I Will Defend Your Rights. . .Will You Defend Mine?

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Annie Peterson | Civil Patriot

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. S.G. Tallentyre

I believe in the 1st amendment. I always have. Freedom of speech is a right we should never take for granted. Even if I disagree with you, I will defend your right to share what you believe. And I would hope you would defend my right to do the same thing, even if my beliefs make you uncomfortable. 

This has been my experience. Maybe you can relate: 

  • I scroll down my newsfeed and cringe at many of the things I read there. They stand in direct opposition to what I believe. But I support the right of my friends to share what they believe, because it’s their right to do so. 
  • I have strong beliefs about gender fluidity but my heart breaks for a good friend whose son is struggling with his identity. She has every right to share what she’s thinking and feeling as a result of all of this. 
  • I hear conversations between coworkers and want to shout, “How can you possibly believe that?” . . .but I don’t. They have a right to believe whatever they like without any input from me. 
  • I’m not a fan of the BLM organization (for a variety of reasons) but when my friend posts about her experience at a BLM march I heartily approve of her post because she’s well within her rights to share her opinions. 
  • I live in a border state and don’t believe in open borders but I support my neighbor’s right to say that he does. 
  • I might not take the COVID vaccine. I haven’t yet decided. But I fully support my friend who has just posted that she’s already had hers.  
  • I read a friend’s passionate post about pro-life issues and flinch when I see how many people lash out at her for her stance. They don’t think she has a right to share her feelings, but they are very free with theirs. 
  • I listen to a friend share her personal story about her father’s murder and get drawn in to her passionate plea for gun reform. I have a slightly different view in how to go about it, but she has a right to share her thoughts any way she pleases. 

Here’s my point. I don’t have to agree with you in order to support your 1st amendment rights:  

I say what I believe. 

You say what you believe. 

We all share our own personal thoughts and beliefs freely. 

Well, that’s how it used to be, anyway. These days I can’t state my views or I would be banned from social media. And that, I suppose, is my concern.  

  • I will support to the death your right to believe what you wish. 
  • And I would hope that would you support to the death MY right to believe what I wish. 

But that’s not happening in America right now. We’re living in a bizarre time when an “approved” lop-sided narrative rules the day. We dare not speak against it. If we do, we learn very quickly that the 1st amendment really only applies to those to comply. 

  • You’re not going to take the vaccine? You’re anti-science! 
  • You don’t believe in gender fluidity? You’re a bigot! 
  • You don’t believe in a woman’s right to choose? You’re a misogynist! 
  • You don’t believe in open borders? You’re a xenophobe! 
  • You believe that marriage is meant to be between a man and a woman? You’re a homophobe!   
  • You don’t believe in BLM? That means you don’t think black lives matter. You’re a racist!

On and on it goes. So, I eventually stop posting or find myself banned from social media platforms. But my friends with opposite opinions go right on with their posts and never get a slap on the wrist for them. They don’t even seem to realize I’ve been censored and they haven’t. When I mention censorship they say, “What are you talking about?” 

It’s getting harder for me to support those I disagree with when they don’t support me, but I can’t really blame them. They’ve simply swallowed the narrative, hook, line, and sinker. They honestly believe that varying opinions are no longer a good thing. 

I will always believe that debate in the public forum is good. If we allow our 1st amendment right to be swept away in the name of “approved narrative” we’ll all end up clones, spouting the same nonsense. 

And, while I fully support your right to spout nonsense, I will never succumb to the pressure to spout it, myself. 

Will you defend my right to stick to my guns on the issues I’m passionate about? 

Oops. Shouldn’t have said “guns.” 

Doesn’t match the narrative. 

 

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