Rights and Responsibilities Part 2

Written March 15, 2017

“We would have no Rights or Freedom without Responsibilities.”
The first part of this post, I wrote about what Rights, Responsibilities and Entitlements are and a bit of history about them. This part goes into examples of them.

Freedom of Speech

Every citizen born in or who’s immigrated to America legally is afforded various Rights however, to keep these Rights we have some Responsibilities that go with them. Let’s look at the Right to Freedom of Speech first. We need to speak to each other with respect like our Elders taught us. That goes for ANYONE we speak to.

The Right to protest falls under Freedom of Speech. While this is true, we do not have the Right to be disrespectful or violent while we do this. We also have have the Responsibility to not stop anyone else who’s exercising their Right to Freedom of Speech. This happens when people who’ve gathered to hear a speaker discuss certain hot button topics are met by protesters who object to the speakers views. This is all well and good but when the protesting turns violent, often the event is shut down. Tho protesters are Entitled to speak freely, but they must not stop others who want to enjoy the very same Right.

The police have the Responsibility to protect the Rights of the citizens in their communities and the Rights of protesters by allowing them to protest. They also have the Responsibility to not allow the protesters to break the law while doing so. Citizens also have the Responsibility to not act seditiously(speak, or write things that encourage people to fight against or oppose the government). There’s a very fine line between seditious and free speech. By the same token, if we are arrested, we are Entitled, have the Right, to speak to a lawyer. If we are testifying in court, we have the Right to not speak, especially if we would be incriminating yourself.

Next, disrespecting the American flag. Tho its not illegal, to spit on, stomp on or burn the American flag, it is sacrilegious(very disrespectful towards something sacred). If you burn a copy of the Koran, Muslims find it sacrilegious as do Christians if a Bible or cross is burned. If you choose to wave your country’s flag, just be sure the American flag is also being waved and that it’s higher than yours. You are in our country and unless you are trying to conquer this land, Old Glory is this country’s flag. Also keep in mind that when you spit on or stomp on the American flag, you’re doing the same thing to our Ancestors, yours and mine. Many brave men and women fought for and died for your Right and Freedom to do the things you do. Would you want someone doing that to your Ancestors?

Finally, if I voted a particular way, I have that Right. I also have the Right to not be bullied, pressured or threatened because I voted that way. It is your Responsibility to appreciate my decision and agree to disagree. It is your Responsibility to not bully, pressure or threaten me based on my views. I don’t do this to you do I?

Freedom of Religion

Our Right to Freedom of Religion comes with the Responsibility to not force others to believe what we believe or to force any of our beliefs on the agnostic or the atheist. For example, I may be a Catholic and you may be Buddhist, Jewish, Islamic or whatever. I have the Right to practice my beliefs but, I must be Responsible to not force my beliefs on you.

This brings me to another Responsibility of a Right. Separation of church and state. The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution reads, ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.’

According to Wikipedia this Amendment “…prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, ensuring that there is no prohibition on the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble, or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights.”

Today this phrase is construed to mean that prayer and the word God are not allowed anywhere in the public arena. No pledge of allegiance said in school, no prayers before or after sporting events, and even crosses or any other religious displays are forbidden. However isn’t this the government or the extension of government overreach? Our children can’t say the Pledge of Allegiance before school but many are taught about the Islam faith in depth? No I’m not prejudice but if we are going to teach our children about one religion we should teach our children about all of them equally.


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About Bella’s Thoughts. This is a project that I began in my mind a number of years ago when I began reading some daily meditations. I had my own thoughts on many occasions and attempted to journal many times without success. It began to take shape when I took on another project for a Spiritual Advisor and dear friend who past away. To learn more about me read my very first blog post. For more daily reflections go to... https://www.facebook.com/Stephanies-Sweetgrass-and-Dancin-1414954615472943/

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