The prognosis is in---Freedom in America is dying. The concept of freedom of speech is becoming as much of a thing of the past as the pet rock, and the cabbage patch kid. Sadly, most of us aren't doing anything about it, preferring instead to stay bogged down in our own realities while ignoring the truth.
A recent meeting in Baton Rouge, LA sponsored by a pro-reform group focused on the passage of President Obama's healthcare package. As speakers began to tout the benefits of such a plan, a small group of people gathered on the sidewalk outside, talking calmly amongst themselves about their beliefs that the plan would lead to rationing, and would be catastrophic for small businesses who would be forced to pay for employee insurance they couldn't afford. Also present were those on the side of the president's reform package, and they too were engaging in the conversation.
Calm, simple discussion. Seems harmless right? Apparently not. Before the conversation came to an end, the police were summoned to tell those who were speaking against the plan to leave or they would be arrested! There was no violence just a few people discussing the plan amongst themselves, and the next thing they knew they were being threatened with arrest! They were approached because their opinion differed from that of the pro-reform group which was backed by the government!
On the Christian Front:
A few weeks ago, an annual Fourth of July tribute(in Idaho) to the military became the focus for national debate when the Pentagon decided to cancel a military fly-over because the event was sponsored by a Christian group. The government response was that no religion could be singled out, and by allowing the military to participate, they feared it would suggest that Christianity was somehow being favored. For 43 years, this flyover had taken place, and there had never been any attempt by the group to convert anyone,and no one had ever complained about the military's involvement. It has always been nothing more than one group's attempt to honor our soldiers. Now all of a sudden it's a problem, and the Christian group's mission was shut down, and the planes were grounded.
Even the pastors of our churches have been put on notice that their sermons could be construed as hateful speech if the topics of a gay marriage ban, or pro-life stance is discussed. Your Sunday morning message is at risk, and if the government moves forward, all "sensitive" discussion will be stopped in the name of "equality for all." (except of course for those who have a different point of view)
I could go on , but the bottom line is that as Christians and Americans we'd better wake up . If we can't defend our point of view and engage in the freedom of speech that was guaranteed to us by the Constitution, what kind of rights will we have left? I believe it's almost Biblical. How easy would it be to control a nation, when the rights of the people have been taken away? There's a lot of speech that I too find reprehensible, but I will always defend a person's right to say it. I demand (and you should as well) that the same right be extended to me.
Know, that I'm by no means being a hysteric, just a realist. If we as a people don't start reclaiming America, and the freedoms it has always offered I'm afraid that the old Bobby McGee lyric in Janis Joplin's song will turn out to be strangely prophetic. Do we really want "Freedom to be just another word for nothing left to lose?"