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The Death of Liberty

death_of_libertyOn July 4, 1776, fifty-six delegates to the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia to sign the Declaration of Independence, changing the world emphatically and manifesting the idea that liberty is granted by God, not men.  More than two centuries later, men and women from all over the world still come to the United States to seek the freedoms and opportunities not available in their home countries.  Some have fled tyrannies to come to a nation conceived in liberty.  A liberty that was further ratified with the Constitution, adopted in 1787 and the Bill of Rights in 1791.  A liberty that has preserved our nation through wars, internal conflict and disastrous economic times.  Even in our darkest hours, Americans have maintained our liberty, recognizing that whatever adversities life may bring, the liberty granted by God and claimed by our Founders would remain.  Or would it.

It’s hard to imagine that a concept of liberty that has survived for two hundred and thirty-eight years could be in danger, but we are living in times when some in our nation have made it their goal to end that concept.  Liberty that makes us free and gives us the right to run our own lives and choose for ourselves what we will do, where and how we will do it is under continual assault by those on the left.  It seems the left has a concept, not of liberty, but of utopia, where everyone does whatever they please and all will be peaceful and harmonious, if only everyone would give up their rights and do what the left says.  We can all be traipsing about with flowers in our hair and just feeling the group love, but only if you follow the edicts of the left and give up this notion of liberty.  The left’s concept of utopia is but a façade for tyranny.  A tyranny in which the liberty seized by the Founders no longer exists, and the rights of the individual are cast onto the ash heap of history.

This may seem too unbelievable, but it has been slowly happening right before our eyes for a long, long time.  The left is consistent, if nothing else, and they never miss an opportunity to launch an assault on freedom.  With every shooting, the clamor for more gun control becomes louder.  States controlled by leftists pass laws restricting Second Amendment rights.  Many on the left work tirelessly toward revoking the Second Amendment, knowing that the tyranny, um, utopia they seek to create is best populated by unarmed subjects, um, citizens.  If the left had been in charge during the colonial days, we would be highly taxed and unarmed British subjects today.

The left’s main assault has definitely been on the freedom of religion found in the First Amendment.  The Founders recognized the importance of this freedom, which is why it in the First Amendment; not the Second, Third or Fourth.  It’s in the First.  The left, by definition, is anti-religion.  The left believes the state is god and that any belief to the contrary must be squelched.  That the liberty seized by the Founders comes from God means to the left that liberty must be destroyed.  To subjugate the population and create the leftist utopia they seek requires that the liberty which connects people to God cannot be allowed to endure.  To that end, the left has gradually succeeded at removing religion from society.  Prayers in school, religious monuments and statues, crosses, the Ten Commandments… all are either now labeled “unconstitutional” by leftist judges or are under continued assault.  Churches are under assault in leftist states.  In the states of Washington and Hawaii, laws have been passed mandating conditions under which churches can be forced to allow gay marriages to take place in their facilities.  Individual religious freedoms are also under assault.  The recent clamor over the Supreme Court ruling in the Hobby Lobby case is a prime example.  Leftists believe their ‘right’ to things such as abortion-inducing contraceptives should come before another’s right to freedom of religion.  Perhaps I’ve missed it but I don’t see a right to any kind of contraceptive in the Constitution so I fail to see how this nonexistent right could ever be deemed to trump the First Amendment right to freedom of religion.  But to leftists, it does.  Everything trumps freedom of religion.

The biggest right of all that the left seizes upon is the right to not be offended.  I haven’t been able to find that one in the Constitution, either, but I suppose it’s found in the First Amendment of the leftist constitution.  For the left, the right to not be offended is a catch-all that is used to destroy several different rights that are found in the Constitution.  Your prayer offends me; be silent.  I don’t want to have to see the Ten Commandments; get rid of that monument.  That huge cross is offensive; tear it down.  I don’t like what you’re saying; shut up.  I don’t like that radio program; they should be banned.  That author is a right-wing extremist; his books should be burned.  That Bible makes me uncomfortable; get rid of it.  All of these ‘rights’ to not be offended are being used to destroy rights that are found in the Constitution.  To remove these rights is to remove the liberty we have had since 1776.  But to leftists, that very liberty can be deemed to be offensive.

In his book Democracy In America, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote of American individualism and the liberty we enjoy.  He wrote, “The citizen of the United States is taught from infancy to rely upon his own exertions in order to resist the evils and the difficulties of life; he looks upon the social authority with an eye of mistrust and anxiety, and he claims its assistance only when he is unable to do without it.”  He also wrote that Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom, but predicted that socialism would inevitably come to America and restrict that freedom.  “Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number,” he wrote.

The vision of liberty that our Founders had is becoming clouded by the government intrusion into our lives.  Aside from the flagrant monitoring of all our phone and computer communications, the restrictions and regulations placed upon citizens by the federal bureaucracy has become a stranglehold on liberty.  It doesn’t seem very liberating when a bureaucrat in Washington D.C. can tell me how many gallons of water my toilet is allowed to flush, under penalty of imprisonment.

The inevitable socialism that Tocqueville predicted is certainly rearing its head.  The selfish attitudes people have, seemingly shouting Gimme-Gimme-Gimme! at the rest of us, have turned into an assault on liberty.  The left places demands upon everyone else – their neighbors, their employers, the government, businesses – and expects them all to adhere to their notion of ‘rights.’  The aforementioned Hobby Lobby case is a classic example of this thinking.  A business provides health insurance to its employees, but the left demands that the owners be required to provide coverage for things which the owners find to be inconsistent with their religious principles.  Judges have declared that Christian bakers are now required to make wedding cakes for homosexual weddings, after the bakers refused to do so because it would violate their religious beliefs.  I have not been able to find the freedom of wedding cake in the Constitution anywhere.  Freedom of religion is to be outweighed by the leftist demand that the business provide something they want.  Health care and the right to not be offended have become manufactured rights at the expense of everyone else and the liberty outlined in the Bill of Rights. 

The increasing demands that people make upon everyone else to provide them with the things they want, but will not work for, are resulting in the coming to pass of the famous quote that has been attributed to several men, but likely has its origin from Tocqueville – “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government.  It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury.  From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result being that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.”

With liberty comes responsibility, but the left and responsibility are like oil and water.  When societal irresponsibility and selfishness are rewarded, it will always be at the expense of liberty.  The day will come when liberty is completely vanquished.  When it does, your rights will be only what other men tell you they are.  The Founders knew that liberty comes from God, but when the left is finally successful at removing God from our society, the death of liberty will follow.  The signers of the Declaration of Independence brought forth a nation conceived in liberty.  When that liberty is gone, what will happen to the nation that was founded on the principle of liberty?

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