I hate this phrase. Especially since it’s so very, very misused. It’s just become a catch phrase in today’s culture of political correctness. Expressing one’s opinion in a straight forward and confident manner is somehow forcing one’s beliefs down someone else’s throat.
For the sake of convenience, I’ve compiled a handy list of what does and does not constitute “forcing my beliefs down your throat”
Is Not Force
- Conversation – No matter how forcefully I might argue for my point of view, I am not actually forcing you to do anything or believe as I believe. Just free speech.
- Anything posted on Facebook or other Internet forums – Again, it is only an exercise of free speech. Anything you read online you read of your own free will, and can choose to look at some other site instead. However much I might dislike what you have to say, or vice versa, there is no force involved in this exchange of ideas.
- Slogans and designs on T-Shirts – As tasteless as these sometimes are, there is, again, no actual force involved.
- Billboards – Obnoxious, yes. Force, no.
- Horrible t.v. shows and movies – HBO, I’m looking at you. However, if I find a program unpalatable, I can choose to watch something else. No one else need worry about my viewing preferences.
- Parents teaching their children – Parents have a right and a duty to teach their children to the best of their ability. Good, conscientious parents will try to teach their children good values.
I think you get the idea. Next category:
Might or Might Not Be Force
Items in this category can be used to good effect for legitimate purposes. We must watch out for abuses of power.
- Enacting or repealing legislation – Obviously, we do need to have laws. The question is, is this a good law? Does it promote freedom?
- Requiring or banning something in schools – We need to teach kids math, reading, writing, and all that good stuff. Politics? Religion? Leave that to the parents. There is no such thing as a value-free education, but the values should be obvious stuff, like being honest, not political messages, like Obama worship.
Is Always Force
- Forcing people support something they disagree with with their own tax dollars – Taxes are always an example of force. Think they aren’t? Try not paying them.
- Requiring students to support a particular agenda to get a good grade – It is a teacher’s job to help kids think critically, not to be critical of things the teacher doesn’t like.
- Honor beatings and killings – The ultimate in forcing one’s beliefs on others.