Monday, July 14, 2014

Right or Wrong

A city in Colorado, in recognition of Gay Pride Month, replaced the POW flag outside one of it's civic buildings with a rainbow flag. Veteran's groups were up in arms proclaiming that the removal of the POW flag violated their "rights". To quell the disturbance the POW flag was moved to another civic building where it was flown, for the month of June, directly beneath the U.S. flag. I have heard religious groups state that the legalization of same sex marriage violates their "rights" as Christians. Some speak of the "rights" of illegal immigrants. The notion that those who have broken the law to immigrate have legal rights to stay is akin to the nonsense voiced by the King, Queen and others in "Alice in Wonderland".

There are rights granted to citizens in the U.S. constitution. Among these the right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness", excepting, of course, the slaves owned by the founding fathers, but that is a story for another day. We are granted the "right to bear arms". What many seem to forget is that this right was given "in order to maintain a militia". Citizen militias are no longer necessary. It is time for the granting of the right to bear arms to be revisited. This "right" results in handgun deaths in the U.S. numbering in the tens of thousands. In other countries the number is counted in the dozens.

There are scores of laws and amendments granting and defining various rights. Many of these would be unnecessary if we were to focus on one simple, yet apparently hard to master concept, respect. Laws determining the right to a minimum wage would not be needed if corporations and business owners respected the work and dignity of their employees. Some complain of gays desiring "special rights". We merely ask for equal rights. We respect your right to marry who you please and not to have your home or employment threatened by an integral element of your nature. Our request is that those who oppose this for us do the same. As with the civil rights struggles of the 1950's and 60's if discrimination was not initially written or implied in the law an amendment to the law banning it would not be necessary.

With immigration the culture, civil procedure and laws of the country one wishes to move to needs to be respected. Those who break the laws fail to respect those that went through the proper channels to immigrate. While pride in ones native culture can be celebrated one also needs to respect the culture in which they have chosen to live. Were I to make the choice to move outside the U.S. I would learn the common language and not behave in a manner that would offend the place and people where I would chose to settle. I would treat my host with respect.

We will not agree, that is outside the basics of human nature. However we can respect one another. I do not request that you agree with or understand my views, opinions or lifestyle, that too goes against the sometimes headstrong nature of the human being. I do ask that my views, if they differ from yours, and do not cause harm to others, be respected, as I, if your views do not cause harm to others, will respect yours. Your "rights" do not include denying others that which you possess. We share the earth. On occasion, as some move forward within the boundaries of their self  involved bubble, they  seem to forget that.

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