Cooperation is the foundation of any and all societies. A high level of cooperation leads to a higher standard of living and a greater degree of prosperity. A low level of cooperation leads to a breaking down of society as seen so many times in man’s history. When we agree to cooperate in an effort to make and maintain a society we agree to respect each others rights whether we acknowledge this openly or not.
Our rights are the guidelines of our freedoms. If one man’s freedom becomes another man’s slavery that is not freedom but an abuse of freedom. It is a blatant act of disrespect and a severe lack of cooperation, thus counterproductive to society. People that willfully disrespect the rights of others in a society are an enemy to society no matter how their religion or personal beliefs may justify such actions.
Speech is a very important freedom that is abused quite often in our society. Rev. Fred Phelps and his congregation have a right to voice their opinion and protest. The grieving widows, mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters of fallen servicemen have a right to have a quiet private ceremony for their departed loved ones. Rev. Phelps and his congregation denied these people their right to have a respectful burial. An act that put his rights over the rights of the mourners thus breaking the basic law of cooperation, the foundation of society itself.
The other common misuse of freedom of speech is harassment. When speech is used strictly for the purpose of slander or abuse it is no longer freedom of speech but a form of harassment. Harassment again is a violation of the basic law of cooperation. People have a right not to be harassed.
For those of you out there that are saying I’m free not to cooperate, you’re right. But you’re also free to join those millions of other people around the world rotting in jail for their lack of cooperation. When Jesus said “Judge not lest ye yourselves be judged” he was alluding to this very point. “Control not lest ye yourself be controlled;” “Enslave not lest ye yourself be enslaved;” “Manipulate not lest ye yourself be manipulated …”
Cooperation and mutual respect paves the way to freedom, for with freedom comes the responsibility of other peoples freedoms. Without this cooperation, society and our freedoms will perish in the flames of selfish self-righteous stupidity.
ISN, Rev. Michael S. Margolin