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Liberty Lost in America

Declaration of Independence

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

These words, from The Declaration of Independence of The United States of America, are the foundation of our nation. They do not declare that our rights come from the government, as many today seem to believe. They declare that God, the Creator of our Universe, endows us with these rights. And that the government, by our consent, is to ensure these rights are inviolable—particularly, that our individual Liberty is not violated by the Government itself.

Signing of the Declaration of Independence

Signing of the Declaration of Independence

What is Liberty?

Liberty is the state of being a person within society free from restrictions upon one's way of life imposed by authority. Liberty is the right to act according to one's own will. Liberty differs, however, from licentiousness or libertinism.

Liberty has been severely eroded in America in the past 100 years. It has happened so gradually that, like the proverbial frog in the pot, many may not have noticed.

Liberty has been diminished by the terrible increase in the power of the Federal Government. This has myriad causes and crucial moments but the four key players in this tragedy, in the public eye at least, have been the Supreme Court; Woodrow Wilson; Franklin Delano Roosevelt; and Lyndon Baines Johnson.

But there is a power underlying this institution and these men. And this power seeks to control everything we do, the words we speak, and even what we think—except for the freedom of licentiousness or libertinism; this is the bone they throw the dogs to placate them.

Declaration of Independence

Declaration of Independence

Government Constrains Liberty

In the 19th Century, an American could safely ignore the Government and decide for himself on virtually all matters of behavior. Consider, for a simple example, that throughout human history, if a man was hungry, he would go to a lake, river or stream, cast his line, catch a fish, and eat. About 100 years ago, this simple affair became subject to a license from the government.

This sounds rather non-intrusive but it meant that a man was no longer as free as he once was. At the same time, building codes began to spring up, taking away the freedom of a man to build a dwelling as he saw fit. It was not many decades after this, that a lack of housing for the poor came to the forefront. After all, many of the poor could not afford to build shelter for themselves that met the building code.

About ten years after building codes came to be, zoning laws were created, meaning, that no longer was man free to build his home or have a little business wherever he wanted. These laws eventually drove up the cost of real estate—beyond the means of the poor—because governing zones of land use, naturally reduces the amount of available land for various activities, making it scarcer and as with anything else, scarcity is a determinate of price. Surely the day would come when the government would have to provide housing—giving it thus the power to decide whom could live where; a loss of Liberty.

Signing of the Constitution of the United States of America

Signing of the Constitution of the United States of America

Federal Income Tax

The Federal Income Tax was made law in 1913. Since it was unconstitutional to confiscate part of a person's earnings, the 16th Amendment was passed in order that the government might seize a portion of each person's productive labor. This was a great loss of Liberty. Until this time, each person kept 100% of whatever they earned.

There are only two paths to the acquisition of wealth: the production of goods and services that are voluntarily exchanged for the goods and services produced by others (the Free Market); And the seizure of another man's fruits of production by force.

A predatory state may then inflict burdens upon some citizens; while granting subsidies and privileges to others. This results in a loss of Liberty for both classes of citizens—though obviously more so for the tax producer, because this man has the results of his labor confiscated against his will. But also the tax consumer must forfeit some of his Liberty to "qualify" for the largess.

Obviously, this loss of Liberty can only be accomplished if the citizenry can be persuaded that this confiscation is not only benign but beneficial. This persuasion has been the prime function of the 'Progressive' intelligentsia in America for the past 100 years.



The New Deal

The New Deal of the 1930s really got the ball rolling. The Federal Government seized control over many aspects of the lives of the citizens, including the national economy, the supply of money, agricultural production, and the prices of goods. The government assumed the ultimate power to restrict the Liberty of some groups for the benefit of others.

Now, a lot of these programs were said to be temporary but in reality: Liberties surrendered are rarely reclaimed, except by force. For the first time, for example, the Federal Government took control of farming and—of all things—the Arts.

One must understand that most losses of Liberty happen in small steps. During the 1930s the Government began to tell farmers what to plant, how much of it to plant, and what they could sell it for. And paid some farmers not to plant anything at all. In 2007, farmers were paid $1.3B not to grow food.

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This may sound normal to some postmodern people, but the fact is, human beings have been farming since time immemorial with the Liberty to grow whatever food they wanted to grow; and sell it to whomever they wanted, whenever they wanted, for whatever price both sides decided was a fair exchange.

Under FDR, the Arts were funded by the Government for the first time. Now, this may look, on its surface, to be a good thing, but the fact is this: money was confiscated from some people; and given to others to produce art that, those people whose funds were confiscated, may not have wanted produced.

This is a loss of Liberty to choose what Art you exchange the fruits of your labor for. And who chooses what Art is worth the taxpayer's money and what Art is not? Even the consumer of Art has lost Liberty; the Liberty to pay for the Art one wants to pay for and none other. I made my living as a professional musician for 20 years and I never got a government grant for my Art.



The Great Society

Fast forward to the 1960s, because I am running out of time for this short-attention-span generation. The Great Society. Sounds like a good idea. A chicken in every pot.

The unenlightened may think the Great Society was good for the poor. The Truth is that poor were among the victims of the Great Society—along with those who pay for it. By the 1970s most Americans, through these various schemes, were dependent upon the Federal Government.

If you are dependent , you are not free. You have lost the Liberty that our Founding Fathers said was God given, not granted by other men or your government.

The only way to convince the American citizens to go along with this scheme has to be to convince them, through indoctrination by the public schools—and the increasingly government subsidized university system—that there is no God. Because, my friends, if there is no God: your inalienable rights in The Declaration of Independence actually come from the State.

This was not easy to accomplish in America, once by far the most religious nation on earth, believing as we did in the Christian God. But: if the government schools and government subsidized universities could convince children, while they are impressionable, by the authority of the state, that they descended from apes and were therefore nothing more than highly accomplished animals—and not beings created in the Image of God—perhaps they could be persuaded to surrender their Liberty to the State.

The Government could then convince the unknowing, that America is still Free, when in fact Freedom is nearly gone, replaced by a Government that controls its society right down to their will, actions, speech—and if they are able to determine them: even their thoughts.

After all, if people are granted the freedom to unlimited personal licentiousness—and provided with enough bread and booze—they just might surrender, one small piece at a time, their sovereignty as individuals that our Founding Fathers envisioned for us.

But the only way this can be fully realized would be through a huge national bureaucracy—unelected, serving for life, and free to make law that they call "regulations" without the Will of the People—through its elected Representatives— considered whatsoever.

One might think that, in 2009, we have three branches of Government according to the United States Constitution. Think again. The 4th branch, not in our Constitution, is the Bureaucracy, a self-serving and corrupt entity whose motives, objectives, policies and standards are removed from the authority of the People—an incredible infringement on Liberty. If you fail to realize how powerful the Bureaucracy is, get in the wrong line at the Driver's License Bureau.

The Federal Bureaucracy now has usurped most all Liberty that Americans, before they became helpless sheep, once took for granted. This bureaucracy employs three million people who decide how much Liberty you will have. They decide who can and under what rules all Americans can do almost everything we do.

The reach of this Bureaucracy includes: walking, bicycling, horse riding, driving cars, boating, flying; farming, gardening, eating; building, business, trade, commerce, travel, housing; local education, university education, job training; working, hiring, compensation, benefits, working hours, working conditions; buying, selling, trading, transporting; transfer of funds, inheritance; trucking, highways, railways, waterways; camping; lending, borrowing; use of land, fishing, hunting, mining; use of alcohol, drugs, firearms . . . need I go on? Because I could go on all day. My point is that none of these violations of your individual Liberty existed 100 years ago.

But, to placate us we have been given a few new Liberties that our Founding Fathers not only never envisioned us having; but would have recoiled at the thought of us desiring them.

The Government has the power to destroy the basic unit of human life enshrined in our Liberty—The Family—by promoting unfettered divorce; the rendering of the role in human history of the father as superfluous, by granting the State the power, through Family Court, to separate a man from his children for any insinuation, thus making the woman and the children effectively wards of the state and the father merely a financial benefactor of them through threat of imprisonment; the elimination of the traditional role served by the Church and religion as the guardrails of human behavior; to eliminate the freedom of an employer to hire whomever he wants as was always accorded through human history; to destroy the intimate connection charity always had throughout the centuries between the giver and the receiver, by making the government the arbiter of charity; to remove God from the public square; to remove from landlords the wisdom to choose their own tenants; to force upon lenders whom they will loan money to, regardless of creditworthiness. Oh God, I could go on for weeks about the losses of Liberty in this country in the last 100 years.




I must stop at some point. To really examine the effects of the Great Society and the last 40 years of rule in The United States by Radical Liberals I will need another Hub because I am sure that as I have run out of energy recounting this horribly sad tale, you have surely run out of attention span reading it. It is an immense story of the loss of human Liberty in what was once the most free nation in the history of the earth, the United States of America.




James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on January 01, 2020:

Thank you Kelly Ann!

Kelly Ann Christensen from Overland Park, Johnson County, Kansas on December 31, 2019:

I'll look forward to that, James. I'll be watching for it.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 31, 2019:

Kelly Ann Christensen ~ You ask a great question. I never did get around to writing that Hub. Maybe I will do it soon. I had forgotten about it until you mentioned it. Thanks for that. And thank you for visiting.

Kelly Ann Christensen from Overland Park, Johnson County, Kansas on December 29, 2019:

I'm so disgusted and outraged with what is going on that I don't even know where to start. I'm interested to know whether you ever wrote that next hub on the last 40 years?

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 03, 2019:

Connie120 ~ Thank you so much for your lovely laudations. I appreciate the visit and I apologize for not responding sooner. I must have missed the notification that you had left a comment.

Connie120 on April 22, 2013:

I know this is an old hub, but I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate it. It is a great exposition of what liberty should be, and how our rights have been eroded over the years by the government.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on July 05, 2012:

SirDent— I thank you my friend for coming by to read this old article of mine and for letting me know you were here again. It is an honor and a pleasure to receive you.

"Animal Farm" is a heckuva book, to be sure. I certainly appreciate your kind compliments on my work, Brother. It is always a hoot to hear from you. I will be by soon to see what you've been writing lately.

James :D

SirDent on June 29, 2012:

As I read through this hub for the second time, I kept thinking of a novelette I read back in high school. It was titled Animal Farm and written by George Orwell, if I am not mistaken.

The government has become the Pigs of the book. Everything was great in the beginning then the pigs started taking authority over all the other animals. Liberalism is turning into socialism.

I am also reminded of a Bible verse. "Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is LIBERTY." An awesome old hub James.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 29, 2012:

Levertis Steele— Thank you for your powerful words.

You wrote: "Please never say that you would never place your mom in a nursing home. . . . I said the same thing once, and behold my mother! I did not know that her condition and needs would be far from my abilities."

Well put. We never know what the future holds. And there is no doubt that many people need professional care.

You added: "I am thankful for the nursing home and the care she gets."

I can empathize with you on that. I knew a girl a long time ago who worked in a nursing home and it is tough work.

You write, "Someone in the family is there to visit with her nearly every day, and that's important."

It certainly is. That is awesome.

I think we should recognize as well that as a society—not in your individual case nor in many other cases—we have become much more about "me" than we used to be. It was once nearly universal that Americans felt a debt to past generations and a debt to future generations. I do not see that now. I think this is because the public schools, courts, universities, and media have worked for decades to diminish belief in God—in particular Judgment Day and the Afterlife. This makes folks much more about "me" and "today" and "If it feels good do it" and "Just do it" and "Have it your way" "Go for the gusto" because "You only live once." After all, if we are nothing more than accidental animals without a spiritual nature why should we care about anything other than the avoidance of pain and the attainment of pleasure?

Levertis Steele from Southern Clime on June 21, 2012:

Magnoliazz said,

"People are getting poorer all the time too, mainly because they no longer inherit anything from the parents. Because women are no longer at home, no one is there to take care of mom and dad when they get older. They go to a nursing home, and all their wealth is eaten up by it leaving nothing left. . . .everyone is way too busy with their so called "life" to be bothered with taking care of the elderly. My mother will never end up in a nursing home, I can tell you that much."

Children cannot take care of parents the way they used to because ways of life have changed. It is not fair to blame them unless their care supercedes that of a nursing home. Children are working their butts off every day trying to take care of their families and send half to college. So, how can poor people stop working to take care of parents when they need money to take care of themselves and family? It is true that many people do not need to be in a nursing home, but many others do. I know a lady who is in the last stages of congestive heart failure, has severe lung, blood pressure, dementia, and diabetes problems. She cannot walk, feed herself, or turn herself over. She often cannot carry on an intelligible conversation, and she is sometimes paranoid. She has difficulty swallowing and is at high risk for choking. She is connected to a B-pap machine to receive oxygen, and has had at least four respiratory failures in 12 months. Of course, she was revived. Do you recommend that her children take care of her at home? She must be monitored around the clock by professionsls for the rest of her life. This woman is my mother.

Please never say that you would never place your mom in a nursing home. You do not know what you have to endure in the future. I said the same thing once, and behold my mother! I did not know that her condition and needs would be far from my abilities. I do not have the expertise or convenience in my home to properly care for my mom. I am thankful for the nursing home and the care she gets. Someone in the family is there to visit with her nearly every day, and that's important.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 01, 2012:

Curiad— I share that hope with you, friend. America has been damaged but no matter how glaring the failures of the progressive political ideologies, their proponents keep claiming success! it is mind-boggling to me.

I am glad you stopped by. Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

Curiad on January 30, 2012:

I don't know how I missed this hub either, but it is so clearly written and dead on to what I have believed all of my adult life. I only hope that now in early 2012 there is still some hope of reversing this horrible damage done to our country and the collective mind of our society.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on January 13, 2012:

poetvix— You are most welcome. I thank you for coming by to check out this older Hub of mine. I am glad you agree that this is a timeless message of some import. I sincerely appreciate your warm words, and the excellent work you do here on HubPages with your own wonderful writings. :-)

poetvix from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country. on January 12, 2012:

They say a true classic is defined through its ability to withstand the test of time. This is every bit as true today as the day you wrote, arguably more so as we have lost more liberties. I love how in depth this is, how much evidence you state, the pure logic of it. Thank you!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 05, 2011:

kidikirous1— Thank you!! I am glad that we are in agreeance. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community. I look forward to reading some of your writings.

kidikirous1 on September 04, 2011:

Great hub! You are absolutely correct, things are grim these days as government has dominated all facets of life:(

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 12, 2011:

AJReissig— Thank you for saying so! I love the Benjamin Franklin quote. I totally agree with your remarks.

I appreciate this visitation. I have made myself a note to come by ASAP and see what you've been writing.

Alex J. Reissig from New Richmond, Ohio on August 09, 2011:

Awesome hub. The loss of liberty in this country has been going on for far too long. Franklin said "Those who sacrifice freedom for security drserve neither". Too few people understand that statement, and how true it is.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on January 26, 2011:— Fascinating and maddening. You can say that again. (I just did!) :D

When it comes to liberty lost it seems Americans are like the proverbial frog in the pot. It is so gradual that generations coming up can't miss what they never knew.

I love your remarks. Thank you for making them here. I thoroughly enjoyed reading them. Good of you to come.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on January 26, 2011:

magnoliazz— Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant! Your commentary takes the cake for the best comment I have perhaps ever received. If you don't mind, there are several nuggets I would like to include in my book. Rarely do I come across anyone with such clarity of thinking—especially against the grain as so many are loath to do so as to always "fit in" and all.

I cannot say more. Your words astonish me. I wish I had said them myself. Hats off to you, my lady. Thank you. from upstate, NY on January 25, 2011:

This is both a fascinating and maddening subject. Many people don't have the wisdom to know when their freedoms are taken away or the understanding of liberty and the responsibility that goes with it! So many of these encroachments on our freedom need to be questioned. The sad irony is that the poor are victimized by those claiming to be their benefactors. Great analysis on the consequences of government intrusion into our lives. Without fail these intrusions do more harm than good and only serve the politicians and their special interests. Boy we are in great need of wisdom!

magnoliazz from Wisconsin on January 25, 2011:

Another great hub James! We need more American like you to help the rest of us wake up. You need to run for office, and I am not kidding either!

People are getting poorer all the time too, mainly because they no longer inherit anything from the parents. Because women are no longer at home, no one is there to take care of mom and dad when they get older. They go to a nursing home, and all their wealth is eaten up by it leaving nothing left. What a joke, and most people do not even belong in a nursing home in the first place, they need just a little attention, but of course everyone is way too busy with their so called "life" to be bothered with taking care of the elderly. My mother will never end up in a nursing home, I can tell you that much.

Another big way our lives changed is when women left the home and went out in the workforce. I think this event ruined the family more than anything. I remember when my dad used to come home, my mom had a great meal on the table, yes EVRERYDAY, we all sat down together and talked about the day. Now mom rushes home with bags of junk food, she has no time or energy to cook....(no wonder kids are so overweight these days). Everyone is in a bad mood. Dad is no longer respected as the head of the family, and everything degrades from there. Women have been brainwashed into believing that being a housewife is degrading. I would think that raising your children and caring for your husband and family would be the most important, God given job in the universe, but women today don't see it that way. They go to the gym and work out, and their homes are a filthy mess....they don't want to stay home and do anything! Can anyone else see what is wrong with the picture here? Its like no one has any common sense anymore.

When we stray from Bibical principles we lose out, BIG TIME! We need to get back to common sense and the basics.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 21, 2010:

Freeway Flyer— You make many valid and important points. I suppose some men yearn to be free, and other wish to create a perfect society by curbing individual liberty. Perhaps we have crossed the line over the middle ground. I enjoyed your keen insights. Thank you for visiting and commenting.

Paul Swendson on September 20, 2010:

I'm not disagreeing with you, but it is important to remember the origins of the regulations that can often be excessive. The 19th century was more free than today, but it was by no means a paradise. People worked in terrible conditions, lived in cities that were cesspools, maintained slavery followed shortly after by segregation, and were compelled to increasingly rely on mass produced goods that were not necessarily safe. Has the government gone overboard at times? Definitely. But would a "free" society be a paradise? No. It's important to keep in mind that the Constitution itself represented an effort to create a stronger federal government in order to bring some order after the failure of the Articles of Confederation.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 15, 2009:

Allan McGregor— I agree with your wise words here. I am working on a Hub about Israel but I won't have it ready for about two weeks. Right now, only research and rumination, but I have a concept of where I am going with it. The biggest problem is to make it truncated enough for general consumption.

I thank you, Allan, for the encouragement you have shown me this past week. I look forward to a long friendship with you centered on intellectual exchange.

Allan McGregor from South Lanarkshire on September 15, 2009:

Gentlemen. You are right about the Spirit of the Lord. George Washington certainly believed that America was blessed by God. And several commentators have observed how every time America moves against Israel, the nation is hit by some economic or natural disaster. The correlations are startling - often occurring on the same or very next day. I believe this is evidence of God lifting his hand off America, laying it vulnerable to whatever Satan wants to throw. And do you remember, just a few years ago, when Israel's prime minister was struck down by a fatal stroke only days after conceding 'land for peace'?

One commentator equates America's woes to Obadiah 15 (the shortest book of the Bible, right after Amos):

'For the day of Yahweh is near upon all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you; your deeds shall return on your own head.'

Basically, this is a reciprocal promise that whatever a nation aims at Israel will rebound back upon it; all the more so, when the nation involved is powerful enough to actually affect harm against the 'Apple of God's Eye'. And Barack Obama is trying to strong-arm Israel even now, so watch out.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 14, 2009:

SirDent— Thank you, Sir. I'm glad you stumbled upon this one. I appreciate the accolades and as always, I am very happy to hear from you. :-)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 14, 2009:

Allan McGregor— I haven't seen that web site but I have heard that name before, David Barton. I will check out that site straightaway. Thank you for the tip. And I appreciate the visitation and the comments! :)

SirDent on September 14, 2009:

I have no idea how I missed this hub before. The only thing that kept coming to mind as I read this hud is a scriptutre from the Bible. (paraphrased) Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. When the spirit of the Lord is removed or rejected, liberty goes also.

Very well written and presented using facts that are verifiable.

Allan McGregor from South Lanarkshire on September 14, 2009:

Have you looked up David Barton on

This guy has studied American and Constitutional history for many years and can give you chapter and verse on the insidious undermining of Americans' Constitutional rights and anti-Christian legislation over the past two hundred years.

And what he doesn't know about anti-Christian US Supreme Court decisions isn't worth knowing.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 22, 2009:

Animals respect each other more than people? Do you, like . . . eat your neighbors!? That's gross! I suggest you watch some documentaries about say, the Wildebeest or Spiders, or Aanacondas, or Lions, or . . .oh never mind.

Still, I'm glad you came by and left your comments. I got a kick out of them.

garhunt05 on August 22, 2009:

to be completely honest we are simply a highly accomplished animal and even animals respect each other better than humans do. They don't have nearly the same amount of problems a human does in society both then and now. and to be fair again building codes meant safety but there must be a trade off of safety and freedom that is the trade off of civilization.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 22, 2009:

Thank you.

Shahid Bukhari on August 22, 2009:

Anywhere !

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on July 23, 2009:

Kebennett1— Yea, I guess that would kind of go against my own words on this Hub to cave in to a loss of Liberty. Interesting, how you tied that together. I don't think I saw your Hub but I will read it this weekend. Thanks so much for your encouragement.

Kebennett1 from San Bernardino County, California on July 23, 2009:

James, you have so much knowledge and insight to share. I agree with you about our loss of freedoms. I wrote a Hub about it a while back and it was flagged a duplicate, but who cares, I spoke my piece and felt better doing it! I would hate to see you let anyone take more freedom away from you without you fighting it! Keep writing!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on July 06, 2009:

Shahid Bukhari — well yes. It is unless you are in the Gulag Archipelago.  Then the loss of Liberty becomes suddenly real.

Shahid Bukhari from My Awareness in Being. on July 06, 2009:

A well Documented Hub. But let me add my bit,

"Freedom, is a State of the Human Mind ... "

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 29, 2009:

urimidden— Once again, your commentary is lucid.  Of course, all countries and all people make plenty of mistakes.  Balkanizing?  I am not sure to what you are referring.  We sure helped build Germany and Japan into fine, wealthy members of the international community.  It wasn't us who dropped the Iron Curtain.  We never had any colonies in Africa.  We have had very little involvement in the Balkans throughout history.

I am no big fan of the Federal Reserve with their Jekyll Island machinations.  Enslavement might be hyperbole.

I think drugs should be legalized because if not they will be controlled by criminals, just as in Prohibition. 

While we are young, most emerging nations in the past 100 years have modeled themselves after the United States and for good reason. 

I only blow our horn because I don't want to be fashionable.  The chic crowd of Americans hate their own country and I just refuse to be that cool.

urimidden on June 24, 2009:

This country appears to have made many mistakes and has certainly helped to balkanize some other countries. Furthermore, the economy in this nation is assisted and controlled by a Fed Reserve and fractional reserve systematic enslavement. Simultaneously, crime and the illicite drug trade props up much of the revenue generation for far too much of the state, and money laundering throughout the market is rampant. This country is extremely young compared to the many other societies in the world, and it certainly has had its share of controversy and failure, regardless of how much this nation loves tooting its own proverbial horn. Many other nations are in much better shape than this embicilic throng of spoiled brats.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 21, 2009:

urimidden— Thank you for your commentary.  There have been many changes in over 200 years, some certainly for the better, some certainly for the worse, but most of them have resulted a bit of Liberty lost.  If you look at them in one big pile, created gradually, some changes better than others, a massive amount of Liberty is gone. And Liberty is one of the cornerstones of our nation, that made it as great as it became.  This loss of liberty was slow until the 1930s; slowed down again when WWII broke out (hardly the time for controversial agendas); hit a huge cycle in the 1960s; cooled down again and now: we are entering a period when the highest levels of Liberty will be abrogated, except—the Liberty for gross impropriety and womb to tomb babyhood.  There are two sides to every coin.  The side of everybody should be able to do anything their heart desires and be taken care of by others sounds great!  The other side rarely gets said.  So, I am saying it. 

The belief in God and God's Providence has been what has made this the greatest nation formed by mankind ever by far.  It would take another Hub to get into all that, but a perusal of our founding documents, the Federalist Papers, commentaries by our Founding Fathers, should make it clear what they had in mind.  And it has been an incredible success, that a cursory look around the world should reveal easily enough.

I cannot speak for other religions, but Christianity certainly does not teach "blind obedience" nor does it teach intolerance except for intolerance of willful rebellion against God of course. 

I appreciate you for reading and your thoughtful remarks.

urimidden on June 21, 2009:

I agree with you on some points. However, you appear to place an awful lot of cooperative effort and majority implied rulings and policies in the "losses of liberties" file. Many things that have changed over time, including various laws, rulings, statutes and socioligically acceptable behaviors, and plenty of them have been necessary for growth and abrogation of ignorant or abusive practices.

As far as the loss of god, without established monotheistic belief structures much of the world would, in my opinion, be much better off. Furthermore, inalienable rights come from any higher power, such as the supreme controlling force of this Universe, and educating people on their options rather than allowing a religion to teach intolerance and blind obedience, will always be the most positive direction to endeavor upon.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 16, 2009:

satomko— You pose a very good question.  Indeed, the Federal Government needs to be strong to defend our nation.  I only question controlling the People from womb to tomb.  Your commentary adds a lot to this thread.  Thank you for making it.  I agree with you and I appreciate you for reading.

Seth Tomko from Macon, GA on June 16, 2009:

Seth Tomko from Macon, GA on June 16, 2009:

I think you're right about the shift in the continuum between power and freedom, but isn't there also the question of the need of a strong central government in the contemportary golbal setting? I don't mean the nearly endless and expanding official oversights and regulations, but isn't a central authority needed to protect the citizenry against all threats foreign and domestic? In earlier eras our country's geography protected us from a lot of threats, but ever since WWII each country (and sometimes not even countries but radical destructive groups) and its weapons of terrrible distructive power have been brought closer together than ever. What I'm really asking is what is the Golden Mean here--how can we ensure our government has the power to defend us but also has the balance of no riding over the rights of the very citizens it is trying to protect?

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 09, 2009:

muley84— Thank you for these suggestions and I will take you up on them.

Michael A Muehleisen from Miami,FL on June 08, 2009:

Hi James, I would try submitting it to various magazines, especially ones that protect freedoms, like the NRA etc. Also possibly submit it to the ny times editorial page.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 07, 2009:

Jimmy Fuentes— I am an avid reader and always have been. I did not go to college. I went on the road with a rock band for 20 years instead. And that was quite an education! :D

When I was 11 I read the Encyclopaedia Brittanica. Ever since, I read books and magazines every day to learn as much as I can so I might make some sense of it all.

Thank you very much for the compliment and the comments. It is like the Matrix, yes. Good analogy.

Jimmy Fuentes from Rancho Cucamonga on June 07, 2009:

James, this is a silly question but the depth of your knowledge on the subject.... I'm ashamed to say I was a history major and still was not as well versed as you seem to be. Is it simply a matter that you have always studied? or have you paid more attention lately and done more research? For most people who are oblivious to the ever incroaching government it is almost as though "the matrix" has them. Fantastic hub.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 06, 2009:

Misha— Nice to hear from you again. Thank you. As long as they have a spot at the trough, I suppose the sheeple either don't see it or don't care. Thanks for your comment, brother.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 06, 2009:

muley84— Thank you, sir. I thought it was published! :-)

I would like a wider audience. How do I go about getting one?

Misha from DC Area on June 06, 2009:

Excellent hub James! I do agree to the main idea of it, except for religion and human right as Dave (Paraglider) pointed out. Very few people see this slow erosion of freedom unfortunately, and even fewer object...

Michael A Muehleisen from Miami,FL on June 06, 2009:

James, I believe this article needs to be published. Very well written, and researched.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 06, 2009:

muley84— Why, thank you kind sir! This is high praise indeed and you made my evening. Liberty is slowing draining away, brother. We need to put a plug in that hole.

Michael A Muehleisen from Miami,FL on June 06, 2009:

What a fantastic hub James! This is hopefully an eye opener for many people, not only for all of the freedoms that have been slowly eroded away by our government, but also the insidious indoctranation, and proaganda they have been feeding us to accept all of this without so much as a whimper.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 03, 2009:

Where he got that idea, I'll never know. He thought himself clever, apparently.

Dave McClure from Worcester, UK on June 03, 2009:

Well, it's an interesting notion, but given the lie, perhaps, by Newton Mearns, a very prosperous suburb of Glasgow.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 03, 2009:

paraglider— My dad, who was never politically correct, used to tell me that the Scots were the smartest, most successful business people on earth.  When I asked him what he based that on, he said, "It's the only place Jews can't make a living." I didn't say it. I'm just providing the quote. :D

Dave McClure from Worcester, UK on June 03, 2009:

James - you are a gentleman. As we Scots say - Here's tae us /Wha's like us? /Damned few, /An' they're a' deid! Good night ;)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 03, 2009:

countrywomen— You speak common sense. Avoiding extremes is the best path. America is still the home of the free. I agree with you. There is much injustice in the world compared to here. Thank you for your thoughtful insight.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 03, 2009:

Paraglider— I agree with you.  It is certainly possible to construct a system of ethics without religion.  Not enough from you.  Your thoughts are always keen and always welcome.  Thanks.

countrywomen from Washington, USA on June 03, 2009:

I believe America still has most freedoms and liberties that most individuals crave for. Any extreme swings i.e., whether be it a single state supported religious doctrine or against any religious doctrine is equally harmful. A case in point is some Muslim regions(in past/present) taxing non Muslims extra taxes or opening there places of worship/practices and at the other end there is China where total opposition to religion of any form exists like the Chinese brutalities on Tibetans(because of there Buddhist religion) is also equally harmful for individual freedoms and rights. I believe a golden median seems the most ideal solution. Thumbs up for a thought provoking hub.

Dave McClure from Worcester, UK on June 03, 2009:

James - thanks for the long response. I'm deliberately not straying into the main territory of the hub. You live there; I don't. My main point is that separation of church from state also requires separation of religion from ethics, which hasn't been tried in earnest since ancient Greece, except cynically, e.g. in former USSR & China. But enough from me!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 03, 2009:

caitlinlea— Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am glad we are kindred spirits. And, you are welcome!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 03, 2009:

Paraglider— Thank you for the compliment and your commentary.  Yes, the  FF's did believe that men were created with natural rights.  If the rights of man were created by secular governments, they saw and there is, a tendency for them to be taken away. 

But far from "creating" a God who looked like George Washington, their God was the God of monotheism, of the Jews—whom they believed no one would ever have heard of if not for their God (not many folks today are known around the world as the Hittites or Moabites, one might notice); Jesus Christ—a poor itinerant carpenter—whom they felt could not possibly have changed the world the way He did (we mark our days by His birth virtually the world over) or even would we know His name unless He was supernatural (We don't remember Bill the carpenter from Assyria, for instance). 

And I must say, I cannot agree the Founding Fathers created a God to mirror their views since the views of the God Whom they believed would guide our nation by His Providence—if we did not disown Him of course—were views expressed in writing between 1700 and 3700 years prior.  They neither added nor took away from these ancient texts. So, it looks to me as if THEY magically shared the views of the GOD they believed in; not the other way around.  Nice try, though.

What is self evident to me is that the American Experiment, based on this concept, proved to be the most successful experiment in human governance ever (especially in a decidedly non-homogeneous populace this success is not only unparalleled but shocking to anyone who can go back in time mentally and see it for what it is), until these ideas—this chief Idea—began to be questioned about 45 years ago and the population went into rebellion. 

God says you can tell His people by their fruit.  When I take a look around at the "Fruit" of the very rejection of the Founding father's central concept; it is not good, my friend.  Every sort of depravity is practiced in or nearly in the open; activities considered shameful for all time are applauded (in fact the only shame left is speaking or thinking the "wrong" way, generally meaning opposing the desecration of the Truth); the building block of human society has collapsed—the family.

But, you present your case well and I always appreciate the chance to be sharpened.  Thank you.  You always welcome. 

caitlinlea from Texas on June 03, 2009:

Hello, I didn't have time to read all the comments, so I hope I am not just restating praise you have gotten countless times before...not that it would hurt!!

Anyway, this is a wonderful hub...very informative and insightful. I think Americans have truly lost sight of what liberty is and where it comes from. Thanks for standing up!! :-)

Dave McClure from Worcester, UK on June 03, 2009:

James - as I'd expect, it's a well constructed and well argued essay. However, I profoundly disagree with the founding fathers: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..." This is possibly the prime example of confusion between religion and ethics. It assumes the 'self-evidence' of a creator which is unjustifiable, then goes on to state that this creator 'gives' us rights. What we are seeing here is simply an example of the founding fathers creating god in their own image. For surely you must have noticed that no-one ever cites a god unlike himself? Gods always magically share their supporters' views. The FF's were children of the enlightenment, therefore their god had to be of the same cast. Sooner or later, every edifice built on a 'self evident' divinity is bound to be questioned, and will fail to answer.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 02, 2009:

John C. Thorman— Thank you for the compliment. I agree with your words and appreciate you for reading and sharing your wise thoughts. I will order that book today. Thanks for that recommendation!

John C. Thorman on June 02, 2009:

James, excellent post my friend. These issues of our freedoms, and the role of government are critical and must be wrestled with in order to reverse course.

The issue begins and ends with the recognition of our creator. We are created beings, created in the image and likeness of our creator who is God. God made it all, God owns it all and God gave us the instructions for living successfully in His creation. We must repent, and return to living our life in obedience to Him.

I just purchased a book that you and your readers will love! It is brand new, and offers a wonderful, objective and Christian perspective. It is called Truth and Transformation: A Manifesto for ailing nations.

The author is Vishal Mangalwadi and he's been described as "India's foremost Christian intellectual".

I started reading it yesterday as soon as I got it, and I'm really enjoying it!! Check it out!

tony0724 from san diego calif on June 01, 2009:

Back at ya Bro !

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 01, 2009:

I am a regular reader of World Net Daily for many years now. We must continue to fight the good fight, brother. I always enjoy your input.

tony0724 from san diego calif on June 01, 2009:

Yeah once the press got a hold of It mainly World Net Daily they went Into damage control quick !

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 01, 2009:

tony0724— That is unbelievable!  The gall of these people.  If someone would have told me 30 years ago—besides Hal Lindsey—that Christianity would be under attack like this in THIS COUNTRY!?  The United States?!  I would never have believed it.  Well I appreciate you for doing something about it. 

Bible Study. 

tony0724 from san diego calif on June 01, 2009:

The really disgusting thing Is out here In San Diego a county official was harassing a Pastor out here , because he was saying that he was violating zoning laws having Bible studies IN HIS HOME !!!

This Is truly Insanity . I have been relentless In emailing our county supervisor calling for that Individuals termination . Talk about throwing away constitutional rights and abuse of power !

The county has since relented but for me that Is not enough , I want this guy fired and made an example . It Is time for us to put the Government back In the hands of the people , and people are starting to get real angry and I say good !

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 01, 2009:

Alexander Mark— Thank you for that link. I just went over there and made a comment. I really enjoy the conversation we are having. You are a bright guy who is also informed and sensible.

Alexander Silvius from Portland, Oregon on June 01, 2009:

I found myself nodding my head at your last comment. I just read an article to which I posted a comment about murdering abortion doctors, and as I looked at the big picture, I find myself against such unlawful justice, as much as I would like it to be okay. If you don't mind, I will post it here:

And I agree, we need real equality in every public forum, not equality for liberal values only. Enjoy communicating with you in the comments section, I always learn something.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 01, 2009:

jill of alltrades—"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

Thank you for your encouraging words. I am thinking about where to take this discussion next. I am getting a lot of excellent ideas from these comments.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 01, 2009:

Alexander Mark— No, we cannot go around murdering abortion doctors.  The only change that will work is to change hearts (and change laws).  That will only happen if we:

1. Stop making all citizens pay for public schools that teach relativism and Secular Humanism, and give each family a voucher to send their children to be educating according to the worldview of the family who's children they are. 

2. Bring real tolerance and diversity to our universities, which includes the equally valid worldviews of Conservatism, patriotism and Christianity. 

3. Change family law and tax policies to strongly promote lifelong marriage so children can once again grow up with their natural parents to strengthen our society.

4. Discourage libertinism and licentiousness by bringing back a sense of shame, or propriety to the social sphere.

5. Reverse course on the gradual exclusion of God from the public square.

We could start there. 

jill of alltrades from Philippines on June 01, 2009:

This is a very serious, well-thought and well-written piece. Although I am not from the US, I also experience the same gradual loss of liberty in our country. If we citizens of a country do not do anything because of apathy then we will wake up one day and discover that we have lost most if not all of our liberties.

I agree with Eovery that each section of this article can be turned into separate and excellent hubs.

Alexander Silvius from Portland, Oregon on June 01, 2009:

Yes, it's too much. I do see that socialistic policies end up being abused, but it seems that all political systems have the potential for abuse even like the US system. I think that the way things are, we will not ever see the freedoms America use to have, again.

What is the answer? (I am always looking for THE solution). If revolution was acceptable at the birth of this nation, is it acceptable now? History tells us that we will always suffer one bad government after another, and I am thankful that we live in this time where we have so many things that our ancestors never had. I would say the freedom of speech and religion are the most important rights we can have, once those go out the window, it's time to act. But abortion is terrible too, how can we let this go on? What can we do about it? Pgrundy recently wrote in a comment that an abortion doctor was gunned down in church. I can see the dilemna there, is that the Christian thing to do? If it saves lives, I would hesitantly say yes, but I'm not sure.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 01, 2009:

Alexander Mark— Nice to hear from you.  I appreciate the affirmation and the commentary, which is thoughtful and clear.  I am personally opposed to Socialism as it robs the engine of the economy of its motivation provided by Capitalism.  Europe has had a stagnant, at best, economy for quite some time and they demonstrate that most Socialist countries suffer demographic problems that appear to unrecoverable.  They don't have children and so must import children of the third world to keep their country going, which creates cultural problems.  But some of them do not seem to care, as long as it doesn't fall apart while they are alive.  People used to care what kind of world they were leaving behind for their future generations. But if you are childless?

I am opposed to socialized medicine because I do not want a federal bureaucracy between me and my doctor, and surely do not want the government to take control of 1/6 of our national economy and eventually—decides who lives and who dies. 

There is a reason why kids are taught America is bad in the high schools and universities—to make it seem not worth defending.  If you do not see the value of something it will not be precious to you. 

I agree with you that what the conservative movement needs is an Obama like rock star person with a massive campaign to educate the young about basic civics.  And you are absolutely correct that not all restrictions of Liberty are bad, such as licensing pilots.  While I know that, I just wanted to point out that, other than health care, the government has its fingers in everything we do and one little Liberty after another goes by the boards. 

Alexander Silvius from Portland, Oregon on May 31, 2009:

I have for some time now, had a good but firm impression that America is not as free as people think it is. It is shocking to read it the way you laid it out - makes America look like the USSR! And it is getting there. In Holland, socialism works, and that is why in one of my articles I endorsed socialized medicine in America. One of the main reasons was compassion and responsibility. But a smaller reason is that America is at least halfway towards being a socialistic country anyway. You have made it even more clear how true this is. I think that all this control is being put into place with the excuse that socialistic / communistic government is better. I think it can be, in the way it is a great equalizer, but it is often abused as history shows. And it is wrong that America has changed so much and so subversively. I have come to understand this through various observations, basically, seeing immoral people gain rights to offend, while Christians are called warmongers and offensive, leaving talk show hosts with conservative leanings worried about the fairness doctrine being used to not only silence their voices, but haul them off to prison as well.I have to say though, can you really say that every law that limits our individual freedoms is "bad"? I vehemently oppose the helmet and seatbelt laws for example because realistically, they impose no harm on anyone else but the person who is supposed to follow them, but if the FAA makes laws concerning who can and who can't fly because of the obvious dangers to others, I would say that is certainly justifiable.But I will completely agree that the way things are now, are inexcusable. And I am also very certain that without force, nothing will change. There seem to be too few politicians who are upstanding and will fight for right. There might be another avenue. Do what the libs did with Obama, (in reverse). A huge media centered push to teach people the basic foundations of what freedom means and galvanize them to vote. It seems it is easier to teach by spouting dogma than to try and reason with my generation and younger who grew up on bad education and MTV. Thanks for the education James, this hub held my attention all the way through thanks to the subject matter and your clear and concise writing style.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 31, 2009:

tony0724— David Horowitz is great!  His organization is invaluable at keeping the flame alive in our universities. 

I agree with your first paragraph emphatically. The introduction of relativism into the high schools was a dastardly deed and things have gone down hill since.

Thanks, Tony.  I appreciate your comments.  I'll look around for a nice spot that would make a good campaign headquarters. :D

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 31, 2009:

eovery— Thank you for the encouragement. I would like to finish this story from the 1960s through today. I'll try to that soon. Nice to hear from you!

tony0724 from san diego calif on May 31, 2009:

James what can I possibly say ? I want you for President ! In my mind there Is no coincidence that as the rise of secularism has taken over the last 35 to 40 years that our society as we know It has been unraveling at an evermore rapid pace . Nowadays It seems like when you speak of God In particular to younger people you may as well be talking about Charles Manson !

And I know It Is not all their fault , It Is because of the poison they are constantly fed at the University Level . I have already read a book called " One Party Classroom " by David Horowitz . It was very disturbing .

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 31, 2009:

John Juneau— Is that Air Force One behind you there?

It can be turned around but all this apathy has to go.  Particularly, young folks don't seem to know much about, or care much about, history.  They can name the eight finalists on American Idol but have never heard of James Madison.  We have a lot of work to do. 

Thank you for your wise commentary.  I appreciate you for reading this Hub and it's nice to meet you.

eovery from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa on May 31, 2009:

James, you could expand each of this into a separate hub and two, and we would enjoy reading and learning more about them.

Keep on Hubbing!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 31, 2009:

Gypsy Willow— No chickens?! I once stayed overnight in a home of a cousin in Tennessee who had lots of chickens under her house. They were pretty cool animals. I liked them. Thanks for reading and leaving word.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 31, 2009:

IslandVoice— Thank you for the affirmation.  There is still hope.  We need to turn it around soon though.  Another Ronald Reagan might beat back the barbarians a little. Nice to hear from you.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 31, 2009:

Robert— Are you referring to the sheeple? :-) I'll keep ringing and we'll hope for the best. I appreciate your excellent comments, brother. Thanks for reading.

John Juneau from Sierra Nevadas on May 31, 2009:

It is refreshing to occasionally read the expression of those who understand what has happened and is now happening more rapidly than ever. Like IslandVoice I am becoming genuinely fearful of what my children and grandchildren will face. It is amazing to me that we don't have thousands of people rising up to stop this. Maybe there are thousands writing to the president, our senators and representatives, but if they are, those receiving the letters are ignoring the writers. With almost no news media helping to bring the loss of liberty before the people, can we possibly see this turned around?

Gypsy Willow from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand on May 31, 2009:

Great hub hope everyone wakes up and reads it. I am not even allowed to keep chickens at my house!

Sylvia Van Velzer from Hawaii on May 31, 2009:

Sometimes i wonder if people really know how serious this erosion of liberty is, in this freest nation on earth? I worry about my 4 yr old granddaughter and the kind of world that awaits her. Here we all are, caught in man made 'tsunamis', and i'm afraid it will not help for me to wish you wrong. But you are soooo right!!! I give you excellence!

Robert on May 31, 2009:

My brother James,

Another fine read that really should be shared with the masses. Oh, that's right the masses are the ones that want this to happen. That way they won't have to think for themselves and it won't interrupt their cell phone texting. The Marxism brought on by the appathy of the masses is exactly what they said would happen. We are in for a rough ride. But don't stop ringing the bell, the Commies are coming!!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 31, 2009:

Mr. Parnell— I'll make sure and call Tom Jefferson this morning and have him make that correction. Thank you for pointing it out. :D

Geoff Parnell on May 31, 2009:

James, great blog, the only exception I would make is: "That men are created equal" should read "Men are created with equal opportunity".

Just my opinion!


James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 31, 2009:

Mr. Schumann— Patrick Henry?

Thank you for reading and commenting.

Douglas D Schumann on May 31, 2009:

Very well stated James. Testmony to how over controlled and over regulated we are.

"Give me liberty or give me death"?

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 31, 2009:

TheMindlessBrute— Thank you for calling attention to a duplicate paragraph when I first posted this— which then led me to the discovery that there was also a large missing paragraph, very pertinent to the story.

The point is, whatever powers we grant the government has a corresponding loss of Liberty.  

Thank you for your wise comments, and the Pledge.  My hope is that this little Hub wakes up just a few of my fellow citizens as to what has been lost.

TheMindlessBrute from Orlando,Florida on May 31, 2009:


This is a great hub and I worry about the drive thru attention span generation,I think this contributes greatly to the loss of liberty.There will be nothing left of America by mid century,it will be America in name only.When I saw the headline "America Needs A New New Deal"on The Nation's website,I got goosebumps and the hair stood up on the back of my neck.I like the analogy you used of bones thrown to dogs to placate them,what happens when they run out of bones?

This path is unsustainable,the administration itself says that our social security and medicare commitments cannot be upheld beyond 2017 and "The Nation" is calling for a new New Deal,it's simply madness...

Errr...Ummm...where was I...something important about freedom...I lost my train of thought...this comment is too long...oh well I'm almost ready to take the oath,of civil service,so I can get myself a job in one of them there shovel ready projects.

I pledge allegiance to the Government

Of the United Sates of America

and to the New New Deal

For which it stands

One nation over-ruled

Without liberty nor justice for all.

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