People are said to have “bad manners” when they treat others without consideration or kindness. While we can place laws into effect that will help to a certain degree–stop signs, for instance, assure that cars stop in turn to let another car pass while other laws exist to forbid hitting or shooting people we meet day to day–some things cannot be stopped due to the free speech that is assured in the first amendment.
One of the great ironies of the first amendment to the Constitution of the USA is that it assures the freedom to insult someone else who is assuming his or her first amendment right: freedom of worship. The first amendment states,
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Good manners, which have to do with decorum in public and one’s manner of dealing with other people, have to do with the concept of live and let live, of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Sadly, there are people who feel they are exempt from good manners, not so much in the name of the first amendment but in the name of advising and counseling others. To scuttle good manners in order to advise another means to abuse that person, to call him or her names and demoralize. It means that the person who feels entitled may do to the other what is tantamount to verbal abuse. The first amendment protects this right.
So the first amendment undermines itself.
The person who embraces bad manners in the name of entitlement demonstrates that he or she is a liar: false and unworthy of respect. Such a person deserves nothing but pity, and if he or she does not gain any, who can wonder? To abuse another, for instance, for his religion or his weakness says nothing but “Be mean like I am so that others hate you. Then watch what ultimately happens to me.”
To say, “Be me” is an impossible demand. Yet many make it of another they claim to “love” all the while abusing the person.
To take such a person as a friend or partner is to lean against a wall without foundation or to eat food deprived of sustenance. It is to ask to be hated and despised by the world.
The only buffer against that hatred is being joined by others similarly ignorant. Yet idioms abound as to the honor one may expect from a thief.
For to abuse and insult is to steal another person’s dignity and impose a kind of slavery.