July 4th, 2011


Free Thinking on the 4th of July

Originally published at Big Ugly Man Doll. Please leave any comments there.

As the impressive Peter Cook might have asked, “Fweedom?  …   What is  …  Fweedom?”

It’s easy to love this country.  We have more freedom than we know what to do with.  The other day, a guy riding a motorcycle was protecting his freedom to ride without a helmet, in an organized ride to protest helmet laws.  He went over his bike and was killed, of course, because he wasn’t wearing a helmet, but by God he died free.

We’re free to believe 6 impossible things before breakfast.  Well, four, if you include Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann.  We’re free to sit on our asses and watch the Chinese kick their own economy into high gear while we do conga lines in the pool.  We’re free to debate the separation of state powers from the church – any church you like, in fact!  We get to protest the inclusion of all sorts of religions in our government, not just one. 

When this country was founded, people were 60 percent water and 40 percent other stuff.  That other stuff is now pretty much corn and soy.  By choice.  We’re free to grow more corn than we can ever eat, no matter how much corn syrup we put in our food, no matter how much food we eat in front of the television. 

I’m free to sit here by the water with my beer and type this as I listen to my kids argue with their cousins, watching the tide come in.  Tonight there will be fireworks, more beer, and celebrations of freedom. 

We’re free to get moving, put our differences aside, focus more on our shared values and less on our intolerant ideals, and get our own economy into high gear.  We’re free to get back into space, the final frontier and last hope for mankind.  We’re free to kick-start our education system, to get away from testing math and get back to teaching math.  We’re free to figure out the difference between violence and nudity and consider which is more offensive to God – any God – and which we should tolerate less, more to the point.  We’re free, on this 4th of July, to do all of these things. 

It’s easy to love this country without thinking too much.   Exercise your freedoms this year.  They were hard won, and they remain hard fought by our soldiers today.  Be worthy of them. 

You’ll love it more.