A significant portion of television advertising seems directed toward viewers who lust for immortality. Fitness clubs, magic weight removers or body buffers, life-extending bio supplements, and all types of safety enhancements for other products seem to suggest that many Americans are obsessed with living longer. While this thirst for eternal earthly life is good for commerce, I find at times that it makes me uneasy. Personally I’m aware of only one path to eternal life, and it does not involve Chuck Norris, Suzanne Somers, or Doctor “what’s-his-name.” When we read 1 Corinthians 15:55, we are led by Paul to consider that eternity in Glory is preferable to a lifelong search for terrestrial immortality. Daily life is not “a bowl of cherries” yet some people seem to cling to life until their fingers bleed….which brings me to laws, rules and regulations. They rarely die. They cling to life more tenaciously than any human or critter ever has. Like vampires, they are blood sucking and immortal.
Legislative enactments from Big Brother break more hearts than psoriasis. Bureaucratic rules outlast the half-life of Plutonium-239 (24,000+ years). Government regulations are more enduring than fruitcake. It is easier to pummel the wind than it is to end a nonsensical government enactment or pronouncement. It appears that so many of our citizens have become comfortable with the Nanny State that their efforts for unending life mirror the strings or laws their puppet masters have given them. Persistence is an attribute that should be celebrated, but when government persistently seeks to increase control, and citizens persistently cling to dependence, it’s a formula for ultimate collapse and disaster. Added to the insanity of never-ending rules, regs and laws is that phenomenon of government “reform.” They merely tweak the existing laws and add more to them to compound the confusion and …. control.
Government involvement in any aspect of our lives is similar to an irritating rash that will not go away. It annoys, distracts and undermines the productivity of the patient to the point of giving up on searching for a radical remedy. It’s when the patient cannot conceive of a workable remedy that he or she surrenders….loses hope. As the Nanny State and Big Brother continue to surround us with their web of laws and regulations, our freedom and mobility are restricted. Our maneuvering space becomes smaller and smaller as we seek the means for self expression and individual liberty. After a time the web becomes a cocoon and we are tightly encased in all-encompassing benevolent strands of government. We cannot move, and we cease trying.
Although I have never been a behavioral therapist or counselor, it seems to me that the longer an addictive behavior is practiced, the more difficult it is to escape it. Alcoholics Anonymous reminds its members that they are NOT former alcoholics, but they will ALWAYS be alcoholics. The drinking and the consequences of alcoholism may cease, but the desire for a drink will continue until death. I have spoken with former smokers who have remarked that more than two decades after quitting, they still wanted a cigarette. Rarely have I met someone who claimed that ending an addictive behavior was easy. On the contrary most recovering addicts are painfully aware of how difficult it is to stop engaging in an addictive behavior. So it is with governments’ addictions for power and control and our addictions for entitlements and benefits.
As governments weave their tapestries of laws on top of rules and across regulations, we are spellbound by the beauty and glory of the design while the expanding fabric becomes tighter and tighter with each new thread. Like a child in bed on a cold and frosty winter morning, we are reluctant to arise when Freedom calls to make our way through the cold reality of life. We prefer the warmth and comfort of the covers to the harsh brutality beyond. We burrow deeper under the governments’ tapestries while trying to ignore the cold outside.
Each thread the government weaves becomes a string for control. Each new law is another thread….another line to power. Each new rule intersects with others to form an inescapable structure. Every new regulation is a knot that strengthens the fabric beyond our abilities to break free. Each one…no matter how small, how insignificant or how ludicrous…each new rule erodes our liberty and enhances the power of the government. Each and every one. Our Liberty, an inalienable right, is being rapidly transformed into a forfeited right….a former right….an historical footnote…..a distant dream.
Laws, rules and regulations are forever. Oh certainly we get rid of a couple now and then but replace them with something more onerous. If our candidates for office refuse to acknowledge the supremacy of individual liberty as the bedrock principle of our nation, then at the very least we should be able to get them to understand the suffocating nature of our innumerable legal mechanisms for controlling public behavior….and limiting our prosperity. If the candidate is unwilling to pledge not to vote for passage of any more noxious laws, then perhaps his or her vocational choices should be limited to “road apple” duty following parades. I’m tired of egocentric know-it-alls taking my freedom. I’m sick of behaving like a willing stooge. I’m sick and tired.
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