Enjoy the Illusion of Liberty

Enjoy the Illusion of Liberty July 4, 2024

Image created via Leonardo.ai

Happy Independence Day! It’s that time when we celebrate our freedoms while cooking meat, blowing things up, and conveniently ignoring the erosion of the very liberties we’re celebrating. So between the hotdogs and fireworks, let’s explore if we’re as free as our forefathers intended… or living in blissful ignorance.

A Brief History Lesson

Remember back in history class? When we all learned that the founding fathers risked everything to declare independence from British tyranny? They gave us the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and seemingly endless bumper sticker quotes. 

Fast forward to now, and I’m left wondering if those sacrifices were in vain and freedom a relic of the past. Think I’m wrong? Let’s look down a list for fun:

A Surveillance Nation

Our civil liberties are on life support. Mass surveillance has become the norm. Big Brother watches our every move. Sure, we’ve still got the right to protest, but only if you’re okay with being pepper-sprayed, tasered, and/or hauled off to jail. It really doesn’t seem much of an upgrade to tar and feathering.

The Voting Games

Voting is supposed to be the cornerstone of democracy, right? Except it’s not as simple as showing up and casting a ballot. Gerrymandering ensures that politicians pick their voters and not the other way around. Then we’ve got voter ID laws, polling place closures, and purges of voter rolls. Those are just a few of the tricks used to suppress the vote. And don’t even get me started on the Electoral College.

The Rich Get Richer

You’re free to pursue the American Dream – if you can afford it. The top 1% hoard their wealth while the rest of us are stuck in a cycle of debt, stagnating wages, and skyrocketing living costs. The richest 1% of Americans own more than 40% of the country’s wealth. Meanwhile, the bottom 50% collectively own just 1%. A level playing field is never an option when corporate greed reigns supreme. The system is rigged whether we want to acknowledge it or not.

A Selective Kind of Liberty

Personal freedom used to mean being able to make choices about your own body and life. Today, reproductive rights are under constant assault, with politicians horny to control what women’s bodies. Doesn’t sound creepy at all. Then there’s LGBTQ+ rights. While progress has been made, there’s always a new push to strip away the hard-won gains.

The Changing Narrative

Is truth truth anymore? Media companies now control what we see, hear, and read, shaping public opinion to suit their agendas and profits. The problem is that independent journalism is on the decline and dissenting voices are drowned out by the din of manufactured consent.

Stay Vigilant, Reflect, and Act

So, as you enjoy the fireworks and festivities this July 4th, take a moment to reflect on where we’re at. Are we truly free, or living under the illusion of liberty?

It’s obvious that the struggle for independence is still ongoing. Change won’t come from the top down – it’s up to us to stay vigilant, speak out, and fight for the freedoms slipping away.

Happy Independence Day – now get out there and reclaim it.

 

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About Stuart Delony
I'm Stuart Delony, your companion on this exploratory journey. As a former pastor now podcast host, I've shifted from sermons to conversations with Snarky Faith, promoting meaningful discussions about life, culture, spirituality. Disheartened by the state of institutionalized Christianity, my aim is to rekindle its foundational principles: love, compassion, and dignity. If you're yearning for change or questioning your faith, you've found a refuge here. You can read more about the author here.
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