ON A PERSONAL NOTE/By Maramis
Whatever happened to morality? Can any of us remember when people hesitated to do the wrong thing, not because it was against the law or because certain people in authority didn’t want it done, but simply because it was wrong; it was against our moral code?
We have gotten to the point where many people make their decisions not even based on what is allowed, or what is not against the law, but on what they think is okay; what they think should be acceptable because some agree with them and they are willing to fight to get their own way. As long as the majority of people accept or don’t fight against their wishes; as long as the majority of people don’t object to such things as being against the principles of common decency, morality, or (let’s throw in for good measure) our constitutional rights, those who propose things that go against everything the rest of us believe in are likely to get their way merely because they can.
We are living in strange times. One would think that as time goes by, and major mistakes have been made in administering justice in this country, that we would have learned a few things about what we’ve done wrong according to those who have examined our personal rights under the Constitution and the wishes of the people, fought for those rights, and tried to correct the mistakes that others have made simply because they wanted things to go their way; to have the outcomes they were not only hoping for, but working to get, and all the while knowing that they were bucking not only the Constitution, but their own sense of right and wrong, the actual “standard” of morality, which can be summed up no matter your political or religious beliefs, in that one very ancient rule about how to get along in life: the golden rule.
Who would honestly say that they would want to have their own free expression of their opinions taken away from them? There may come the day when one couldn’t even say that they didn’t like the design of a house or the color a wall was painted because such things would offend someone who was in a position to have those expressed opinions banned just to please the offended person. But would the offended person like it if whatever they had to say, as an opinion, was also banned — or worse yet, if they would lose their job over it?
Oh, the power of those who can declare things for others that they would never want declared for themselves! It’s no longer about right or wrong, it’s about how those who were somehow offended by your opinion can call the shots!
I remember back in the day, when I was in grammar school, we had to play by the rules. No eating in class — unless we brought enough for everyone. There were no special privileges for the one student who wanted to go against the rules. And if any student chose to act up and wouldn’t obey the class rules or the teacher, that student would suffer the consequences, which could be: 1) staying after school to clean the Blackboard and the Blackboard erasers; 2) having the teacher talk to their parents about the problem; 3) going to the principal’s office to sit there and write an essay on why they were removed from class; or 4) expulsion from school after their third disruption; they could not return without reassurance that they would shape up. It seemed that justice was alive and well in our elementary schools back then. Rules that were necessary were enforced, and those who broke the rules — wanted to have things their way — had to pay the piper. So I was surprised that years after I was out of school, one woman could get her way just because she wanted it; she was an atheist who did not want her child “exposed to God.” Forget the old concept of not letting one person have their way just because they want it since Madalyn Murray O’Hair managed to get prayer and anything pertaining to God taken out of public schools in the year 1962. While I am not at all in favor of foisting any particular prayer upon students, or favoring any one religion over others in a school setting, I am very much in favor of God. Also, I believe Madalyn Murray O’Hair had a right to her opinion and to express that opinion, but I do not believe that she had the right to make her opinion become the gold standard for schools. At the very least, we could have changed “prayer time” to what later became “silent time” for students to pray if they wished.
But it should never have become “verboten” to even mention God, or Allah, or whatever one called their higher power, before class time started. Thank goodness it has gone full circle to where students now can at least have their own religious after-school groups if they want without being kicked off school property because someone thinks it’s against the Constitution or against the general principles of the Department of Education.
Someday personal opinions will be back in vogue and people like Sarah Erwin can have one without being fired. (The only advice I would give those still brave enough to state their opinions in a public place would be to state that they are giving their opinion.)
Apparently no one took a poll or vote to see who wanted our children to be force-fed Critical Race theory, and yet they will get it. And no one was asked if they wanted their children to be force-fed books on “The Joys of Being Gay” (my made-up name for a point I am trying to make) or books of that ilk. No, this is not a “racist” comment about those who are gay. I don’t care if someone is gay (I do not ask or need to know a person’s sexual persuasion and it wouldn’t change how I feel about them as long as they don’t try to recruit children into their way of life, against their nature, any more than I would care what religion anyone practices — but I don’t want them to proselytize me or my children with their lectures, basically tearing down one’s current beliefs in order to raise theirs up).
Freedoms are precious. I don’t want to lose any of mine, especially the ones that are God-given. If you want to lose yours, that’s okay
with me too, but not when you intend to take mine down with you. If you like being dictated to, that’s also your choice although I find it a little weird (my opinion), and I will not let you think that it’s okay with me to persuade me to your way of thinking.
Parents can and do teach their children a lot, but schools have been canceling out a lot of what parents teach by being forced to teach
what the government says must be taught in school. We seem to live in a country now where what the government says goes, and children are put in the position of listening to what the teachers teach more than what their parents ever told them.
Do we really want our children to grow up as little government robots? Or do we really, deep down, prefer that we get back to morality in decision-making and care enough to see that our children are not allowed to get away with “having their own way” which can well lead to their becoming like a Madalyn Murray O’Hair when they’re grown up, changing our country, but not for the better.
Morality is very important, but you can’t have morality without the truth. The question is, who’s in charge of the truth?
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Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune. She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Maramis, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.