Monday, January 31, 2005

Freedom of Expression Unimportant?

This makes me sad.

I'm not little miss flag waver by any stretch of the imagination. I have no problem with saying that the US has problems. Big problems. I don't feel like listing them now because I don't want this blog to turn into some big political debate.

But the fact of the matter is that one of the things that makes me glad I live in the US is the fact that our newspapers are not censored by the government, we are free to express ourselves by whatever means we feel, and we are free to practice the religion we choose. Those freedoms provide another check in our system of checks and balances.

Now, that doesn't mean I think that news agencies should just report every lead that crosses their desks willy-nilly. I think CBS learned that lesson. The journalistic profession needs to police itself though, and enforce a code of ethics within its ranks. That isn't up to the government.

And while I may think that some forms of "self-expression" in "art" are icky and inappropriate, not everyone holds that opinion. The artist didn't, for one. If we censor the arts, well, that's the first step to a marxist society.

And while I think flag-burning is a pointless means of protest, I would defend anyone's right to do it. It is just a piece of fabric, after all.

Finally, freedom of religion keeps us from turning into a theocracy run by fundamentalists who have some pretty scary ideas of what society should be like. I like being able to choose the manner in which I practice (or don't practice) my religion without government interference.

I worry about the next generation. I really do.

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