How Free Are You…Really?

COMPELLING THOUGHTS

  • “Truth will set you free.”  Jesus (John 8:32)
  • “I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments.” Psalm 119:45
  • “But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.”  James 1:25
  • “For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths.” 2 Tim. 4:3-4
  • “No man is free who cannot control himself.” Pythagoras
  • “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” Nelson Mandela

Americans are constantly told by the media that we live in the freest country in the world. But  is that really true, how often has it been true and in what areas is it or is it not true?  Why are people in  many other countries told the same or similar things by their governments and research  shows that while America does very well in certain categories to be sure (such as most expensive/sophisticated/dominant military, biggest entertainment influence on the planet, but on the more positive side being the biggest sender and funder of  missionaries to other countries), many other countries have areas that they are best in as well. South Korea for example followed Bible economics very diligently for a long time and ranks #1 or close to it in dozens of areas as I have shown here). What about talks like this one in a popular series where a news anchor eloquently says that American used to be great (and free), but isn’t anymore. How much truth is there to this:

Why America is NOT the greatest country in the world, anymore.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMqcLUqYqrs
What is freedom in the first place? Is there one kind of freedom or many types? How many types of freedom are there and how free are we…really?  We will begin to discuss this on this page (and see many other articles under the freedom heading on the menu).

First off, there are many kinds of freedom, some listed below (and another page will be coming soon listing many categories of freedom***). But they all fit into 2 basic categories:

NEGATIVE FREEDOM: This is the type of freedom that wants no restraints on our desires, emotions, wants and desires. It is the freedom to do what you feel like without concern for morals, values or the welfare of others. Sometimes our emotions and desires can be positive, good and moral. But sometimes they aren’t. Negative freedom is basically following whatever you want to do without restraint and without caring about its long term effect on you or others. This kind of freedom is exemplified best in the “Do What Thou Wilt” philosophy that is the core essence of Satanism.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AC2-GmaHIY

Negative “freedom” is the origin of all the suffering, abuse, addictions, broken relationships, violence, crime, terrorism and war that exists in the world today.

The Bible warns about this negative “freedom” many times.

  • “Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. ” James 1:14
  • “don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.” Romans 13:14
  • “These wicked people refuse to listen to me. They stubbornly follow their own desires and worship other gods. Therefore, they will become like this loincloth—good for nothing!” Jeremiah 13:10
  • “What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? ” James 4:1
  • “So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then.” 1 Peter 1:14
  • “They told you that in the last times there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to satisfy their ungodly desires.”Jude 1:18

POSITIVE FREEDOM:  Positive freedom is making wise choices that will enable and empower you and people around you to have the highest levels of success in all areas of life, with God, in relationships with people, in health, in happiness, in wealth, in influence and so on.

The Bible talks about this kind of freedom as originating from loving and following God’s laws.

  • “I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments.” Psalm 119:45
  • “But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.”  James 1:25

See more at these links:
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/liberty-positive-negative/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_liberty, https://www.jstor.org/stable/25610637?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

A couple introduction questions on freedom would be these:

  1. Are people really free when they can’t walk in many places in big cities in the US without serious risk of danger, theft, assault and in some places even murder? Are you really free when there is far higher risk of being a victim of a crime in America than in many other countries?  In a ranking of nations by crime rate, America was #45 out of #118 countries studied (with #118 being safest).
    https://www.numbeo.com/crime/rankings_by_country.jspMy eyes were opened to this when I went overseas to work as a missionary. I found that large cities like Busan with 4,000,000 people in it, were far safer than almost any large city (and many small cities) in America that you could compare it too. I could walk anywhere at any time of day or night and have no fear of being victimized by a violent crime…and very little risk of being victimized by any other crimes either.
    https://www.numbeo.com/crime/compare_countries_result.jsp?country1=United+States&country2=South+Korea https://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/compare/South-Korea/United-States/Crime
  2. Are people really free when they can’t breathe healthy fresh air and have to be exposed to large amounts of pollution?  America is #20th best out of ~106 countries, so fairly good here, but certain places may be much worse than average. https://www.numbeo.com/pollution/rankings_by_country.jsp
  3. Are people free when even government research and many educators show that public schools are failing and mostly function to provide workers for corporations and large numbers of people are unable to afford sending their children  to Christian schools, private schools or others that are better? A US Govt. study titled “Nation at Risk” said:
    “If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war…We have, in effect, been committing an act of unthinking, unilateral educational disarmament.”  That study was in 1983, but in 2013, another report said “In some ways, A Nation at Risk was helpful, but what we’ve seen in the past 30 years are too many misguided efforts – most notably No Child Left Behind – that have only compounded the problems the report identified”
  4. Is a nation real free when its citizens spend decades of their lives in debt, paying banks interest from their hard earned money, and every nation is very deeply in debt esp. when the Bible says that debtors are slaves (Prov. 22:7)? How free is a nation where most of the population is just one paycheck away from financial disaster and poverty?
  5. Are you free when in 2017, 82% of all new wealth went to the top 1% while the bottom 50% got nothing according to research by Christian aid agency Oxfam (that has been confirmed by many others)?
  6. Are political leaders in a plutocracy really freely chosen? Evidence suggests no since 82-94% of  the time, the biggest spender of money wins elections.  How is this different from a plutocracy?
  7. Are you really free when research by Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page  at Princeton (“Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens”) shows  that “the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”  and it is the will of a few  very powerful and rich people that determines what gets passed and what is blocked or vetoed. Scholars like Dr. Jerry Kroth in his talk  “The Myth of American Democracy” have pointed out that you only need to buy 1 president or ~66 senators to block the will  of the general population.See also:
    https://www.vox.com/2014/7/30/5949581/money-in-politics-charts-explain
    and
    Greg Palast has documented that both republicans and democrats have illegally removed millions of votes from elections in order to favor a certain candidate (such as Trump or Hillary).Hidden purging of millions of votershttps://youtu.be/BUSTTkhiZUI
  8. Are you free when the Bible limits taxes by the government to 1-2% (Ezekiel 45:13), warns against theft through high taxes (Amos 5:11) and your government almost certainly takes far more than that (and spends a lot of it on military machines/corporations,etc.)?
  9. Are you really free when 90% of the news you hear comes from  5-6 corporations?
    https://www.businessinsider.com/these-6-corporations-control-90-of-the-media-in-america-2012-6
  10. Are you really free when many wars are started without the permission of Congress and America has been at war endlessly for ~93% of its history, and most of the wars in our lifetimes were not authorized by Congress? This is something that many of America’s founders warned strenuously against and said it would be the death of freedom. James Madison  for example  famously said:
    “Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”4 star general Smedley Butler writes about how he thought he was fighting for freedom, but then realized that he had actually been mostly fighting for corporate interests and greed for decades and had sacrificed the lives of many young men to do that. He explains that war is a goldmine for corrupt businessmen to exploit the government in a very insightful article here.War Is A Racket, by Major General Smedley Butler, 1935 – Ratical.org https://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.htmlWars usually serve the purposes of a few elite powerful and rich people who want to change the lifestyles of the world (esp. away from Christianity). They have been working hard to create a one world government as some of them (like the Rockefellers) openly admit. They envision a world without wars in this new world order, but to condition people to accept it…they have to ironically engage in a lot of wars.
    “In [1908], the [Carnegie Foundation] trustees, meeting for the first time, raised a specific question, which they discussed throughout the balance of the year in a very learned fashion. The question is: ‘Is there any means known more effective than war, assuming you wish to alter the life of an entire people?’ And they conclude that no more effective means than war to that end is known to humanity.So then, in 1909, they raised the second question and discussed it, namely: ‘How do we involve the United States in a war?’… “[Finally, they answered that question as follows: ‘We must control the State Department.’ That very naturally raises the question of how do we do that? And they answer it by saying: ‘We must take over and control the diplomatic machinery of this country.’ …they resolve to aim at that…Then time passes, and we are eventually in a war, which would be World War I. At that time they record on their minutes a shocking report in which they dispatched to President Wilson a telegram, cautioning him to see that the war does not end too quickly.” -Katherine Casey’s report on the minutes of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace 1908-1910.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aW2wt51BvpA
    http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/011/radio-liberty/5-fire.htm

  11. Are you free when the real reasons for many wars are not explained to you?  The atheist Edward Bernays, the father of American propaganda (he wrote several books teaching American elites how to use corporations and government tools to manipulate the views of the general population) and nephew of Sigmund Freud, pioneered “Make the world safe for democracy.” to explain any war America was involved in regardless of the real causes.
    http://www.criticalthink.info/webindex/bernays.htm
  12. Are you really free, when money is printed out of thin air by the Federal Reserve and then lent to the US government at ~6% interest and the only way to pay it back is to borrow more money which also has more interest on it (this system of debt and theft was pioneered by republican boss Nelson Aldrich and some  republicans who were cronies of banks, but many  republicans and democrats in both the senate and house were similarly guilty with in supporting it)? Are we really free when the government gives this money in subsidies, loopholes, grants, etc. to the military industrial complex, major banks, oil companies, media/entertainment corporations, and the super rich in “trickle down economics” which is socialist welfare for the rich and  harsh capitalism for everyone else  so they have an unfair advantage in markets?  Are we free when the government decides to give money to nation building projects in other countries which US citizens did not vote for?A very good documentary on this is here:
    Century of Enslavement: The History of The Federal Reserve…
    https://www.corbettreport.com/federalreserve/Central banking and the Federal Reserve is also a huge cause of wars. Conservative congressman Ron Paul wrote,
    “When governments had to fund their own wars without a paper money machine to rely upon…they found diplomatic solutions to prevent a war…but now with central banks, governments could just print what they needed and therefore were more willing to pull the trigger and pick fights.”
  13. Are you really living in the freest nation economically when America is #12 on the economic freedom list, even by standards of conservative organizations?
    https://www.heritage.org/index/
  14. Is America freest or best, when it is not #1 in being most competitive? It’s quite good at #3, but many countries with various economic systems are quite competitive too?
    1) Switzerland
    2) Singapore
    3) United States
    4) Germany
    5) Netherlands
    6) Japan
    7) Hong Kong SAR
    8) Finland
    9) Sweden
    10) United Kingdom
     https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/09/the-worlds-top-10-most-competitive-economies/
  15. Are people really free when common people in history sometimes worked  a few hours a day and had much more vacation than most people do now and when much of the population, often including both mothers and fathers, has to work 8-12 hour days to make ends meet as Diane Sawyer explains here:
    My Reality: A Hidden America
    https://youtu.be/Hhh0Qcl_yMA
  16. Are people really free when many jobs , when Romans and Bible  and even republicans in the 1800s considered worker for an employer to be wage labor/wage slavery, and very little different from chattel slavery? Are we free when our leaders report fake numbers about unemployment?
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/03/10/19-times-trump-called-the-jobs-numbers-fake-before-they-made-him-look-good/
  17. Are Americans free when they think that America had had freedom and prosperity for most/all throughout much of its history, but this is not in line with historical facts? Michael Parenti, a history, explains:”The United States never had mass prosperity throughout its history. It was just the period from 1946 to 1980, where the prosperity was really – it looked like it was just going better and better and better, for everybody. And that came after World War II…And that lasted to about 1980. Since then there have been cutbacks to human services, cutbacks in educational opportunities, and greater and greater inequality…Since 2000 to 2008 the inequality between the very rich and the rest of us, that inequality is greater than it’s been throughout the 20th century. So we’re back to like 1900 in terms of inequality. Everybody just can’t make it. Throughout history, the rich have always argued that the poor are the authors of their own poverty. They’re poor because they’re stupid, they’re disreputable, they’re hopeless. People are poor because they are paid less than the value that they produce. You need poverty. Poverty is needed if you’re gonna have wealth. The only way a rich slaveholder, a Roman senator, or antebellum plantation owner in the south, the only way they could live in this fabulously luxurious mode is by having slaves who work from the crack of dawn down into the night. That’s expropriation. That’s creating the poverty of the slave, or the serf, or the worker, so that the slaveholder or the lord, the feudal lord, or the plutocrat, the capitalist, can really accumulate wealth.” ” Michael Parenti (Historian) https://ratical.org/ratville/Psywar.html

EXTRAS TO ADD OR MERGE
missionary sending

 

When Princeton studies show that the same basic policies that favor the elite rich and powerful are followed regardless of whether a republican or democrat is elected (with a few superficial differences) and your participation in democracy amounts to a few minutes every 4 years, exactly what freedom to influence government policies and what they require you to do [such as how much tax to pay or whether they allow banks to charge interest or the rich to have many loopholes or to authorize teaching materialism and Darwinism in schools or more], do you really have?

“Economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence.”

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-echochambers-27074746

https://scholar.princeton.edu/sites/default/files/mgilens/files/gilens_and_page_2014_-testing_theories_of_american_politics.doc.pdf

When both parties eliminate millions of votes of people they don’t like using various tactics as Glen Palast has shown in “The Best Democracy Money Can Buy”, exactly what political freedom is it that you think we have?  See a short summary here:

Hidden purging of millions of voters

https://youtu.be/BUSTTkhiZUI

***The political problems above come directly from high concentrations of wealth. High levels of economic concentrations are allowing unprecedented levels of political control where a few elite and corporations control most of the world.  Fewer than 1,000 people control ~42,000 transnational corporations that are eating up the vast majority of the world’s wealth.
James B. Glattfelder: Who controls the world? | TED Talk – TED.com
https://www.ted.com/talks/james_b_glattfelder_who_controls_the_world 
https://www.forbes.com/sites/bruceupbin/2011/10/22/the-147-companies-that-control-everything/
https://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/1107/1107.5728v2.pdf

Dr. Wilkerson explains how this vast economic injustice causes many social problems in this brilliant TED talk.
How Economic Inequality Harms Societies by Dr. Wilkerson
https://www.ted.com/talks/richard_wilkinson

***Worldwide US Military Bases Are The Real American Empire by John Pilger (Pilger is a war correspondent with decades of experience and in this very short 2 minute clip shows how America has become an empire with a greater reach than any empire in history. It now has an empire with at least 4,000 known bases in the US and  ~1,000 known bases overseas.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3jen_fIiAY

How much freedom is there in the world when wealthy countries siphon off at least 2 trillion dollars a year from poor countries?
https://www.one.org/international/blog/trillion-dollar-scandal-the-biggest-heist-youve-never-heard-of/ https://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2017/jan/14/aid-in-reverse-how-poor-countries-develop-rich-countries
http://www.gfintegrity.org/press-release/new-report-on-unrecorded-capital-flight-finds-developing-countries-are-net-creditors-to-the-rest-of-the-world/

When many innocent people go to jail, esp. among the poor and minorities and bankers who crash the economy and cause millions of people to lose their homes go scot free, what kind of freedom in the courts of justice is it that you think we have?

Fixing the System

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgJPYJ0Jn04

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/09/how-wall-streets-bankers-stayed-out-of-jail/399368/
https://www.thestreet.com/story/13742453/1/wells-fargo-fraud-perpetrators-get-off-scot-free-here-s-why-bankers-don-t-go-to-jail.html

When education is supposed to educate people to distinguish between truth and error (as Martin Luther King Jr. said), but public education (and some Christian education) almost completely fails at this basic task and instead has become what even government studies like “Nation at Risk” have said would be considered an act of war on young people if imposed on us by other countries, exactly what kind of educational freedom is there?

https://www2.ed.gov/pubs/NatAtRisk/risk.html

neatoday.org/2013/04/25/a-nation-at-risk-turns-30-where-did-it-take-us-2/

www.psychologytoday.com/blog/wired-success/201407/anti-intellectualism-and-the-dumbing-down-america

https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/46055/sir-ken-robinson-how-to-create-a-culture-for-valuable-learning

Why Public Schools and the Mainstream Media Dumb Us Down https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CDaflxJJ0g&feature=share

When millions of people are forced off of their lands and forced into debt where they lose their homes by economic crashes that even Milton Friedman and Alan Greenspan have acknowledged happened because of Federal Reserve policies (from the 1929 to 2008), what kind of freedom to own your own home is there?

http://www.ncpathinktank.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=25643
Milton Friedman on the true cause of the Great Depression https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHhe5migMzM

https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevehanke/2017/10/31/how-the-greenspan-and-bernanke-fed-blew-and-deflated-bubbles/

 

When most of the population is in debt for most of their lives (~$100,000 debt on average for most families, as well as government debt, student debt, and many other debts) and the Bible tells us that debt is slavery (Prov. 22:7), and one of the biggest goals of oppressors throughout history has been to try to plunge people into debt so they could strip people of their assets, exactly what kind of financial freedom is it that you think you have (esp. when the Bible repeatedly says that God gave people a right to their own homes/garden and limited taxes to 1-2% and the rejection of this law causes families to lose tens of thousands of dollars per year)?
http://money.com/money/5233033/average-debt-every-age/ https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2017/11/18/a-foolish-take-heres-how-much-debt-the-average-us-household-owes/107651700/

When families lose ~$17,000 per year to plutocrats every year (not even considering Biblical economics and land rights above), how much freedom exactly do they have?
How 90% of American Households Lost an Average of $17,000 in Wealth to the Plutocrats in 2016 https://www.filmsforaction.org/articles/how-90-of-american-households-lost-an-average-of-17000-in-wealth-to-the-plutocrats-in-2016/
When marriages and families are broken apart due to financial problems caused by bank and government policies, and fathers and mothers are sent in opposite directions by work exactly how many families have real freedom to enjoy much genuine time with each other in building stronger relationships?
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/money-marriage-end-divorce-day-relationships-personal-finances-slater-gordon-a8147921.html
https://www.cnbc.com/2015/02/04/money-is-the-leading-cause-of-stress-in-relationships.html

When people (or their ancestors) have been forced off their lands or lost their homes due to unjust economic policies and are forced to work for corporations to pay basic expenses, and when 85% hate their jobs, how free are they really? And how free are they when they do not realize that by Bible definition as well as according to wise people in Rome as well as republicans and leading US newspapers in the 1800s when you have to sell your labor to others to survive, that is called wage slavery? In Bible times as Dr. Wane Grudem points out, a doulos or slave, was anyone who had to work for others and it included teachers, foremen, shop managers, physicians, etc. and was very similar to boss/worker relationships in companies today.

Does the Bible endorse slavery?  with Wayne Grudem (Bible translator), Randy Alcorn, and Ryan Kelly
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXUs8vtAEA8

https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Wage_slavery

85% of People Hate Their Jobs, Gallup Poll Says
https://returntonow.net/2017/09/22/85-people-hate-jobs-gallup-poll-says/

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1988-02-12-8803300201-story.html https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/02/corporate-america-worries-revealing-how-badly-its-screwing-wage-slaves-will-hurt-morale
https://www.benzinga.com/general/14/11/5008915/why-millennials-are-the-new-wage-slaves

When broken families cause young people to have far higher incidences of addictions, which then just profit the corporations more, exactly what kind of freedom to live a decent and happy life with healthy relationships do most people have?
http://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/what-is-addiction-gabor-mate/ https://www.ted.com/talks/johann_hari_everything_you_think_you_know_about_addiction_is_wrong?language=en
When atheism makes people think that religion is the cause of most evils and makes them ignorant that greed and lust for power and control is the real cause of all evils (such as in the above cases and many others) and teaches no principles of finding truth or educating people with morals, how can it be anything but a tool of the elite that makes people easy to exploit and to harm or destroy freedom?
https://www.counterpunch.org/2016/01/29/new-atheism-worse-than-you-think/

 

When only ~4-10% of Americans have a biblical worldview (according to BARNA), exactly what kind of spiritual freedom are they going to have?
References are here:

Steve Biko, a South African dissident once said, “The greatest weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.”

If we think we are free, when really we are oppressed, we will be blind and unable to see our real condition, similar to how the Bible describes those who think they are ***but are really naked and poor.

When 5 corporations control 90% of what you hear and drastically minimize or eliminate knowledge of some of the most crucial topics and issues, exactly what kind of freedom of speech and the press is it that you think you have?
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/158920-us-ukraine-media-control/  https://www.businessinsider.com/these-6-corporations-control-90-of-the-media-in-america-2012-6

 

Experiencing how God’s truth energizes life!