This weekend Americans celebrate Independence Day yet as I look around me I wounder if we can really say we are Independent. July 4, 1776 we secured our independence from religious oppression and persecution. We secured our independence from the taxation of the British Monarchy. We supposedly secured our independence to think as we choose; to believe as we choose and to raise our kids as we choose. We supposedly secured our independence to dream as we choose and to aspire to accomplish anything we dared dreamed possible and even that which we may have thought to be impossible.
Over my lifetime we have celebrated the 4th of July with pride and patriotism and yet each year that has gone by I see our independence move more and more toward dependence. The very things we fought to become independent from we have surrendered as is evident by a Federal Court Judge's decision just yesterday, to stop a Mississippi Law aimed to protect Religious Freedom by allowing ministers to be protected from legal action if they choose to refuse to officiate a same sex marriage based on religious beliefs. (Before you start attacking remember, I am an openly gay male who has never been in the closet and was openly gay and knew it at 7). We can be gay and still respect another's religious belief whether it is yours or not.
We have continually lost our independence over the years in our quest to make everyone feel or believe or see the same way on everything; we have continually created protected classes of individuals rather than stand on the promise of equality for all. Marriage for instance was turned into a special right and benefit by our Government, not us as individuals. People of Faith did not create the legal definition or basis for marriage. The IRS and Social Security Administration and HHS et al chose to make marriage somehow a special benefit as to Government and property. They could have easily done away with the special benefit for married couples preserving our independence in our beliefs without turning us against each other for living up to the very reason we fought to secure our independence in the first place.
We are loosing our independence daily as we sit back and watch so called leaders tell us we can't have something we worked for unless we give it to someone who chooses not to work for anything. Every where we turn on a daily basis I see people standing in line to get a free phone to use for illegal purposes and when I say something I am a racist for calling it out.
As parents you no longer have the right or independence to raise your children as you see fit. Spank a child and have DCF called on you. Teach your child that boys and girls are different and be called homophobic. There is not independence in deciding how your child will be educated; clothed or fed (okay maybe that last one is a little reaching) No one has the independence to dictate how they choose to use a piece of property they own; or what kind of services you choose to seek or not.
I see everywhere I go on a daily basis the loss of independence and the rising dependence far to much.
Even our laws are no longer meant to preserve our independence and protect us, but instead are now more than ever selectively ignored for some and overtly targeting others. We are very rapidly loosing all independence as to the freedom of speech except when that speech targets a group of people special interest want to demonize. The great melting pot has become an even larger protected class warehouse of little cubical of people who for some reason are to be protected and given the world while others are to be demonized and ridiculed relentlessly.
Because I dare stand up at a recent City Council meeting and question a statement made by a candidate for the Florida House about his saying "If I hadn't been term limited out of the mayor's seat every house in that community would have already been leveled and the lots given to Habitat for Humanity," I am attacked and even challenged over people being entitled to have homes just given to them because for far too long they have never been able to get out of public housing. Really, people deserve to have their homes leveled and their property given to another organization so they can build new homes on these peoples property and give them to someone else?
Independence Day has become far, far too much of Dependence Day and all of us, regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation better understand what is taking place and come together before we are all subject to the same lack of independence those before us fought long and hard to secure for all of us.
You can oppose same sex marriage and not hate same sex couples; you can oppose illegal immigration without being a bigot or racists; you can oppose the taking of personal property to be given to someone who did nothing to earn it without be uncharitable.
It is Independence that will save us as a nation and if we choose to sit back and let that Independence be taken away by those who have an agenda then God, Buddah, Allah, or whatever you call your creator have mercy on us all.
This Independence Day I cannot celebrate Independence because their is no such thing any longer in these United States of America.