This I Believe

Katie - Buda, Texas
Entered on September 8, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: freedom
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Americans have become overly concerned about limiting one person’s rights to protect another’s.

Everyday I look around and see a small group of people who force everyone else, myself included, to put our beliefs on the back burner so as not to ‘offend’ anyone. I want to know what makes this small group so important. Do their opinions and beliefs matter so much that mine become overruled. Besides, in my opinion, can’t everyone express their opinions without ‘forcing’ them on others?

Everyday I walk into a school where rules that do not allow me to publicly express my religious beliefs await me. God is now almost a cussword; like if you want to say it you have to check to see who is around first. My education takes place on a campus where if I wish to pray before an athletic event, I must make it discreet so that no one notices. ‘Political Correctness’ has reached the point where the prospect of the word ‘God’ being removed from the Pledge of Allegiance, something which I have recited everyday since my first day in Kindergarten, does not seem far-fetched. This scares me. When something so fundamental in American society begins to be questioned, things have definitely been taken too far.

Everyday I experience the glorious freedom this country provides, but I don’t really stop to appreciate it. It is all that I know because I haven’t had to live in any other countries, some of which the citizens have little liberties. Some even have specific religions they must practice for fear of prosecution. This country was based on religious freedom. Groups of migrants flocked here for that prospect throughout the centuries, and for what? Only to end up being told they can not express how they feel.

It is a sad day when the valedictorian of a high school was cut off in the middle of her speech because she said that God helped her make it there. It is a sad day when another valedictorian had to ask his fellow graduates to fake a sneeze so he could say “God Bless You”. It is a sad day when we can know longer be ourselves, because we are told it intrudes on others.