The Tyranny of Silence

Usually, I wait until I have at least started a book before I might comment on it (tho I prefer to finish reading a book). I used to know a woman who loved to read murder mysteries, and she invariably figured out whodunit by about the second or third page (of course, she was a voracious reader, so she always finished the book, even tho she knew how it ended). Me, I would often finish the last page scratching my head wondering where the butler was. But, if I wait until after I finish Rose’s book, it might be years from now: at the moment, I have a stack of about 30 on the floor next to my bed. But, I can’t resist this one, even if I might be premature.

 

While I personally endorse respect, and don’t find humor is most things that apparently pass for humor in this day and age, I also vehemently do support the right of free speech. So, if someone wants to call something art that I wouldn’t dignify with a second glance, well then, I won’t give it a second glance. But, do I have the right to say they don’t have the right? Hell no. First and foremost: I definitely do not have the right to do something because it is me doing it, than I have the right to prevent someone else from doing the same thing because it is them doing it.

 

That’s the first thing: I want free speech, so you must also have free speech. If I don’t want you to prove how stupid you are then I don’t get to either. Or, something like that.

 

Second, who’s to judge? The government? Some committee of persons (I almost said “citizens” but that is becoming a thing of the past)? Individual persons? How about if we ask the man in the glass? Yeah: I mean self control. Yes, I do bite my tongue a lot. May I ask: “Why don’t you?”

 

But now that ISIS (or IS or ISIL or whatever) is in our faces every single day, it is getting harder and harder to keep my mouth shut – or my hand off of my own firearm. Having said that, I thank GOD that I don’t live in any countries where they (it?) are in control. As bad as the shooting in San Bernadino was, that abomination is nothing like what happens in the Middle East every day. It is no wonder that the people who live in the Middle East say nothing; but it is a wonder that people who don’t live in the Middle East also say nothing. Yet, the terrorists have no trouble at all saying they are linked/associated/affiliate with Islam – and sometimes, some Islamic group says they know the terrorists.

 

So, what I am to do? Well, whatever GOD had in mind for me, I know I’m not going to turn the other cheek – I’m just not built that way. And now that I have these two little packages of wonder and hope and immeasurable joy in the house, I will do anything I can to ensure their future.

 

The first thing I can do, is this blog. I’m not much of a voice and there aren’t many who hear me; but it’s a start. Then, because the Islamic extremists can function only with violence and nothing else, then I must be prepared to be physical. They want to use guns, guess what I’m going to do? I will not sit by and let anyone – anyone at all – threaten my family.

 

But, that’s my family, I have no right to interfere with ISIS and other families. Or do I?

 

Well, yes, I do. You see, I’m a firm believer that someday, I will be standing in front of the Pearly Gates and a voice will thunder out of the heavens (where else?) and ask: “What have you done for Me?” What am I going to say, “Well, Lord, you really didn’t give me very much to work with.” (Maybe Adam should have tried that line?) Somehow, I am supposed to convince Him that I don’t know the Bible story of the three servants who were given different amounts of money from their master to invest? If I just bury my talent – or my head – and then expect Paradise, that’s got to be unconscionably insulting. In other words, I have the GOD-given right and obligation to help others. In fact, since my life is not about me, then it must be only about other people.

 

I’m not proposing that I be the self-appointed mouth-piece of the huddled masses (whether they are yearning to breathe free, or not). But I am very much stating that neither does ISIS – and certainly not in my backyard.

 

Someday perhaps, I will read Rose’s book; but if I am not too far off the mark, then I have to agree that silence is not a good thing. I mean, what’s the first thing that ISIL does? Just so I am not accused of being one of those people, I should be shouting from the roof tops. Yes, I do believe that being silent is a mistake – now and for the future.

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