By Jonathan Maillet
What is freedom? Do we understand it?
Over history, we have seen many examples of freedom being denied to people, whether based on gender, race, religion, or class. From slavery to not allowing women to vote, there are many times in history that people have been denied freedoms. We have seen things like freedom of speech be eroded in many places, places that are still like this where they have state run media and comments against government land you in prison. In western society, we tout our freedom and wear it like a badge of honour that our forefathers fought for and won for us. Do we understand it though? Are we free?
Simple answer is - we have more freedom than most, but no, we do not understand freedom. I don’t believe we want it either, at least if you base this on our current society and all the stupid things we complain about. For if we understood freedom, being gay would never have been a crime, abortion would never have been an argument and we wouldn’t be arguing about transgenderism.
Those are a few examples of things that people do in their own lives that have nothing to do with others, yet others seem to believe they can limit the rights of that person, all based on their own perception of what is right and wrong. If we truly believed in rights and freedoms, we wouldn’t spend so much time taking them away from people we disagree with.
We also wouldn’t constantly look to our governments to make laws to limit these freedoms, whether it be gay marriage, abortion, or even drugs. We constantly talk about how free we are, yet we can not decide for ourselves what substances to put in our bodies, there are certain activities we can not do without permission and, in some places, even collecting rainwater is a crime. Yeah, that’s how free we are.
At what point do we look at things in terms of how it actually affects us? If you are against gay marriage, what is it about 2 men or 2 women being together that interferes with how you live your life? I have always held a strong belief in freedom, and have often watched in horror how many people do not truly understand the concept.
If you do not think gay marriage is right as an example, do not enter one. Abortion doesn’t sit right with you? Don’t have one. The entire thing about freedom and rights is not to take away the rights and freedoms of others. So long as what that person is doing does not physically harm you or affect your ability to live your life, you have no right to deny someone else's ability to do so. Yet constantly we see people that look for ways to control what others do or say.
I will use transgenders as an example, since it is the latest and greatest attack on freedom in my opinion. Do I believe it to be real? No. Do I believe that those who say they are a woman when born a boy, should not have the right to claim so?
The reason for this….Freedom.
While I disagree with it and feel that it goes against nature's laws, I also understand that not only is that simply my opinion, but that if someone wants to reassign their gender, it literally has no effect on my life. None whatsoever. I can still work the job I have, raise my son, and enjoy the things I enjoy. I also don’t feel that if someone does something I disagree with that I need to hate them for it either, unless as I said earlier, it interferes with someone’s ability to live their life.
Until you physically harm me or cause destruction to my property, or steal my property, then do as you please. Say what you want. If I don’t like it, I have the option to ignore it, or attack the argument in debate. I do not have the option to demand you can’t say it. Just as I do not have the option to demand you not be gay, religious, transgender or anything else that does not matter in terms of how I live my life.
I think if more people spent more time actually enjoying their freedoms and less time trying to limit others, we’d all be better off.
Let’s try to finally understand freedom, and tout it for what it really is...the concept that we can do, say and live how we please so long as we are not committing violence, stealing or destroying property and otherwise interfering with how people live their lives.
Go forth, and live free…