Reading that headline, you might think that what I’m on about is the NSA and IRS scandals – and that does play a role, here, but the fact of the matter is that I’ve been worried about the erosion of our liberties for quite some time. I just happen to have concluded, as of today, that we are simply an unfree people.
Scanning our emails, etc is just a symptom of a larger problem. If we were a free people it wouldn’t be that our emails weren’t scanned but that no one in government would dare to even suggest it, let alone carry it out. Free people keep the government on its toes – these days, fellow Americans, it is government which keeps us on our toes. We can’t even turn around without first obtaining a “by your leave” from the government.
Do you think you own property? Paid the mortgage and the title deed is in your hand? Ha! You don’t own it. You’re just renting it from the government – they call it “property taxes”, but rent it is…and if you don’t pay the rent, you’re off the property. And, worse than that, if the government figures that someone else can pay more rent than you, then they’ll take “your” property from you and hand it over to the other guy.
Do you think you’ve got freedom of speech? Go to a college campus or corporate break room and merely state the Catholic position on homosexuality. You’ll be lucky if you’re only fired from your job or escorted off campus by the police.
Do you think you’ve got freedom of assembly? Tell that to all the groups with “patriot” in their name back in 2012 – the IRS deliberately oppressed them for the simple fact that patriots wanted to gather together and petition their government.
Do you think you’ve got free exercise of religion? Oh, for crying out loud – try to maintain a cross in honor of fallen soldiers of even mention God at an official function at school. You’ve got the ability to go to Church – but if you take what the pastor preached and try to apply it in the public square, you’ll swiftly learn just how free you are to exercise your religion: hardly at all.
To be sure, there is a vestige of freedom left – more from a force of habit than anything else. Because until rather recently we were free it hasn’t become entirely ingrained in us to knuckle under, nor ingrained in government to immediately wipe out all dissent. The tattered remnants of liberty are still left to us – and therein lies the question: are we brave enough to seize our freedom back from those who have usurped it?
That, quite honestly, I don’t know. But we do have the capability – while government is still yet weak enough that it can be forced back in to its proper role. We can, if we are brave enough to face the hatred and spite of our rulers and their misguided followers, simply vote out the oppressors and pass the necessary laws to restore freedom and restrict government. If we are brave, then we will do it – and we will be, once again, the land of the free as well as home of the brave. Time will tell what path we choose – the brave path to freedom, or the cowardly path to slavery.