Freedom: What’s All The Fuss About?

To The Reader’s Forum:

So, what’s all the fuss these days with the sloganeering about “freedom?” We’ve got the anti-tax people harping against the IRS, pro-gun people calling elected representatives tyrants and the Catholic Church, anyway, claiming religious oppression, to name a few sources. I just don’t get it.

If one is opposed to the IRS, is one also opposed to state, county and city taxes as well as sales taxes? Do those people oppose schools and teachers, police, firefighters, homeland security personnel, the military, road crews, public parks, elected representatives and who knows all the other services financed through collective taxation. At least during the pre-revolutionary period, colonists could rightly claim “no taxation without representation”. If it was not for taxation, there would have been no Continental Army to fight for American independence! (We might not be having this dialog either.) Today, it is quite accurate to say that there is no taxation without the consent of a majority of elected representatives at all levels of government. Quit the whining.

And to gun advocates, you’ve had nothing but expansion of your so-called Second Amendment rights over the years. If the boogeyman government was out take away your guns and force you to do whatever ill you perceive, it would have done it long ago when it had a better chance when you were not armed to the teeth with semi-automatic assault rifles and armor-piercing ammo. Are the number and nature of weapons and the numbers of Americans dying by guns is limitless under the Second Amendment? Isn’t the use of a gun to kill a person the ultimate act of tyranny? Quit your whining.

As to religious freedom, the Catholic Church is concerned that a requirement in new health care legislation constitutes a prohibition to the “free exercise of religion” as provided by the First Amendment of the Constitution. I can understand the church not wanting to offer certain services to its employees that conflict with its tenets, but what do you do with employees who do not subscribe to the tenets of the Catholic Church? Perhaps if all the employees were as pure in accepting the tenets as the church hierarchy, then the perceived threat to the sanctity of the faith would be more real. I see the problem as the church trying to operate businesses in a very secular world. Maybe the church first needs to be more discerning.

Paul Demler,