A couple months back I engaged in a discussion of system racism with a liberal friend. I gave him an opportunity to criticize my positions and included his comments verbatim. We didn’t snipe at each other in pithy 140-word tweets and then hide behind a curtain of anonymity. Instead, we laid out the arguments in detail, respect each other’s opinions, and let others decide who has the better argument. We are back at it again with regard to freedom in America. (prior discussion: https://seek-the-truth.com/2021/07/17/discussion-systemic-racism-and-education/)
I have focused on COVID in recent posts because COVID has become the means of infringing upon our freedom; however, the goal to limit freedom for those whose ideas others don’t like has been latent in our culture for a very long time. COVID policy which seeks to take away freedom under the guise of protecting the collective forms the basis for the start of the discussion, but we expand the discussion to include abortion, gay marriage, transgenders, and other hot button issues. This is an continual discussion, so there should more back-and-forth in the future as we further expand the discussion, look for areas of agreement, and learn more information about topics already discussed.
Ironically, Americans who have more freedom than most of the world have to learn about freedom from those who have had less of it. Forty-three years ago, Soviet Union dissident and Nobel-prize winning author Alexander Solzhenitsyn came to America and spoke at Harvard University. His freedom had been robbed by Joseph Stalin who sentenced him to years of hard labor for simply criticizing the dear leader. Solzhenitsyn came to America seeking freedom, but he surprised his hosts during his Harvard speech by criticizing America’s lack of appreciation for the freedom we so readily have. He recognized a couple of threats way back then. First, he saw the threat the American press was to freedom:
Unrestrained freedom exists for the press, but not for the readership, because newspapers mostly transmit in a forceful and empathetic way those opinions which do not openly contradict their own and the general trend.
He was right then and it has only become worse and more apparent in the time since. The press is now openly dishonest about defending only the views that they wish to further. The press who is supposed root out corruption in our midst is itself totally corrupt and suppressing truth which does not support their narratives.
Regarding American academics, Solzhenitsyn said the following:
are free in a legal sense, but they are hemmed in by the idols of the prevailing fad. There is no open violence, as in the East; however, a selection dictated by fashion and the need to accommodate mass standards frequently prevents the most independent-minded persons from contributing to public life and gives rise to dangerous herd instincts.
On American campuses today there is very little independent thought. College is supposed to be a place where there should freedom to express all sorts of ideas, but it has become the most repressive environment in all of our society. There is a certain progressive/socialist/Marxist dogma crammed down on the students; the dogma and the paradigm used to disseminate it differ very little from the indoctrination and re-education of the old Soviet Union, something the a man like Solzhenitsyn easily recognized.
Teeing Up the Discussion:
Opening Gambit to my liberal friend: What is freedom? Our disagreements boil down to our differing ideas of what freedom is and what role government has in imposing on freedom (for our own good). Freedom is one of those “below the iceberg” issues. We disagree on mask mandates, vaccine passports, etc., but the real issue is not those particular things; the real issue is: what do you believe freedom is? What freedoms do we have? What freedoms should we have? What is the definition of freedom? What are the limits of freedom? What do we do when my freedom imposes on your freedom?
I believe the idea of freedom is essential to who we are as Americans, or at least it has been for most of my life. These days, freedom is not so respected. Many are willing to trade their freedom for security. Others believe freedom to be a dangerous thing and that we should be protected from those who “abuse” their freedom; they believe they have the right to be protected from others dangerous exercise of freedom.
We find many who advocate for government deciding what is best for us collectively. They throw up their hands because we cannot all agree on a notion of what is the best thing in a time of crisis. They believe because we cannot reach consensus, we must hand over our freedoms to an arbiter, a Solomon-like figure who will decide what is best for us all. Their goal is not always suspect; they may may actually believe this is for the best. They hope that those with ill-intent will be thwarted and the good of whole will preserved. Too often, the Solomon-like figure they seek comes in the form of political leaders, or in general, the government. People naively believe that government, which is supposedly not driven by a profit motive or by selfish intent, will decide wisely; they believe government to be a disinterested party who more often than not will decide well because of its purer intentions. They say, we cannot let the marketplace or individuals decide because these actors are badly motivated; government is the one actor who can rise above the pettiness. I find the willingness of so many of our citizens to hand over power to the government to be an existential threat to ideas upon which America was founded. We are handing over power to a government which is no better intentioned than capitalists or selfish individuals, a government who wishes to reward those who would keep them in power at the expense of the rest of us.
A few years ago, the Irish pop-star Bono, member of the one most successful bands in the 80’s and 90’s said this about America:
Anyway, it’s not a right/left issue. It’s a right/wrong issue, and America has constantly been on the side of what’s right. Because when it comes down to it, this is about keeping faith with the idea of America. Because America’s an idea, isn’t it? I mean, Ireland’s a great country, but it’s not an idea. Great Britain’s a great country, it’s not an idea. That’s how we see you around the world, as one of the greatest ideas in human history, right up there with the Renaissance, right up there with crop rotations and the Beatles’ White album. The idea, the American idea—it’s an idea—the idea is that you and me are created equal, and will ensure that an economic recession need not become an equality recession. The idea that life is not meant to be endured but enjoyed. The idea that if we have dignity, if we have justice then leave it to us, and we’ll do the rest. This country was the first to claw its way out of darkness and put that on paper. And God love you for it, because these aren’t just American ideas anymore. There’s no copyright on them. You brought them into the world. It’s a wide world now. I know Americans say they have a bit of the world in them, and you do, the family tree has lots of branches. But the thing is, the world has a built of America in it, too. These truths, your truths, they’re self-evident in us.”
It is ironic that a 20th century definition of the enduring idea of America comes from not one of our great statesman, but a foreign pop star. He is right about America; America is a truly unique place. America has its shame and its flaws, but America has done so much good for the world and for humanity in general. On balance, the good outweighs the shame and the flaws by heaps and heaps. Yet, today America’s critics focus only on its flaws. The flaws are not to be hidden or covered up, but neither should they be exaggerated or emphasized to such a degree that we become ashamed of this wonderful country, this fabulous idea, this shining city on the hill. The attack on America and American values today is unrelenting. Many are swayed by the constant drumbeat of negativity. Those who do so want to tear down all that the country has stood for and all that has united us as Americans in the past, but they have nothing to put in its place. Freedom and individualism is essential to the idea of America that Bono spoke about. It is under attack today because there are those who do not understand its value and the good that it has brought to the world via American ideals.
Who Has the Bigger Stick?
In a discussion with my friend, I used the term “bigger stick”. I wanted to show who has the power in America and who should have power. The idea of America says that the people, not the government, should wield the power; the people should have the bigger stick, yet so many willingly submit to government mandates because they keep us safe and keep those they disagree with at bay. This is a mistake of the epic proportions.
My liberal friend: Getting a COVID shot or not wearing a mask has the potential to harm someone else. Should you then be liable if you pass the infection to someone? Don’t I have the same freedom as you?
My response: Here is another canard I hear now: others don’t have the right “not to be sick”. You have the right to take all the precautions you want to protect yourself, but you have no right to impose your views on me, nor the right to determine my medical treatment, nor does Dr. Fauci, nor does any other of the awful crop of politicians we are stuck with today. Why do you think their opinions about how everyone should respond is better than my opinion or your opinion of how everyone should respond? Maybe you believe the have the science on their side, but I don’t. Scientific truths are often ephemeral and evolving. In the end, the one who wins that battle is usually the one with the biggest stick, and the truth can be lost. I want “We the people” to have the bigger stick, not our government. This is what the fight is really about. Who is going to yield the power in the future? Trust me, it should not be the government.
His response: You say nobody has the right to impose their views/morals on you and somehow that seems to be a one-way street? What I understand you saying is I can’t impose my views on you, which is fine, but for some reason you feel you can/should impose your views/morality on me, which isn’t fine to me. Abortion and gay marriage are a few things that come to mind for this one, but certainly other things apply as well.
Is there anything you have in mind when you start talking about bigger sticks and winning battles?
My response: By the way, “the bigger stick wins” is used idiomatically. I am not advocating violence if that is what you are implying, but I will fight like hell to retain our freedoms. The truth doesn’t have a chance if there is no freedom.
I believe we are literally in an existential struggle for our freedoms. Interestingly, others criticized Trump for using the “fight like hell” phrase on January 6. Shortly after, a montage of virtually ever politician in America using the same phrase surfaced; the same folks who criticized him had used the exact same language. This use of such idioms is quite common. I never thought anything of it when others used it.
The first one is not so subtle. You can’t criticize my use of the idiom while defending these folks: Trump impeachment team plays video of ‘hypocrite’ Dems ‘urging FIGHT LIKE HELL’ – Bing video
On Freedom and COVID Mandates
My Liberal Friend: I certainly disagree with you on many levels, but I know you are convinced you are right, and it is all about your freedoms and isn’t really about masks and vaccines and I get it. It used to be people would make the right decision for the society, but for whatever reason are not doing that now. I’m thinking some of the things people did during WWII to support the war effort such as collecting nylons, victory gardens, nightly blackouts to protect the coast, and many others. Would we have been on the winning side of WWII if people decided they weren’t willing to go through those sacrifices? These types of sacrifices have been made several times through history. One might say a worldwide pandemic with millions of people dead might be a time to sacrifice or be told it is necessary.
I just want to end with one other thing… People have said the chance of dying of COVID is like getting struck by lightning. I witnessed someone get struck, but anyway, if the chance of getting struck by lightning is very minimal, then why do they evacuate pools when there is lightning in the area? It seems this is an overreaction. Are you against evacuating pools when lightning is in the area or should it be a choice each individual makes for themselves?
My response: Yes, Americans did many things to support the war effort in the 1940’s. For the most part, there was unity among the people. We had a common goal and a common understanding of why such sacrifice was needed. Today, we have a common goal to overcome COVID. We are united on this accord at least. But today, we have a government who has hidden the truth, outright lied to us, has censored debate on the issue of COVID (and much more), pitted one group of Americans against another, and has condemned ordinary Americans for the government’s own failures. Our political leaders along with our political media and social media have divided the country for their own political expediencies. This lack of unity is not a failing of everyday Americans; they are overwhelmingly willing to unite behind the common cause of defeating COVID as we did for WWII or after 9/11; it is a failing of our leadership who does not want us to unite, a leadership who wants to use COVID as an opportunity to destroy their political opponents and consolidate their own power. This is why we appear so divided on the issues.
Him: Do I see the authoritarian governors who are dictating that no mask mandates can be made in their states? Doesn’t each jurisdiction have the right to make their own decisions, similarly each business can make certain decisions?
So that I don’t sound hypocritical myself I believe some each level of government, federal, state, local oversee certain things. For instance, it makes sense to have a federal military, but not police force. I see value in federal guidelines for things like education, roads, etc., however, each jurisdiction may have different implementation. It may even be necessary for a local jurisdiction to implement something in a way outside of the guidance and maybe for that there is a waiver process.
Me: So, you are saying “no mask mandates” are authoritarian? I don’t agree if that is your point. Don’t you see a difference between a mask mandate where an individual is compelled to take action and a “no mask mandate” where an individual’s freedom to wear or not wear a mask is protected?
Him: What about my freedom to be in a safe environment? Why is my freedom OK to infringe upon? I am not certain, but I believe the “no mask mandate” rule does not apply to individual businesses. They can still impose their own mask mandates (and many have). How is this enforceable?
Me: I think I am with you on each level government being able to oversee certain things. However, we should always defer to the lowest level, i.e. local governments and individuals, if at all possible. Federal mask mandates are overstepping those bounds, and they are not necessary in this instance to boot. State mask mandates should not be needed either. “No mask” mandates are deferring to individuals to make their own choice, so I think they are the best of all and definitely not authoritarian.
On Freedom and Abortion:
My Liberal Friend: Moving to the subject of abortion, I understand you have very strongly held religious beliefs and there is no argument that anyone could make to move your belief. It always goes back to faith. Rather than arguing about abortion, what about freedom? Whether you agree, abortion rights are about freedom of personal decisions. You said it yourself that people are entitled to make whatever dumb, possibly immoral (you didn’t say this about abortion, but you have regarding being gay) decisions they want. Abortion is protected under federal law and is not considered murder and therefore our personal views, as well as church’s view don’t apply. Until the law is changed… In this country, there may be commonalities of church and state law, but they are independent of one another, and we don’t have Sharia law. To have an abortion is a personal medical decision and you discuss in your latest blog how medical treatment, and by extension procedures, are a personal choice that an individual makes based on their own situation. Are you doing the very thing that you accuse the Left of doing? Maybe I should bring up “doublespeak” again and see who is doing it? How do you get to choose which freedoms to support? If you were consistent and supported all forms of freedom I may not agree, but at least it would be consistent – inconsistency is another thing the Left is accused of, hmm.
Is the use of “my body, my choice” somehow an attempt to show the hypocrisy of the pro-choice people who use similar words? Since it seems that you’ve made the connection, do you consider it a bit hypocritical to tell someone else they can’t make a choice about their body for one thing, while advocating freedom of choice for another? Nobody is saying you have to agree with what they do. Where do you see the authoritarian governors who are dictating that no mask mandates can be made in their states? Doesn’t each jurisdiction have the right to make their own decisions, similarly each business can make certain decisions?
I haven’t heard any pro-choice groups advocate one way or another about the vaccine so I don’t see the connection, but as mentioned people still have choices. Since it seems that you’ve made the connection, do you consider it a bit hypocritical to tell someone else they can’t make a choice about their body for one thing, while advocating freedom of choice for another? Nobody is saying you have to agree with what they do.
My response: Yes, I use the phrase “my body, my choice” to show hypocrisy of pro-choice folks. The exact same politicians who use the “my body, my choice” language (e.g. Cuomo, Pelosi, DeBlasio, Biden, etc.) are also advocating for mandatory vaccinations. If “my body, my choice” applies for abortion, it certainly applies in this case as well. The government should not mandate a medical treatment for you, me, or anyone else. You, along with your doctor, your family, and others you seek out should be able to decide what treatment is best for yourself. It is certainly your body and your choice when it comes to deciding upon protecting yourself from COVID. A government official should not be able to dictate such a personal decision in this case. This is essentially the argument that pro-choice advocates make; a government official should not have the power over a woman who is faced with the medical choice of abortion. If the argument applies for the abortion case, it should certainly apply for vaccinations as well.
However, I believe the reverse is not true because with abortion another person is impacted by a woman’s “choice”. It is not a choice that she makes simply for herself. The “choice” the mother makes is whether or not another should live or die. Simply put, abortion is wrong because it is murder. This is a black-and-white issue for me. I cannot make a more forceful argument than to simply state what is obvious to me and so many others. You do not have the right to deny life to another person. In all other instances, this is classified as murder, and if you murder another person, society imposes its judgment upon you. I can say that government should not force others to be vaccinated and I believe that is also consistent with the government should not allow a woman to take the life of a child she is now entrusted with. We are protecting freedom in both instances. I find no hypocrisy in those two positions.
Certainly, abortion is legal and those who follow a legal process are not punished by our society, but they still must account for their actions, in this life and in the next. They must live with the consequences of the decision they made; the long-term consequences are not often discussed by pro-choice advocates, but there are often lasting physical and psychological impacts post-abortion. In addition, those who advocate for abortion, those who tell others that it is acceptable, must also be held to account. Jesus said those who lead others into sin will have a far harsher judgment than those who are lead into it. Our society, even more than the women who have willingly aborted their children, will be judged for allowing this awful holocaust. My conscience compels me to speak out on this and not to concede there is little I as a single individual can do about this.
You could say I am imposing my morality in this instance, but then nobody should be granted the right to murder. This should be a common value. If murder is not punished, then shouldn’t we speak out about it? Ostensibly, isn’t that what many folks were protesting last summer? They believed George Floyd was unjustly murdered and spoke up in a forceful way. The passion they felt at what they saw as others getting away with murder is the same passion we on the pro-life side have with regard to the murder of innocent children. George Floyd’s life was at the mercy of a police officer as much the life of a child is at the mercy of a mother who doesn’t want to be bothered with this inconvenient truth.
Why is it so hard for you to understand the reasons I and so many others are opposed to abortion? Can you not at least grant that it is a reasonable argument that folks on the other side of the issue think abortion is murder? Weren’t the people protesting George Floyd’s death imposing their morality on others? I agreed with their right to protest and I agreed his death was an injustice (although I broke ranks when their protests turned violent and caused other unjustified deaths). Would you call them out for imposing their morality on the rest of us or would call them hypocrites for standing up for life in the way you have out called me? Even if you do not agree that abortion is murder, can’t you see the logic in our position? Can’t you see that a life that had already begun is ended abruptly? Why do you insist this position is hypocritical? I have an entirely consistent position on life issues: I am opposed to euthanasia, I am opposed to abortion, I am opposed to capital punishment, and I am opposed to unjust murder. The only time it is okay to kill another person is in self-defense or in the defense of another.
With regard to freedom and abortion, how come the pro-choice crowd only talks about a mother’s freedom? Where is the concern for the freedom of the child? The most basic of our freedoms is the right to life. Who stands up for the child’s right to live its life? A child in the womb cannot protect itself; the child is in the womb is among the most vulnerable in our society and it is incumbent upon us to stand up for the rights of those who cannot defend themselves. Furthermore, what about the rights of the father? Why is the father ignored by the pro-choice crowd? If the child were allowed to come to term, society would look to the father to support the child, but the father is ignored when it comes to this most “personal” choice. Many fathers are also deeply impacted by the choice, one way or another. So, if the father objects to aborting a child, if the father is willing to raise and support and love that child, why shouldn’t his voice be heard as well?
So, I used the term “my body, my choice” to appeal to pro-choice people with regard to mask mandates and forced vaccinations. I don’t agree with the notion “my body, my choice” because simply put abortion is not making a decision about your own body. You are making a decision about the body of another. I see no hypocrisy here.
On Freedom and Gay Marriage:
My Liberal Friend: Walking with someone on their path if it is the one you choose for them doesn’t seem very comforting or welcoming. This sounds very controlling and as a matter of fact like their freedom is being taken from them. It doesn’t sound welcoming to say to someone they are welcome in a church but don’t expect us to let you participate. You can’t participate in communion, weddings, have a place on the Board, teach, etc.. The leader of the church is ordained to marry two people of that religion and I can understand if they cannot officiate an interfaith wedding, however, it doesn’t mean they won’t attend though. In other words, your welcoming words aren’t welcoming, and it sounds disingenuous. I’m pretty sure there are inconsistencies with religious doctrine behaving this way. If a gay person, or couple, after dealing with the welcome committee decide to join your church, even though they won’t be allowed to marry in the church, what other restrictions will they have to endure to belong.
You said you wouldn’t attend a gay wedding? How about if you find out one of your children are gay or one of nieces or nephews, would you attend their wedding? Would you attend a wedding if someone knowingly invited a gay member of your church? How about letting them on your social committee, or education committee, would those be acceptable to you? I don’t know if christening is part of your church or other event for the birth or adoption of a child, but if you have a gay member and they adopt, or otherwise have a child, would that be acceptable for your church to hold? Would you attend the celebration? How about a funeral, allowed, attend? For a baseline, do you answer the same for a non-gay member?
My response: I have always said if two gay people want to get married, go right ahead. You live your life as you choose. I have the right to criticize such behavior and I will do so openly, but I have no intent from stopping you or anyone else from living your life. I couldn’t care less what goes on in anyone’s bedroom.
Our critics in the gay “community” object to our criticism of their behavior, what we see as sinful behavior. That is the essential problem for them. They don’t like that we don’t like what they do. Can’t I tolerate you as individual and still criticize some of the things you do? I consider someone willing to call me out for what I do wrong a true friend. Others don’t care enough to be bothered. Is it essential to a person that I agree with everything they do–or at least everything they do in regard to a certain aspect of their lives? I can accept gays have the freedom to live their lifestyle and I do not seek to restrict it. I tolerate their behavior and I do not seek to restrict their freedom. But I don’t agree with their lifestyle and I will say that it is wrong and sinful.
Again, as with abortion, the issue is black-and-white. All we are saying is that we don’t agree that what they are doing is good. Those who are in favor of gay marriage (or transgenderism or any other offshoot of this community) want us to affirm their behavior. That is their goal and it has always been the goal. Everything else is a smoke screen. I will tolerate everything they do in the name of freedom, but I will not affirm what they do. It is the one thing I will not grant, but it is the one thing they demand from us; they hate and condemn us, they say we are discriminating against them, we are restricting their freedoms, etc. when we will not give our affirmation and call their sexual behavior good.
In my posts on transgenders I cover this same ground. I say transgenderism is delusional and immoral, but that doesn’t mean I want to use to force of law to prevent anyone from living their lives. I even say quite clearly in my posts that transgenders and all the rest of the LGBTQ belong in our society (https://seek-the-truth.com/2021/07/15/more-on-transgenderism-it-is-not-about-hate/). They should be welcomed and we should walk with them on their journey. I state this quite clearly. This is the Christian view. However, if I do not affirm their behavior, I am labeled transphobic. It is the same with gay marriage. I do not agree with it. I will not attend a gay wedding. I will not do anything to show my support for it. When I asked (in the 2008 election), I said the state should not sanction it, but I never ever said gay people should be prevented from being married. I always said, you find someone who is willing to marry you, then go right ahead.
If you have some character flaw in your life, should I be supportive of it? For instance, if you cheat on your wife, should I look the other way or find some way to rationalize your behavior? That may be what you want from me, but at the risk of losing a friend, I wouldn’t do that. I can still be your friend without affirming your right to cheat on your wife. In fact, it is only as your friend that I can even hope to influence you and turn you from such destructive behavior. You may not be happy that I seek to impose my morality on you, but I would see it as my obligation as a friend to do so, and I would hope you would do so for me if I were to make some life decision that leads me off a cliff. Unfortunately, many folks today see cheating on their spouse as morally acceptable or just a minor peccadillo at worst, so I wind up being the one attacked for my old-fashioned views.
Also, this may seem like a minor point to you, but it is important: there is no “right” to marriage. The problem the gay community poses for the rest of us is that they want to force their will upon us by force of law (exactly the thing they say we are doing). Look what has happened to Jack Phillips who was compelled to bake a cake to celebrate something which was offensive to him (https://adflegal.org/blog/after-8-years-legal-battles-and-2-wins-jack-phillips-still-being-sued). They won’t stop with bakers. Churches will be next. Churches will be compelled to perform gay marriages, something which violates the very tenets of their faith. Churches should not be forced to sanction something they believe is immoral. The unwillingness of most religions to sanction the LGBTQ lifestyle is maddening to that “community”. They combat that opposing worldview by attempting to force churches, bakers, and the rest of us to participate in their rituals. Where is the freedom in that? Forcing someone like Jack Phillips to perform work against his will is the very definition of slavery. The LGBTQ crowd says their freedom is being taken from them (but they have never proven that point), and so they want to take freedom from others who simply disagree with them.
It is not equal rights that gays seek; they’ve always have equal rights under the law; they actually want extra rights; they want special protections that others don’t have. Orwell told us some animals are more equal than others, you know. When LGBTQ folks are given these special rights and we still don’t provide affirmation, then there will be punishment for those who do not affirm; there will be an attack on our freedoms in the name of protecting their freedom. Again, some animals are more equal than others.
On the Right to not be infected:
My Liberal Friend: I understand your concern for liberties and I am for liberty as well. However people who choose not to get a vaccine and ignore mask requirements are infringing on the liberties of others. Their choice extends the circulation of Covid 19 virus which increases the chances that new more deadly variants will happen – that puts everyone at risk of death and hospitalization; they also cause spikes in hospitalizations which have implications for people who may need those resources for other reasons – again resulting in increased death, cost and sickness.
My Response: You are talking about the right to not be infected with COVID. It is a phony, made-up right. Furthermore, the science doesn’t even support this, something I’ve also covered in great detail in my posts.
You simply don’t have a right to a safe environment (i.e. an environment where another person won’t make you sick). This is not one of our “rights”. You have to understand where rights come from and who grants them.
Our founding fathers understood our freedoms come from God. Government should not be in the business of inventing and granting freedoms. Our founding fathers did not believe they were establishing new rights; they were building upon the discoveries of those who came before them, Enlightenment thinkers like Locke and Blackstone. They created a Constitution which protects the rights given to us by God. They did not attempt to define rights unique to their time, but rather rights that had been always been with us (although often not recognized by most governments). A government that can grant new rights can also easily take away those rights; under such a scheme, your freedoms are always at the mercy of who is in power. Our founding fathers recognized this possibility and took steps to guard against it.
Jefferson summed up our rights concisely; they are: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; the Bill of Rights puts more meat on the bones of this principle. You are not guaranteed happiness, just the right to pursue it. You are not guaranteed equal outcomes, just equality under the law. You are promised that government will do all it can to protect your liberty and your right to life and property, but the rest is on you. As Bono said: The idea that if we have dignity, if we have justice then leave it to us, and we’ll do the rest. This country was the first to claw its way out of darkness and put that on paper.
In my lifetime, we’ve invented rights that have never existed and aren’t actually rights at all: the right to insurance, the right to live in a COVID free environment, the right to abort a child, the right to get married, and so on. God gave us freedom and wants us to be free, but He didn’t promise we’d always have health insurance. If you want health insurance, then earn the money to pay for it. If you can’t afford insurance, there are still those who are willing to provide care at little or no cost. I’ll support those who are willing to help others who are down and out, but don’t demand that I chip in for yours and everyone else’s insurance, especially if you could make the sacrifices the rest of us make to obtain it.
Freedom and Transgenderism
My Liberal Friend: Similarly on the argument about transgenderism…..it is a fact that there are people who are transgender. That some people may abuse how they treat people does not mean we should ignore the rights of transgender people. I would guess that there are many more people being hurt/abused by denying transgender rights than are abusing in the examples you show.
- It is also a fact that many people who think they are transgender are not transgender. It is also a fact that many who are steered into transgenderism against their will.
- Who is ignoring the rights of transgender people? What rights are being denied? I don’t advocate for denying their rights, and I don’t know anyone who does. Please give me some examples of how transgender rights are being denied. I can’t find any. It is continually said that transgender rights are being denied, but you need to provide proof. The only “proof” I’ve ever seen always boils down to one thing: people like me will not affirm their identity or affirm their beliefs. That is not the same as denying transgender rights. This is a phony argument.
My liberal friend: How are you making this determination? Again, show the proof. If I recall the story you presented the father is “protecting” his child and feels that the mother has a transgender child doesn’t mean there is anything being done against their will. There are many things we don’t allow minors to make decisions on because they aren’t developed enough to fully understand, but this varies on individual and unless you are privy to the circumstances and are a trained psychologist I don’t think you are in a position to make any judgement on the situation.
In April it was reported that 44 trans people were killed because they were trans. This would certainly violate their right to live. Texas was working on a law that would make it a felony for parents to allow gender affirming medical care. I can understand if an insurance company didn’t pay for this type of care that would be one thing but taking that decision away from the doctor and patient takes away their rights.
If you are saying that acknowledging that someone has a right to exist and can make their own life decisions about who they are is the same as affirming their identity or beliefs, then you are right.
My response: First, regarding minors, I am arguing for a parent to be involved in the life-changing decision to change one’s gender. Many advocate for excluding parents from this decision. The example I provided showed that the father was in jeopardy of losing his parental rights if he didn’t agree with the “expert” examining his child. We are to leave it to disinterested “experts” who know almost nothing about our individual child to decide what is best for that child? Children are not in a position to make this life-changing decision, and they should not do so until they are adults, or at least until they have had considerable time to ponder it. It is child abuse to allow them make such a life changing decision so before they fully understand all of the consequences of what they are doing. One of a parent’s jobs is to protect their kids from bad decisions for which they have no experience or understanding.
Yes, killing 44 trans people certainly violates their civil rights. Killing any individual violates their civil rights, but why focus exclusively on trans people? Maybe you believe there is a concerted effort to target trans people exclusively. I don’t. I know that the media would love to craft such a narrative and I don’t trust any such story they provide on this topic. They have crafted numerous similar stories with regard to race. Remember the stories of Jussie Smollet and Bubba Watson last year? Both were pushed hard by the media as yet more examples of white supremacy culture in America. The media is desperate for any story to support the narrative they want to sell. Both involved nooses which made them so irresistible for the media. Within a few days, the Smollett story was shown to be a total fabrication; Smollett made it all up and our media look liked fools for chasing it. Watson later admitted that the garage noose was a total misunderstanding after dozens of FBI agents were sent to investigate a non-issue. Earlier this year, the same type of narrative was crafted about Asian people being under attack when there was one story of something that happened to an Asian individual being attacked by a white person; examples of other Asians being attacked by other ethnic minorities were ignored. So, I don’t believe trans people are being targeted. I just don’t see any appetite for it among the largely tolerant American public. The corrupt media will fabricate a story or manipulate facts to make it seem so. The demand for racist, homophobic, transphobic, etc. incidents far outpaces the actual supply of such incidents.
More on Freedom and Mandates:
According to a senior Biden administration official, the White House conducted a policy review prior to issuing the decision. An analysis from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) found that in 2020, there were over 4.2 million federal workers in the United States, all of whom would be affected by this vaccine mandate.
My Liberal Friend: We certainly don’t agree on the abortion issue and interesting how you get to decide which is hypocritical and which isn’t. One problem I have with this personal freedom you advocate with vaccines and masks and such is that your decision does impact me. For some reason, and maybe this is one of the problems with liberals, is they feel this need to have backstops for people who make bad decisions. For medical care, they take care of people who willfully do not wear helmets while riding motorcycles and get in accidents, people not wearing seatbelts, people who willfully don’t have medical insurance and end up in hospitals costing me money. If it didn’t impact me in my wallet I wouldn’t care as much, but it does. What about my freedom to not have my money go to these people? I have no problem helping people out who were injured on the job, are between jobs or otherwise are down on their luck and while I hope to never be in a situation like that I do feel it is a duty for society to help them. It is the willful scorn that I don’t support.
Your arguments do not consider the other side; they look at only one side of the issue and point out things that are wrong with that. These are both issues that have negative implications on both sides it is not a simple either or; right or wrong decision. I understand your concern about liberty – as I said, I am concerned about that also; however sometimes decisions need to be made that have negative implications for both sides – but choosing the one that will do the most good in the long run is what needs to be done – that can be difficult.
And some of those decisions rest clearly with the government. Government is necessary – not always doing the right thing but there must be mechanisms in place that allow wrongs to be corrected – the balance of power that we have established is in my mind the best way to do that. I trust that we can continue to do that going forward.
My response: The argument that your wallet is impacted is interesting. Do you agree with Jimmy Kimmel and Don Lemon (and a host of others) that hospitals should turn away the unvaccinated who contract COVID?
Do you think this is how we should determine medical treatment from now on? Should we turn away the diabetic and the obese who are in the hospital because they couldn’t control their diet and didn’t listen to their doctor’s advice the last twenty years? Should we turn away AIDS patients because they engaged in risky sexual behavior with multiple partners? Should we turn away the cancer patients because they smoked for a time? Should we turn away the car accident victims who didn’t wear their seat belts?
People make bad choices in their lives. Are you saying that we should punish these people further by denying them care because your wallet might be impacted? I suppose that will teach them to do better, but it seems a rather cold and heartless argument to me.
What do you think about this woman, five months pregnant with complications, who was denied medical care because of her vaccination status? The clip is less than a minute long and concisely sums up how our COVID policies have created many unintended victims. The collateral damage extends far and wide:
As far as the government being necessary, I quote Ronald Reagan who said: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I am from the government and I am here to help.” https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=reagan+scariest+words+are&docid=608038193824007447&mid=82681584830E2CCE0C4A82681584830E2CCE0C4A&view=detail&FORM=VIRE
The government which does less does the best. I work for the federal government myself, so I get to see some of this “help” first hand. Our organization is always creating some new group which is supposed to help us do our jobs better. These new groups say their mission is to improve our security posture or provide us with more modern tools or to accomplish some such fine sounding goal, but they never actually “help”. They wind up creating more of a more burden on me and my team. They demand we fill out surveys so they can determine our status and then they demand we come up with a plan to fix it all (they have no plan themselves) and then they report back to their executive sponsor that great progress is being made (as if they had something to do with progress). In short, they just pester us and never provide us with any real solutions. Government is just bad at solving most problems and we are seeing that in real time with regard to COVID policy.
I do agree there are a few things best left to government: providing for the common protection in the form of the military or the local police, building roads and bridges, and maybe one or two other things (I do not include education in this list, by the way). Government should stay in its lane and stick to those few things we need them to do. When government goes beyond its Constitutional limits, there are problems and our freedoms are threatened.
My liberal friend: I disagree with the assessment that the scales are being tipped towards the government. Assuming polls are an accurate reflection of the will of the people they are showing the majority of the people are pro-choice and for LGBTQ rights. To me it looks like the minority of the people are trying to commandeer the government into overpowering the people. Just look at Texas regarding abortion and Florida with mask mandates. Just for some numbers abortion – almost 60% of the public indicate abortion should be legal (Pew Research). 65% say transgender people should be allowed to serve in the military (Gallup). This doesn’t have the look or feel of freedom, but of restrictions.
Me: I am not sure about the numbers you quote for abortion. I found another poll which says the numbers are close to 50-50.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans’ overall stance on abortion has been stable in recent years, with the 48% calling themselves “pro-choice” and 46% “pro-life” similar to the close division on this measure observed most years since 2010.
I will agree with you on one point. Decisions like whether or not abortion should be legal should not be left in the hands of nine justices. The court has been ceded way too much power. Hamilton, in the Federalist papers, argued the judicial was the weakest of the three branches of government. They have no army, no police force, and no power to ensure their edicts are followed. Unfortunately, these days, monumental decisions hinge on the balance of power switching by a single vote on the Supreme Court. This is not how it should be. People are happy when there side prevails, but we need to also be wary of how the sausage is made. Such decisions should be decided by broader coalitions, by the people of each state via their state legislatures. The right to an abortion should never have been a federal decision.
As far as the LGBTQ folks, I agree they should have the same rights as everyone else. They already do. The Constitution ensures everyone is treated equally under the law. They don’t need special protections. They don’t need to be more equal than the rest of us. Some of the framers of the Constitution originally argued that a Bill of Rights was not needed. These rights, the anti-Federalists argued, should already be implied in the Constitution itself and once we start enumerating additional rights that people should already have, there is no stopping point. We appear to be headed off that cliff now.
Take Away Freedom to Preserve Freedom:
I have put my liberal friend’s comments in my posts verbatim. He has his say, I rebut his argument, and he cross-rebuts mine. I want to engage folks on the other side and hear what he and others with opposing views have to say. In my posts on transgenders I also quoted a couple of articles from authors on the other side (https://seek-the-truth.com/2021/07/15/more-on-transgenderism-it-is-not-about-hate/; Transgender Delusion – Seek the Truth (seek-the-truth.com). I have lengthy quotes on opposing views. In my last post on freedom, I quoted numerous people on the other side and then rebutted their positions (https://seek-the-truth.com/2021/08/20/what-is-freedom/). I do this in numerous posts. I have been accused of not looking at the other side, but I think this is not a fair criticism.
I think the liberal argument comes down to this: they want to take away certain freedoms in order to preserve other freedoms and to preserve our way of life. This will never work. Once our freedoms are being infringed and we willingly give them up; they will not be given back without us forcibly wrestling them back.
I quote Jefferson again:
when the government fear the people, there is freedom. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The scales are being tipped towards government and against we the people, which will only lead to more tyranny.
I try to inform and tell the story of what is happening, but once armed with the facts and truth we all need to take action to change the situation and make life better. Without action, without spreading the truth to others, without a real movement to influence the culture, none of this conversation we have here matters.