Friday, July 4, 2014

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

By Shane Kastler

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.
Shane Kastler is Pastor at the Heritage Baptist Church, Lake Charles, LA and Co-Host; "Church & State" KELB Radio, 100.5 FM. He blogs at The Narrow Road.


  1. Happy Independence Day, EPJ - an alcove of liberty in a socialist world. Long may your page-views wave!

  2. From an article by Gary North titled “Tricked on the Fourth of July”:

    “I do not celebrate the fourth of July. This goes back to a term paper I wrote in graduate school. It was on colonial taxation in the British North American colonies in 1775. Not counting local taxation, I discovered that the total burden of British imperial taxation was about 1% of national income. It may have been as high as 2.5% in the southern colonies…

    The colonists had a sweet deal in 1775. Great Britain was the second freest nation on earth. Switzerland was probably the most free nation, but I would be hard-pressed to identify any other nation in 1775 that was ahead of Great Britain. And in Great Britain’s Empire, the colonists were by far the freest.
    I will say it, loud and clear: the freest society on earth in 1775 was British North America, with the exception of the slave system. Anyone who was not a slave had incomparable freedom.…"