Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Burning Issue

I don't want to be an incendiary by any means, but I would like to add my thoughts on what may or may not be taking place somewhere in America today.

There is a lot of unrest over a projected Koran-burning. I don’t think it will really do any good other than as a statement of protest. Unfortunately, we don't respond to protest in America anymore, even though our nation was founded on it as an institution such as was dramatized in the Boston Tea Party.

But we still have such a thing as free speech in our country, even if they don’t in the Islamic world. If a mosque is allowed to be built near Ground Zero, why should others not be allowed to make a statement in their own fashion. At the same time, I know that they wouldn’t let me build a church near where the Ayatollah Khomeini lived in Tehran. Let's be fair here, even if they aren't there. Once we start down the road of controlling free speech, we won't know what words out of our own mouth will destroy us.

What happened to the statement of Voltaire that used to appear on the editorial page of the my hometown paper in Portland, Oregon? Voltaire, the radical thinker, stated that he might not agree with what others had to say, but that he would defend to the death their right to say it.

Let our speech be seasoned as with salt as Paul told us to do. This means we should not make it our aim to offend, but at the same time let us not put off making a statement which we believe merely because others do not believe it. To do so is not good manners either religiously or politically, but it is a clear abdication of belief.

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