I believe in God and I believe I have a right to say that. I am a citizen of the United States of America and I am proud to be an American. This country has been built on the diversity of its people and the hard work of generations. What distinguishes us from others is we are the land of free speech and opportunity. Countless people have come to the United States to enjoy the benefits of being an American so what happened? When did we turn into a country with no respect? When did having an opinion that differs from someone elses become so unpopular? From the Presidential elections to ordinary people, we now witness total disregard for those who don’t agree with someone elses view. To me this is terrifying. I attended Chick-fil-A day in Naples, Florida because just as I write my blog, I believe and need to support others right to say what’s on their mind. A difference of opinions and a healthy dialogue is what this country is about. My experience of people young and old from all different socio-economic and cultural backgrounds waiting patiently in huge lines for over an hour to buy something from Chick-fil-A was my right to stand by someone, who even though many did not agree with what he said, will defend his right to say it. Respect, that basic yet often overlooked behavior that distinguishes a civilized person from an uncivilized one, is now devoid in our society. The mainstream media, politics even social media has become an opportunity to try to stop freedom of speech. Commentators who ‘talk over’ their opponents and Facebook posters who declare those with differing opinions as ‘haters’ are indicative of a society gone mad. I do not believe in a socialist of fascist state, I believe in democracy. We have a voice and we have a choice. We can exercise our right by voting and supporting those we believe in. If you do not agree with someone, don’t buy their product, vote for them, watch their program or read their column. That is our right. The attempt to oppress differing opinions or to ban businesses from conducting business in certain areas simply because we don’t like them is ludicrous. In fact, to me it is scary. What will be next, being told we can’t read certain books ,watch certain programs or practice our religion? In the words of philosopher George Santayana Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Let’s not forget history. For those who agree with me I hope you share my blog and for those who don’t, you have a choice not to. That right to choose is what the United States is about. God Bless America!

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