Friday, October 24, 2008

Freedom of Speech

Did you know that in some parts of the world, people are thrown in jail, or even executed, for speaking against their leaders? Yes, of course you knew that. Silly question. And I am so glad that I live in a country where freedom of speech is encouraged.

Sometimes.

But honestly, I think we cross the line, way too often.

I get tired of people complaining about, and speaking against our president. We think that any time is open season on whoever holds that office, and we bad mouth and we slander and we call him a fool, and we say he is the worst president ever.

If a Republican holds the office, many Democrats do everything possible to make him look foolish.

If a Democrat holds the office, many Republicans do the same.

Then, our words are broadcast all over the world.

And we have the audacity to say that our president has made us look bad, in the world’s eyes. Now, I don’t often get up on a political soapbox. But come on, people. Our president doesn’t make us look bad. We do a pretty good job of that, all by ourselves.

The reason many countries take it so seriously when citizens speak against their leaders is because it shows a lack of patriotism, a lack of pride in one’s country. It undermines what that particular leader is trying to do, and it makes the entire country look bad.

I don’t think that we should be a bunch of mindless, fear-driven robots spouting the praises of our leaders. But I do think that, out of love for our country, out of patriotism, and out of a respect for the highest office in our land, we should be required to exercise some self control. We ought not be allowed to undermine our president’s credibility in the eyes of the world. In my humble opinion, that is downright treason.

With a little self-control coupled with a little pride in our nation’s heritage, we can learn to express our opinions in respectful ways. We can show support for our president, and pray for him, and honor his office, even if we don’t agree with all of his policies.

For example, there is nothing disrespectful about saying, “I disagree with so-and-so’s economic plan, or his foreign policies, or his views about Roe vs. Wade.” But it is just plain wrong to call our leader names and accuse him of being a rotten leader. After all, we’re the ones who put him there. And even if he isn’t our preferred candidate, I refuse to believe that anyone who makes it to that office is unqualified. To the contrary. If he had the fortitude and the perseverance and the desire to be president, and he rallied enough support to put him in the oval office, I think that journey alone separates him from the rest of the yahoos out there who do little but sit on their sofas and criticize.

Yes, I called them yahoos. But they are not my president.

So here, in black and white, for the whole world to read, I’d like to get one thing straight. I think George W. Bush has served his country well during one of the most difficult periods our country has seen. He has made difficult choices, choices that I would not have been able to make, for I would have buckled under the pressure. Every choice he made, every direction he took has been out of the greatest sense of duty and love for country. I am proud to have had him as my president for the last eight years. Mr. President, thank you for the sacrifices you have made, the stresses you have endured, and the criticisms you have ignored. May God bless you.

And no matter who wins this next election, I will be a proud American. I will respect the office of president, and I will pray for and support the office, even if I disagree with the person. I will show that person the honor that is deserving of the title.

Thank you, dear readers, for allowing me to exercise my freedom of speech here. May God bless America.

1 Timothy 2:1 – 3 “I urge then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior.”

10 comments:

Aleta said...

Well, AMEN to that! I've often thought, "If I were President when the Twin Towers fell..." We were under attack by terrorist on our own soil. I could not imagine having to deal with such a horrible situation. I will say that after Katrina the government left a sour taste in my mouth. That said, after Katrina, I believe the government will actually BE there for its own citizens now... We live and learn, but that's neither here nor there in regards to your post.

The important thing is that we support our President and appreciate it IS a difficult job.

Renae said...

Thanks, Aleta! Yes, I believe that George W. Bush was absolutely the right man for our country, for the past eight years. No doubt about it.

Jeanette said...

Good for you, Renae! Most of the time, freedom of speech is thought of as the freedom to say the bad and critical things, not the good and constructive and uplifting things. Great supporting verse, too! You go, girl!

Renae said...

Thanks, Jeanette. I hope I can remember to ALWAYS be constructive and uplifting in my speech, to everyone. :-)

Cheryl Barker said...

Renae, I agree with you 100%. (Have been reading my mind?:)) Well said, my friend!

Renae said...

Hi Cheryl! Well, you know what they say about great minds!

the mother of this lot said...

In Britain, George Bush has always been portrayed as a bit of a buffoon, a warmonger and frankly, a bumbling idiot. I'm not particularly interested in British politics, let aloneanyone else's politics, so quite honestly, I've never really taken much notice.

But one day I saw him interviewed by Raymond Arroyo on EWTN, and I have to say that I was very impressed. He came across to me as a man of faith and integrity, someone who wasn't scared of standing up for what he believed in, however unpopular that may be. (The interview was partly about stem cell research).

He answered every question respectfully (and some of them were tough)and basically, he appeared to be much cleverer than he has been made out to be.

This is the end of today's sermon!

Renae said...

Hi Jackie! I don't know how it is in Britain, but it seems here in the U.S., if you are a person of faith, you are portrayed as a buffoon. But your impression of him was correct, in my opinion. He is a man of faith and integrity . . . and wisdom. I'm glad he has led us for the past eight years.

KINDRED HEART WRITERS said...

Hi, Renae -- we're so glad you found our website and hope you'll visit often. We post twice a week, sometimes we have guest posts, and we've even been known to give away books!

Also, I appreciate your post. It's hard to believe that this country hasn't been attacked in seven years. I remember right after 9/11 how fearful we felt, waiting for something to happen. We can be thankful for God's protection.

Johnnie

Renae said...

Thanks, Johnnie! Yes, it is amazing that we haven't seen any more attacks on our own soil. I remember those days right after 9/11, and the fear. God has been good to us.