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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1 Comment

  1. Chelsea Olivarez on

    Don’t be afraid to listen April 2,2018
    Editor, freedom of speech is not just a right but also a privilege.
    Everybody has their own opinions and own lives; Lives in which we all live and learn differently.
    When an individual is to express their personal opinion on a particular subject it was either a lived experience or learned.
    People who go through a personal issue or problem will impact their opinion on whether they are for or against the problem.
    A learned experience is gained insight one receives from another person.
    Either or ones opinion can change.
    For example, one person might be anti-abortion with minimal insight or information, and have a discussion with someone who is pro-abortion with more insight and facts.
    No matter who believes who’s wrong or right there should be a mutual respect between the two.
    Everyone’s cognitive thinking is based on ones experiences, beliefs, and feelings and is manipulated by the way they identify the world.
    Everyone will always have their own beliefs and opinions, which is why it is so important to respect others and their opinions to understand their views.

    Chelsea Olivarez
    Olivarez.chelsea@yahoo.com
    Comm 1307-025
    Journalism in Photography

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