Moments of Obsession!
News update: A sad end of a misguided idealist!
Timothy McVeigh was executed for the crime against the people on June 11, 2001!
Pushing the Limits of Liberty!
At a moment of obsession, a good idea becomes very dangerous!
Oklahoma bomb by Timothy McVeigh killed many innocent people including government workers and children. This year, 1997 he was tried, convicted and given a death sentence by jury of his peers. David Koresh led many of his religious followers to death when he refused to abide by the government's rules and regulations. Years ago, Jim Jones, the leader of The People's Temple killed close to one thousand people in a group suicide ritual --- the world was shocked! Similarly this year, Marshall Applewhite of Heaven's Gate group, led thirty nine people to perish from another group suicide in California. They claimed to be pursuing the alien mother ship trailing behind the Hale-Bopp comet in order to crash through the gates of heaven.
At a point and time, all these people were legally exercising both their freedom of religion and that of free speech under the democratic constitution of the United States. However, the obsession of their ideologies, charged with heightened emotionalism eventually led to tragedies. In view of these types of madness, it is fair to ask a question -- Should there be a limit to liberty without the fear of censuring freedom of speech or impinging on people's rights?
"Those who choose to exercise their rights under the banner of democracy must impose self censorship and not push the gift of liberty beyond the limits of common sense. This we owe to ourselves and our children in the preservation of democracy and liberty for all."
Ironically, those who had similar antigovernment rhetoric to that of Timothy McVeigh are the same group cheering the law to send him to electric chair. Sadly, people are sometimes overwhelmed by emotions and great tragedies happen.
June 30, 1997, Hong Kong returned to China formerly under the British rule for close to two centuries, the pro-democracy supporters are scared not knowing what may happen. Dictators around the world have abolished liberty seeing the extremism of American exercise of the freedom of speech. Years ago, those students in China whose democratic movement was crushed by tanks and armored cars find the gift of liberty as elusive as ever.
But, in America, we enjoy the verbal emotional ventilation of anger or dislike for those things we resent even if done by our government. Some how, many people have been fooled that the government is the only source of our problems! Rush Limbaugh becomes a millionaire capitalizing of this sentiment. He appeals to the minds of people unable to think for themselves! Where do we draw the line of freedom of expression even when kids are involved? Should children have rights to do anything they want?
Those who enjoy liberty must protect it's virtues by not over-pushing its limits. For anything done in excess will one day come to a tragic end.
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Editorial by 'Yinka Vidal, 1997