Enjoy Your Freedom of Speech

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Do you realize how lucky you are to live in the United States? Though we have lost freedoms in recent years, we continue to have more freedoms than those living in most other countries.

I am as disgusted by photos of people stomping on and burning our flag. But, those people have the right to do that and they do not fear arrest or other legal reprisal for their actions. Try abusing a flag in some of the countries under marshal law. It isn’t something you would even attempt.

Citizens of the United States can express their frustrations in many ways citizens of other countries would not consider. Check out social media, almost any opinion is available to read, from far left to far right, and everything in between. Everyone has an opinion, and most share it freely on Facebook, Twitter, and the multitude of other outlets for expression. Calls to elect are often beside calls to impeach or requests to change the time periods for elected officials. No one is arrested.

In the last weeks, a furor has arisen surrounding the Confederate battle flag. Masses have gathered to demonstrate both for and against the flying of the flag. Fist fights resulted as people from both sides lost control of their tempers. Some were arrested for disorderly conduct. None were arrested for expressing their opinions.

We have lost many of our freedoms in the name of “protection.” I fear the loss of more of our freedoms. For now, I am grateful we still have so many.

Happy Independence Day!

Do We Remember and Honor Our Past?

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Living with a historian is different from living with men of other professions. My historian studies many eras and times, much of it entered into because of genealogical interest, but often focuses on World War II and its implications in our lives today. Any date of interest in that time period is accompanied by movies memorializing the efforts of men fighting for freedom.
Among his studies of the time is what some consider to be a fascination with the Jewish genocide. His claim is his interest is not so much a fascination, but a struggle to understand how people could behave as those men, and women, did—closing their eyes to the horrors inflicted on others, or participating, willingly or not. How could they?
This is a time to memorialize and remember those who gave their lives that we might be free, in all the wars men and women have fought. For many of us, these men and women are our fathers, grandfathers, and uncles, our ancestors. They held on to a belief that freedom of thought and enterprise encompasses great enough value to give a portion of their life, or their death to achieve. These men and women fought with words and weapons to provide that freedom for us, their descendants, and those who came to this beautiful country to find the peace this freedom brings.
As we remember those who gave their all, let us honor their sacrifice. Our lives honor them by doing all we can to maintain the freedom they gave us. Many today do not honor those efforts, those lives. Instead, they blithely give away our freedom to others who would destroy us. For what? Power? Wealth?
There is a faction in the world who desire to destroy us, fearful or jealous of our liberty, our opportunities, our abilities to choose our path. Some have not chosen wisely or well, giving away rights for safety.
Safety is not everything expected. It is good to want relief from danger. Yet, it is in the desire for safety that civilizations give away freedoms and rights. It is in the desire for safe prosperity that gives way to inhuman acts such as occurred in Germany during the second World War.
Have a care. Consider the desirability of the safety offered. Is it really something leading to a better world for all, or just a better world for a few. Too often, when all is said and done, when the effects of the act are truly made visible, laws made for safety and security have done more to destroy our independence and freedom than overt war.
What do you think? Share your opinions.

Ancient Matriarchs: Eve, First Matriarch coming soon.

It’s Time to Stand for Freedom

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I totally believe in freedom of religion and religious instruction. However, our Constitution included a short amendment which our forefathers believed extremely important. In fact, it became the first, and most important to them. It reads:

          “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,”

Congress shall make no law to establish religion or prohibit free exercise of religion. Sounds simple. But it has not been.

Over the last century men and women forget the second part of that statement, believing that religion has no place in our lives. Religion has slowly been banned from our public lives. Children can no longer offer a prayer in school to gain divine help on a test; athletes are disrespected if they bow to offer a quick prayer of thanks after a difficult play; graduates are no longer allowed to pray at a graduation; and military can no longer admit to their religious beliefs. Symbols of belief are removed from all public display. Unless they are Muslim beliefs.

It is near the holidays. Most schools no longer have “Christmas holidays” or “Christmas programs.” They allow winter holidays, or holiday programs, but Christianity has been removed part and parcel from our lives, except in our churches.

Unless it is Muslim beliefs. Muslims seem not to be confronted with the “separation of church and state” myth. Schools are allowed to force the Muslim religion on all students as part of “history,” yet there can be nothing said about the changes in history because of a Christian religion. Good, honest citizens who respect the flag of our country and the veterans who fought to protect our freedoms are fined and forced to remove that flag, yet Muslim flags representing vile and despicable groups are allowed.

What ever happened to that part of the first amendment that protects the prohibition of the exercise of religion? Nowhere does it say only the Muslims are protected, nor does it say only Christians or Jews or Hindus or Buddhists can only be protected. It suggests all are protected from prohibition of religion.

Why, then, are students, athletes, believers in Christ or Jehovah, or any other deity denied the right to offer thanks to their God, unless it is Allah? Our freedoms give each of us the right to believe and worship “according to the dictates of our own conscious”. Every person in this great and grand country has that right, NOT just the Muslims.

We need to stand for our individual rights of worship and refuse to allow only one group those sacred rights. If we do not make it clear to others that we refuse to be denied this particular right, we will lose all our freedoms. The one particular group who is getting everything it wants because too many people fear retribution will take all our rights, and gain control of everything in our beautiful country, without a fight, with no shot fired, as we bend over in fear.

Choose freedom! Be counted as one who refuses to lose the rights so much a part of our country, those rights which make us special and free. Others of those freedoms itemized in the Bill of Rights are under attack, but the first and foremost, the one that will determine all the rest of our freedoms is the freedom to worship as we choose. Do not allow others to destroy that freedom, or any of the others!

Fear of Offense

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Something weird is happening to America. We have accepted people of all nations and religions, eventually with joy. We have been called a “melting pot” and a “stew of nations.” In the early years people emigrating from a new location, such as Ireland and Italy, were met with dismay and suspicion. Never, however, did Americans bow down to a new group of people in fear of offense.

Let me say upfront that the tenants of my religion include:

“We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”

In the history of my religious belief, men and women faced angry mobs intent on killing or ejecting them from their state many times. Even today we face a lack of respect and suspicion.

When I see Facebook memes suggesting Muslims should be forced to give up their sacred women’s clothing, or forced to give up something sacred to them, I cringe and remind my friends this has happened to us. We must be fair, kind, and loving, not fearful.

However, why should we be so condescending to remove all of the things we love that may offend a Muslim? We have had Muslims in our midst for many years, and have not had problems. They have not demanded we take the cleansing packets from Kentucky Fried Chicken, and why should they? If they don’t want it, they don’t have to take it! Yet, some stores are fearful of offense.

In one state, a store helped a city pay for upgrades to a street, earning the right to put up a sign. It included the word “bacon”. I don’t remember who complained, but they had to remove the offensive word. It offended Muslims. This practice continues throughout our country. We fearfully suggest they be ejected, or we do silly things to avoid offense.

Purposely offending others occurs all the time by “comedians” who purposely give offense to everyone as though it is funny. It is not. There is nothing funny about offense. Friends will tease and say hurtful things in jest, and hurt a friendship. Nothing good ever comes from purposeful offense.

Nothing good comes from fearfully attempting to not give offense, either. We have gone too far in this. We live here in this country, too. We have rights, and I am offended by the fear that drives commercial establishments to remove items for that reason!

Most heinous is that communities are denying citizens the right to fly the American flag, as it may “offend” some part of a community! The flag is a symbol of each citizen’s rights to freedom, fought and paid for by our soldier’s blood. We allow others to fly the flags of the country from which they came, but we don’t allow our flag to fly? Ridiculous!!!!

People move expecting certain rights and opportunities in the city, state, or country. The Statue of Liberty and our flag suggest welcoming them, and allowing newcomers to enjoy our freedoms. They come for our culture, our freedom, our opportunities, and then complain about the culture that provides the very freedom and opportunity they crave. I have seen this happen in cities and states. Now it is happening in our beautiful country. People arrive and take advantage of the benefits provided by our culture; the freedoms earned by the protection of our flag, and are offended by them?

I hate to say it, but the airplane, the road, or the boat that brought them here travels in the reverse direction. Those who are offended by our culture, our bacon, our clean wipes, our flag, can suck it up and be decent human beings, or they can go home!

Without the culture we have developed over the past two centuries, there would be no United States for others to flee to for safety, no place of opportunity so freely available. Because of our culture, we have accepted immigrants whether they arrive legally or not. That, too, is part of our culture. Early settlers came to this country seeking freedoms not available in their home countries. Those freedoms have been earned and rights have been given. No newcomer has the right to disrespect the freedoms and rights won for them by others. No newcomer has the right to receive the benefits of our culture and our willingness to accept them and reject the flag and laws that made the available.

Citizens of this great United States need to get a grip and stop fearing others. We should not purposely give offense, but we should continue to have the right to be free Americans, and enjoy our culture, especially the right to fly the flag of our country, freely.