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Be tolerant – respect and protect legitimate rights of others

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10.DEC.10

Editor: We the people know how important these elections are to us Vincentians. For me, it is critical to the preservation of our God-given inalienable Rights and Freedoms. And as such, my vote will be against the anti-rights and anti-freedoms behaviour of the ULP government, glaringly evident during and after the 2009 Referendum.{{more}}

We are all free to vote for or against any political party we want. However, we do not have the right to disrespect another person/s through our words (slander, libel, defamation of character) and behaviour (violence). In this regard, it would be fitting to consider the words of 17th century French philosopher Volaire: “I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

It’s just about one week before the long awaited election day, and already we are hearing of incidences of violence committed against persons of different political views. We need to be more rights-respecting and freedom-friendly for our happiness, and by extension, the preservation of our society.

We need to be tolerant – ‘respecting and protecting the legitimate rights of others, even those with whom you disagree and those who are different from you…living peaceably alongside others, in spite of differences.’ The New Tolerance, Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler.

Unfortunately, there is a mistaken immature view that if you strongly criticize a person’s views you are intolerant and unloving. This is not true! It must be made clear that being critical to another person’s view is not equal to hatred of that person. So, discuss, debate, criticize but do not be intolerant and infringe on persons’ Rights and Freedoms.

In this period of elections when emotions tend to run high, let us be respectful of each other’s God-ordained and constitutionally guaranteed freedom of choice. Despite our differences, we are all vincentians, and most of all, we are all part of the human race created by God, with Rights and Freedoms.

Ann-Marie Ballantyne
[email protected]

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