I’m offended…

Some sweet, extended family members went out Friday evening for dinner and a quick errand. Dinner was great, but then, after venturing in and out of Pet Smart, one of them started to back up the truck…

… and he hit her.

“Her” was a young gal in her lower-sitting sedan. 

Daily, no doubt, conflict exists. We run into trouble with people who get in our way, who inconvenience us… hit us… hurt us… even cause damage.

Maybe the damage is minimal — just a fender bender, perhaps — but maybe it’s more… it can feel so harsh! Maybe, in fact, it’s simply their existence that we find so damaging to what we are trying to do or where we are attempting to go.

In so many places and pockets these days, we find persons unwilling to tolerate even the existence of another. How many times have we read a social media thread where someone calls someone else out, simply saying, “STOP!”…

I’m offended! … you and your opinion are not welcome here.

I’m offended! … that is not an angle I will allow to be discussed.

I’m offended! … you are ignorant; no need for civility with you.

The sequence starts with offense.

Observe once more our family members and their accident…

The damage was minor, but damage nonetheless; both parties had cause — justified grounds — for offense. But notice what they chose…

As they awaited for the police to arrive, my family members began to converse with the twenty-something female driver of a car that was “pretty blue and fairly new.”

While engaging in interactive, listening-oriented dialogue, they quickly found common ground. The gal works at my family’s doctor’s office.

The common ground brought trust, and so they spoke more. And more. Even though the setting had all the potential for opposition and offense, they chose otherwise, knowing the issue would be mended faster and better if they could see something good or common in the other.

After all information was exchanged and the police had finished making record of the accident, see the reaction of those involved, before they resumed their evenings as planned:

“… she said she felt like us literally running into each other was a ‘God-thing,’ as she loved having the opportunity to talk with us. She said she felt like God allowed that little accident to happen just so we had that time together.

The policeman even told us both how nice it was to deal with people who weren’t all irate and screaming at each other…”

So often we choose to be offended. We have grounds; our offense is justified. 

But what if we chose otherwise?

Said the family:

“Their comments touched my heart, and it just goes to show you how our words and reactions to a situation can make all the difference in the world. This turned out to be a positive experience rather than a negative one, because of their reactions…

An experience I will never forget… it brought tears to my eyes.”

Choosing not to be offended… finding common ground… listening… still dealing with the issue but in an honoring-of-all kind of way…

What a positive experience.

Respectfully…

AR

taking notes on the 4th

Declared in Congress, July 4th, 242 years ago today:

“… We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…”

Taking notes…

Truths… we don’t question these… this is reality… always accurate and in play…

Self-evident... it’s obvious… it doesn’t have to be nor should have to be explained… to any…

All… all people… men and women, it would now say…

Are created equal… regardless of who you are, what you look like, color or creed, gender, generation, ethnicity, intellect, or faith… whether you’re a Democrat or Republican… voted for Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, or none of the above… equal, it says… not better… not worse… no superiority… 

Endowed by their Creator… acknowledging God and him having an active role in our existence… he is an active God, giving us something… endowing… shows we recognize that not only do we not have life all figured out, but we aren’t even capable… it’s a “God thing” — not a ‘me’ or ‘we’ thing… we leave God out sometimes… often, maybe… seems we’re missing something… really important…

Unalienable Rights… what are those?… something that can’t be sold or transferred or taken away, I’m told… something permanent — with us/for us always here on Earth… and God is declared the giver of those… not man… not government… man and government are not to be equated with God… they can’t… they aren’t the same…

Among these are Life… Ah, I see now why we squabble… so many issues with so many angles in regard to what this looks like… what does the unalienable right to Life look like, especially when considering an infant, a criminal, or one at war… not arguing… just asking… desiring dialogue, always… wish we all asked and listened more than ranted and raved… we could learn so much if we listened better — tolerated, even considered varied perspective…

Liberty… Oh, let freedom ring!… maybe this is what’s hardest for us… Liberty is an unalienable Right… and it feels so good!! … but what happens when your freedom encroaches upon my freedom?… but what if it doesn’t… what if it really doesn’t… what if someone else’s Liberty doesn’t really obstruct or impede… what if the real issue is that I want you to think like me… I want the rights of others to align with me being the one who thinks rightly…

And the pursuit of Happiness… isn’t this an individual thing? … do I need everyone to think like me and embrace what I believe and accept how I behave in order for me to be happy?… seems like we can be pretty blindly selfish at times… yes, me included…

Thinking maybe there is something we can still learn here, even though it was 242 years ago…

“The Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled,” concluded that day…

“… support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

A recognition of the divine, Providence, a commitment to one another, our fortunes, and honor…

… learning how to honor one another…

Still taking notes….

Respectfully on the 4th of July…

AR

ethical?

We’ve entered a key stage here, friends. Emotions are heightened. The environment seems to be intensifying, almost by the hour. People are noticing; they’re talking.

Individual observers are reacting in individual ways. Individuals vary in the ways they respond. There is not one sole, correct perspective; the Intramuralist believes in the allowance of varied perspective.

It’s the 2018 World Cup Round of 16!!

Sports journalists have posted their previews; the games have begun; Messi and more, unfortunately, have already been eliminated.

Here, no less — albeit slightly tongue-in-cheek-ly — is what we ‘most’ need to know…

First, as offered by Lewis Krell in yesterday’s Huffington Post [emphasis mine]:

“Anyone who has ever taken an Economics class knows that there is only one universal truth; we all respond to incentives. What it is that motivates us changes from person to person but we are all willing to change our behavior to get whatever it is that we want. In soccer (brace yourself for a shocking statement) what everyone wants is to score a goal. When Americans watch soccer we have a tendency to get angry at the players on the field for embellishing contact, whining and in general following Coach Bombay’s advice perfectly. To remove flopping you need to remove the incentive to flop. Currently, the perverse incentive structure of the sport makes flopping and diving far too rewarding to the elusive pursuit of scoring and therefore diving runs rampant, becoming a distracting side-show to an otherwise beautiful game…”

In other words, “flopping” in soccer is a player’s exaggerated expression — when all eyes are on him (or at least the referee’s eyes) — in order to produce a competitive advantage. The player acts as if he has been significantly/seriously injured/offended by an opponent — only to be fully capable of all amazing athletic acts seemingly less than thirty seconds later. The player thus either lied or amplified what happened to him.

Flopping is faking. The motive is to gain a competitive advantage. The reality of the situation is secondary to the player’s desire to win.

Krell continues:

“The problem lies with the current way that penalty kicks are awarded. In a sport where it is so difficult to score, it is sheer insanity that a penalty in the box is rewarded with such a monumental advantage as the penalty kick. The ease of scoring a penalty kick compared to the difficulty in scoring during regular play leads to these objectionable actions that are far too prevalent in soccer…”

Note: we are speaking of objectionable, exaggerated expressions that are far too prevalent.

So if flopping is deliberate, my question to all centers upon whether or not it’s ethical…

… talented people… maybe truly good people… perhaps even highly intelligent people… but people faking their response…

Is the faking ethical?

The sincere challenge, friends, is that some are floppers and some are not — but the floppers and actually-injured are all mixed up together. It is often impossible to discern the difference.

Speaking candidly, the next layer of the challenge is that often we know a person’s expression is exaggerated, but they’re on our team, so we don’t necessarily refute their expression; we don’t question their exaggerated means because we identify with the cause they are attempting to advance. 

So again we ask: is that ethical?

(… in soccer, of course…)

Respectfully… always…

AR

honked off

I did it again. 

Can you believe it?! 

And it was on the way to church… to church — for goodness sakes!!

The light had turned green, and yet the Rogue driver in front of me didn’t move…

… one Mississippi… two Mississippi…

HONK!

Ok, it really wasn’t that loud; it was more like a “honk” — much lighter, if you will.

And then I realized it. There are four types of “honkers” in current culture…

First, the “I Will Never” Honker…

… No matter what, no matter how egregious the error on another’s behalf — even if they are totally in the wrong and thinking crazily, irrationally, and all of the above — I will not… I refuse — not… I will never honk my horn to bring attention to you… I just couldn’t do that to another…

Second — (yes, moi) the “Tap, Tap” Honker…

… I really don’t want to… I don’t want to honk my horn at you. I want to treat you well and respect you, but the reality is that you’re not acting wisely. You need to move or do something different. Hence, I will lightly tap on my horn, letting you know I’ve noticed, but I have no desire to embarrass, shame, or disrespect you…

Next, the “Less-Than-Half-a-Second” Honker…

… Oh, my… I have no time for this. You are inconveniencing me so much… you are a freaking menace to society! Don’t you realize it? MOVE! And move now! Geesh…

And lastly, the “Flip-You-Off-While-You’re-at-It” Honker…

… Not only are you a frickin’ menace to society, but you shouldn’t even exist! Get the $#!%&! out of here! You are a disgrace to the human race. You shouldn’t have ever been born!.. 

[Pause… deep breath…]

So question…

Which of the above “honkers” will make an effective difference on another’s journey?

Which of the above “honkers” makes you want to be a little more like them?

As one witty, recent meme suggested: “FYI: If you beep your horn 0.3 seconds after the light changes green, I will shut off my car, lay on the hood, and feed birds for an hour.”

In other words, honking at people more often than not, doesn’t produce the kind of change we say we believe in; it doesn’t make people act more like we desire; it doesn’t make them want to be more like us. They might move in the moment, so-to-speak, but lasting change is typically not a result of demonstrative honking.

So where do we need to change how we let another know of their perceived error in judgment? … an error that inconveniences us or is in our way somehow? What if it’s ridiculous, even foolish behavior?

Great questions. 

Maybe we should spend more time asking and listening as opposed to finding louder ways to honk our horn.

Respectfully…

AR

what if I’m the hypocrite?

Seriously.

What if it’s me?

What if I’ve always said to love my neighbor as myself but then I intentionally choose some not to love? 

What if I’ve announced my pursuit of the truth and nothing but the truth and then justify why it’s ok to promote falsehoods or fake news?

What if I say “let’s all be tolerant” but then choose to denounce the person who’s intolerant?

What if I vow to respect all life but then prioritize some lives over others?

What if?

What — dare I ask — what if that’s me?

The origin of the word “hypocrite” comes from the Greek word, “hypokritḗs.” The word was commonly used to describe actors on the stage, derived from the words “hypó” — which means “under” — and krínō — which means “judge.”

Hence, by definition, the masculine noun equates to “properly, a judging under, like a performer acting under a mask (i.e. a theater-actor), or (figuratively) a two-faced person; a ‘hypocrite,’ whose profession does not match their practice — i.e. someone who “says one thing but does another.”

I’ll be honest. I don’t hate a lot of things. In fact, I have taught my children that the only things worthy of hatred are, as best discernible, what we know God hates (i.e. haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift to run to evil, a false witness who pours out lies, and a person who spreads discord among family).

But sometimes I hate hypocrisy.

I arguably hate it most when I see it in me.

Sometimes, friends, I have said one thing, but done another. Sometimes, I have failed to love another well. Sometimes I’ve been inconsistent. And sometimes I have done something, believed something, or said something contrary to what I say I would think, say, or do.

Dr. Robert Kurzban, an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania, published a fascinating piece in 2011, aptly titled: “Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite.” He says:

“The book is really about human nature. It’s about contradictions in human nature. It’s how we can believe two things simultaneously which are mutually contradictory…

I think the way to understand this is to use the example of the smart phone. So the reason that today’s smart phones are so smart is not because they have one killer app; they’re smart because they have a lot of different applications — all of which have really narrow functions — and these functions are bundled together in a phone that allows you to do lots of different things. 

What I argue in the book is that a human mind is very similar to a smart phone. Mechanisms that are designed to do things like cause you to eat good foods and cause you to seek mates and do all the different things that humans do that you can think of, [are each] applications. And the crucial thing about these applications is that because they are simultaneously running in the same head — and they have different jobs — and they’re isolated from each other — often times they can have mutually contradictory information; they can contain contradictions. And by understanding these mechanisms and how they work and how they operate simultaneously — often, without our awareness — we have a much deeper understanding of human nature.”

And so as much as possible, I try to say what I mean and mean what I say. I desire to practice what I preach, so-to-speak. But my sense is that sometimes, I contradict myself. Sometimes I’m not as moral as I think I am. Sometimes, I am actually the hypocrite.

That’s a very humbling reality… and one that prompts me to examine the need to give much more grace to everyone else. 

Imagine… 

… giving more grace to everyone else…

Respectfully…

AR

the current immigration problem

Today is World Refugee Day… how fitting, as we find ourselves currently in the middle of a troubling, muddled mess — a mess where so many are shouting, it’s hard to actually hear. I get the shouting; passions often elicit a strong response. Also true is that political positioning is rampant; and such, too, often  impedes solution. This is a problem we need to solve.

Heard frequently here is the primary encouragement to love one another well.  

That includes the refugee.

That includes the children.

Separating children from their parents at the border is the core issue of the current, much-publicized controversy. As objectively explained by pundit Rich Lowry and retired professor Marie Aquila — first from Lowry:

“… For the longest time, illegal immigration was driven by single males from Mexico. Over the last decade, the flow has shifted to women, children, and family units from Central America. This poses challenges we haven’t confronted before and has made what once were relatively minor wrinkles in the law loom very large.

The Trump administration isn’t changing the rules that pertain to separating an adult from the child. Those remain the same. Separation happens only if officials find that the adult is falsely claiming to be the child’s parent, or is a threat to the child, or is put into criminal proceedings.

It’s the last that is operative here. The past practice had been to give a free pass to an adult who is part of a family unit. The new Trump policy is to prosecute all adults. The idea is to send a signal that we are serious about our laws and to create a deterrent against re-entry. (Illegal entry is a misdemeanor, illegal re-entry a felony.)…”

From Aquila:

“How did we get here? It appears to have been on a road paved with good intentions.

A 1997 settlement in a class-action lawsuit, Flores v. Meese, required immigration officials to ‘place each detained minor in the least restrictive setting appropriate’ and release children ‘without unnecessary delay.’

The Obama administration opened detention centers along the southern border in 2014 to accommodate an increase of immigrants. This move generated lawsuits, which argued that the detention centers undermined the Flores settlement by not quickly releasing children. In addition, in 2016 the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the government did not have to release the parents.

The Trump administration has cobbled these decisions together to support a policy that sounds both lawful and cruel. And here we are. Or are we?

The Flores settlement handed the government the right to determine how to treat these minors. But the very fact that they are minors undermines that authority. These are children. They travel at their parents’ direction. On their own, they did not violate immigration law.”

Friends, if we are going to love the refugee well, then we need to fix this. While the policy was created years ago, the make up of those attempting to enter the country illegally has changed. Hence, “zero tolerance” also needs to change; it is not a wise nor compassionate approach with the current demographics. Let’s navigate through both the intense socio-political climate and through a media which often inflames more than informs, and let’s put our hearts and heads together in order to solve. Let us love all kids well… on far more than World Refugee Day. Our immigration system is broken; we have to find an effective, cost-efficient, but still compassionate means to enforce what is legal and what is not. My prayer is that solution comes soon through a nonpartisan way.

As Laura Bush wrote so eloquently earlier this week:

“… People on all sides agree that our immigration system isn’t working, but the injustice of zero tolerance is not the answer. I moved away from Washington almost a decade ago, but I know there are good people at all levels of government who can do better to fix this…

In 2018, can we not as a nation find a kinder, more compassionate and more moral answer to this current crisis? I, for one, believe we can.”

I’m with the former First Lady.

Can we not find a kinder, more compassionate solution?

Can we not love the refugee better and well?

And how about being kinder to one another while we’re at it, too?

Respectfully…

AR

so what’s actually in the Bible?

Amazing how one of this past week’s most trending topics focused on what’s in the Bible… 

What’s biblical? What’s not?

And how does that apply to me?

Do I know what’s in the Bible?

Have I ever read it myself?

And what things can I — or can’t I — know for sure?

Allow me, no less, to thus share one of my all time favorite passages, a piece of scripture that I find humbling, profound, insightful, challenging, life-giving, and encouraging all rolled into one. And yet it’s a piece with which I think our society currently, significantly struggles. Let me change that… I’m thinking we’ve struggled with this for centuries…

From the book of John…

“… Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he came to the temple courts again. All the people came to him, and he sat down and began to teach them. The experts in the law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught committing adultery. They made her stand in front of them and said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of adultery. In the law Moses commanded us to stone to death such women. What then do you say?’ (Now they were asking this in an attempt to trap him, so that they could bring charges against him.) 

Jesus bent down and wrote on the ground with his finger. When they persisted in asking him, he stood up straight and replied, ‘Whoever among you is guiltless may be the first to throw a stone at her.’ Then he bent over again and wrote on the ground.

Now when they heard this, they began to drift away one at a time, starting with the older ones, until Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 

Jesus stood up straight and said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?’

She replied, ‘No one, Lord.’

And Jesus said, ‘I do not condemn you either. Go, and from now on do not sin any more.’”

There is so much in this sequence that mirrors our culture’s current rhythms…

  • First, there was a person who engaged in behavior many thought was wrong.
  • The crowd then moves to harshly condemn her.
  • Jesus then asks the crowd who among them is “guiltless.”
  • With the recognition that none of us are guiltless, no one is capable of administering the consequence.
  • Only then, in the context of the relationship — with no shame nor condemnation — Jesus acknowledges that the behavior is wrong — and calls for the woman to grow and change.

Our struggle seems twofold…

We either are (1) quick to condemn or (2) in effort not to condemn, we deny the existence of any wrongful behavior.

When I read this passage repeatedly, I find myself quietly asking more questions…

  • Where have I been quick to condemn?
  • Where have I felt capable of administering the consequence?
  • Where have I failed to recognize that I am not guiltless — that I screw up, too?
  • Where have I been so harsh in my words to another?
  • Where have I thought, “I’d never do that,” and then justified treating someone with lesser grace?
  • Where have I denied the sin, because it was easier than wrestling with the reality that there’s an area in which I might need to grow?
  • And where am I inconsistent in how I apply scripture?

Indeed, humbling, profound questions…

Respectfully…

AR

Spade/Bourdain & the questions we should answer

Kate Spade.

Anthony Bourdain.

Two celebrities who were admired by many.

Two celebrities who “had it all,” so-to-speak.

And two celebrities who hung themselves within days of one another.

Spade was 55. Bourdain was 61.

This is hard, friends. This is really hard. For any who have lost a family member, friend, or loved one to suicide, you know the grievous struggle it is to attempt to make sense of it all. It doesn’t make any sense. 

And yet, when they are gone, our love for them does not end. We hurt because we love them… so we find ourselves seemingly endlessly racking our heads and our hearts in the middle of our grief in desperate search for solution — for any solution…

Why would someone we love choose this? 

Why would they intentionally end their life?

I wish I had some profound, good answer… an answer that could somehow smooth over the wretched remnants we’re left to deal with. I keep thinking of actor Booboo Stewart’s character in the excellent “Hope Bridge” movie (released in 2015) — in the young man’s quest to find answers and understand why his father took his own life. The answers are so hard to come by. Again, it doesn’t make any sense.

With Spade and Bourdain in particular, no less, I find myself wrestling with two questions… 

Let us first acknowledge the response of Bourdain’s mother, in an interview with NBC News. Gladys Bourdain, a former editor at The New York Times, said that there was never any sign that anything was wrong with her son.

Let me repeat that: there was never any sign.

As we rack our heads searching for answers, we look for those signs… what did I miss? … why didn’t I catch this?… And then we often settle on the thought of mental illness, as our search ends in unsettling ambiguity. 

I wonder if there are deeper questions we could be asking — questions about loneliness… self-worth… and fulfillment.

We see in Spade and Bourdain, for example, two people who had it all… 

Spade was a world renown fashion designer. She founded the euphonious “Kate Spade New York” in the early 90’s and came to be known as an incredibly creative, successful, and sophisticated businesswoman. She had been married approximately 24 years and has an adolescent daughter. Her net worth is estimated to be around $150 million.

Bourdain — a celebrity chef — “built a business outside the kitchen,” coined Town & Country. He was a successful author, travel documentarian, and TV personality, and he was considered articulate, insightful, and keenly influential. The Smithsonian Institution once declared Bourdain as “the original rock star” of the culinary world. He has one adolescent daughter, and leaves an estimated net worth of $16 million.

Both Spade and Bourdain seem to have “had it all,” as one might say, and yet for both, “all” was not enough.

This is heartbreaking, friends; there is zero judgment. There was an emptiness in Spade and Bourdain that celebrity and success could seemingly never fulfill; wealth and influence were nowhere close to enough. Hence, left with more questions than answers, today I ponder only two:

What are we pursuing that is potentially unfulfilling?

And what can we fill our heads and hearts with that is of greater, lasting value?

Respectfully…

AR

living in the land of the mic drop

Becoming prevalent in the ’80’s, primarily employed by rappers and comedians, note Wikipedia’s following definition:

“A mic drop is the gesture of intentionally dropping one’s microphone at the end of a performance or speech to signal triumph. Figuratively, it is an expression of triumph for a successful event and indicates a boastful attitude toward one’s own performance.”

In other words, a person stops speaking and releases whatever tool made his voice possible to hear — believing there is no need to continue the conversation.

My question today, no less, centers around how comfortable we’ve become with dropping the mic. Remember, based on Wikipedia’s definition, the act “indicates a boastful attitude” toward self.

… How many times does a person in social media have to have the last word?

… How many times can they seemingly not allow any opinion other than their own to stand?

Hence, if only their opinion is acceptable — and if they have to always have the last word — I come to two questionable conclusions:

One, they probably are not the most skilled at respectful dialogue.

And two, they’ve gotten way too comfortable with the mic drop.

So how do we proceed?

It would be wonderful if all on social media would band together to dismiss with this dropping, so-to-speak. Sadly, no less, I’m thinking that might be incredibly challenging. Too many too quickly enjoy “amen-ing” the act.

And so we must instead ask ourselves how to wisely respond.

In processing this question for the day, I kept coming to a quote my mother has long repeated:

“You don’t have to attend every argument to which you are invited.”

(Now there’s an “amen”…)

As elaborated upon by author, speaker, and psychiatrist Leandro Herroro:

“This quote is from an unknown author. He or she must have known a thing or two about the futility of engaging in every single discussion that comes your way. The quote is also a proxy for ‘pick your battles’. There are battles worth fighting and battles that are not…  

… a better angle is ‘What will make the difference?’

… [You] don’t have to attend to every argument to which you are invited, you don’t have to get involved in everything, and certainly, you do not have to spend your time fighting every battle.

The magic word is choice. Choices are always in front of you.”

Sometimes on social media, many choose to be silent. That silence should not be used to make assumptions about the non-speakers; such is only a surmise.

That silence may instead most signify a response to a perceived mic drop…

“What can I say that will make a difference?”

“Nothing?”

Then perhaps there’s little wisdom in response.

Respectfully…

AR

free (profane) & inconsistent

With multiple celebrities recently joining the known chorus of disrespectful communicators, it would seem wise to wrestle with what free speech is — and is not.

Let us first acknowledge that freedom of speech does not mean we can say whatever we wish, whenever we wish. We can’t yell “fire” in a crowded theatre nor use our words for slander, libel, perjury, or extortion, for example. The First Amendment does not protect such.

Let us also note that there is a difference between slander and libel as compared to ridicule or criticism. 

The challenge comes when the words becomes profane, as profane, rude as it is, does not legally equate to “wrong.”

What does “profane” mean?

— treated with abuse, irreverence, or contempt : desecrated; treated disrespectfully, irreverently, or outrageously.

Unfortunately, we live amidst a culture that seemingly, continually, allows and even encourages increasing irreverence and disrespect…

Rosanne Barr’s recent racist tweet about former Obama staffer, Valerie Jarrett, qualifies as “profane.” Samantha Bee’s recent vulgar insult about Ivanka Trump qualifies as profane.

But profane as they each are, both do not legally equate as “wrong” —  and thus still qualify as “free speech.”

Do Barr and Bee thus have a right to say what they said?

Yes.

Do they have a right to keep their job?

Also, yes.

Do ABC and TBS have a right to fire them? 

Again, yes.

And do the companies have a right to choose not to fire them?

Of course. ABC and TBS may treat Barr and Bee differently; it is up to them as their respective, individual employers.

The First Amendment allows us to “say what you wanna’ say,” but it does not provide the right to maintain employment, especially if working for a private employer. Companies have a right to expect certain behaviors from their employees. Such is the core challenge embedded within the NFL/anthem controversy.

… “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech…”

That law — tough as the manifestation of it can be for different ones of us at different times — is the protection our Founding Fathers provided, even for what is unpopular. 

We have a problem, no less, with what we feel is wrong or unpopular.

For some of us, that is only the words of Barr.

For some of us, that is only the words of Bee.

For some of us, that is only the reaction of ABC.

And for some of us, that is only the reaction of the NFL.

Friends, this isn’t fun. Good people think differently. Good people think differently in regard to what speech should be “free.” We have different  — and different valid  —  perspectives.

And because we think differently, our application of First Amendment protection is perhaps more than anything, respectfully inconsistent.

Respectfully… always…

AR