What is happening in our country? I know I’m not far from being considered “middle-aged”, but come on! I was raised believing that our freedom in this great nation was something to be treasured, that thousands upon thousands of people had died to give me the rights I value, and personal responsibility and just, moral laws were the basis on which greatness is built. Apparently, I have it all wrong though.
Those of us who’re interested in current events and personal liberty have been watching recently as the great building that is our country is being disassembled brick by brick. It actually reminds me of a game of Jenga. When you remove one or two blocks from the bottom, nobody really notices. But before you know it, you have a structure with an inadequate foundation that’ll come tumbling down if even one more brick is removed.
Most recently, this erosion of American liberty was observed in the story of a Michigan family who faced jail time for planting vegetables in their front yard. Then an Oregan woman who’s dying of invasive bone cancer was told that she couldn’t have any more yard sales to raise money for her own treatment because she had exceeded the number of allowed yard sales in the city of Salem.
And just this week, I read about a Tennessee woman who risked arrest for allowing her 10-year-old daughter to ride her bike to school. The safe route, about a mile, took the woman’s daughter about 8 minutes to ride, but the mother will face child neglect charges if she doesn’t put her child on the bus!
Perhaps most disturbing of all the recent goings on though is another story from this week. An Illinois man faces 75 years in prison — five counts of eavesdropping — for recording police in public. Apparently, it’s all right for businesses and the police to record YOU, but it’s not OK for you to record THEM in public in IL.
These kinds of stories are not unique. And you don’t even have to look hard to find them. More and more, they’re being covered in the mainstream media. Even the most liberally-biased organizations are calling attention to these issues, and I find that both impressive and disturbing.
I have a friend who likes to tell me, “I don’t keep up with current events because there’s nothing I can do about any of it.” In my opinion though, it’s exactly that kind of attitude that’s allowing folks to chip away at our liberty without us really even noticing.
It doesn’t matter if it’s happening in California, Alaska, New York, or your own front yard. Liberty and freedom are like muscles; if we don’t exercise them (responsibly, of course), then they become weak, atrophied, and finally useless.
I’m not asking everyone to start trouble. What I am asking folks is this. Pay attention. If you see an instance where freedom and liberty are being trampled, speak up. Don’t stand idly by and let it happen thinking you’re powerless to change it. What we do matters. Responsible citizens CAN make a difference. YOU can make a difference!