Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Defending Freedom of Speech


 

We live in an America where it seems more and more our freedoms and the Constitution continues to be trampled upon.  It’s shocking to me that it’s gone beyond just religious prosecution, but it’s violating the ideals that America was founded. 

While I live in a small part of the US, I have seen things swing more and more towards a Socialistic or Communistic society.  We are sadly leaving our free democratic nation aside and moving to ideologies that is not how this nation is founded.  In short I believe our forefathers are “rolling in their graves.”  The United States was founded in order to give people a nation to have the freedoms to worship and be who they felt their Creator called them to be.  It wasn’t freedom from all religion, but freedom from a set religion being forced down ones throat from a government.

My children have gone to a public charter school for the last 8 years.  For the most part, I have loved that school.  Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had a few differences over the years.  For many reasons we’ve known that their time in the school had already been drawing to a close though I’m not exactly sure when that’ll happen.  What is happening now is not how I want my family’s time at that school to be remembered.  However it appears that I will have to make a stand.

For the last several weeks my oldest daughter, (7th grade) has been telling me about conversations in her science class.  I knew they were discussing the theory of evolution.  Evidently this teacher has been talking about it over and over again as if it were a fact.  I have also learned that he’s been mocking people who believed in the entire Bible.  The first time I heard about this, I reminded my daughter that it is a theory and we discussed what the Bible said.  I encouraged her if she felt the need to tell the teacher what she believed.  I had hoped this would be the end of the conversation.  However it wasn’t.  There were several instances, and thus I knew it was time for me to step in.

With a quick google search, I was able to find out that in 2008 the Florida Board of Education deemed that Evolution needed to be taught as a theory.  So in a nicely worded email I reminded the teacher of this.  His response shocked me.  In reference to evolution, be assured that I will be putting an emphasis that it is a theory. We have previously gone over the difference between Law and Theory, which I'll remind them of when we get to evolution. Saying that, please know that I try very hard to have the students keep their personal beliefs to themselves, but sometimes they blurt things out without my permission. Know that they will receive consequences for blurting out their opinions, especially if it may be offensive to other students.”

What?  I was furious with this thought.  Why would anyone want to silence a child or anyone for that matter stating how they felt?  What happened to freedom of speech?  I may not agree with some of his theories or other opinions in the room, but I believe it’s an American right, it’s a human right to state how you believe.  Why is it that in the name of “not wanting to offend anyone” that we’ve allowed that to steal the freedom of speech from us? 

I reiterated to him that if my child or another in the room would be disrespectful or rude then I agreed with consequences but if someone is just stating their beliefs then why would that be punished?  To me this argument is past creationism vs. evolution.  It’s about freedom of speech.  It’s about those kids being able to speak up without thinking they’ll get punished.  I mean that for my daughter the Christian, the girl the Atheist, the boy the Muslim, and the other child the Jehovah’s Witness.  I believe we all have the right to state our beliefs.

Today I get to go into my children’s principal’s office and sit down with the principal and a teacher to defend the United States Constitution.  I’m not sure what one wears to go and do this.  I’m half tempted to walk in dressed like George Washington complete with a powdered wig and three cornered hat.  Somehow I think that would get my point across.

I am not a person to go hunting down issues.  However I believe that when an issue presents itself one has an obligation to stand up and defend the situation.  It is these little battles that steamroll into more and more violations of freedoms.  Many Christians believe that we need to just shut up, be a doormat, and keep our head in the sand.  However the more we do that the more we lose the battle in this nation.  I believe we’ve lost so many freedoms because we’ve all stayed quiet.  I refuse to let this issue just slide under the rug.  In fact unless this is handled well today, I don’t want to do this, I will start trying to pull in the media.  I believe we all need to do our part in our own worlds.  I believe Ronald Regan said it best.  Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

I believe we all have an obligation to take a stand for what is right in the world around us.  I believe if we all stand up in our own communities, then it will make a difference the nation as a whole.  I’m not suggesting a terrorist activity, that’s crazy.  But I am suggesting we open our mouths and speak out for what is right.  "If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." - Ronald Reagan

I thank you all for your prayers today, to give me the wisdom of what to say and how to say it.

Remember God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited.

 

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