This great country that you and I are privileged to live in is a gift, a gift to be cherished, protected and honored. As ladies and gentlemen, it is our duty to demonstrate to others through our actions and our words that we respect and honor their rights, opinions, beliefs and the guiding principles that they live by.
I know we talk about this often, but it seems to be a topic that further discussion and exploration is always needed. Most of us have come to believe certain ideas and principles to be true. We’ve reached these beliefs through our upbringing, our life experiences and often research and study. Thank goodness we are in charge of our own brains. If you’re like me, you want to be allowed to believe what you believe and not be judged, ridiculed or persecuted assuming that our beliefs and actions do not place the safety of those around us in jeopardy.
Please allow me to give you an example of a “hot topic” issue to illustrate my larger point of this consideration. Example–– if you want to believe that marriage is only between a man and a woman, then you must also allow others to believe that marriage is between any two people, regardless of gender. If you support that marriage is between any two people, regardless of gender, than you must also allow others to only support that marriage is between one man and one woman based on their beliefs. Yes, you absolutely can speak of your beliefs and try to persuade others to come to the knowledge of the truths that you believe, but you must do so only by acting in love, patience, kindness and understanding.
We all want the same rights to act upon our own beliefs, but so often, we try to eliminate the rights of others through legislation and other methods, simply because we do not share their beliefs. We personally attack those who do not share our beliefs by using terms such as bigot, self righteous, judgmental, closed-minded, etc. We have a system in this great country in order to make change. We allow our voice to be heard through our vote, through contacting our representatives, by protesting and teaching and giving information and all of these are acceptable practices in trying to bring about change. Ladies and gentlemen, use the appropriate methods to give support to your causes and speak, speak loudly, but do so without insulting those you disagree with you. We must do all we can to protect the rights of the innocent, the rights of individual freedom and the right for all to pursue happiness. No apology is necessary for believing the way you do, but respect for those who do not share your beliefs is required for every lady and gentleman.