Thursday, April 10, 2008

Rights and Responsibilities

Through my "conversations" with Candy and from reading her blog and some of the things her husband has written, it is very clear that they are very strong constitutional Americans. They believe in freedom of speech. To this I say BRAVO! I too believe in our constitution and believe in the vision of our founders for a democratic and free nation.

Of course, what we have seen over the years is that Freedom of Speech means that EVERYONE has the freedom of speak! This is why in this great country you are allowed to openly mock and criticize the leaders, burn the flag, and even have porn available in public libraries, all under the name of Freedom of Speech.

I think it is important to note that just because our constitution gives us the RIGHT to speak, it doesn't magically endow us with something meaningful and wise to say. One only has to sit for 20 minutes with a remote control and a television set to see that lots of people say lots of stuff but not all of it is worth hearing.

I submit then that the having the Freedom of Speech, gives us the equally important responsibility to filter the cacophony into what is meaningful, true, worthwhile and wise. We have the responsibility to educate ourselves and our children so that we can discern what is worth our attention and what can just fade into the background. I think this week we have seen that someone can write persuasively and make a compelling case, but without checking the sources for ourselves it's easy to get sold on half truths and misinformation. These days we can't take it on face value or trust in the infallibility of the media, magazines, books, or even bloggers.

Most importantly, we have to be able to look at a dynamic and charismatic speaker/writer and truly listen to the words to determine if there is substance them, or are they simply carefully selected and regurgitated sound bites or dogmatic tracts without any proof or truth. A beautiful appearance and a flowery template does not a substantive article make!

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Tracy said...

Very good post Elena!!

kritterc said...

Love this quote that was posted on Gracelines today. I thought it was appropriate in light of recent events.

"We shall steer safely through every storm, as long as
our heart is right, our intention fervent, our courage
steadfast, and our trust fixed in God."

St. Francis de Sales