I would expect that it's safe to say that all parents teach their children to stand up for what they believe in. In fact, the history of our country, and the world for that matter, stems from individuals who chose to stand up for their beliefs. This was often in the face of adversity.
There are many times, and I include myself among the masses, where we truly challenge the opinions and battlecries of others due to difference of opinion; however, the same goal is present: improving the overall welfare.
We draw party lines and complain that one side or the other seems to consistently attempt to thwart progress by acknowledging setbacks. Sure, their opinions differ from ours; however, the movie "An American President" says it best when it explains, "You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil who is standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours."
This goes quite too far when institutions and organizations attempt to shut down the element of free speech. They seem too far common nowadays with news items where the Vatican has attempted to quiet a group of nuns from fighting for social justice. Perhaps, the most commonplace where this occurs is in the media; however, these often seem far removed from community or county media outlets. Such attempts to silence passionate citizens who work for local media due to differences of opinions are not outside of our area, despite complete unawareness by the majority of the community.
Newspapers refuse to publish a particularly well written article that perhaps the editorial staff does not agree with ideologically – perhaps a challenge to free speech. Newspapers demand that journalists refrain from writing any article due to participation in political rallies that some readers or some cronies disagree with – perhaps a challenge to free speech and a challenge to the law subject to litigation. Newspapers regrettably decline to publish my "letter to the editor" because they are concerned about the nature of its contents to their individual actions – admission of guilt.