”I’m offended by that!” I hear this kind of remark all the time! I hear remarks like this reported over the news and at other times. “I’m offended by a baseball or a football coach’s praying while his players are gathered around him before the game”. “I’m offended by the cross – as a symbol of life and belief.”  “I’m offended by the crucifix I see some people wear.” And the list goes on [ad nauseam].

You know what? I’m offended by a lot of things, too…it’s just that I don’t make such a fuss about many things. I don’t whine and complain about them like some do, and call attention to their endless chatter about their “so-called” rights.
Although, my complaints about the actions and the lifestyles of many others don’t often, if ever, make the front page of the paper or the leading TV headline.

I am offended by the lifestyle of those who would bully or injure or kill someone and cause the person’s family to suffer pain without end. I am offended by people who take the freedoms that U.S. citizenship provides (or is supposed to provide) and then use those freedoms to trash and to downgrade the God-given freedoms of others.

I’m offended at t-shirts, which promote hatred, violence, sexual violence, and any kind of bad manners, and the downgrading of women or the exploitation of women. And I am certainly offended by court rulings that take away, or cast doubt on one’s personal freedom within the law and within common sense and social decency.

Do you know what I think? I think that in the U.S.A., I have, or I’m supposed to have religious freedom, the freedom to believe and to worship according to my heart’s dictates – so long as I do not trash the different belief of another.

There are, in my humble opinion, entirely too many people who think that their rights, and only their rights are important – their rights in society, in the home, in the marketplace, and in their business. They have either forgotten or never knew, that the greatest country in the WORLD respects the rights of EVERYONE. But the respecting of the rights of everyone absolutely means that the governing rules of their country cannot be ignored or changed, but MUST be preserved. Otherwise, everyone’s rights will be gone within a very short time.

Now, let me be perfectly clear. One would think that what I have said would already be understood. I’m sorry, but in my experience, it hasn’t.

Each person’s freedom should be subject to or modified by the freedoms of others. And this is only within the freedoms of the laws of our country. No one should have the right to challenge or infringe upon my personal rights if the laws of my country are obeyed. Going against the laws of your country almost always goes against common sense. Also, when, if ever, does the infringing or denial of your country’s rights constitute freedom in the sense of freedom for all? Freedom for some and not freedom for all is NOT true freedom for anyone.

Such activity as I have described is called Dictatorship, which destroys the rights of a free people. This freedom-less way of life is for a citizen who has a king and an absolute monarch for the head of the nation.

Most of us may be able to remember that great movie of a past time which told about the Civil War and its happenings. It showed, in a correct, graphic, and historical manner, the collapse of the South and the ways of slavery. The name of this film was Gone With the Wind.

This so-called genteel lifestyle of the U.S. southern plantations and the way of life there disappeared. The South lost the Civil War, the North won, and slavery was abolished. A way of life founded on a wrong principle came to an end – it was “gone with the wind.”

So, in the same way, when our Constitution and our Bill of Rights are trashed by the wrong people we may vote into office, our way of life, our freedom of religion and conscience with protective laws for all, will vanish – it will all be “gone with the wind.” And it may be much later, or never, when our former way of life with freedom for all within laws that protect everyone’s rights will ever again be established.