I am a Protestant, a Baptist in the line of Roger Williams, a Methodist in the line of John Wesley, a Christian attempting, however feebly, to follow my Master, and it is my duty to protest against that which my conscience and my faith cannot tolerate. As a citizen in a democracy, “…of the people, by the people, for the people,” I have a right to protest and to speak my mind and my conscience. As a human being I protest when the right to protest is denied anyone. Do you want to punch me in the face? Do you want me to be “carried out” on a stretcher? Can you tolerate me? Do you see me being “nasty as hell,” because I protest against your political stance?
|"This land is my land,|
this land is your land.."
meant to be shared.
And who are you, you, who would punch me in the face? You are protestors too.
You protest the present status of our government. I have no objection. You have the right to protest, just as I have that right. You protest the present leadership in our country, which, by the way, was elected “by the people” just three years ago and for a second time. You have every right to state your case and I promise you I will not “punch you in the face,” even if I do not and cannot stand with you. I honor your right to protest—will you honor my right to protest? You have every right “to push back…” and I claim that same right for myself. That is how a democracy works.
Our protests and varying opinions can be made and stated freely without violence, malice, or nastiness. It can happen in a civil way, without degrading one another or punching one another in the face. It can be done without scapegoating, without projecting hate and bigotry on one another. It can be done without one group or the other being carried out on stretchers. If we cannot do our protesting in this way, we will undermine the very fabric of our democracy, the very nation, we hold dear.
I protest—and will not tolerate anyone punching you in the face or carrying you out on stretchers because of your stand. I hope you will grant me the same courtesy.