TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY
I heard this lady in line at the supermarket the other day chatting away on the phone.
It wasn’t like I was eavesdropping — she was talking like she was in the privacy of her own home.
She was complaining to who I suspect was her sister about something she caught her son watching on TV.
I assumed at first it was an older child I didn’t see — however, when she said the child’s name to the woman on the phone, the little bipper sitting in the buggy in front of her, wearing a diaper, shouted with glee and clapped.
Then she turned to him and said the same name to him, telling him to hush.
I do that because she was telling the woman (or her sister, I could only hear the voice) that they should not play that stuff on TV — while she ignored the cute antics of her son.
I think she even mentioned suing the TV station — but I’m not sure about that one.
But what I was sure of was that her comment was discussing quietly infringing upon my rights as a free citizen.
“What are you talking about?”
“There are lots of shows that shouldn’t be on TV and she should sue.”
I can hear those comments now, and likely a few more.
But according to the history I was taught in school, the gist of the reasons for many of those wanting to emigrate to “The New World” was to escape persecution and pursue a life of freedom.
But if she followed through with her statement, that lady on the phone would step all over my rights.
If I believe the TV show in question is OK for myself to watch, then I should have that right. I also have the right to change the channel if something is distasteful or not to my liking.
That’s the beauty of the remote control — I come from the era when you actually had to move yourself to the TV and physically turn the knob for a new channel.
And then, there were only a few channels from which to choose.
What I don’t have freedom to do is raise a bunch of commotion just because some show offends me.
I really wanted to tell that lady to just not allow the little boy to sit in front of the TV but instead spend a little time with him before he’s walking and driving and moving out.
But then that would infringe upon her rights to raise a brain-dead child raised on TV. So of course I said nothing.
It’s the beauty of freedom — people living their lives in the way they choose without fear of judgment from others.
When we start pointing fingers and suing people and making crazy laws to restrict what we think are the strangest of activities, then we start pecking away at the rights in which our forefathers so inherently believed.
Take the rising distaste for Christianity. While we, as a nation, bend over backwards to accommodate those who rightfully follow a different set of beliefs on one hand; on the other hand, we’re chastising and even demonizing the smallest expression of Christian beliefs.
And much of that blame lies at the door of national TV media.
I remember when Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow knelt in prayer on the sidelines — you would have thought he kicked a puppy into the goalpost and ate a plate of kittens for breakfast.
He just offered up a prayer — no harm done to others.
When I was in school, the Bible was still part of education — but the bulk of that was voluntary and required parental permission to participate.
Now we’ve banned Christianity from schools.
Why? Do we not agree that the basic tenets of Christianity — being kind and good to one another — aren’t ideals you would want your kids to learn and appreciate? You don’t necessarily have to follow the Christian religion, but demonizing a group of people for their beliefs goes completely against Americans’ constitutional rights. And I’m sick of it.
As a nation it’s time we start doing one thing — minding our own business when it comes to people living their simple lives. Start focusing on issues which matter to the nation as a whole, like terrorism, like horrific natural disasters, like families living on the brink of complete poverty.
When we start nitpicking every little thing we don’t like about another person or group of people, we lose our national pride and trample on it like a used flag.
John Ross is a reporter for the Times-Tribune. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org