Whatever happened to the constitution and the bill of rights? How far will the government go to invade my private life? Why can’t I make the choice to smoke or not in my own home? Where is my freedom of religion when I’m admonished for wishing someone a Merry Christmas? Can the government really tell me I can’t super size my meal at a fast food restaurant? Don’t they have more important things they should be thinking about? Why should my rights be destroyed just to be Politically Correct?
I’ve been reading a lot of articles lately regarding our right to choose the correct holiday greeting. It seems some are offended if I wish them a Merry Christmas. I’ve been told by some the correct greeting should be Happy Holidays or Seasons Greetings. A friend of mine was told people were offended because she had a manger in her front yard, and they had to see it when they drove down her street. I won’t give you her exact reply, but it consisted of a remark they should be keeping their eyes on the road and their nose out of her yard. I have friends and neighbors that are Jewish and wish me a Happy Hanukah, and I’m not offended. If someone wishes me a Happy Kwanza, my reply is a thank you and a smile. We come from different religions, and we all have the right to our own beliefs. Why should the government feel it is their duty to make us change to accommodate the few that feel threatened or offended by our desire to honor those beliefs?
How is it right for the government to take away my 1st Amendment rights for a few that complain? Should they change their beliefs because I might be offended? Our country was built on the premise of One Nation Under GOD, and yet we allow the government to take GOD out of our lives. Could this be the reason the country is in such a state of hate and chaos?
I know the current Politically Correct word now is to practice tolerance. Well, I don’t believe in the word or the concept. Instead, I believe we should use the word understanding because it puts us on equal ground. In my opinion, tolerance is much the same as ignorance. If I practice tolerance, it would mean I’m too ignorant to try to understand that people come from different cultural and religious backgrounds. When I say equal ground, I am referring to the ideal we have the freedom of choice to decide our own mind and not be forced to hide, accept or reject our beliefs because it isn’t the same as others. It would also give them the same respect for their choice.
Where does the government get off telling me whether or not I can smoke in my own home or my car on a public highway? Are not my taxes going to pay for that same highway? Now that I’ve brought up the word taxes, I decided to check out how those taxes are distributed. Most would think they go to some specific area dealing with cause and affect of smoking. It might even go into programs to help people stop smoking. You would be wrong. According to an Iowa government website, House Bill No. 362 allotted funding from cigarette tax to a program to prevent suicide. I’m not sure what suicide prevention has to do with smoking. I couldn’t find any statistics on the number of suicides having any bearing on whether or not the person was a smoker. I live in California where I’m sure my cigarette smoke is much more harmful to the environment than the 20 or so refineries, not to mention bad vehicle exhaust, spilling into the air. Their breakdown was even more surprising. Ten cents went into a general fund with no specifics of the distribution. Twenty-five cents is used for reimbursement to doctors and hospitals for treating patients without insurance, fire prevention, conservation of wild life and parks and recreation. Fifty cents went to a program for child development, including development of professional and parental education (part of which is how to choose a daycare). Two cents was the total amount allotted for breast cancer. After reading these statistics, I would think the government would be willing me to smoke more so they can reap the benefits of my tax dollars.
You can do an easy Google search to see the number of articles written about the cost to the local economy where the government stopped smoking in bars and casinos. However, I couldn’t find the statistics for how much money the government gave these business owners for their loss of revenue. There was nothing about how much money the government gave to the employees who lost their jobs because of the cutbacks resulting from the loss of revenue. The government had no concern for them, yet is concerned enough to take my right. I know I’ll get the argument about how bad smoking is for my health. I pay for my own cigarettes, I pay for my place to live, I pay for my car, and I pay for my own health insurance. When you start paying those bills for me, I’ll be happy to listen to your thought on how I should or should not live. I’m considerate enough not to stand near you to smoke, so I ask you have the same consideration. Do not come stand next to me, take up my space and complain my smoke is bothering you.
When will people start taking back their right to choose the food they eat instead of allowing and petioning the government to make the choice for them? I realize many of these new laws being enacted are the result of lawsuits, many of which are insane. The man who wanted to sue McDonalds because he ate their food and became obese is typical. I’m sure they didn’t twist his arm or force him in any way to put the food in his mouth. The best one is an article written in 2003 by Kim Severson of the San Francisco Chronicle about an attorney suing to stop Nabisco from selling Oreos to children. Rather or not my children ate Oreos was really an easy decision for me to make, I didn’t need to check with a government official. There are so many children going without food, I think his time and our tax dollars would be spent more wisely in trying to help them. Chicago, New York and many other cities are imposing bans on restaurants regarding food containing trans fat content. When I eat out, I don’t need the government to choose my meal. I simply look at the menu and decide if I want to eat a big fat steak, or a nice green salad. The government should not have to be involved just because people are not willing to take responsibility for the choices in the foods they eat. I would much prefer they worked at making sure the food was safe from bacteria or disease, and I’ll decide what I should or shouldn’t eat.
Poverty, homelessness, unemployment, AIDS, homeland security are just a few of the things I find to be so much more important for the government to be fixing. I’ll be glad to help them find solutions for any of these problems if they will just allow me to make my own life choices. I am not putting the entire blame on the government, and take my own responsibility as a citizen who voted them into office. Have we as a country become so concerned with being Politically Correct that we have put our own rights in jeopardy?