Freedom, Faith and Control ~ 2011-04-06

History has shown - and all of us should know by our own experience - that any time there is too much power in one place it leads to abuses of that power. It doesn't matter how pure the intentions are to begin with; those with evil designs are always seeking out the seats of power. They lie in wait and work in the shadows, waiting for the opportunities to gain more money through devious means, to gain positions of greater authority. America's founding fathers knew this, having suffered horrible abuses at the hand of King George III and many others, and they devised a system of government that was designed to prevent abuses of power by dividing the power of government among the states.

Still, those who seek power and control are always there manipulating things behind the scenes to give themselves more of that elusive control that they want so badly. Why? Because they have no faith. They believe that the only things they get in life are the things they take for themselves, and without faith the only way to have complete security is to have complete control - of everything. Everything not controlled is something to be feared.

One of the ways that fear-based people seek control is by attempting to take away the rights and freedoms of individuals. They often try to do this by working within governments or other organizations, preying on the fears of the people to promote more restrictive laws and ordinances for everything under the sun. They will often say that they do it for some noble cause, because they know that decent people will simply not believe that anyone would do anything so bad in the name of something good. But those who attempt to take away individual rights, HOWEVER GOOD THEIR INTENTIONS MAY APPEAR TO BE, are not good people. Their actions never cause as much help as they do harm. Here are just a few examples:

Feed the poorRaise taxesCreates greater dependency on government and more poverty
Secure our schoolsMake rules that all visitors to a school must sign in at the front desk.Creates a hassle for legitimate school visitors while doing nothing to stop predators.
Medical care for the poorRaise taxesCreates greater dependency on government and more poverty
Prevent death or injury from car accidentsEnact and enforce seat belt laws / child safety seat lawsGovernment attempts to take responsibility for a duty that belongs to drivers, making people feel less responsible for own safety and more likely to blame others for injury. Personal freedom to choose how to adequately protect oneself and one's family is trodden upon. People must now pay fines to government for their own failure to protect themselves. Insurance companies are able to avoid paying medical expenses for those who were not properly wearing a seat belt.
Protect citizens from armed robbery/murderConfiscate, monitor, control all firearmsPeople unable to defend themselves against criminals. Crime rises because magically, criminals seem to be able to acquire illegal weapons. Also, people are unable to defend themselves against government, setting the stage for oppression.
Keep airlines from losing business by protecting them against hijackersRacial profiling, travel restrictions, invasive security checks, violations of privacy and person.Travel costs skyrocket, tens of thousands of innocent travelers oppressed, terrorism continues in other ways. Airlines lose more customers from security harassment than they did from fear of highjacking.
Save banking system from failureGive giant sums to banksMore money/power is taken from the people and falls into the hands of those who already have too much.
Save car industry from failureGovernment takes control of industryIndustry is subsidized by people, defying capitalism (law of supply and demand) while government gains more control and car company executives get rich.
Tolerance for all lifestylesLegislation legalizes and protects 'alternative lifestyles' Minority groups empowered by law force their way onto national stages in the media, schools, churches, and all other public venues. People who live destructive and hedonistic lifestyles are given positions of power in government and business. Society becomes increasingly intolerant of those who attempt to retain any system of values and wish to raise their own children in a protected environment.
Provide more of everything to everyone and protect everyone from everythingGovernment gets in debt to other countriesPeople become more dependent on government and produce less, making it less possible for future generations to repay debt. Eventually, economic system collapses, followed by collapse of government. With no government assistance programs crime escalates, nobody gets free medical care, nobody gets free food. Massive public discontent demands new system and those with vast resources and power take control. Having 'proved' through their devious means that freedom does not work, they attempt to establish a new regime with exponentially less freedom. Everybody loses.

Complete control is an illusion; as long as we are mortal it's just not possible. We never know when death will come upon us; when a natural disaster will strike; when a family member will be taken by a debilitating illness. Ultimately, WE HAVE NO CONTROL. Some people spend their lives trying to keep the illusion of control going to avoid having to face this hard reality. We have no control and it's ok. We do have agency; the freedom to choose. We can choose to live by faith rather than fear. The simple fact that some people are seeking power and control is proof of their evil and/or misguided intentions. Good people do not need power and control; they only need freedom.

However, good people don't just happen. I am not saying for one instant that if you just leave people alone and let them do whatever they want that they will build strong and healthy families, communities, or nations. Good people are good because they have been taught right from wrong. They have been taught constructive from destructive. They have been taught work from laziness; charity from selfishness; faith from fear. And with an understanding of these opposing forces, they have chosen the good.

This kind of society full of free people choosing good must be constantly nurtured. Good people need other good people around them to strengthen and encourage each other. The forces of evil are always around us, pulling us down and challenging our faith. It is all too easy to let fears begin to creep in to our thoughts, and when fear enters the scene it always upstages faith. That is the nature of its' character. So good people must stand together and boost each other up. Like coals in a fire, if they are gathered together they will burn warm and brightly, but if they are separated they will quickly grow cold and fade out. We would like to believe that we are sure enough in our beliefs that nothing can bring us down, but the truth is that our commitment to our values is in a constant state of flux, growing firmer with each positive experience and growing weaker with every poor choice or wasted moment. Who we are in each moment is a result of the choices we made in the preceding moments.

Understanding the above makes several things very clear:

  • Those who live by fear will always seek the seats of power and influence. They will spend their lives in efforts to deny freedom from others to protect themselves and while they may achieve some degree of what the world defines as success, they will for the most part be miserable, lonely and unfulfilled, and will sooner or later wish that they had chosen a faith-based path.
  • Those who live by faith will seek to live well. They spend their energies in living well and encouraging others to do the same, while allowing others the freedom to choose. Though they may occasionally be taken advantage of or even terrorized by fear-based people, they will recover and will for the most part live happy, fulfilling lives.

Think about this in terms of family, all levels of government, education, business, personal life, and more. Which way of life are we choosing and why? How often do we make decisions based on our principles of faith and freedom and how often do we let our fears push us into irrational and destructive paths of seeking too much control?