
Everyday I hear things that are hurtful--things said to me, things said to other people, things I've said.  At the end of the day, I'm responsible for me. I'm the one who controls me.  When other people or circumstances are in charge it's because I let them. 
My response is to not be the victim. I can't make people like me. I can't make people only say nice things.   I can't make them accept me.  And there may come a day when what I say or do lands me in prison--I hope not but anything's possible.
But I retain power over my heart, mind, thoughts.  These are places others can't get into unless I let them.

TBC Tues/Wed--Part 3

*note:  yes, I'm being sarcastic if you didn't get it. 

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