No, we don’t burn down the nearest Kentucky Fried Chicken place nor do we attempt to kill or maim someone else because they don’t hold our particular viewpoint.
But lately, there has been a stilting of freedom in America as people refuse to discuss important ideas and issues. All too often, people just walk away from each other and cluster into circles where everyone safely agrees. The idea of challenging one’s preconceived ideas is somehow taboo.
There is nothing more invigorating than talking with people and hearing what they believe and why they believe.
This whole issue, for example, in the Middle East isn’t even about some film or some religion – it’s about free speech! We forget that it took hundreds of years for Western Civilization to finally understand its value. We wag our finger at the radical Islamists and forget that Massachusetts once was just as intolerant! (We were once a Constitutional Theocracy and actually put to death people who didn’t practice the approved religion.) And Christians may think they are superior but then forget our past. Ever read Foxe’s Book of Martyrs?
Here’s a solution! We’ll get rid of God and Religion! China and Russia did and outdid the Inquisition many times over!
The fact is that common courtesy to hear each other’s opinions is now and was a rarity in World History. We should not shrink from such a wonderful present state. Not only do we have a Capitalist economy with it’s marketplace but we have a wonderful Marketplace of Ideas in America.
It is the free exchange of information that still causes 80% of the world’s inventions and patents to come from the United States.
As we discuss, we should be bringing forth facts, historical precedents, ideas and rational thought. Emotional outbursts should be relegated to passion for one’s cause and not fall into the negative zone of anger and hate.
Then when we come together, the exchange of thoughts should challenge and excite and in the end, enrich us as mature, well-rounded individuals.