May each of you have the heart to conceive, the understanding to direct, and the hand to execute works that will leave the world a little better for your having been here. -- Ronald Reagan

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Are You Really Free? Thoughts on Liberty


I wrote an essay for my first English class in college positing the idea that eventually the explicit graphic sexual writing and descriptions (this was in 1968) would have to eventually fade because it lacked creativeness, anybody could to it. I thought writers that truly loved their craft would stop indulging in that low level of writing. The professor gave me high marks, but wrote the comment "are you serious?" I was, but for the most part I was wrong.

Part of it is our culture has degenerated into easiness and mediocrity; in all things, not just literature. At it's core, this phenomenon has to do with our giving up on liberty, the rejection of it, and replacing it with libertinism. As a culture we've redefined liberty to mean we can do whatever we want without consequence. We can reject the Judeo-Christian moral and ethical values and rules of behavior and replace them with "if it feels good, do it". In our US Constitution we can ignore "enumerated rights" and accept the government can do whatever it damn well pleases, cannot "infringe" doesn't really mean that, and freedom to practice religion and the government can't establish a State religion, is changed to meaning freedom from all religious mention anywhere, anytime, except in church on Sunday.

I had left Christianity and the church (institutional worship and service) for about twenty five years, returned, and when I say that I am more free now, that I experience and practice more liberty now than during the years of secularism and libertinism, I get that 'you're nuts' look, or "what the hell are you talking about?"

During those years I was free not to commit to anything except pleasure  I had to ask myself, how is that good? I found it lends itself to alienation, from people and groups. Now I'm committed to my Church and my friends in a way I didn't understand before, and I'm a better man for it. I also moved from Leftism\Marxism to Conservatism politically, and my political thinking is more clear and true.

At the national level we have a government and culture that ignores fiscal responsibility and have allowed ourselves to be tens of $trillions in debt; an unimaginable number, and think there's no consequences. We accept graphic sex and violence as the norm. Maybe it's only age, but I've lost interest in it. It doesn't tantalize anymore. At the national level look at the $trillions we spend on sex, drugs, alcohol, the things that only provide us with short term material pleasure. I'm all for pleasure still, but it shouldn't be life's purpose. Tithing and giving to charity and missionary organizations is much more fulfilling. 

I think if those libertine things are the most important, is what drives you, then you aren't free. I have to ask, what good is it if what's most important is getting loaded, who benefits? If politicians' greed for money and power, which they get only by taking it from you, is what drives them, not the rule of law, who benefits? The Bible and our Constitution make it abundantly clear there are specific rules and laws that work, for both national and personal behavior. Rejecting those leads to bondage to the State, and personal bondage to things that hurts oneself and others.

I have found that the discipline of Judeo-Christian living is what frees, and the Constitution is based on those principles, and is what has kept us free as a people. Both are being rejected, at our peril, and why those of us that care see more degradation, decay and corruption in our civilization. Since the 1960's we have seen these things continually increase, our problems increase, because we reject what is right for what is convenient and mediocre, comfortable and easy.

Romans 8:21 observes "....because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.' Another way to word that is, what would you rather choose, the fake freedom of liberty of the world, or the world God intended for us? For you secularists, God intended us to get along, not fight, treat others well, and care for each other. Hope, Love, Charity. 

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