Don’t be afraid to listen

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Amanda Graef

Respect rights to express opinions.

With a polarized political climate sparking disputes over strongly held beliefs, it is more important than ever to protect and respect people’s rights to freedom of speech.

Love of Truth Ministries brings controversy to campus when it holds anti-abortion events, displaying sandwich boards with graphic photos of aborted fetuses in the mall.

While people often have strong reactions to the demonstration, it is important for people who disagree with the ministry’s message to express their disagreement while respecting the protesters’ legal right to express theirs.

Free speech is not limited to your opinion. By its nature, it protects people whom you disagree with as well.

This is one sphere in which silencing “the enemy” is not a victory. Fight for others’ rights as if they were your own — because, really, they are.

Free speech is necessary to exchange information and opinions freely and without censorship.

Through this free exchange, people can learn alternate points of view and be exposed to new information. This is needed to make informed decisions.

Don’t be afraid to hear, see or read things you disagree with. You are welcome to disagree. But try to give objective consideration to that information before rejecting it.

Ignorance is not a position of power, and it is not compatible with enlightenment. People who think their opinions are flawless are not omniscient — they’re closed-minded.

When alternative viewpoints are carefully considered and understood, that information can fuel the fire of a well-informed opinion.

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