We’re blessed with an abundance of rights in this country. We have a right to free speech, the right to practice any religion of our choosing, the right to voice our dissent and peacefully protest. We vote our leaders into office, participate in local government and sit on school boards.
So what do we do when our rights collide? Think about it. There’s approximately 314 million people in this country. That’s 314 million people from all over the world with vastly different opinions and preferences, tastes and traditions. The religion your family has devoutly practiced for generations is referred to as witchcraft by others. The clothes that you choose to wear are frowned upon by more conservative types. Your thoughts and beliefs are 180° from people you work with every day.
Who has more rights: you or me? You’re signing petitions to get my favorite show removed from the air. Do your rights go beyond not watching it? Do you have the right to have it removed from the air? Don’t I have the right to watch it? The music you buy offends some people. They work to have it pulled from the shelves. Your free speech is vehemently opposed by others, so they sue to have your rights rescinded. Who has more rights: the speakers or those who don’t want to listen?
“America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You’ve gotta want it bad, cause it’s gonna put up a fight.”
When I was in college, a 17-year-old went to a store in our city and bought music his dad didn’t approve of. Instead of being angry at his son, the father was incensed that music with explicit lyrics was for sale — anywhere. He started a petition, rallied friends & families and insisted that his 17-year-old son should not be tempted by this evil music. The store, an international chain, responded by pulling all explicit lyric music from its shelves. A journalist from our school paper wrote an article explaining how quickly we wouldn’t have any music left in the world following this trend. Trust me, no matter how much you love something, someone somewhere hates it.
Let your voice be heard on this important subject.
Who’s rights prevail when our rights collide?
How far do our rights go — to change the channel or have a show removed from the air?
International friends, how is this dilemma handled in your country?
I’m looking forward to your thoughts!