In Bondage to Freedom?

I think some people may well be in bondage to their own distorted views of what freedom is all about. I have friends who bristle at the slightest notion that anyone has a right to suggest common sense rules that should apply in a community or nation. I understand a concern about “government over-regulation.” Not every single aspect of life needs to be hemmed in with nitpicking laws! But these folks aren’t just against nonsensical laws. They grumble even about anyone sharing advice or suggesting sensible behavior about such topics as safety.

I’ve seen a number of CCMail “you gotta forward this” humor pieces that display this sort of aversion. The concept seems to be that since most children “survived” childhood back before laws about such things as child-proof caps on medicine, car seats and seat belts, and bicycle helmets, children are being over-coddled by modern laws requiring such things. And since most teens and adults survived reckless behavior in their childhood, it is silly to caution people about reckless behavior, or have any laws constraining it. In fact, it’s “taking people’s freedom” away from them.

One recent example was a forum discussion I saw about adult men with RVs pulling children along behind their vehicle on innertubes on snowy or icy roads. When it was pointed out how risky this is, and that children have been seriously injured or killed when the tubes swung out of control—even ending up under the vehicles—someone immediately brought up the notion that “back in the day” all us old folks did stuff like this, and lived through it. The implication seemed to be that such concerns are being over-protective—and border on “taking away freedom.”  And such concerns deny that most people have the common sense to indulge in risky behavior carefully enough to not get seriously hurt. As is often the case, it was also implied that “women are overprotective” and it is somehow unmasculine to take too much thought about safety. Knowing the author of this statement was the sort of person who bristles at any notion of government control over anything, I knew right away where the discussion was headed. So I decided to StarrTrek it off in a different direction—because it is my perspective that folks like this are actually in bondage to their own distorted view of what freedom is all about. Read on to see where I took it:

Even God realizes a lot of people don’t have common sense, and has given common sense rules that everyone is expected to follow. I can just see the ancient “Libertarians in the Wilderness” at the time of the Exodus saying “Don’t need no stinking common sense rules… I should be able to do whatever I want.” 🙂 For instance, God gave the ancient Israelites a rule that they must include a railing on the roof of a house when they built it. (Deut 22:8) In ancient times the roof was a part of your house that people regularly went out on as if it were an extra room, especially to take advantage of the cool breezes in the morning and evening. Why on earth didn’t God just realize that your visitors—and your kids—ought to be smart enough to stay away from the edge, and it ain’t your responsibility to be coddling them with railings?? For pity’s sake … are you your brother’s keeper or somethin’?

You’d think God was a sissy old woman, making such OBVIOUS rules. Why, He even nagged people to go “outside the camp” to go poop, and demanded they take along a little “paddle” to dig a hole, and then cover their business! (Deut. 22:12-23) Couldn’t He even trust the Israelites were smart enough to do that?! (Uh, I guess not, because the rule is in the Bible.)

And then there’s that old sissy Smokey Bear. Whose business is it of his how I deal with my own campfire? It’s MY campfire, and if I don’t put it out before I leave camp, why, 95-99% of the time it will go out by itself without starting a forest fire! People have gone throughout history without putting out campfires, and it never hurt no one. Mostly. Most of the time. I say down with that effeminate bear and his mother bear tendencies. He’s smothering the freedom out of all those masculine hunters and campers. Let ‘em be FREE to stomp around the forests unhindered from sissy common sense guidelines.

Ya know … there really is a difference between “government interference” and ridiculous government over-regulation—and common sense “concerns about safety.” I think most guys ought to THANK GOD that they have mothers and other women to care about these common sense concerns. That may be the only reason they are still alive. 🙂

And it might actually be one of the important reasons God created women, and gave them the protective instincts He has. Be careful ya don’t ridicule something God Himself intended for good.

And be careful you don’t mislabel foolhardiness as freedom.

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