"If you will not stand and defend your God-given liberty, you will be a slave to one who opposes it!"
~ Ben Gilmore

"Take God out of anything and it dies!"
~ Ben Gilmore

"People do not make wars; governments do."
~ Ronald Reagan

"The wave of the future is not the conquest of the world by a single dogmatic creed but the liberation of the diverse energies of free nations and free men."
~ John F. Kennedy

"There is nothing so likely to produce peace as to be well prepared to meet the enemy."
~ George Washington

"Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties."
~ Abraham Lincoln

"Unless enough individuals take dominion of the principles that guided our founders, our efforts to repair and rebuild will be futile!"
~ Ben Gilmore

"Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of the men who follow and of the man who leads that gains the victory."
~ General George S. Patton

“I would rather be optimistic and disappointed than pessimistic and correct.”
~Ben Gilmore

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2015-10-13 Moral Equivalency

ACH Study Groups

Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders

7659 Gingerblossom Drive

Citrus Heights, CA 95621

916-722-2501 histbuff@garlic.com

www.ACHStudyGroups.com

October 13, 2015

This is a letter to our friends –

Moral Equivalency

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

[Evelyn Beatrice Hall (1868 – 1956), who wrote under the pseudonym S. G. Tallentyre, was an English writer best known for her biography, The Life of Voltaire She also wrote “The Friends of Voltaire”, where you will find the opening quote (above). Hall’s quotation is often cited to describe the principle of free speech.]

We think of “free speech” as a God-given liberty. Yet nothing exists without laws to govern it. “Do not shout ‘fire’ in a crowded theater.” “Do not misuse God’s name.” “Speak politely.”

“Liberty” is not a “license” to cause damage. Liberty is the right to my thoughts and opinions. If I cherish mine, I must defend yours, else ours will not be protected.

That does not say that all thoughts and opinions are equally valid or true. Truth is not subject to majority opinion! You have the right to be wrong.

To say that all speech is of equal value is to deny that absolutes exist. Can one be absolutely sure that absolutes don’t exist? Human nature is such that we like people to agree with us. We tend to avoid discussing opposing opinions. Other (annoying!) persons thrive on argument.

A true love for the truth requires that we discus opposing, or new views and opinions. Not to enhance self-esteem, but to increase in knowledge and wisdom. Some subjects are truly important. Like discussions of the nature and character of God. Does God exist?

In a small mostly Muslim village in Pakistan (1977), the village elders had come to visit. They were happy to discuss God. I pointed out that God is all powerful, all present, all knowing, eternal. They were in full agreement. When I added that God was forgiving, loving, merciful, patient, … the village elders remembered an appointment and had to rush off. Had they stayed, I might have used God’s creation to illustrate the true character of God. How He loves us and provides for all of us.

Some subjects seem important because of tradition or personal pride. “Discussion” degrades into “argument” over inconsequential things, like techniques of baptism, fish on Friday. We can agree to disagree without rancor.

I believe we are wrong to consider major differences equivalent (equal). Why should we be afraid to discuss the views of Protestants and Catholics, Christians and orthodox Jews (Note – There are Christian Jews), believers and unbelievers. The truth is out there. Both parties have a vested interest in discovering it. Human nature is what degrades discussion into argument where nothing is gained. Respect for one another’s views, opens the door for discussion among those willing to consider opposing opinions.

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