Some of the topics that have been on my mind include:Let me start out by saying that I don't agree with your use of the word "right." The correct word is "privilege." None of what you listed below is a Constitutionally-given "right"--they're merely privileges (oft-abused, at that) of living in a free country.The rights of private groups. (Boy Scouts and the Salvation Army)If these groups are truly private--only getting money from private sources and donations, then they should have the privilege of creating their own rules. However, once they take so much as a penny of tax money, they must abide by the government's rules.The right of religious speech.(Banning the mention of God or Jesus)Well, we have the right of freedom of religion. That means we can worship any god we choose, or none at all--it does *not* mean we can worship *anywhere* we choose and force anyone unfortunate enough to be in the vicinity to join in with us. I imagine you'd get pretty annoyed if, before some public meeting, I asked everyone present to take off their shoes and socks, form a circle, and start invoking the name of the Goddess...There are some places where religious speech of any kind is simply inappropriate. Public places (including schools!), mainly. I see religious speech as I see smoking. You want to do it in your own home, or in a sanctioned space, great. Please don't do it around me. I find them both unpalatable.The right to American culture. (Banning Santa Claus)Um, when were we given the "right" to American culture? (For that matter, what exactly is American culture? Some might even consider that an oxymoron...) Now, if they start to talk about banning rap "music" I'll be all for this banning of American culture! :-)The right to celebrate national holidays by their own name. (Christmas parties)Again, this isn't a right. It's a privilege. Personally, I don't care what it's called so long as I get the day off!The right to of a church to choose its own Pastor (Accokeek, MD)I don't understand this one. Is this a case where the government forced a church to choose a certain pastor? In the Lutheran church, individual churches do not choose their own pastor--they're assigned one by the synod. And they're not allowed to keep a good one forever, either. Each church should do what they do when it comes to choosing. The right to live and promote one's beliefs without fear. (usQueers.com)I agree we should have this as a right, but according to Republicans this isn't a conservative goal. (I noticed you haven't associated yourself with that vile group...which I find interesting...but more on that at the end of the post.)The right to your own money. (God asks for 10%. The government gets over 40%, when you count all the different ways we are taxed.)Well, this Libertarian stuff is fine and dandy--so long as you're also not too concerned with such things as the "right" to a decent public education for your children, safe and adequate roads and airports, a safe drinking water supply, clean air to breathe, clean water to fish/swim in, public lands and parks to enjoy, a safe food supply, law enforcement, a military to protect our rights and privileges...and I could go on. Personally, I like all the above things, and I'll gladly pay a bit to have them. (And, I think the government gives me a heckuva lot more than God does...)Let's get started!I find your list interesting. But I'm often confused by what is considered "conservative" these days. I've always considered myself more conservative than liberal, but I find myself completely at odds with the Republican party. I don't believe they should even call themselves conservative anymore. They certainly seem to have as little regard for our civil rights as the Democrats have often been accused of. As for Libertarians, their ideas are enticing--if you believe in Utopia. I don't think they can hold up in the Real World, where all corporations (and most individuals) will *always* put the bottom line before any social values.Ellen
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