Respect vs. Rights

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by Semper Fi, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. Semper Fi
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    Semper Fi VIP Member

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    Not sure where else to post this, mods, feel free to move it.

    A kid in my Spanish class, who I get along with as long as we steer clear of political discussion, defends to his death his right to not stand up during the Pledge of Allegiance. Now, this isn't intended to be an amendment speculation thread, rather a discussion of courtesy and exercising rights.

    While I know he has the right to be "civilly disobedient," and remain seated during the Pledge of Allegiance, it strikes me as disrespectful. The First Amendment guarantees me the right of FREEDOM of SPEECH (and I emphasize speech in this example). Therefore, if you were cooking lasagna and it burned, and I came to your house which reeked of burnt Italian food, I have every right to say "Man, your house smells like shit, dude!!" But I wouldn't. Why? Respect. I'll also not point out that your sweater is ugly or your new haircut just isnt you. Again, respect.

    It's also ironic that this kid and those like him value freedom and liberty above all else. Yet he wont stand in respect for the country that provides him with what he finds beloved.

    So this raises the question, both for you personally and in general. Do you place respect and courtesy above utilizing your rights, or do you know when to step down from the soapbox, but the Bill of Rights back in your pocket and exercise courtesy? And what do you expect others to do?

    Personally, I'd stand in respect during France's national anthem, and I detest France quite a bit. It's called respect and courtesy...oh, and I'll also respect anyone and everyone until they give me a reason not to. It saddens me that not a lot of people exercise respect and courtesy anymore.
     
  2. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    Reminds me of the hippy cartoon where they were discussing going down to the local Court house to protest the evil US Government and burn an American flag, right after they hit the Post Office to get their Welfare check.
     
  3. 82Marine89
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    82Marine89 Member

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the 1st Amendment apply to the government? I can do whatever I want, whenever I want, as long as I respect the rules of the property owner of whose property I am on. While the government can't make him stand, you have every right to state your opinion to him. Do it out of respect for this great Nation, he has done nothing to EARN your respect and everything to lose it.

    As for friends, I would tell them if their house smells like a Yak's ass or if their haircut is screwed up. Then I'd give him shit until he fixed it or it grew out. But then again, we Marines didn't have the most flattering haircuts coming out of boot camp, but out of respect and admiration, the other branches of the military have tried to emulate us and started wearing our High and Tights.
     
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  4. pegwinn
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    pegwinn Top of the Food Chain

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    What he said :iagree:
     
  5. Dr Grump
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    Dr Grump Gold Member

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    I don't even sing my own national anthem because I'm an athiest and it mentions god. However I do stand when it is played, as I would for any other national anthem. The kid in your class is lacking both class AND respect IMO..
     
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  6. ReillyT
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    ReillyT Senior Member

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    Perhaps he is demonstrating his respect for the values of the country by openingly exercising the rights that it allows. Perhaps if it were the French national anthem, he would stand, because it is the respectful thing to do and he feels no attachment to any of the values or rights of the French state. On the other hand, he obviously feels a strong attachment to the rights and values of the United States, and by opening demonstrating these rights and values, he is, in his own way, paying respect. If he just didn't care about this right (and the values associated with it), he would probably just stand up like a lemming. It is because he doesn't stand up that he shows that he is cognizant and availing of his rights as an American.

    Just a possible interpretation.
     
  7. Dr Grump
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    Dr Grump Gold Member

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    Talk about trying to stretch a point.......
     
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  8. ReillyT
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    ReillyT Senior Member

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    I do what I can.
     
  9. Taomon
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    Taomon Active Member

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    If you truly believe in the freedoms that the Constitution provides, then you must respect his freedom to not stand during the pledge of allegiance.

    Do you know the history behind the pledge? It was not invented by our founding fathers, it is a cold-war creation to make sure people were not communist-sympathizers.

    Not exactly the symbol of freedom or liberty, the pledge of allegiance is still used to separate anyone who's political beliefs do not lean in the "Right" direction. Notice how you can single that kid out? He is alright as long as you don't discuss politics.

    My daughter chooses not to stand for the pledge of allegiance. My wife believes she should and after a long discussion about it, we all agreed that she has the right to not.

    Incidently, civics classes are almost non-existent now. The Pledge is said in school and most children believe that they will get in trouble if they don't say it (I polled my neighborhood and some friends).

    I spoke to the principle of my daughter's school to make sure that kids would not get into trouble. He confirmed that. I asked why the children do not have a civics class that explains their rights, if they are told to stand and say the pledge of allegiance, they should understand why and whether they actually have to.

    The principle's response was that he did not want a bunch of kids refusing to say the pledge without good reason.

    Even though it is their right.

    Conformity and assimilation are huge contributors to ostracization and brutality. And that was not the intent of our founding fathers.

    And if my house smelled like shit, please tell me.
     
  10. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    Rebellion in this form is usually a youthful expression of 'look at me, see I think something is wrong, and this is how I choose to react.' People change as they grow up and then (often) realize that particular action may have been less than proper. We all did it at some time. Let it go, we often read too much into these things.

    OT Funny how France comes up as hated by so many Americans? When we were there, I have to say the feeling wasn't reciprocal and they were really nice people.
     
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