Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Free to Become Otherwise

      A long, long time ago while attending Capital University here in Columbus, OH I wrote an op/ed article for the campus paper which was based on the premise that “All Men Are Created Equal and Should Be Free to Become Otherwise.” I still after all these years, additional education and life experiences believe in that premise, but with exceptions.

As we all know God did not create us equally. We are not duplicates made from the same cookie cutter mold. Some have hair, other do not. Some are gifted with higher intelligence, vocal, musical or artistic talents.  Others different in skin color, language, religious beliefs, gender, size and a multitude of other things that make us, us. But we should be free in this country to become whatever it is we care to be as long as it is not a violation of our statutory laws or does not interfere with the another’s freedoms.

When we are not given the freedom by outside forces to obtain those goals it is called discrimination.  The Constitution and the Civil Rights Acts address those issues and offer a legal path to correct those issues.  It should be applied freely to all, period.
When those outside forces attempt to force us to believe as they do it attacks our freedom. It becomes oppression.  If we disagree with our oppressors, we are labeled as non-believers, racist, homophobes, rednecks, and a multitude of other slanderous names depending on your standing in the community.

Our “Freedom to Become Otherwise” has been under attack for a number of years now but never so much as within the last few. In this country, there should be no such thing as labeled Americans. If you are born here or obtained legal status as a citizen, then you are an American. There should be no hyphenated Americans, just plain old Americans. Who have one flag, the Stars and Strips.

Your religious beliefs should be your own with the freedom to worship the God or the Prophet of your choosing. But you should not have the freedom to impose those beliefs on others. The same applies to sexual beliefs. Whatever you care to do in your own bedroom, that is within the law, is up to you but you should not be allowed to force others who do not accept your life style to bake you wedding cakes if they care not to.

There is a thin line between freedom and oppression and it is dependent on who’s ox is getting gored. We are supposed to be a country of laws. The statue of Lady Justice is blindfolded for a reason and the scales should be balanced for all. There will always be those who care to oppress our freedoms and unbalance the scales of justice but our right to freedom for a  better life should never be repressed because of other beliefs.

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