Joe Average: All Americans have the right to live as they choose


Throughout history there have been people who didn’t follow society’s “normal” and “accepted” behavior. Throughout history and across cultures, there have been those who, for whatever reason or for no reason just haven’t conformed to accepted behavior. These people include but are not limited to thieves, activists for various causes, protesters, and assorted criminals. Is this just part of human nature? Not everyone following the “normal” behavior?

Criminals and other protesters when caught are usually punished by society, according to the current laws. But lately some of these groups have tried to legitimize their activities and lifestyles. And have tried to promote and force others to follow these “alternative” behaviors.

As Americans we have the rights to live and act as we choose, keeping in mind, others have these same rights. Freedom to do and live as we want. When one group decides to influence and force others to accept and respect another behavior or lifestyle, is not respecting other people’s lifestyle.

Demanding acceptance is not respecting the freedom and rights of other people. Protesting the celebration of a religious belief, for example, by forcing decorations to be taken down is a violation of the rights. As stated in the First Amendment, “prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Or preventing the expression of faith.

Telling citizens they can’t express an opinion or belief, because some one finds it “offensive” is not being respectful of their rights. Trying to teach young children to change what they have been taught by parents, without the parental knowledge is unacceptable. Parents feed, house, clothe and potty train their offspring. They are the ones who sit up with a sick child at night, caring for them. They are the ones responsible for their children. Not an anonymous activist with an agenda.

Throughout history and across cultures parents have taught their offspring how to live, work, and yes even play. But now there are some who feel parents aren’t qualified to do this. What changed? The family unit is the basis for civilization and has been since humans became civilized. The family unit is defined in many ways, not always Mom, Dad, and children. Although that is how many, perhaps most people believe. There are numerous ways the family unit is defined. But to exclude parents from raising their children is NOT acceptable.

What we need is for society is to return to “normal” and “accepted” behavior and not forcing people to accept alternative lifestyles and behaviors.

Herb Dettmer is a retired Bowling Green resident, U.S. Army veteran and writes this column representing the viewpoint of “Joe Average” citizen. He is freelance writer and author of “Others,” a devotional book. Call or text “Joe” with comments at 419-494-4641.

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