Keeping it Real

For this blog entry, I want to take the time to really appreciate how privileged my fellow bloggers and I are to do what we do with MediaPost, Ball State University, and even our country as a whole.

Overall, bloggers and other critics have a reputation of being blowhards with a keyboard that only know how to complain about every little thing.

While the above sentiment isn't far from the truth, we should all be happy that we can write lengthy blog posts of celebrity gossip, political opinions, and even our cats. I know it's trite to say that we shouldn't take our freedom of speech for granted, but...

We shouldn't take our freedom of speech for granted.

I know our country isn't perfect. We've got our share of political, economic, and social woes, but at least we're able to complain about them. The US government goes to great lengths to make sure our 1st amendment rights are alive and well—even as far as allowing the infamous Westboro Baptist Church to protest military funerals.

Some people may look at the WBC's protests and think, "Well, that's a reason against free speech!" On the contrary, while I am against such protests, the beauty of it all is that one could express what he or she believes—even if it's the most unpopular opinion on the planet.

Other countries aren't so fortunate.

Last June in Taiwan, a woman was arrested for criticizing a restaurant in her blog because its food was too salty and there were cockroaches in the kitchen.

The lesson: if you don't like a restaurant Taiwan, don't say anything or you'll be arrested for libel.

In a more tragic case, a woman in Mexico was decapitated for blog posts she wrote on a website known for being critical of drug cartels in the area. These cartels are responsible for the deaths of over 80 journalists in the last decade in Mexico.

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There is a countless supply of these stories coming from all over the world; each one is a sobering reminder of how much freedom we truly have in this country.

As I mentioned above, this blog post is about my appreciation towards being able to blog about my opinions, criticisms, and nonsense from my brain to this website. We have the agency to do something that the most oppressive rulers fear; we’re doing something that will get us arrested or killed in other places. How's that for perspective?

All I want to say is: I appreciate writing the words you're reading.

4 comments about "Keeping it Real".
  1. joseph , September 28, 2011 at 8:25 p.m.
    I read the story of the decapitated Mexican woman the other day and almost wrote a post about it.  I am a very political person by my own nature and so go figure I am a Legal Studies Major/PoliSci Minor.  I have also lived in other countries that did not share our values with regard to Freedom of Speech.  I have followed the Westboro Baptist Church ever since I saw one of Phelps' parishioners throw a brick at someone in the name of Christ.  So with the same appreciation you have to be able to blog, I share the same appreciation to share how vile the Westboro Baptist Church is and what they have done.  It is with our current culture, and the religious climate in the United States, right now from the divisions within Christianity that are at the root of the divisiveness in politics today.  There is a huge majority of American Christian people that would never violently assault a gay person or member of the military.  I believe this is the case for most religions in the world.  What troubles me though is that this same huge majority does absolutely nothing, at least in comparison efforts, to combat this "Christian" assault on the rest of Christianity and all other rational thought in the world.  It is sad that there are more Pastafarians and atheists that share the ideologies of Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins willing to stand up for the protections of gay people and equal rights to all than there are vocal Christians willing to stamp out the hatred from within the hundreds of denominations of the Christian Church.  There is this silent creeping thought process, that is like mildew in dark dank corners of a basement, that is eroding common sense within good moral people within the majority of Christians.  It is there that we need to study this social phenomena of why it is easier to stay quiet and do nothing than it is to actually stand against the exact problems that Christ  witnessed with the Pharisees 2000 years ago.  The handicapped, the blind, the afflicted, the divorced, the poor... these were the friends of Christ and the same ones who were shunned and denied entry into the temples. So when you hear people try to tell you the orthodoxy of their dogma, ask yourself, "Would this be the where Jesus and his friends would hang out or would he turn over the tables in that church?" What do I know though?  I left the church 13 years ago and became a Buddhist... the only religion never ever ever spread through violence.   When you compare the extremists (I am not referring to all of them): (A) assassinations of abortion doctors and gay teens that has a history of burning women at the stake and upholding slavery, or (B) monks that dig through dirt to save the insects and worms before a construction project begins or even at the worst, setting themselves on fire, not someone else, to get the rest of the world to take notice. Hmm... In 1637, a Plymouth court found two men, John Allexander and Thomas Roberts, guilty of "often spending their see one upon the other"  Allexander was ordered by the court to be "severely whipped, and burnt in the shoulder with a hot iron, and to be perpetually banished from New Plymouth, and if he be at any time found within the same, to be whipped out again by the appointment of the next justice." (http://www.mayflowerhistory.com/History/CrimeAndPunishment.php )  I am very appreciative that I can post this online because if I were in Massachusetts in 1637, it would have been a bad week.
  2. Joe Huber from Ball State , September 30, 2011 at 1:04 p.m.
    I never, EVER take my freedom of expression for granted!!! It's unreal the various types of censorship that take place. I think articles just like this are incredibly important to reiterate exactly the point here: We have a voice and are free to use it.
  3. joseph , September 30, 2011 at 5:18 p.m.
    I read the story of the decapitated Mexican woman the other day and almost wrote a post about it.  I am a very political person by my own nature and so go figure I am a Legal Studies Major/PoliSci Minor.  I have also lived in other countries that did not share our values with regard to Freedom of Speech.  I have followed the Westboro Baptist Church ever since I saw one of Phelps' parishioners throw a brick at someone in the name of Christ.  So with the same appreciation you have to be able to blog, I share the same appreciation to share how vile the Westboro Baptist Church is and what they have done.  It is with our current culture, and the religious climate in the United States, right now from the divisions within Christianity that are at the root of the divisiveness in politics today.  There is a huge majority of American Christian people that would never violently assault a gay person or member of the military.  I believe this is the case for most religions in the world.  What troubles me though is that this same huge majority does absolutely nothing, at least in comparison efforts, to combat this "Christian" assault on the rest of Christianity and all other rational thought in the world.  It is sad that there are more Pastafarians and atheists that share the ideologies of Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins willing to stand up for the protections of gay people and equal rights to all than there are vocal Christians willing to stamp out the hatred from within the hundreds of denominations of the Christian Church.  There is this silent creeping thought process, that is like mildew in dark dank corners of a basement, that is eroding common sense within good moral people within the majority of Christians.  It is there that we need to study this social phenomena of why it is easier to stay quiet and do nothing than it is to actually stand against the exact problems that Christ  witnessed with the Pharisees 2000 years ago.  The handicapped, the blind, the afflicted, the divorced, the poor... these were the friends of Christ and the same ones who were shunned and denied entry into the temples. So when you hear people try to tell you the orthodoxy of their dogma, ask yourself, "Would this be the where Jesus and his friends would hang out or would he turn over the tables in that church?" What do I know though?  I left the church 13 years ago and became a Buddhist... the only religion never ever ever spread through violence.   When you compare the extremists (I am not referring to all of them): (A) assassinations of abortion doctors and gay teens that has a history of burning women at the stake and upholding slavery, or (B) monks that dig through dirt to save the insects and worms before a construction project begins or even at the worst, setting themselves on fire, not someone else, to get the rest of the world to take notice. Hmm... In 1637, a Plymouth court found two men, John Allexander and Thomas Roberts, guilty of "often spending their see one upon the other"  Allexander was ordered by the court to be "severely whipped, and burnt in the shoulder with a hot iron, and to be perpetually banished from New Plymouth, and if he be at any time found within the same, to be whipped out again by the appointment of the next justice." (http://www.mayflowerhistory.com/History/CrimeAndPunishment.php )  I am very appreciative that I can post this online because if I were in Massachusetts in 1637, it would have been a bad week..
  4. joseph , October 2, 2011 at 6:35 p.m.
    I read the story of the decapitated Mexican woman the other day and almost wrote a post about it. I am a very political person by my own nature and so go figure I am a Legal Studies Major/PoliSci Minor. I have also lived in other countries that did not share our values with regard to Freedom of Speech. I have followed the Westboro Baptist Church ever since I saw one of Phelps' parishioners throw a brick at someone in the name of Christ. So with the same appreciation you have to be able to blog, I share the same appreciation to share how vile the Westboro Baptist Church is and what they have done. It is with our current culture, and the religious climate in the United States, right now from the divisions within Christianity that are at the root of the divisiveness in politics today. There is a huge majority of American Christian people that would never violently assault a gay person or member of the military. I believe this is the case for most religions in the world. What troubles me though is that this same huge majority does absolutely nothing, at least in comparison efforts, to combat this "Christian" assault on the rest of Christianity and all other rational thought in the world. It is sad that there are more Pastafarians and atheists, that share the ideologies of Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins, willing to stand up for the protections of gay people and equal rights for all than there are vocal Christians willing to stamp out the hatred from within the hundreds of denominations of the Christian Church. There is this silent creeping thought process, that is like mildew in dark dank corners of a basement, that is eroding common sense within good moral people within the majority of Christians. It is there that we need to study this social phenomena of why it is easier to stay quiet and do nothing than it is to actually stand against the exact problems that Christ witnessed with the Pharisees 2000 years ago. The handicapped, the blind, the afflicted, the divorced, the poor... these were the friends of Christ and the same ones who were shunned and denied entry into the temples. So when you hear people try to tell you the orthodoxy of their dogma, ask yourself, "Would this be the where Jesus and his friends would hang out or would he turn over the tables in that church?" What do I know though? I left the church 13 years ago and became a Buddhist... the only religion never ever ever spread through violence. When you compare the extremists (I am not referring to all of them): (A) assassinations of abortion doctors and gay teens that has a history of burning women at the stake and upholding slavery, or (B) monks that dig through dirt to save the insects and worms before a construction project begins or even at the worst, setting themselves on fire, not someone else, to get the rest of the world to take notice. Hmm... In 1637, a Plymouth court found two men, John Allexander and Thomas Roberts, guilty of "often spending their see one upon the other" Allexander was ordered by the court to be "severely whipped, and burnt in the shoulder with a hot iron, and to be perpetually banished from New Plymouth, and if he be at any time found within the same, to be whipped out again by the appointment of the next justice." (http://www.mayflowerhistory.com/History/CrimeAndPunishment.php ) I am very appreciative that I can post this online because if I were in Massachusetts in 1637, it would have been a bad week..