Freedom. The concept comes in so many forms. The freedom of a nation to determine its own course. The freedom of an individual to determine their own choices in living life. And so many other ways to think about the concept. But for me, it comes down to one thing: choice. Choice is what provides me with my path into Paganism. I grew up raised as a Catholic by parents who were not church goers. In essence, they forced their own concept of personal spirituality on to me. When I became an adult, I searched through various aspects of religious perspective and spirituality thought before finding Paganism, Polytheism, and eventually Druidry as fame works for my own personal Spirituality.
And I love having the ability to choose things for myself. Its one of the things I cherish about the American format of Life. I can choose the vehicle I want to drive. I can choose the house that I wish to live in; granted, that’s s long as I can afford the payments on it. I can choose, to some capacity, the type of professional career that I want. I can also choose to make a sudden change in that career path if I so desire. I can choose where to shop for groceries; again, that is complicated to some degree by what I can afford. And I can choose the individual that I love – regardless of gender, race, eye color, hair color, maturity level….or at least that’s until the government decides to outlaw same-sex relationships.
So, what would happen if the government did start taking away choice? In other words, what would happen if the government started curtailing my freedoms? Well, its happened to some degree with things such as the so-called Patriot Act, and in some states with the bathroom/gender laws. And for the most part, we in America tend to allow it to happen. I can live with the thought of taking off my shoes at the airport because its a measure to keep us safe. If the government takes away same-sex marriage, it doesn’t bother me – I’m a straight male. But its really an illusion. As some choices get taken from us in the name of security or the “sanctity of marriage” – how long before the next set of choices gets taken? In a society that is driven by definitions and laws created by straight white males, how far can the removal of choices be made before we start to push back??
In my mind, freedoms and choices are for all, not for a chosen few. When a society starts creating a division of haves and have-nots, the concept of democratic principles that apply to all melts away. But how to stop changes like this from happening? That’s actually easy, provided the laws don’t change before you can do something about it. You need to vote.
And you don’t need to just vote, you need to be up to speed on what’s happening before you head to the polling location. Know about your candidates. Know their stances on issues that matter to you. Know the issues for your local area and state that are being put before you. Know what those changes can mean to you, and others.
Now, I am sure that I am preaching to the choir – so to speak – with some of you. But voter apathy is a real thing. People complain about their vote not meaning anything. Well, your vote means even less if you don’t cast the damn thing. We talk about personal sovereignty, we talk about having freedoms….as I said, all that boils down to one thing: choice. As is stated in the Rush song “Freewill”:
If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.