Friday, April 16, 2010

Democracy, Free Speech and the Presidency

Since Barack Obama was elected President, Grams has been deluged with emails and Facebook posts making derogatory comments about him and his presidency.  If you know me then you probably know that I actually voted for Barack Obama and am very pleased with some of the accomplishments of his administration. Time will tell whether I'm right or not, but I think he's on the road to being a great President.

But, I won't use today's post to speak in support of health care reform.  And, I'm very aware of the right to free speech afforded us by the First Amendment.  Grams knows that you have every right to say what you want about anything, within legal parameters.

What I'm sick of is reading blatantly untrue information about the President and his administration.  Here's the most recent one I saw yesterday and again this morning. 
President Obama has decided that there will no longer be a "National Day of Prayer" held in May. He doesn't want to offend anybody. Where was his concern about offending Christians last January when he allowed the Muslims to hold a day of prayer on the capitol grounds. As a Christian American "I am offended." if you agree copy and paste no matter what religion you are, this country was built on Freedom!!!
First of all, let me say, as a Christian American I am not offended.  That's right, I don't find this offensive in any way.  Because IT'S NOT TRUE!

That's right, this information about President Obama canceling the "National Day of Prayer" is complete and total crap.  CNN reported that  "A federal judge on Thursday struck down the federal statute that established the National Day of Prayer, ruling that it violates the constitutional ban on government-backed religion."  Did you catch that?  It says "a federal judge," not President Obama.

They further reported that "The Obama administration said in a Twitter message on Thursday that Obama intends to recognize this year's National Day of Prayer, which is May 6."  Read the entire article here.

The same Constitution that gives Americans the right to free speech also provides for separation of church and state and allows ALL of freedom to practice whatever religion we choose or none at all if that's what we choose.

Come on, people, if you're going to get all hot and bothered about something the President has done, at least get your facts right.    

If you want to know what does offend me, it's the lack of respect given to this President.  I have heard people whom I once considered to be reasonably intelligent people call him derogatory names related to his race, his parentage, his intelligence, etc.   

On this subject, my kids would say I'm "old school."  I think President Obama deserves respect because of the office he holds.  I had teachers who never, and I mean never, tolerated students who referred to any President of the United States by their last name.  It was completely unacceptable to refer to President Johnson or President Nixon or President Carter as Johnson, Nixon or Carter in every classroom I was ever in.  When that happened during class discussion, discussion was stopped and the teacher explained how the highest office in our government deserves and demands respect.  We were instructed to rephrase our statement correctly. 

This atmosphere that is so widespread in our county is detrimental to all of us.  So, just a friendly reminder, this is still a democracy!  Maybe your candidate didn't win this time, but Barack Obama is the President.  That's the way democracy works, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, but the winner is always OUR president.  If you don't like that, work to change it next time.  But for now, can't we tone down some of this rhetoric (especially the part that's not true) and move on.

3 comments:

  1. Well said! What happened to respect for the office of POTUS? I get so sick and tired of all the nastiness. The misinformation is just rampant and goes virile with such a quickness! As citizens we need to rock the vote whenever we have an opportunity. Like you said, that's the way democracy works!

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  2. Right on! What's most alarming to me is that so many of my fellow citizens think that Fox News is actually news. Whatever happened to those critical thinking skills that we learned in grade school? So many of us are content to be uninformed, or ill-informed at best. Educate yourself with real resources and use your noodle people!

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