The Responsibility of Free Speech

Monday, July 30, 2012

Over 200 years ago, our founding fathers felt strongly enough about our personal freedoms, that they fought for them! Today, we live under the protections (although somewhat splintered) their passions afforded us. One of the greatest privileges we enjoy was granted to us in the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America:
our freedom of speech:

freedomofspeech

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Last week, we posted a picture of Don & Jo's business sign on our Facebook page- the message on the sign generated a conversation (please feel free to join in!) about what is (or is not) OK to post on a business Facebook page. We thoroughly appreciated both sides of the conversation and want to extend our thanks to the merchants and friends who expressed their opinions on our site. As a longstanding business, we have come to realize that it is impossible to separate our personal views, thoughts and opinions from our business- the two are inseparable. We are passionately connected to the work we do at Total Merchant Concepts. The simple truth is, that our personal viewpoints impact the way we do business and are a part of every decision we make as a business entity. When we post a conservative viewpoint, it is because we have conservative viewpoints as individuals and we share what we believe. Our decision to share our thoughts and convictions are not meant to say that someone with an opposing viewpoint is wrong- they are simply meant to say- this is what we believe. We serve all different types of people and businesses and as such, we hear about a TON of different viewpoints. We do not always agree with them, but man do we LOVE the dialogue that comes from peaceful disagreement! We believe that voicing our opinions in a respectful and responsible manner is what the forefathers intended when they crafted that incredible document. As you visit our web site, our Facebook page and read our weekly blogs, we invite you to share your opinions; even if they differ from ours. We are committed to exercising our First Amendment rights with both respect and responsibility!

Here are a few links & quotes that you might enjoy as you consider the rights and responsibilities associated with the First Amendment.

Mohandas K. Gandhi: “Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress.

Earl Warren: "The censor's sword pierces deeply into the heart of free expression."

Stockwell Day: "I believe in freedom of speech, but I believe we should also have the right to comment on freedom of speech."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

http://www.tjcenter.org/monument/

Cheri Perry 7/30/2012

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