"From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines, going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me."
Walt Whitman (1819-92)
"When I look back now over my life and call to mind what I might have had simply for taking and did not take, my heart is like to break."
Akhenaton (d. c.1354 BC)
And now, the current weather, from some random person we pulled off the street:
Sunday, July 11, 2004
The Cost of Freedom
free-dom Function: noun
1 : the quality or state of being free: as a : the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action b : liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another : INDEPENDENCE c : the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous d : EASE, FACILITY e : the quality of being frank, open, or outspoken f : improper familiarity g : boldness of conception or execution h : unrestricted use
2 a : a political right b : FRANCHISE, PRIVILEGE
3 : a lifestyle that has been redefined over the years
As a response to my previous post on freedom, Angela wrote: "I think it depends on how you define freedom. The Bible does say, 'Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.' 2 Corinthians 3:17 (NIV)"
Angela is precisely right. The important question is, why is Angela right?
There are more verses that support the point Angela was making. For example:
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.(Galatians 5:1)
Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom... (James 2:12)
I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts. (Psalm 119:45)
Yet, at the same time, we can clearly find many instances where freedom, as defined by western laws, actually allows and in some cases encourages behavior that is very much in opposition to the precepts of Christianity! How can this be reconciled?
To do this, we must open the book on one of the greatest deceptions of our time, on an infernal trick played on the best of us by the most evil one in the universe.
Two hundred and more years ago, the framers of the Constitution of the United States were vitally concerned with freedom. They were being oppressed in many ways by the English. The English were taxing them, regulating their press, denying them the chance to say whatever they wanted to in public. There were also groups of immigrants who had come to America with the express purpose of escaping religious persecution.
The document that was drafted after the American colonies achieved independance addressed each of these freedoms. Freedom of speech...freedom of religion...freedom of the press....freedom to bear arms. Each of these freedoms was then enacted into law.
And each one of them was a trap.
You see, as long as everyone is on the same playing field, such as the moral structure provided by Christianity, it all works. But the enemy knew from the very beginning that this was an illusion, that Pandora's box had been thrust open and the demonic horde was just waiting to spring upon this new opportunity.
Imagine, if you will, that an avowed witch set up a fortune telling stand outside of the building where the Constitution was being written. What do you think would have been the result? Keep in mind that in the state of Massachussets, for example, the crimes of idolatry and blasphemy, as well as over 200 others, were punishable by death. (Note: Oddly enough, rape was not one of them unless it involved a married person, a close family member, or an animal.)
Reviewing the writings of the time makes it clear that freedom did not necessarily involve being able to adopt a belief system that was blasphemous in nature or antagonistic in practice. Rather than remove common prayer from schools, they would have been far more likely to string up the athiest on the nearest sturdy tree branch!
But, over time, definitions were changed, lines have been nudged a bit at a time, and the very word "freedom" has become something it was never meant to be.
Things that were assumed to be commonly agreed 200 years ago are no longer given any weight. The existence of God, for one. What constituted "speech" for another. I do not think that "Suzie's Porno Web" would have been included in their deepest imaginings when wording the freedom of speech clause.
When the law we live by was framed, "freedom" was taken to mean freedom from the government, but yet functioning amidst the general social mores of the time. Since then, the social mores have been eroded so far that we can hardly find them, and freedom becomes the mere ability to do what we want as long as it does not harm another.
Interesting, that. There is one religion that does in fact hold to that very rule:
"An ye harm none, do what ye will."
That is the Wiccan Rede, the pledge of those witches that follow the pagan Wiccan religion.
So, in two hundred years, we have progressed from a society that endeavored to live freely under God, to one that follows a rule spoken by witches.
THAT is why the government and the Bible both speak of freedom, yet they do not fit when looked at together. The freedom practised today by our government is the exact opposite of the one espoused by the Bible.
Freedom, by the popular definition, makes Christianity a very contraining faith.
Freedom, by the Christian definition, frees a person from the real bondage, the bondage of sin, of doing "what ye will."
We all serve something, you see. All we can do, is choose our chains.
And I know where the yoke is light, the chains are freely worn, and the freedom rises to the heavens.
It's not Washington, DC.
I wish that each of us could discover the true meaning of freedom. It is tragic that we have allowed it to be redefined so badly.
Do you know who sends more missionaries to the rest of the world than any other nation? Do you know who exports more lurid pornography to the world than any other nation?
Did you know that these answers are the same?
That kind of freedom I can do without, I think.
The cost is just too high.
Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language.
Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889 - 1951)