You Say Freedom, I Say Eh…..

A little off the topic of writing but important just the same… 

Ok, so I am not a Duck Dynasty fanatic, but I do tend to have an opinion about almost anything political. So, allow me to offer my two cents. As most of you know, I’m about as liberal as they come. However, I do not allow a label as vague as “liberal” to dictate my opinions. 

That being said… I absolutely, positively support gay marriage. I feel that everyone deserves to be happy and should be able to decide who they want to be with. The fact that someone else doesn’t like who they are with should not hinder their ability to build a life and share insurance/tax benefits with the person of their choosing. It should not make it impossible for someone’s significant other to be by their side if they are suffering from a critical injury or disease in the hospital, etc. It just shouldn’t. 

The political leaders of our country need to focus more on the “right to pursue happiness” and the “separation of church and state.”….. the things our country was founded on. We were literally born from people seeking to escape religious persecution. The entire idea of a “free” country is to not force our personal beliefs on people who choose not to believe the same things. 

At the same time, I am a Christian. Do I believe in God? Yes. Do I worship Him? Yes. Do I believe He is to thank for every single blessing in my life? Absolutely. BUT… Do I respect other people’s decisions to feel differently? Sure. Do I understand that some people were brought up in different environments and with different beliefs than I was? You bet. And do I understand and respect the fact that our country is a melting pot of different cultures and beliefs, and every single person has the right to worship who and what they want? Yessir, I do. 

I think it’s part of what’s beautiful about our country. If our politicians were making laws based on the beliefs of a religion that worshiped Purple Spotted Platypuses we would all cry foul. We would raise all kinds of hell about how we shouldn’t be forced to believe in something that “bogus.” But, what if they really believed it? Does that make it any more believable to you? No. So why, just because a percentage of our population believes in God, should we force our beliefs and make laws based on the religious teachings of the Christian religion?

So… In a “free” nation with a “Separation of church and state” that is “free from religious persecution”… If you do not wish to be persecuted for your religion, you must award everyone else the same respect.

That being said, and I know this is getting long…. but bear with me…. Phil from Duck Dynasty is absolutely allowed his opinion. Freedom of Speech is right up there with the rest of the rights most people ignore. Not only is he allowed to have his opinion, but he is allowed to voice it on TV if people have put him in the position of a public figure. Good for him. We may disagree, but good for him.

At the same time, is A&E allowed to run their channel as they see fit? Sure. Could they stop someone from appearing on their channel because of religious beliefs? If they want to. It’s their show. That’s THEIR freedom. They could put a worship hour of the Purple Spotted Platypus on at noon if they wanted to….. but….

Does that make it right? No. 

If any TV channel, person, or public entity expresses beliefs that people should be allowed the freedom to marry who they wish, it seems a bit hypocritical to me that they don’t support someone’s freedom to say what they wish or believe what they wish. Freedom isn’t one sided. Maybe Phil doesn’t have the same views as A&E execs, and maybe he doesn’t have the same views as me… but his show isn’t based on the reality of gay rights. It has absolutely nothing to do with it. He has millions of fans who either believe the same things he does or simply don’t give a hoot what his religious or political beliefs are. That’s alright. Because if we’re going to be free to marry who we want, we need to be free to say what we want and believe what we want too. 

If he was running for office and trying to be in a position to pass laws or make rules that *I* have to follow, then I would feel just about disagreeing adamantly with him. But, since he is simply a man… living his life…. entertaining his fans.. I couldn’t care less. 

I guess what I’m saying is… I disagree with Phil. However, I also disagree with people being punished or persecuted for their beliefs whether they coincide with mine or not. Ironically, that’s the whole freaking point of gay rights. Just like it isn’t my place to say what Phil can say or believe, it isn’t his or anyone else’s right to say who someone else can marry. 

I guess that bedrock element of the “liberal agenda” slips free when the shoe is on the other foot. And I’ll be the first to admit it.