Art in all forms reflects the culture in which it is created and/or set.. Characters may eat foods, shop in stores, or reference celebrities or places unique to their region or country. Commonly held beliefs are often reflected. Below are five things Americans commonly believe…that just aren’t true. Have you ever created a character who held any of these beliefs?
Tearing or cutting the tags off your mattresses and pillows is against the law.
The “do not remove under penalty of law” tag is often interpreted to mean that you can be fined or jailed if you’re caught removing them, no matter how ratty they get or how much they stick out and poke you when you try to sleep. But if you read the rest of the sentence it says, “except by consumer.” This means that the person who buys the mattress or pillow is completely within his or her legal rights to remove the tag.
The “do not remove” tag is there for the people who make and sell the pillows and mattresses. It is there as a form of consumer protection. In the past, mattresses and pillows could be stuffed with all sorts of dangerous materials, including rotting straw or old rags. The tags on your pillows and mattresses are there to let you know that your item is stuffed with nice, fresh, safe fill, not to threaten you that a cop will show up at your door if you snip it off when it gets dirty or pops out of your pillowcase and annoys you.
The Bible says that God helps those who help themselves.
It doesn’t. That was a quote from Benjamin Franklin. The message of the Bible is actually the exact opposite of that. It’s full of verses about loving your neighbor, not judging other people, doing unto others what you would do unto the Lord, honoring those in your household, sharing what you have, and putting others first.
The entire Christian faith is based on the knowledge that salvation is a free gift given by Jesus Christ to anyone who accepts it by accepting Him as their Lord and Savior. Salvation cannot be both a free gift from a loving God and something you have to coax Him into granting you by doing things for yourself.
“Separation of church and state” means it’s illegal to say a prayer in a public school.
Saying a prayer in a public school is not only legal, it’s protected under the same amendment people mistakenly believe bans it. The school, as an agent of the state, is not allowed to make prayer a part of the official curriculum. It is also not allowed to tell students and faculty that they can’t pray as individuals. Suppose I get a job as a tutor or teacher’s aide in a public school. I cannot hold a study group in which I require all students to pray before we begin. I can’t stand up and announce that when I work with a teacher, we’re going to launch his or her class with a prayer. That would make the prayer part of the official school curriculum, and therefore, in violation of the law against separation of church and state.
I would, however, have every right to sit in the cafeteria and pray before I eat my lunch. I would have every right to pause in the doorway and say a private prayer before entering the classroom. I could sit there and pray as a private citizen all day if I chose to. Anyone who tried to stop me would be violating my first amendment rights to freedom of religion. And if other staff members and students chose to sit with me and pray during lunch, that would be within their first amendment rights as well.
Cutting your hair causes it to grow faster.
Hair growth depends on a variety of factors, including genetics, overall health of the person, and the health of the hair. Healthy hair grows faster, and cutting off split ends and portions of hair damaged by coloring, perming, or using a lot of styling tools and products can be a part of making hair healthy again. But the act of cutting the hair does not make it grow faster.
We think our hair grows faster when we cut it because we notice it more. Even if you’re one to just get a trim to look neat for work and pay no real mind to your appearance, getting a haircut takes time out of your day, and usually costs money. It stands out, so you are aware of the difference in your hair on that day, and the difference in it as it starts to grow. If cutting your hair truly sped up its rate of growth, your hair would grow faster and faster with each cut throughout your life.
The first amendment gives you the right to say whatever you want without unwanted consequences or reactions.
We’ve all seen a real-life example of this one. Somebody walks around the building talking about what a dump their workplace is, gets fired, and then challenges it on the grounds of “free speech.” Or you tell off someone trolling on your social media, and they reply that telling them to get lost is a violation of their right to free speech.
Both of these individuals are wrong. The first amendment protects you from punishment or persecution by the government for what you say or write, not from other people having a problem with it, or from any consequences the things you say or write may bring.