Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Meaning What We Pay Lip Service to in Tolerance

I'm not sure why it should be the case, but there's a disconnect between the truism that people are different, and everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion and how people act in a number of situations.

Let me use three examples from back home: the Muslim mosque in Murfreesboro, the ado over the finding that one department head in Gov. Halsam's administration is a Muslim, and redistricting of the Tennessee General Assembly.

We pay lip service to the amendment of the Constitution regarding freedom of religion; so why was it so difficult and dragged out for Muslims to be able to build and open their mosque  in M-boro?  Seriously, would the Baptists or the Methodists have those kind of impediments?  Or even the adherents to the Jon Frum religion or followers of Zeus?

Likewise, the mossback East Tennessee politicians are acting totally shocked that their Governor, a Republican also, would have a Muslim in his cabinet!  Oh dear . . . . this is not how this Freedom of Religion thing should be played out!

Redistricting is mandated by the state constitution.  But the Democrats are complaining that they're being screwed in the process.  From what I read, thay sounds like it might be true.  Now both parties play that game when they can, but that doesn't make it right.

A modest proposal:  Let us all try to butt into each others' lives and our visions of pursuing happiness as little as possible.  try to avoid offense, if possible.  Here's a few examples:

1.  Dial down on the language used to refer to people who believe different from oneself.  Don't call them morons, or douchebags, of the like.

2.  Don't take every opportunity to flaunt your religion in public settings.  If you do an invocation prayer, make it as general and nonsecterian as possible.  So, no endings like "In Jesus Christ's name we pray."  That cuts out the Jews and Muslims.

3.  Play radios and music systems at a moderate, nonintrusive level.  Maybe people don't want to hear football songs or John Philip Sousa music at 140 dB.

4.  Wear a nonprovocative swimsuit in places that are frequented by people who are offended by what they consider unseemly display.

5.  Don't drive like you're the only person on the road.

6.  Conduct demonstrations for or against a cause in a respectful manner.

7.  Whenever you have  to play fetch with your dog.thought, "But I have a right," thing also about the rights of others and how your exercise of your rights affects them.

8.  Smile, and speak softly.  Leave the big stick at home.


  1. It really would benefit all of us if people were halfway civil.

  2. Freedom of religion is becoming freedom of 'MY' religion.

  3. "Smile, and speak softly. Leave the big stick at home."

    I like it. Gonna post it on Facebook (with proper credit, of course)!

  4. I wish people would reciprocate when it comes to rights.

  5. Heidi, I'd keep my voice down if I were you ... if you keep up with all this subversive "common courtesy" stuff, you're going to get into trouble.