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OP-ED: Recall freedom of speech?

Dawn Burleigh,
General Manager/Editor

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

We all enjoy the freedom to speak our mind.

Well, that is until it offends someone, anyone, you.

I can say the sky is blue and someone will be offended and say it is more factual to say the sky itself does not have a color.

Everyone has opinions and everyone has now decided their opinion alone is the facts all others should abide by.

Even if their ‘facts’ cannot be proven or disproven.

One fact which became apparent this week is there are many people who need to read the definition of Christian. Read it, learn it and know it.

Allow me to get you started.

First there are two classifications of the word, a noun and an adjective.

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary: the noun classification means:

1aone who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ

b(1)DISCIPLE sense 2

(2)a member of one of the Churches of Christ separating from the Disciples of Christ in 1906

(3)a member of the Christian denomination having part in the union of the United Church of Christ concluded in 1961

2the hero in Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress

The adjective classification is defined as:

1aof or relating to Christianity

bbased on or conforming with ChristianityChristian ethics”

2aof, relating to, or being a Christian Christian responsibilities

bprofessing Christianity “a Christian affirmation”, “a Christian country”

3treating other people in a kind or generous way “has a very Christian concern for others”

Let us reread the adjective definition 3 again… treating other people in a kind or generous way.

Actions such as telling a person they are stupid, idiotic, etc. do not fall under treating other people in a kind or generous way. Oh, wait, I am pretty sure that was my opinion and maybe not entirely based on facts according to those doing the name calling.

Reality is we all have our opinions and beliefs. They do not always align with each other but that is not a reason to put someone down or the name calling. At that point, one is basing their ‘facts’ on partial information.

Maybe the person has a reason for their opinion.

Maybe it is not entirely based on facts, but just because everyone says crawfish are tasty does not mean that everyone finds crawfish a delicious part of a meal.

Dawn Burleigh is general manager and editor of The Orange Leader. She can be reached at dawn.burleigh@orangeleader.com