Joe Average: Everyone has the right to believe as they want


Why is it that some people are offended by another person’s belief or opinion? But get incensed, angry, mad, when their belief or opinion is questioned? Is this part of the two tiered system we now have?

During the Christmas season, too often we were told saying “Merry Christmas” was offensive to some people. Now at Easter, saying “Happy Easter” is equally offensive. What gives? Why are we so sensitive to others beliefs, we don’t want to hear anything about these? A verbal expression of one’s beliefs shouldn’t be offensive to a non-believer.

When a Jewish person says “Happy Hanukah” to me I acknowledge this with a smile and say, “Merry Christmas.” All is fine, we both know and respect the beliefs of each other. There is no hate or bad feelings.

The same or similar should be for any religion or belief or opinion. In our country, the USA, we all have the Freedom to have our own beliefs and faith. That is what our constitution says. That is the purpose of the constitution, giving the Freedom to believe or not believe. To respect other beliefs, “shall not be infringed” is key to this.

But saying some people are offended by hearing “Happy Easter” or “Merry Christmas” is really being disrespectful. Something that these people say we should be, about ideas, beliefs and viewpoints we don’t support or believe. Shouldn’t respect go both ways? Mutual respect, even if we don’t follow the other belief?

What about the Freedom of expression, of belief? Don’t we all have these? Or only the “chosen few,” the “politically correct”? What ever happened to equality?

Or is there some movement to promote one idea and suppress another? There seems to be. Those with the loudest voice have taken over. Those who believe their “activism” needs to dominate all of society. Any other viewpoint or belief needs to be ignored or even canceled. So much for a free and independent country.

Are these offended people so thin skinned and selfish they can’t respect an opposing idea? Or a different viewpoint? Where did they get the idea they can dictate what others believe or think? Again, so much for a free and independent country. Then what about the diversity we keep hearing about. Aren’t different ideas, viewpoints and beliefs counted as diverse? Or is it just certain specific ideas, viewpoints and beliefs that count and are permitted? That only the offended approve?

There needs to be a change in attitude, a change in thinking that every one has the right to believe as they want to, and everyone respects the differences people have. Offensiveness is probable, but we must respect and accept people won’t always agree with us.

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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