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Land of the Free?

Land of the Free?

America is not the land of the free and never was.  This is not limited to the USA, of course, it’s true of most places at most times.  It is only free if you profess to believe the “right” things, practice the “right” religion, support the “right” causes, and say the things that “everyone knows” are correct.  Now, it must be “politically correct,” too.

Dissent has always been not only discouraged, but punished, socially, legally, and often physically.  How many “hippies” of the 60’s were disowned, ostracized, and often physically abused for their views and lifestyle?  Is it any different today?  Isn’t “gay bashing” still practiced?  How about right of choice?  Is that also punished?  Even to the point of murder?

Anyone that opposed the Iraq War 2 was accused of being unpatriotic, unchristian, and possibly treasonous.  The fact that not one weapon of mass destruction has been found in Iraq and that it is becoming very apparent that the government, starting with the President and Secretary of State misstated or even lied about the intelligence excuses for the war has not lifted the mantle of hate aimed at these few voices of reason.  Some “friends” have even told me that, if I can’t say what they want to hear and stop criticizing the government to stop communicating at all.  I may have lost some acquaintances, but I have kept my integrity.

It doesn’t stop with false patriotism, it continues into every area of life; especially when you intrude upon religion.  Madelyn Murray O’Hare may have won a few battles, but at the cost of eternal hatred and enmity from so-called “Christians.”  The hate and threat-filled mail she received reveals the true level of “Christian love and tolerance” that exists in the USA.

Anyone that dares to express dissatisfaction with blue laws and protests anyone attempting to enact their personal religious beliefs into law is reviled and attacked, often physically.  Think about the number of bombings of abortion clinics.  Are these acts of Christian charity?  Whether anyone likes it or not, the abortion issue is a religious one.  Has any other argument been offered against it?  If you don’t believe in abortion, don’t have one.  If you have a logical, provable, argument against it, state it clearly and reasonably.  Attempting to enforce your opinion with violence or making it a law with its implied threat of “legal” violence is morally wrong and contrary to the standards of a free country.

If America were truly free, anyone could express any opinion and live any way they chose without running the risk of social, financial, or physical danger.  This situation does not exist today and never will because there are two universal truths that forbid it.

The first is:  A person’s most precious possessions are his illusions.  People will sacrifice their homes, money, possessions, even their children as long as they can maintain their illusions of religion and what’s “right” and wrong”.  If you doubt this, think of parents watching their children go off to fight and die in a war because they refuse to surrender the illusion that “It’s a just war against a godless heathen.”  They cannot accept that it is to ensure the profits of oil companies and presidential pals.  They do this because very few are cognizant of a second truth.  Beliefs, no matter how sincerely held, do not alter facts.

One of the things I’ve learned is that most of our beliefs and attitudes are really an accident of birth.  If you had been born in another place, you might just as sincerely believe in Hinduism, Confucianism, Islam, or some other religion and be convinced that your country was always right and that America was the “Great Satan.”  You would be just as wrong.

America free?  Think about these.  No-warrant wiretaps, indefinite detention of citizens without charges, no-knock entries.  Search and seizure without warrants, rendition of prisoners, torture renamed as “intensive interrogation”, stop and frisk without probable cause, confiscation or destruction of cameras used to record illegal police actions, mounting cases of police brutality and even executions by police that are never investigated, much less punished, and finally, “managed news.”  Does this sound like a free country?

Do I expect to suffer for these opinions?  Most certainly I do.  There is no doubt there will be  hate mail and death threats (the religious reich is especially fond of those) but also financial, social, and personal loss.  But I still have my integrity.  That’s more than most.


  1. January 7, 2011 at 1:45 am

    Interesting post. I think most of us are not free because we have to work and we are not talented enough to provider for ourselves otherwise. We are not beaten with whips if don’t go to work every day, but we are certainly beaten by life if we don’t. As sure as an pyramid worker in ancicent Egypt was a slave, so are we.

    • January 7, 2011 at 10:27 am

      You make a good point. But even the least of us are rewarded a bit better than even the more recent slaves such as those in the USA prior to the Civil War.

  2. chris
    July 1, 2011 at 2:45 am

    Dude. You pose some good points no doubt but you alienate so much of the listening audience with how whiny you come across. Articulate some of these good thoughts in a way that people will be willing to listen if you choose to make words your medium of change my friend.

    • July 1, 2011 at 11:59 am

      Whiny? I doubt that very much. Truthful, without “gilding the lily”, yes. I have posted essentially this same message with the same wording other places at other times. You are the only one that has said “whiny”. So I respectfully disagree.

      I have no illusion that I will be a “medium of change”. Very few people would ever believe that “it can happen here” until the storm troopers knock down their door.

  3. July 30, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    Things are quite a bit different here. One thing that helps, in my view, is the multiplicity of political parties. There are so many that it’s difficult for any one to establish a clear majority. As a result, they are always forming alliances and no one is particularly vicious to another party because you never know when you will need them on any given issue.

    Also, the government, while strong, seems less interested in controlling every aspect of one’s personal life. Like most politicians, many are more interested in how much they can steal and so have little time to spend on being intrusive with the public. The former president, Lula Da Silva was reputed to have profited by millions during his 8 years. But for the main part, he did very little. That’s about as good as you can hope for from a politician. It’s the ones that want to do something that cause all the trouble. 🙂

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