“I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” —Thomas Jefferson to Dr. Benjamin Rush – Monticello, Sep. 23, 1800
I have an aversion to tyranny. And to be clear, by tyranny I mean an oppressive person(s) or government who exercises oppressive rule and control. Excessive control is contradictory to the nature of freedom. And I really value freedom. Speaking of which, what is freedom really?
Look at all the definitions Encarta provides for freedom and tell me which one(s) shouldn’t be available to an American (or any human for that matter):
- Ability to act freely – a state in which somebody is able to act and live as he or she chooses, without being subject to any undue restraints or restrictions
- Release from captivity or slavery – release or rescue from being physically bound or from being confined, enslaved, captured or imprisoned
- Country’s right to self-rule – without interference from, or domination by, another country or power
- Right to act or speak freely – without restriction, interference or fear
- Ease of movement – the ability to move easily without being limited by something
- Right to occupy place – the right to use or occupy a place and treat it as your own
- Frankness – openness and friendliness in speech or behavior
America is either a free country or it is not. My personal observation is that it is free in theory but not in application. We are not able to act freely in America (within moral bounds). There are places you cannot gather rain water on your own property. There are places you cannot make your own choices for food, medicine, or decisions for your child. In fact, you cannot even operate your own personal property (vehicle) in freedom of choice for seat restraints. [Which is a gross violation of “freedom” that practically everyone has submitted to.]
In fact, freedom of speech is under fierce attack in America today. You’d think we were living in Russia or China, the way people are being fired for their personal opinions not even expressed on their job. Voices that contradict a mainstream narrative are being silenced by the hundreds or even thousands. That is not freedom of speech or expression. That is not the ability to be frank and open.
Every doctor or nurse’s voice who has countered the narrative about Covid has been repressed, removed or silenced. This is not a “free country” when this happens in America. I should have the freedom to hear voices of dissent as well as speak a voice of dissent. You are taking away my freedom to evaluate information with my own brain when you silence voices of dissent. You have not only violated the freedom of speech and expression for the speaker, you have also violated the freedom for the listener. These are gross violations that are being violated daily here in Amerika.
What is the end of such policies and actions? Where is this going? If employers can fire an employee because of something he believes and expresses outside of work, what message are we really sending? Message: You do not have the freedom of independent thought if it contradicts my own thoughts. Is that freedom? Is that even fair or just?
Gleanings from personal experience
A lot of you know I was raised by a tyrant. There was no deviation from my mother’s rules, and the rules were absolute control. It wasn’t just a list of rules I was to perfectly follow, it encompassed facial expression, body language, attitude, and even thought. If I dared to make a mistake or break a rule (many of which were unspoken), I must also answer for my thoughts in that process. I was punished not only for what I did or didn’t do, but also for how I thought in the process.
I read George Orwell’s 1984 with discomfort. The Thought Police was too close to home for me. For most, that was probably fiction. It was not fiction for me.
[Please don’t write me to express sympathy for this. I am healed, recovered and whole now, all praise to God. I just use these examples for examples because I’m keenly familiar with them.]
There was the time I had disobeyed my mother or in some way broken a rule. After being confronted with the error of my ways, my mother demanded an accounting of why I did such. I told her why I did what I did. She disagreed with me, accused me of lying, and made me sit on a stool in the kitchen until I was ready to confess “why” (thoughts) I did what I did. I was weary of this game of having to admit to thoughts that were not my own, but were instead my mother’s assumptions about me. While it was easier just to tell her what she wanted to hear, I determined this time I would speak the truth as I knew it and let the chips fall.
I think I was eleven or twelve years old.
I sat on that stool for literal hours. About every half hour or hour, my mother would walk up to me and ask me if I was ready to tell her why I did what I did. I would reply, “I did tell you, but you choose to believe what you want to believe.” She’d express her disgust and walk on.
The afternoon turned to evening and the family gathered in the same room for dinner, while I sat. Evening turned to nightfall and one by one, members of my family went to bed. After everyone had gone to bed and the house was dark, I resigned myself that I’d spend the night on the stool.
Sometime later my mother came in and asked me if I was ready to be “honest” now with my thoughts. I gave the same reply, probably a bit wearier. She told me to get my shoes on and get in the car. When I got in the car she asked me again if I was ready to be “honest”. I gave the same reply. She said, “Fine. I can’t deal with a liar so I’m taking you back.” Back where? I asked. She said to a foster home, then drove to the end of the driveway.
I’ll never forget those moments driving down the driveway. An internal war raged in me. I did not want to go to a foster home. I did not want to leave at all. I just wanted to go to bed and live my life. Was this stand for truth worth my abandonment and rejection? Where would this end? If I didn’t “confess” to her will, would I then be an orphan, again?
We reached the end of the driveway and my mother idled the car there. We were in the rural countryside in the middle of the night. There were no cars coming. She turned to me and asked again, “Why did you do it?” I don’t know how long I paused before I answered but it felt like forever. If I stood my ground and refused to be intimidated, I’d be an orphan. If I lied to acquiesce my mother, I’d be a fraud but I’d still have a home. I took a deep breath and told her what I knew she wanted to hear (we’d been down this road a few other times). She said, “Was that so hard?” Put the car in reverse and we went back home.
I’ve always wished I had called her bluff. Would she have really taken me “back” and abandoned me? She might have. There are plenty of examples that indicate she would.
My literal existence for thirteen years in that home was a fight for freedom. Freedom to think independently, freedom to speak and express myself, freedom to act according to my own convictions. Every step of the way was a battle for my freedom, and it cost me dearly. I was eventually disowned, and that story is too long to tell. It hinged on my willingness to submit to more tyranny. This time I was sixteen years old and resisted. My consequence was becoming an orphan, again.
Why I don’t wear a mask, in a state the government has mandated I wear one
Because I am healthy and well. I have no fear of disease, and I carry no disease. I will not infect someone with something I do not have, and I do not fear getting it from someone who does.
Because I have done my own research and reached my own convictions. I have reinforced my immune system with the knowledge I have obtained. No one has provided evidence the disease is transmittable by contagion. What I have learned about covid contradicts what the government is telling me.
Because I have an aversion to tyranny. My “ruler” (Dictator Governor Laura Kelly) has not convinced me the threat is worth the restriction on my freedom to move and make my own decisions about my health. My experience has taught me that undue restrictions on freedom lead to further restrictions on freedom.
Because my allegiance is to God first. As John Hancock said at the Provincial Congress, Resolution to Massachusetts Bay, in October 1774: “Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual. Continue steadfast and, with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no man ought to take from us.” My dependence is on God, not a mask, not a government, not a “health” agency. I understand the rights heaven has given me and that no man ought to take from me. Therefore I exercise my rights in the face of tyranny.
Because wearing a mask symbolizes a lie to me. And I have sworn I would not knowingly propagate a lie for the assurance of the tyrant ever again.
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