Freedom's Just Another Word For Nothing Left To Choose
233 years after yesterday, when the Declaration of Independence had
been approved by the Second Continental Congress the day before that,
John Adams wrote to his beloved and trusted wife Abigail these words:
"The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in
the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be
celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary
festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by
solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized
with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells,
bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the
other, from this time forward forever more."
Well, we got the pomp and parade and illuminations part right. John
was off by two days since they privately approved, with New York
abstaining, the motion on July 2; but the full, edited Declaration
was approved the next day, today, July 4.
"Solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty" got a little lost in the
shuffle, didn't they?
Just to keep everyone disoriented, Adams was a Unitarian. Anyhow.
So I'm thinking about freedom and self-governance and no taxation
without representation this week, as we wait for word out of Columbus
for how the addicts will rationalize their habit. You see, the
spending junkies in government know that if we stop spending money we
don't have, then the federal government will stop sending us money
they don't have, and since it's for Medicaid, it's all good, isn't
it? Health care for poor people . . . except we apparently aren't
spending enough at our currently bankrupting rate, so we need
national single payer health insurance for (almost) all, and we just
have to decide how illegal it will be for doctors to provide services
that aren't authorized by a federal bureaucracy, and how we will
provide these services legally to people not here legally.
Which means, voters get kicked to the curb, and all our "votes" to
the contrary, with all the Ohio faith communities, liberal and
conservative in complete agreement (please go read that clause again,
would you?), liberal and conservative Christians in complete
agreement, affirming that state sponsored gambling is not healthy for
children and other living things – but we're gonna have more
gambling, run by and for the state government, in order to pay for it.
Because, as I'm sure you know, gambling happens all the time (true)
and especially in neighboring and further but easily accessible
states (also true), where they are making money (quite true) from
something people would do anyhow (possibly true, hard to know), so
let's do it here because we'll make a huge pile of cash (likely
nowhere near as true as the backers claim).
Which makes me think in this Ohio corner of the land of the free and
the home of the brave – so we will be legalizing prostitution soon,
Oh, don't be so drastic, you say. That's not gonna happen.
I can easily recall when gambling was Las Vegas only, and Atlantic
City was a controversial second, with Steubenville a distant historic
Dean Martin memory. If you can remember that, can you recall
envisioning that we'd have people buying lottery tickets in line
ahead of us at the feed store, the grocery mart, or when you're just
trying to buy five pounds of ice?
I'm just asking about prostitution – it happens all the time (check
the papers), more so in neighboring states (explains all the Michigan
jokes), and they are making money from something people would do
anyhow (check that with Gov. Sanford), so let's do it here because
we'll make a huge pile of cash (not really all that much, but the
procurers will tell us our cut will be huge right after the next
And we can license prostitution, thereby checking health care
quality, providing inoculations, and protecting public health, while
replacing mean spirited pimps with good hearted governmental
supervisors, who will have taken all necessary sensitivity training
classes . . . and who will make sure Gov. Strickland gets his cut.
Seriously, although I would dispute the math behind this statement
with all my might, if restoring library funding and Ohio Historical
Society support and the "Help Me Grow" program was only possible by
adding even more legal gambling that is state run and directly
earmarked, I would say to all those worthy causes: Don't take it.
Don't eat the pod. Don't take the trade off.
Or: "What profiteth a man if he gains the whole world and loses his
Jeff Gill is a writer, storyteller, and supply preacher around
central Ohio; he's not against gambling, just the state doing it and
calling it "revenue enhancement." Feel free to disagree with him at