Sunday, July 4, 2010

Some 4th of July Reflections

The 4th of July. Such a time of joy and fireworks and freedom and food. Not necessarily in that order, of course. Now, I love fireworks. And I like food. And I like freedom. Not that we have much of that anymore.

And I suppose that's what really bugs me about 4th of July goings-on...especially at churches. I had to sit through hours...and hours...and hours of singing and preaching about how "great and free" America is.

Ha. That's a laugh.

Let me ask you- what is free about a country where everything I could possibly want to do is illegal?

I'm 15. I can't drive, even if I want to. That's illegal. So that might be smart, I'll grant you. So let's go to the adult world. We can't remodel our house without "permission." That's illegal. We can't give our money to whom and in what quantities we desire. It's illegal. We can't imbibe substances we might like to. It's illegal. Consenting adults can't get married if they desire. That's illegal.

How is that "freedom?" Sorry, if that's "freedom," I don't want a bit of it! (I read an excellent article on this subject today- click here.)

Another thing that annoys me about the 4th of July in my church is the hypocrisy I see evident. This is sort of in the same thought as above. Christians claim to adore freedom. They practically worship at its feet. They love how "free" we are, how God has given us such freedom, how we can worship how we wish...

Then turn around and push for legislation that will infringe upon the rights of others.


Say what again?

Don't you love the psychology there? "Freedom for me, yayayay!! Oh, but wait! I don't like what you're doing, so I'm going to take your freedom away! But oh, you want to take mine? Oh no no, that won't do!"

So yes. I could probably go on and tell you all sorts of other interesting things about my day in the land of Christapublican patriotic fervor, but I won't bore you.

Let me leave you on a high note...sort of....
"But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."
- The Declaration of Independence


Anonymous said...

I felt less free living in the USA than back home in England. I wasn't sure if that was just because of my "alien" status ...... so your perspective is very interesting.

Anonymous said...

You are wrong.

Freedom and liberty come from the mind of man. All actions have consequences and some consequences are caused by other men. One is only free through the exercise of ideas by action in contempt of consequences.

Megan said...

THANK YOU for articulating the way I felt sitting in church yesterday too! The 4th is not about our current military or the political goings-on of TODAY. It is about remembering what was done by a few renegades who'd had enough of absolute government power and had the guts to do something about it and create a nation that respects the individual rights of ALL men - Christian and non-Christian alike. (You know how much I have ranted on my blog about that! haha) The 4th is for commemorating that, not for preaching Christapublican rhetoric. (BTW, I love that word!) Let's let church be church and state be state. I go to church to hear about Jesus, not to hear Christapublican rhetoric from someone who, in my opinion, isn't qualified or justified to lead others politically. Lead us to Jesus, pastors! Not to the Republican party.

Liberty said...

CambridgeLady- no it wasn't just you, LOL! There are many Americans who feel exactly the same way. Thanks for your comment. :))

Tragedy- I don't understand?

Megan- :)) I'm glad I could invent a new word for you, LOL

Anonymous said...

There will always be consequences for any action (or inaction). Freedom is the ability to choose. This choice is not contingent on legality of an action, except that you choose it to be.

You are free to do what ever you want, but there are consequences and only some consequences are from your government, family, or society,(other men).

You argue: Because the government has imposed certain consequences for certain actions, you are no longer free.

The men who rebelled against England were exercising their ideas, even though, those actions were deemed illegal by the crown.

Your whole post is about how your government can limit your freedom by instituting arbitrary consequences for actions. If our founding fathers had bought what you are selling they would not have revolted because that also was illegal.

Liberty said...

Okay, I see what you're saying now. Thanks for clearing that up.

I see your point, and that's interesting. I never looked at it that way before.

However, the Founders were also taking a great risk in going against the law. It would have been easier for them to not go against it, and not run the risk of being hanged, etc. Fortunately, they didn't. However, it is true that a government can infringe upon liberties and freedoms held by men by imposing consequences, like you said. That is wrong. If it came to a point, I believe some Americans would rise up and repeat the actions of the Founders, regardless of consequences...but not many, I believe, and it would be difficult.

So up to a point, you are right- freedom can be exercised by any person, regardless of consequences imposed by societal norms or governmental legalities. However, the exercising of such freedom could well be harmful to a person, and hence undesirable. (Besides that, under that heading, there are some "freedoms" I wouldn't want people to exercise- for instance, I wouldn't want someone to claim "freedom" then kill another...) So yeah.

Anonymous said...

Gun control, The USAPATRIOT Act, and such are "pre-emptive" protectionist activities by the government to take away people's freedom.

Laws against activities are to punish, not "to prevent" or "to deter", though they may function in that manner. Laws establish government mandated consequences for certain actions (e.g. murder). They do not limit freedom.

"Laws limit freedom" means "laws prevent certain actions". Laws do not prevent certain actions, thus you are believing a lie that the government tells to control the number of choices a person is aware of.

The not knowing of a choice takes away from a person's ability to choose and thereby takes away a person's freedom.

I want people to make certain choices, true. But not because they don't know any other choice exists.

Liberty said...

I see your point, and I agree. :)) Thanks for the discussion!