Censorship should be censored

With the current debates over censorship, gay marriage, and the ever-topical abortion rights, it is easy to see how people aspire to force their belief systems on one another.

If you’re an MTV-watcher, you’ve probably seen the commercials supporting the anti-censorship cause. The debate is over whether swear words or other “dirty” words should continue to be edited out of music and music videos, or if the songs should be left the way they were created.

Censorship detracts from the work of any artist. Be they Dave Matthews or Snoop Dogg, almost every artist that you see on MTV puts his or her soul into the lyrics. Those familiar with any particular musician or group already know what to expect from their next album in terms of language. Therefore, if they see an artist coming up whose lyrics they don’t approve of, nothing is stopping them from simply changing the channel.

The whole fear of swear words is unfounded to begin with. The only thing really wrong about them is that they are just plain disrespectful and can be offensive due to their meanings. Hearing somebody swear constantly is like being around an incurably pessimistic person. It is annoying because of the negativity, but beyond that the words are really only sounds. A horrible word here means nothing in Iran because the sounds are not evil. The words themselves are defined by culture, so there is nothing to be afraid of.

On June 24, a Utah man was arrested for checking out approximately 400 library books and blacking out every word he deemed offensive. This may seem extreme, but it is exactly what is being done on MTV. Just because a few people find the words disagreeable, they are forcing their beliefs into the lives of other people.

Of those who advocate President Bush’s plan to amend the U.S. Constitution in order to prohibit same-sex marriages, few are in support for reasons outside of religion.

The religious Republicans are refuted by the Democrats in every argument they make, until they reach, “The Bible says it’s wrong.” Well, the Bible also says to leave judgment up to God and to practice unconditional Christ-like love. Whom a person is attracted to has nothing to do with the quality of his or her friendship or how trustworthy he or she is. The Bible says we have been put on this earth as free souls. Therefore, restricting two adults from making a decision that involves nobody but themselves in the name of the Bible actually goes against what it preaches.

If you don’t want gay marriage, don’t have one. It is that simple. In the past, it was unlawful for two people of different religions to marry. Before that, it was unlawful to marry somebody outside of the same race. By barring people of the same gender from marrying, the acknowledgment of human rights is taking a step backward in history.

This will also be the first time the Constitution has been changed to disallow a right.

What one group of people thinks is best for humankind often clashes with the beliefs of another group. Even within one religion, there are many different sects that may contradict one another. Forty years from now, the votes may lean in favor of an assembly whose judgment is not one that one would be comfortable with. Is it right to have one subject to laws that censor one’s personal life just because someone else thinks it best?

Forcing others to conform to one’s standards in their own lives is truly unethical. Whatever the reason, be it religion or personal judgment, censorship of other people’s rights is inconsiderate and unkind.

If someone wants to skip the bad words, just change the channel once one sees the title in the corner.

If you think being gay is immoral, then go ahead and pick your friends based on their sexuality. But when you force censorship on others just so you can feel safer in this world that you share with everybody else, you might regret it when the polls are turned against you.

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