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Bill of Rights — Amendment I

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.

This is almost all I can think about this evening, watching the Iran news pour in via Twitter and CNN.  It’s mesmerizing. It makes me even more grateful for our own First Amendment – the Amendment by which I’ve been granted the right to make a living all these years, in helping others to tell their story and to communicate the messages important to them and their audiences.

But some people who are Twittering tonight are sending some disturbing – and, IMHO (in my humble opinion), quite ignorant messages.  There is a category of people who don’t know why we should care about what’s happening in Iran.  There is another category of people who are harshly criticizing President Obama for not speaking out earlier, and with stronger statements.  And then there are those who are making fun of the whole thing, rediculing it with satire and off-color jokes.

I don’t want to think Americans in general are so ignorant of history – including the history of U.S. involvement in Iran –  or current events, but perhaps that is something these people share in common.  I am more than gratified to see yet another category of people Twittering tonight – those who are grateful for their rights and freedoms, and who understand the contrast between what is happening in Iran and the lives we enjoy here.  One person wrote in to remind the rest of us that it was just 40 years ago that our own civil rights protesters were putting their lives on the line, and were greeted with dogs, whips and water hoses. 

As my military friends say, freedom is never free.  And as I’ve said for many years, there are a few things that I feel are worth putting my own life on the line for:  first, my children and grandchildren; second, the First Amendment.

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