Written by Don Ratzlaff Wednesday, 27 June 2007 01:36As we prepare to celebrate our freedoms next week with Fourth of July celebrations, we would do well to remind ourselves to truly embrace the freedoms we claim to be so dear. In times of war, especially unpopular ones, we’re tempted to be less tolerant of the voices of criticism and opposition in our land.
We don’t have to like the political views we hear, whether they be in the national media or local coffeeshop. But freedom of speech says they have the right to be voiced. It also means we can disagree with them—and even better, engage the speakers in respectful dialogue.
Though French in origin, the words of philosopher Voltaire in the 18th century should be the creed of every American today: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Anything less is hypocrisy. —DR