My rights end where someone else’s begin.  I do have a legal right to express my opinion (in the United States of America).  I do not have a right to perpetuating malicious slander or making terroristic threats.  I have a right to say what I think.  I do not have a right to verbally abuse someone.  I have a right to my own faith and to practice my faith in the course of my day-to-day life–even in public.  I do not have a right to limit someone else’s expression of their faith–even in public.  My rights end where someone else’s begins and other people’s rights end where mine begin.  I may have a different opinion or faith than you.  You may disagree with me and I may disagree with you.  However, if I am not limiting your ability to exercise your rights, even if you are offended by mine, I am not violating your rights.  Freedoms and rights would not need protecting if they only applied to those things we are in agreement with.  The very fact we do not agree and do not believe the same things is why we have legal protections. Of course my speech may offend someone–that is why I have the legal protections so I can still express my opinion when others disagree.  The same is true for my faith (or religion).  Of course people disagree with my faith and religion.  That is why religious freedom is protected by law in the United States.  Now,  while I do have the right to practice my own religion in public, I do not have the right to do so in a manner that limits another person’s freedom to express their religion.  Freedom of speech and freedom of religion, by definition, are there to protect those we disagree with, not those we agree with.  For example, I may believe that eating red candy is a sin or violation of my religion.  It may offend me to see a business selling red candy or another person eating red candy in public.  I still do not have the right to limit the selling or eating of red candy in public just because I disagree with red candy or because red candy violates my religion.  I do not have the legal right to be free of other people’s expression of their beliefs or opinions–I only have the right to be free from being forced to agree or forced to practice another person’s faith or religion.  I also have the right to continue expressing or exercising my opinion or faith in public so long as I am not violating another right or law in doing so (we do not have legal protection from being offended as some would have us believe).  I cannot be forced to eat red candy if it is against my religion.  I cannot be forced to remain silent of my opinion if other’s disagree.  I do not have the right to stop other people from eating red candy in public no matter how much it offends me. (And so on and so on…).




Leave a Reply