Caps' Corner tackles religion in Blackwell's Community Talk

by Cap McIlnay

I disagree!

I saw on Facebook recently, that a friend of mine, from Blackwell, had been asked by the administrator of a Blackwell Community page not to post anymore about his religion. His response was to delete his Blackwell Community page.

I understand that not everyone in Blackwell is a person of faith of any religion, but I found this to be both troubling and wrong.

A person of faith, in any religion, is also a member of the community. Furthermore, a person of faith sees and believes that their religion to be a very active part of their community, and one that cannot be separated from.

We are talking about Facebook. An app that allows people, of all diversity, the ability to have a voice in their community, no matter how small or large. Obviously, what one person says on a Facebook page is often not shared by others. You might not like to see a post about someone’s faith or religion, but at the same time, others do.

The reason why this troubled me so, was that I am seeing, across our country, a lack of tolerance for people’s views on politics as well as their religion. Your civil and constitutional rights end where it infringes upon my civil and constitutional rights. And, this is important…there is no law that says you CANNOT be offended. Hate speech, no matter how or what you classified as hate speech is protected under our constitution as freedom of speech.

There has been an epidemic of people in our country, and in our community, that feels that the constitution says freedom FROM religion, and/or freedom FROM speech that they do not like.

Most of us have heard about schools and universities that have created “safe spaces” where it is not allowed to speak about certain things, and most of them are of a political or religious nature. Maybe, we have forgotten how to speak to each other about politics or religion, because we have been taught, for the past fifty years, not to speak about politics or religion.

It has gone past the stage where friends stop being friends, because they do not agree. It has gone past the stage where families stop being families because they cannot agree. We are entering the stage where people are taking physical action against those that they disagree with, and often times in a violent way.

This is NOT how adults act, these are the actions, and reactions of spoiled children. I am not saying any individual is this spoiled child. I am stating that our culture is this spoiled child.

I have not mentioned what religion my friend is, nor will I. It does not matter. What matters is that there was a push to silence him, because of his religion and his desire to speak about it.

I cannot believe that this is even a topic in our country or in our community. This is America, and one of the fundamental foundations in its creation was the freedom of religion. The right, the constitutional right to worship, or not worship, any god you so wish. Thousands of people have fled from other countries where they were persecuted because of their faith, and they took immense risk and expense to come to America. Remember who we are. We are the land of the free, because of the brave!

For my fellow citizens that do not like to hear of, or about another citizens faith, and supports these efforts to silence any and/or all religious voices. Remember this, a government that can silence my voice, has the same authority to silence yours. A government that can persecute me today, will have the power to persecute you tomorrow.

This is not a troubling issue for the religious only. This is a troubling issue for any and all who love their freedom, their rights, and their liberty. You may not like what I have to say, but you should be willing to fight for my right to say it; just as I would fight for your right to speak out against what I believe.

Now, the administrator of the community page, quickly reversed course, and welcomed my friend’s voice back on the page. This does not change the fact that tyranny, even for a short time, had the upper hand in our community.

My fear is that today, even though tyranny did not get its way, it did take a step closer to victory than it had yesterday. Edmund Burke, and John F. Kennedy both said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” When you see tyranny win, even against those you despise, no one wins but tyranny.

Tolerance is a good thing, and so is the ability to disagree amicable.