I was thinking just a few minutes before I started this post about my in-progress novel, Cleansed By Fire, and thinking, just how would a society of people allow itself to be controlled by an oppressive religious leadership and how could such a leadership end up controlling two continents and part of a third. (If you aren’t reading my novel, don’t worry, this post should still make sense)
Is such a thing possible?
Sadly, I think it is possible. We think of the religiously tinged strong-arm governments of the world as being in Iran or elsewhere in the Middle East. Rarely do we look at how we ourselves have sometimes let religious interests and other very specific, very narrow interests dictate certain aspects of politics (I include people in the left-wing and the right-wing for this…certainly, some aspects of political correctness, for example, a liberal creation, are quite oppressive).
After the events of 9/11 (and my novel inadvertantly hearkens back to this with a devastating terrorist attack in a future version of New York), we allowed our government to carve away at our civil rights. We did so because it seemed to make sense. We should give the government more power to catch the bad guys because certainly it won’t get us good guys caught up in the net. But it does, sometimes by accident and sometimes on purpose. We let the USA Patriot Act get passed when it was something we, as a nation, from the left wing to the right wing, should have said, “No” to without budging an inch.
We get the government we deserve a lot of times, and if we are apathetic, we kind of deserve to get screwed.
Liberty is not merely some word. Freedom is not simply a neat little idea. These things are things that people have fought and died for, and it makes me sick that anyone would stamp on them. Most particularly, it pains me that right-wingers who claim they are so down with the Constitution would let such things happen. They like the right to bear arms, but let’s hold back on that freedom of speech. Just as the left-wingers sometimes want to wipe out all guns and want to extend free speech into areas it wasn’t meant to be.
I will simply leave you with one of the few quotes of Benjamin Franklin that I have committed to memory, and it is this:
Those who would give up Essential Liberty, to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety