Saturday, July 4, 2015
Big Government Wins--From E.L. James to Pope Francis our Culture is Obliterating Our Desire for Freedom
Today is July 4, 2015. Tonight, skies across the U.S. will light up with fireworks as we celebrate this nation's 239th birthday. Against the backdrop of these celebrations, we will see increased law enforcement presence as a reminder that there is a violent segment of the globe that wants to see liberty completely annihilated in the world's foremost example of the power of freedom--the USA. But for many Americans, tonight is basically just a great light show and a time with family and friends; they no longer have any real interest in the freedom we celebrate. The real threat to freedom in this country is not coming from ISIS--it is coming from our own culture which is chipping away at our desire to be free. And that is the real war we are fighting in our country--once desire is gone, the rest is easy.
If you don't believe me take a look at three examples from the last thirty days. The most compelling is, of course, last week's Supreme Court rulings legalizing gay marriage in all fifty states and shoring up the failing debacle that is Obamacare. Advocates of Obamacare don't care that the system is a disaster--they just want to keep the subsidies of big welfare going. The recipients of these subsidies--estimates range from over 6 million to over 8 million of those who have signed up who receive an average of $277.00 a month--also don't care that Obamacare is ruining the medical system. Like all other beneficiaries of government welfare programs they just want their handout--no matter what the overall cost. None of these people cares that judges are ignoring the Constitution and legislating from the bench.
The same goes for the gay marriage ruling last week. In all the giddy excitement of the White House bathed in rainbow-colored lights and #LoveWins hashtags everywhere, it was hard to hear the few voices who pointed out that the Supreme Court stripped the rights of voters in the fourteen dissenting states to choose for themselves whether they supported gay marriage. While in states like Texas, our governor Greg Abbott and our AG Ken Paxton immediately released press releases supporting the religious rights of people to oppose gay marriage, the religious rights of clerks and judiciary to refuse to perform gay weddings and the rights of churches to speak out against gay marriages, few mentioned the millions of voters who had their voices taken away from them by the Court. When 50% of the people support gay marriage in polls, that conversely means that about 50%--half the society, oppose it. What about our rights? And why should roughly 96% of the society change its collective thinking to fit the desires of 3-4% of the society? But in a world where Twitter will add a rainbow heart to any Tweets hashtagged #Lovewins these bigger issues are lost in the excitement of celebrating one gain for the gay community. So what if democracy lost? Isn't love more important than freedom?
A couple of weeks ago, I was working on Twitter and quotes from E.L. James' new book in the Fifty Shades of Grey series were trending at the same time as Pope Francis' Encyclical. I could not help thinking how ironic it is that while on the surface these two works appear to be diametrically opposed, they share one very important similarity--they both encourage renunciation of freedom. James' pornographic BDSM romp is famously badly written--in fact, specifically what was trending was the worst lines from the new book. Yet, it is has been devoured by hundreds of millions of women--many of whom are successful and make good incomes. Here in Dallas, one of the business development officers arranged a Fifty Shades of Grey lunch and movie date for Realtors. When I suggested to this woman that this might be seen as offensive since the books and the movie have been denounced by organizations that work to stop violence against women, she stared at me like I was speaking Swahili. These women who flock to the books and films are being indoctrinated with the idea that submission is preferable to freedom, and that bondage and slavery are sexy and exciting--much more exciting than their lives of work and independence and individual responsibility. I think it is appropriate that this series skyrocketed to the top of the bestseller lists in 2012--the same year that Americans chose to re-elect Barack Obama and go further into socialism.
For the more religious who might correctly identify Fifty Shades as vile porn, there is the Pope's Encyclical. This is short and very much worth reading. In his long awaited environmental treatise, Francis references the 1992 Earth Summit which launched Agenda 21 and calls openly and clearly for its goals to be realized. He is calling for restrictions in the power of media, which he says distract people from thinking clearly, an end to fossil fuels, a return to manual labor for most of the world's population, a curbing of technology, and a global government to enforce the goals of Agenda 21 and its follow-up conference from 2012 Rio + 20. These actions will lead to a new global poverty which Francis tells us will actually be liberating for mankind. His words remind me a little of Nancy Pelosi's delighted exclamation that Obamacare would free Americans from "job lock" and give them time to pursue hobbies such as art and music.
This is how the Pope expresses that same concept: "In reality, those who enjoy more and live better each moment are those who have given up dipping here and there, always on the look-out for what they do not have. They experience what it means to appreciate each person and each thing, learning familiarity with the simplest things and how to enjoy them. So they are able to shed unsatisfied needs, reducing their obsessiveness and weariness. Even living on little, they can live a lot, above all when they cultivate other pleasures and find satisfaction in fraternal encounters, in service, in developing their gifts, in music and art, in contact with nature, in prayer. Happiness means knowing how to limit some needs which only diminish us, and being open to the many different possibilities which life can offer." (Laudato Si)
In other words, the Pope is expressing the Communist ideal that the happiest people on earth are the poor and oppressed. While Catholic clergy do take vows of poverty, this is a personal choice-- a very unpopular one in our 21st century world that has made it ever more difficult to recruit new priests. From his opulent office in the Vatican, the Pope conveniently ignores the truth that as the middle class and the poor become increasingly destitute, the wealth and power of the upper classes grows proportionately so that at the end there is a handful of people ruling with an iron hand over the masses. Nothing could be further from Biblical truth.
Unfortunately, Biblical truth (and objective truth in general) is what is missing from all of these debates and from our society in general and our new national love affair with all forms of bondage including Socialism and Islam (incidentally, the word "Islam" literally translates to "submission") is filling the void. Our society does not want truth--of any kind. Women do not want to hear the truth that violent men do not normally reform--they normally escalate and become increasingly dangerous or that in cultures where women are property their lives are ghastly and they are not pampered princesses--they are slaves. We do not want to hear the truth that a government big enough to give us everything we want is also big enough to take away everything we have. We certainly do not want to hear the truth that marriage is ordained by God between one man and one woman for life--no court can dissolve it and no one can redefine it. Finally, we don't want to hear the truth that freedom is a gift that God has given to us but it is ours only as long as we protect and defend it.
Freedom is a lot work. It is costly. It requires blood and sacrifice and sweat. The millions of Americans who died in the World Wars and the various wars before and after gave their lives defending freedom. The men and women who legally immigrated to America had a long, difficult road ahead of them in building a new country. Most of them never saw the fruits of their efforts in their own generation. It was a difficult life. Choosing the freedom of America meant choosing difficulty. They made the choice because the desire for freedom was stronger than their fear of obstacles. Desire to protect America and our way of life was stronger than fear of death for the men going ashore on D-Day. As long as the desire for freedom was strong, no obstacle could stand in our way.
Today we are losing that desire. A life of bondage is easy--miserable, but easy. Slavery takes everything from the enslaved and requires nothing. In a culture that tells us that bondage is sexy, bondage is righteous, poverty is a greater good, and democracy is self destructive, how long will we be willing to stand for freedom? Not long.
For those patriots who want to change this country, we need to be addressing the culture. Margaret Thatcher famously said that we have to win the argument before we can win the election. If we want our country to remain free, we are going to have to show why freedom still has value.
Happy Independence Day!
Alexandra Swann's novel, The Planner, about an out of control, environmentally-driven federal government implementing Agenda 21, is available on Kindle and in paperback. For more information, visit her website athttp://www.frontier2000.net.