This is something that has been weighing on my mind and recently when I had the pleasure of speaking to a rather well-articulated English-speaking illegal immigrant (which, forgive me for pulling out a rather judgmental little stereotype, seemed to be a rare occurrence) who brought up the concept of 'False American Freedom', did I realize I have a wide variety of opinions on this matter. Which I've reluctantly decided to discuss, despite the fact that there are more than likely a few 'blind patriots' among a freethinking society.

So, is America the 'Land of the Free' or are we simply naive enough to believe it? Despite the concept of being allowed to worship or not worship freely, this society and government alike (odd concept) shuns non-conformists and has, in the past, murdered non-conformists. Naturally people are going to gravitate towards the never-ending argument of 'First Amendment Rights', which I find as hypocritical as 'lawfully' banning Gay marriage. To attempt to argue that this country's laws weren't founded primarily from a religious perspective is to not be a very bright person, however unfortunate that may be it does not make the statement any less accurate. While society claims to be, and for arguments sake might be, a more open-minded nation, actions still speak louder than words and in my opinion I would say society has a rather long way to go.

In certain areas of this country it is technically against the law to engage in oral sex and while it's unlikely that these laws are enforced today they were at one point considered a rather serious offense. Making oral sex illegal has absolutely nothing to do with the government, ....unless of course you happen to be Bill Clinton. Only in a religious society would adultery be a reason to ultimately impeach someone, of course the real issue was lying under oath, but why was there a reason to have to give an explanation in the first place? In what way was that affecting the way things were being 'governed' other than the fact that the incestual Bible apparently states otherwise. Never mind basing a judicial system off a clearly contradicting little work of literature, but also compromising a false amendment.

And speaking of legal action in the case of sexual orientations, what about the apparent banning of Gay marriage? What is 'political' about making it illegal for two people to be married? While it is my personal opinion that marriage is a highly sanctimonious little ceremony, it is also a legal binding contract by "law" and therefore since apparently (or ignorantly assumed) religion and politics are separate affairs it is rather –ahem- “unconstitutional” to make it illegal for two people of the same sex to engage in a ceremonial marriage.

Yet, I am not specifically stating that no form of freedom exists, trust me I am not that redundant. I mean, where else could you protest being deported for being an illegal immigrant? Let alone only face deportation as “punishment”? Arguing the injustice of being kicked out of a country you are liable to be ‘stealing from’ (for lack of a better term) is sort of like fucking for virginity, wouldn’t you say?

Never the less I think the concept of being a free nation is ultimately a rather misleading title. I understand that people are likely to bring up the concept of our country actually being ‘free’ from the Church of England, however I also think that the phrase “Land of the Free” was instilled way after that during a certain iconic war, regardless the concept is still inaccurate. Basically, the only people who claim freedom and may feel the effects of being free are those conforming to a rather generalized morale and they are the same people making the less than closed-minded people feel as they are not actually considered free.

I am not even one-hundred percent positive if I have a valid point here, not that I was really intending to have one… just a small rant I suppose and hopefully others may find it to be a relatable concept. If not, well we all adore a good debate, right? ;)

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Comment by Ian Mason on January 27, 2009 at 3:26pm
Of course you could have been better off by staying loyal to His Majesty King George III. Do uppitty colonials ever prosper?
Comment by greyfoot on January 17, 2009 at 12:30am
Yes, blu, you actually allude to my biggest present pet peeve: religious people attempting to steal the credit for secular ideas. Religion has always fought technological and social advancement tooth and nail. Our country is no exception. While we do have to admit that Christianity and Judaism have "backed off" a little bit, that's a WHOLLY different thing than saying that they are responsible for them. And, yes, the secular--the ESSENTIAL--component to democracy has been largely ignored here in the U.S., even so soon after its inception, it seems. America has been hijacked by totalitarian fascist ideologues for most of it's existence, but we must recognize that religion is older than civilization itself. So, considering that, it could be worse than it is now. Let's be glad we aren't living in Saudi Arabia or Uganda.
Comment by bludecembers on January 16, 2009 at 8:30pm
I'm not denying any of that, nor the fact that the assumed "father" of the American Revolution (Paine) was apparently declared a non-theist. However I am also intelligent enough to see that while this country glorifies the concept of a 'separation' between the government and religion, it does not actually exist in the scheme of things. The only time Christianity wants no part in government relations is when it involves taxing their churches. The ten commandments are posted in government buildings, it states "In God We Trust" on our currency, and a number of laws that have been put in place are specifically related to (or persuaded by) a biblical undertone. This is no new concept nor is it a new concept that Christianity is of the majority, in fact there are probably more now who are venturing away from that particular religion than in any other time period. This same government put people on trial for being of a different religious background, regardless if the law dictated otherwise. While the intent was there and without it things would definitely be entirely different it is still safe to say the religion has definitely effected the laws within this country.
Comment by greyfoot on January 16, 2009 at 5:05pm
I concur with some of your points, bludecembers, but there are others with which I must take issue. Yes, some of the laws in this country reek of religious ignorance. But America's judicial system is by no means "primarily" Biblical. Don't make the same mistake that religious people do, blu; don't buy into revisionist history. The constitution was founded upon secular principles. George Washington didn't partake in his church's communion, as he felt that would be inappropriate for a representative of a free democracy. Although he was not actually at the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Jefferson was one of the authors of said constitution, and it was he that wrote in his famous letter to the Danbury Church about the "wall of separation" in order to protect both the religious AND non-believers. And it was at that 1787 Convention that Benjamin Franklin actually called for a group prayer, but the idea was VOTED DOWN. America is unique in this way; it's the ONLY nation founded upon secular ideas.

The term "freedom," you see, is vastly misunderstood. Aside from being somewhat ambiguous, its dichotomy is in its price. The "freedom" provided by secularism actually allowed religious zealots to take over the country, because they did so, for the most part, democratically. Democracy actually allows for ignorance, because, inexorably, ignorance is a choice.

We may be a Christian nation now, due to the majority of the population subscribing to that religion, and the ridiculous statutes to which you alluded are indeed a result, but without the adherence to empiricism--the irrefutable benefits of CHOICE--these Christians would not have been able to attain and enjoy the fruits of technological and social advancement that they do now...fruits that were provided by a framework based on a secular mindset. That they are ignorant of this, doesn't make it any less true.



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