Over the past year I have noticed an increase in posts and shares on Facebook from my Christian friends regarding other religions claiming people should go back to where they came from if they do not like our ‘Christian’ country. I even had a friend tell me if I don’t like what the President stands for I should leave this country. What strikes me about these posts is the short memory of people on what this country was founded on in the first place.
I was taught about the Pilgrims leaving their homeland because of religious persecution. They were not allowed to worship as they wished nor speak their truth. I also learned about Jesus and how he welcomed sinners and non-believers alike. This said, how did we get to where we are today as a country? How did we become so judgmental and intolerant of anyone different than ourselves? Social media is not the problem, but merely a catalyst to fuel the fire already burning. I am sure some are reading this article with judgement and criticism regarding my thoughts.
But, here is what we should never forget. The reason this is such a great country is because you are allowed to criticize; because you are allowed to question your government leaders, disagree openly, protest (yes even kneel for the anthem in the name of rights for equality.) A good number of my devout Christian and ex-military friends voted for President Trump and are very vocal about immigrants leaving our country. I don’t agree with their views, but I respect their right to have them. I don’t turn my back on the good people they are, but recognize they have a different point of view regarding our current situation.
I want everyone to remember there are many countries around the world where people are killed for speaking out. Women are beaten and killed just because they want to be educated. A gay man or woman can be put to death just because they are gay. Regardless of your beliefs please know you live in the greatest country in the world. The rights we enjoy here should never be taken for granted or trampled on.
Freedom means to be able to speak your mind, but at the same time respecting the rights of others to do the same, even if you disagree with their point of view. Freedom does not mean condemning another for their beliefs. For me Freedom is live and let live. Freedom is understanding and compassion for others. You cannot know someone’s circumstance unless you walk in their shoes. Let’s bring civility back.