This post started from this simple thought “at what point does being Politically Correct infringe on Free Speech”. That thought has grown considerably and this day before Thanksgiving and I begin to wonder at what point to being Politically Correct, for fear of offending someone, begin to infringe on other rights? Please feel free to read on and please, feel free to be offended.
So I get the usual range of emails from folk that I pretty much consider spam. The topics vary but here’s a sampling:
- If you love Jesus you will forward this email to everyone you know and Jesus will love you back! – Now this one was sent by a cousin. She happened to catch me in a particular mood and I responded to her email explaining how my personal belief system (I do believe in God BTW, just in case you want to know) has nothing to do with forwarding an email. Wouldn’t you know it, I haven’t got another email from that cousin *ever*. I guess Jesus still loves me, but she doesn’t.
- Pictures of Obama at a service of some sort where the National Anthem was being played and he didn’t have his hand over his heart. So I have mixed feelings about this, it goes against how I was raised. However, he showed more respect by standing, hands clasp in front of him, than most people at ball games who take the time to order a beer, don’t remove their hats and chat with their follow fans. I’m just saying, don’t throw the stone if you don’t follow the rules. Even then, “land of the free” carries a lot of meaning…which is where this general entry is going.
- And then there’s the one’s about gun control and how we are going to wake up one morning and the president is going to have signed some treaty that requires all US citizens to hand over their guns (based off of this article). OK, sounds ludicrous, but I suppose it could happen, don’t see how (think Appalachia here folks — I’m from Appalachia, I can use the stereotype!) not to mention Montana and Texas, how about Louisiana and let’s not forget New York…) I hope you see where I’m going here. Besides, my idea of gun control is hitting what you aim for and, as my Daddy always said, “make sure you know your target, and never pull a gun on someone unless you intend to use it”. Following those simple rules, I’ve never shot something I didn’t intend to (yeah, this is a call to those hunters that “accidentally” — not saying accidents don’t happen — shot someone, you didn’t make sure you knew your target didn’t ya? You were excited and fired blindly at some noise) and I’ve NEVER pulled a gun on a person.
The most recent one I got, which got me on this topic (I know long winded way to get here wasn’t it?) was about Professor Wichman from Michigan University, this was from 2006 and it’s still going around the internet. The story from Snopes is here http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/wichman.asp.
Basically, there was a cartoon that depicted Muhammad as a terrorist and the Muslim student center was in protest over it. In response, Prof. Wichman sent a letter saying he was offended by the fact they were offended. He further went on to say that if they didn’t like the values of the west (1st Amendment) that they should feel free to return to their Ancestral homelands.
I’ve got to say, I agree with him. I remember the cartoon and I remember the outrage caused by the cartoon. So, here’s my thing, I will defend your rights to believe how you want to believe (or not believe), but if you don’t return those rights the systems falls apart. This is a *great* country, not without flaws mind you, but a great country. You have a right to freedom of speech, a right to freedom of religion (and by definition, freedom *from* religion), however, as a friend pointed out you do NOT have a constitutional right to NOT be offended.
Now, the way I see it, you can stay in this country, enjoy those rights. But, if you don’t like this country, if you don’t want to extend those same rights to your fellow country(wo)men, then I’m sure you can find another place to live.
Wow, that felt good to say. Understand, I don’t have a problem with your religion, believe how you want, but when you start being offended because of a cartoon and justify killing based on your religion, I have a problem with that.
And, for the record, I have a problem with an individual joining the military then going on a shooting spree because they don’t want to be deployed (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33678801/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/). Regardless of religion, if you don’t believe in the military, DON’T JOIN! Now, here’s the real kicker, and there is no way to know if this is the case or not. But, if this individual wasn’t investigated because of Political Correctness, as many journalist have claimed (http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bal-op.smith13nov13,0,2728617.column) then being Politically Correct is overrated. If this person wasn’t investigated further due to a fear of offending someone by racial or religious profiling, then Political Correctness is at fault in the deaths at Fort Hood.
So, I pose to you, at what point does being Politically Correct infringe on not only the rights to Free Speech, but other rights as well? I hope someone has the answer because I know I don’t.