As many of you know, I am an older person (at least in the calendar sense), and I may have been brought up differently than you. I was told, you are entitled to your own opinions, beliefs and belongings, but they should never be forced on others, used to ridicule the beliefs of others, or to show others how successful you are, or are not. Your opinions and your rights were only to extend as far as you can reach your arms, and beyond that, NUNYA!! (For those without access to younger people, that means None of your business). That being said, let me say what so many others have said...If you oppose abortion, do not get one. If you oppose gay marriage, again, do not have one. If you oppose legalization of marijuana, do not inhale. And, if you oppose drinking and driving, either have a designated driver OR be one for your friends who also feel the same, but want to drink away from home!
That being said, lets be honest. We all want a free and open society, unless it makes us uncomfortable. No one wants to live next door to the 'au natural' people, who see clothing as societies weapon of conformity, or to the rasta's, who make their living picking up cans and other throwaway stuff to recycle or sell at the swap meet. Yet, we don't want to infringe on their rights, as this may lead to our own being infringed or limited. Maybe, it is time we began reinforcing the grade school lessons, or at least relearning them. If a surgical procedure is legal, make it so. Worry about counseling the patient about what brought them to this decision, instead of trying to guilt them into changing their mind. How can our society, on the one hand try to criminalize abortion, and at the same time only allow our schools to teach abstinence for sex ed. Really, how many people follow the educators guidelines, with regard to premarital sex?? I know neither I, nor my wife, did, and probably, none of our children did. We show sex on TV, in the movies, etc, and make it a "MACHO" thing for the guys to do, and usually the girls are along for the fun, but OMG, let a girl get pregnant, and she might as well be branded with the Scarlet A!
I was also taught the flag code, something that was written to give some guidelines as to how to show, preserve, and care for, the US flag. In the flag code, which periodically was carried in the Readers Digest, it stated, "The US Flag shall not be used as a garment, burned or in any way maltreated, even when used as a form of civil protest". It was illegal, until recently, to burn the flag, unless it was dirty or damaged, then there was a proper procedure to do so!
But, now, the point of this article. I, and many, many others, were taught to respect funerals. In the town where I went to school, between the high school and the grade school, was the town cemetery. When ever a funeral passed, if we were outside, we stopped and faced the procession, and remained still and quiet until it had passed by, even if it meant being late returning to class. Even football practice was not exempt. Many times we formed up, removed out helmets and watched the procession passing by, wondering who they were and what they had to show for their lives. Whatever they had done, we would not disrespect them in their final ride. Which is why it pains me to admit, I am a Kansan, as is my wife, and all of our families, for generations back. We are from a state, that used to respect tradition to the point of officially teaching creation,and allowing less than 4 contact hours to be spent on 'that theory, Evil-oution', but is now home to the so called 'Westboro Baptist Church'. A 'church' that appears to be mostly one family, who desecrate military funerals, who force their intolerant beliefs onto people who are at their most vulnerable, trying to find meaning in the death of a loved one. Most of my friends are too young to remember the troops returning from Viet Nam, and being yelled at, accosted and even spit on, on their return from doing the bidding of the PTB, and the country. The WBC's behaviour brings these memories flooding back to myself and others who either are veterans of that war, or family of those who were. And now they have found support in the courts, that their vile behaviour and proselytizing are protected speech! Since when? When they leave the confines of their church, they should lose the right to protected speech, especially when they crash a funeral, where they are disrupting a private service, as unwelcome as a gay wedding would be at their church. When will we remember the grade school lessons, and keep our opinions where they belong? Maybe it is time for that other grade school lesson, if you keep pushing and name calling to some one, they may remind you, sticks and stones do break bones, and you should keep your opinion to your self, unless you want to know what others really think of it!