Moral values' vs. freedom

Dear BTL,
People within a society must be given the dignity to have freedom of personal beliefs. For only through this freedom of personal belief can a society be allowed to call itself just and righteous.
Through the defense of this freedom, we as a nation have learned not only to tolerate but also to affirm the differences within our people. We have proudly developed into a people of diverse spiritual beliefs. Through this diversity we have come to realize that there are core moral values that transcend individual faiths: 1) Care and compassion for all fellow humans, no matter if we agree with their beliefs or not. 2) That our love for each other must be showed through our actions. 3) It is our duty to teach our children not only tolerance of other beliefs but to affirm each individual's right to those beliefs.
We are a proud nation, with forefathers who gave their lives for our freedom of belief. When this freedom is taken away, not only is the individual deprived of his dignity, but also the entire society is defiled. In our current society, Queer Americans are losing their freedom to believe as they wish and still have their equal rights and benefits like other American citizens. We must realize that the freedom for which our forefathers died can easily erode without our vigilance. For when a nation allows a larger group's beliefs to destroy a smaller group's freedom to believe, the fabric of that nation weakens at every point. When that nation allows this kind of destruction of personal belief, soon afterwards the larger group will call for the total elimination of that minority. Soon after that, the larger group must find another minority group to eliminate so that the larger group can develop a society that thinks only as they do, thus creating their "pure society." This has happened in other countries, it can happen here.
It is the duty of every citizen to fight for the freedom of individual beliefs, for equal rights for all citizens, and to stop any attempt to make America a "pure" society.
Phil Volk


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