July 4, 2014

Independence Day: Are We Simply Celebrating a Different Slave Driver?

By In Articles, Politics

When you consider the original idea of “Independence Day” it is much different from what we usually see today. It used to be about celebrating freedom from the government tyranny of Britain. We would remember the founders of old and hear the stories of how they risked their very lives and property fighting for a new found freedom and the ability to live how they pleased apart from government intrusion. Idealistic? Certainly. Were some of the hero stories just propaganda? Undoubtedly. But some were also true, and inspiring nonetheless.

Independence Day today has become something different. Ron Paul recently made the statement: “The idea of opposing — by force if necessary — a tyrannical government has been turned into a celebration of tyrannical government itself.” This seems so ironic; and yet true. Much of the celebration involves accolades toward a government that, in many ways, is just as oppressive as the 18th century British crown. In many ways its MUCH MORE intrusive as it uses the technology of our day to spy on us and listen to our every conversation; watching our every move. Do you think you live in the land of the free? Think again. Certainly there are worse places to be; but America is not the cauldron of liberty that many like to think it is. If the government requires you to obtain their permission by paying for a license before you can catch a fish. You’re not living in a free country. Likewise on thousands of other nit-picking fees, taxes, and regulations you and I live under.

So as you celebrate this year, give some serious thought about what it is you are celebrating. The State apparatus has programmed you since birth to bow the knee at their seemingly benevolent shrine. You’ve been forced to attend their schools and pledge allegiance to a piece of “national” cloth (kind of creepy when you think about it). And you can count on being ostracized if you take a pass on either of those. The State intimidates with threat of seizing your freedom and property and takes by force a certain percentage of your income. Furthermore they control the money supply and reserve the right to have no competition with their monetary policies. If you cry foul, your neighbors might deem you “unpatriotic” and your government might haul you to a government cage (or worse). You’re completely at their mercy……Now light some Roman candles and celebrate your freedom!!!

Don’t get me wrong; we have much to be thankful for as Americans. But the current federal government has done much more to chip away at your liberty rather than protect it. Past administrations have done the same. While the founders were far from perfect, we should celebrate those who opposed the crown. Personally, I also celebrate my Confederate ancestors who likewise fought to the death against an invading hostile army of aggression from the North. We easily forget, historically speaking, often times the fight for freedom has involved fighting AGAINST the United States rathter than FOR it. Ask Robert E. Lee, or some of the Cherokee Indians, or many natives of Hawaii (other than Obama). I live in a state (Louisiana) that sought freedom from the United States in 1861 and was told they could not have it. And if they tried to obtain it they would be killed……And many died. While America celebrates the “leader” most responsible for putting them to death, by gracing your $5 dollar bill with his picture.  And Republicans and Democrats slobber over him as equally delusional sycophants. So light that bottle rocket and celebrate your freedom!

I truly am thankful for those who gave their lives for liberty; and I truly mourn those who were forced to give their lives for something less than that. I admire those who stand against bullies, even standing unto death. Sadly, many times throughout history the bully has been America. Today, even against her own citizens, the bully is America.

Let us celebrate true liberty. And in our celebration, let us long for it to come back to us. Let us long for it to expand to such an extent we could truly call it liberty. If that happens in our lifetime (btw, don’t hold your breath) then we’ll truly have something to celebrate. Living in a place where we’re free to do as we please, when we please, how we please — as long as we don’t infringe upon the same pleasures of our neighbors. True liberty will be celebrated this week by a nation full of people that do not really possess it. Ironic. Sad. Yet true. Let us pray these things change….and soon.

Written by Shane Kastler

Shane Kastler serves as Pastor of Heritage Baptist Church in Lake Charles, Louisiana (www.hbc-lakecharles.com). He is a graduate of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Master of Divinity) and Northeastern State University (Bachelor of Business Admin.). In addition to pastoring, he is the Co-Host of "Church & State" heard every Thursday from 8-10 AM on KELB, 100.5 FM in Lake Charles. Shane writes a weekly newspaper column called "Seeking Higher Ground" and has contributed articles to "Sword & Trowel", the "Economic Policy Journal", and LewRockwell.com. He is also the author of "Nathan Bedford Forrest's Redemption" a biography of the great Confederate general, which tells of how he found redemption in Christ. Shane and his wife Erin are both native Oklahomans, who now make their home in Lake Charles with their 3 children. His blog is: http://shanekastler.typepad.com
  • Johnathan Brown

    Great piece. I really enjoyed it. But why celebrate the Confederacy? Was that not just an attempt to centralize power in a different government? By no means would I argue in favor of the Union either. I believe both sides of that war were deplorable. So what are you celebrating about it, Shane? Secession, maybe?

  • Shane Kastler

    I didn’t mean I would celebrate the CSA per se; but rather my ancestors willingness to stand and fight an invader. I agree that CSA would have been no bastion of libertarianism either; but would have been better than the what the North had. Lincoln’s tyrannical policies should make all good people shudder. If only most Americans knew about them. Likewise the South had it’s issues. Slavery was certainly a major issue, but the North had it too (just to a lesser extent). And both sides used the draft, which is obviously anathema to any liberty minded person. So to answer your question, I would say the Confederacy was slightly better than the Union. But neither was by any means ideal. But you are right, secession I like.

  • Johnathan Brown

    Thanks for the clarification. I think we’re in agreement here. I had ancestors who fought for the Confederacy too, by the way.