When we set out to deprive someone else of the rights we enjoy, we end up denying those very same rights to ourselves.
I was recently going through some old notes for talks I have given and came across a list that showed how the concept of “Do Unto Others What You Would Have Done Unto You” shows up in every major philosophy and religion in the world. Across the board we have, as a basic principle, the idea that our actions and our words ought to be guided by love; not by financial expediency, not by what is easy at the moment, not what every one around us is doing or saying, but by love for one another.
Love Thy Brother As Thy Self does not leave room for Love Thy Brother, unless he/she is from someplace else or unless they identify with a different political party. I see no place in this “Golden Rule” for making an exception because others do not believe as we do.
The slippery slope of denying others the same opportunity we ourselves enjoy is that sooner or later someone will employ that “except” on us. We may not agree that refusing to salute the flag is the right choice, but do we want to experience a day when someone demands we must give up our right to vote for our candidate of choice? Dress this argument up any way you like, it still comes back to the fact that if we deny others the rights we hold so close to our hearts to others, sooner or later we will find the same denial applied to our own choices.
Freedom of Choice is both a political and spiritual reality/responsibility. When we make our choices we are well advised to remember Do Unto Others As You Would Have Done To You.