Monday, February 22, 2021

Responsibly exercising your freedoms

 I was reading an article over on Dark Brightness this morning about the church in Alberta that is under attack by the government for holding services.  I'll let you read the article if you want more details but it boils down to a) they are being very careful about tracing the Chinese virus, and b) they are insisting on having church services because they feel that it is necessary for the spiritual health of their congregation.

What struck me, however, was a quote by the premiere of Alberta (governor for Americans) who said 

I renew my call for all faith communities to responsibly exercise their freedom of worship

Key word here is "responsibly". What he really means is "do it the way I tell you to" since from what I have read they are, in fact, being very responsible. They aren't, however, complying with government dictats. 

Have you ever noticed that the phrase "responsibly exercise your freedom" ALWAYS means stop doing what you are doing and do what I am telling you to do instead?  That 100% of the time it actually means "don't exercise your freedom".  Do we need examples?  

I'm guessing that you can come up with some on your own but "hate speech" exceptions to free speech come to mind.  If you say things we don't like then you are being irresponsible with your freedom of speech and we will have to regulate you. 

"Common sense" gun laws might fall under this.  It is irresponsible to own semi-automatic, powerful rifles that hold multiple rounds because someone might use them for ill purpose.  If only you would have the guns we approve of we wouldn't have to enact more laws to prevent you from owning the ones we don't like.  

Sure religion is fine, but you should only do it in the privacy of your own home, otherwise we'll have to take action to prevent you from exercising your freedom of religion irresponsibly.

It is hard to argue against being responsible which is why this phrase is used so frequently.  The argument then shifts from whether or not you have freedom to whether or not you are being "responsible" and what exactly that entails.   It is hard to argue from the point of view that if freedom of speech only protects inoffensive speech then it isn't freedom, especially when the definition of inoffensive is then weaponized to marginalize one side of a polity (look at the current kerfuffle over "incitement" by the President and compare what he said to what the left in America said about the BLM riots and looting over the past year).

1 comment:

John Wilder said...

Life, at some point, involves risk. You can't eliminate it.

(shakes head)

I'm stunned that people have put up with masks as long as they have.