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Like many award shows in the entertainment industry, the Grammys provided music, dance, lights and a chance to reflect on the history in the industry. While the importance of music award shows are debatable, they magnify the importance of the First Amendment.

The Grammy Awards gave musicians an opportunity to pay respect to Aretha Franklin, Motown (with a controversial performance by Jennifer Lopez) and Diana Ross, key parts in the music industry that helped black people progress in the industry.

Music has been delivering messages to people through lyrics that embody a message and then shares it with the audience. The focus can be on multiple things, such as, I need Jesus, I need a beer, I want money, we need to support our troops, black lives matter, U.N.I.T.Y, we need justice, God bless the U.S.A. and anything the mind can imagine. However, as a nation that supports the First Amendment, it is our responsibility to understand each message, even if it is viewed as heinous, dumb, sacrilegious, contrary to belief and against what we know.

Understanding doesn’t mean we agree with opposing ideas or we’ll have a change of heart, it just indicates that we know why a person would believe in something that is different.

We, as a Scroll editorial board, believe that to get the most out of the First Amendment, we must express ourselves within the legal limits, while being understanding towards other people who think differently.

Politics highlight a division in society that no wall on the border with Mexico can surpass, but as BYU-Idaho students many of us can relate religiously. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we live by certain standards and norms that are unique when compared to the rest of the world, but within our membership, a lack of understanding is inevitable and can create contention.

An example would be the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is an event when our nation gathers through football, food, commercials and more.

The division with the Super Bowl comes in the idea of keeping the Sabbath holy. Does watching the Super Bowl take away from the spirit of the Sabbath? The Super Bowl unites my family, so why not? Gladys Knight, a member of the Church, sang the National Anthem at the most recent Super Bowl. Was her choice keeping the Sabbath day holy? These are some of the differences that can come up and presents a moment to understand or ridicule the other side.

At the end of the day, the decision is up to you on watching the Super Bowl and Gladys Knight did a stellar job singing the national anthem; however, understand that your decision will differ from others and that’s OK. Instead of finding contention, find a way to understand each other and move past our differences.

The First Amendment protects our individuality, but don’t use it as a means to limit the rights of others.


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