The Freedom to Express
Posted on April 2, 2018

When I first arrived here, never having written blogs before, I asked two people what I needed to write about. One was Sister Carol. The other was Vic Lindsay. Each of them said, “Write about whatever appeals to you.” I replied, “You mean biblically and theologically?” Carol said, “Yes, plus your insights on life in general.” Vic said, “Anything. Talk about restaurants or sports, if you wish.” I followed the advice I received from each of them.

Over our years together I have tried to present a new blog to you roughly on a weekly basis. There have been times when I didn’t meet that schedule completely. But, I have written a lot of blogs. And if you have read them, you realize my theme has been... hmmmm, what’s the right word? Maybe “eclectic”? Per the advice I received from Carol and Vic, I’ve written about the Bible and Christian theology and personal insights, about restaurants (and other food-related topics), sports, music, family, and just general “stuff.” And I have enjoyed doing this more than I ever imagined I would. It’s been a special personal conversation I feel I have had with you. Over time, the conversation expanded to include readers from The Huffington Post and Thrive Global. I am also grateful for those dear readers and hope to keep communicating with them in the future. Also, I will be writing new blogs on my own personal website. But, it all began with you at Marble. As I said, I have enjoyed this part of my work far more than I ever imagined I would.

Freedom of expression is perhaps the bedrock human right that separates free nations from dictatorships. Where there is no freedom of speech, there is no freedom. Period. That does not mean we have to agree. It just means we all have the right to say what’s on our hearts without fear of persecution or recrimination. Though often attributed to Voltaire, Patrick Henry, and/or Thomas Paine, most concur it was probably Evelyn Beatrice Hall who wrote: “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to my death your right to say it.” Whoever wrote it, that quote captures the essence of freedom. We don’t have to agree, but we must retain the freedom to express.

Over the years, you have given me the freedom to express on a wide range of subjects. Thank you for that. You have shared responses with me, both pro and con, but have done so with courtesy and gentleness. You have paid me one of a preacher/writer’s supreme compliments by simply taking the time to read what I have to say. I will be forever grateful. As I said, I’ve never looked upon these blogs as an occasion to simply ruminate or pontificate. Instead, to me it has been a conversation – my throwing out some ideas and beliefs, and your wrestling with them in light of your own insights and understandings.

This is my next-to-last Marble blog. And I wanted to use it simply to say “Thanks” for making the journey with me since `09. I hope you’ve found it half as meaningful as I have. Every blog I wrote caused me to search more deeply into my own faith and core values. If that also happened for you from time to time, then it’s been a trip worth taking. Thanks for taking it with me.

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