Are We Really an Independent Nation?
July 1, 2017 | View PDF
As you celebrate this Independence Day with family, friends, and all the commercialized activities that this day has come to represent in our culture, perhaps you’ll reflect a few minutes on this question: How much independence do we really have from our government?
Since our government controls our education system, our health care system, and numerous other industries owing their profits or even existence to government bailouts and subsidies, it appears that the American government of today is a far cry from the one envisioned by those who fought and died for liberty and self-rule over 240 years ago.
We have more laws on a federal, state, and local basis than I can even dare to imagine, and that doesn’t include regulatory laws on each and every industry. As an example, over a thousand bills were introduced during the 2017 Regular Session of our Alabama Legislature, and while only one-third of that number passed, even those legislators who voted on those bills would be hard pressed to give a full accounting of just what is now law in the State of Alabama. Multiply that by the remaining 49 states, add federal and local legislation to the mix, and I hope you understand my point regarding our dwindling state of independence from government.
Government authority isn’t all evil or tyrannical; it’s necessary for a civil society. It provides protection from those intent on harming others, it establishes order, and prevents chaos. But government authority has its boundaries, and we as individuals should remain watchful so as to protect the God-given earthly authority we have in our families and churches. Sadly, while we give a lot of lip service to how much we value independence, we’re far too often willing to allow the government to “fix” everything in our lives, from cradle to grave.
Nowhere is the loss of independence more apparent than in the federal overreach into our education system, and we are now reaping the consequences of our failure to oppose that unconstitutional authority. While the attribution of the following quote might be debated, its premise is not.
The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.
Increasingly, liberal and socialist ideology is invading our classrooms at all levels, and now playing out all across our nation with college students and even some in high schools embracing the seductive entitlement of “free everything” at the expense of those deemed evil by left. Does this not undermine the conservative family teaching of individual responsibility and consequences of poor decisions? As I’ve written before, tolerance is only extended to those with left-leaning ideology, and the demands increase that governmental provision is the best and only solution to any problem we face. That’s when the authority of the government easily becomes our tyrant.
There is no doubt in my mind that we are in our current state of moral and cultural decline because government has become our god, with active participation from both sides of the political aisle to increase that authority over our lives. Government spending continues to grow regardless of who is in political power – the difference lies in where and how the money is spent to ensure that power is retained.
More disturbing are the forces on the left which appear intent on dismantling our civil society with the encouragement of violent resistance to our election process, warping the minds of our youth with gender confusion, and open hostility and even vicious attacks on those with any opposing point of view. The goal isn’t civil debate, it’s the shutting down of conservatives and the destruction of livelihoods for those who dare disagree with leftist ideology, such as the fate of a baker or florist whose Christian religious principles require they decline to participate in same-sex celebrations, or conservative media figures who challenge leftist philosophy. We’ve rewritten the definition of so many segments of our “anything goes” culture and society, it’s no wonder we’re in a constant state of corruption and confusion, and we risk the future of another generation if we don’t work diligently to swing the pendulum in the opposite direction. Can it be turned around? Not by the hands of politicians and certainly not by government, but because I have faith in God and His authority, I believe that all things are possible.
So, by all means, enjoy your Fourth of July festivities – just remember we’re not as independent of a nation as we want to believe.
Marcia Chambliss has been involved in grassroots conservative politics since 2009 and has contributed opinion articles pertaining to politics and cultural issues to The Alabama Gazette since 2010.