It occurs to me on this July 5th that my evening was spent with my neighbors performing a patriotic duty. We enjoyed a wonderful fireworks filled evening of fun and celebration. I even corrupted a couple of young boys by giving their father highly illegal bottle rockets. I enjoyed watching the father teach his sons about what “bottle rockets” are. How to launch them safely and that good ol dad really is a barrel of fun. Between myself and my neighbors, we had quite a display. Over an hour of entertainment and reminders of what we did to the Liberty Objecting British of old. All of those fireworks, every rocket, every giant bloom, every explosion was quite assuredly against the law. Most patriotic of all; we were civilly disobedient. We did what we wanted, we harmed no one. Liberty!
What is Liberty? Liberty is the capacity to act without hindrance according to one’s own self interest without inhibiting others from the same. A group does not approve of something other people wish to do. So they write it down on paper and vote among themselves to use force and violence to assure compliance with their own personal choices. Their voting does not make the behavior they wish to impose on others moral. Nor does it make the use of violence moral against those who force no one. I’m pointing out that immoral laws which substitute our choices with the will of others cannot stand in the face of mass disobedience. Or should I say, cannot long stand in the burning gaze of free people. The 4th of July is a day of civil disobedience. Disobedience to the crown, disobedience to King George who claimed a right to impose his law and will on people. It’s a celebration of our declaring our independence against the imposition of law. It is a reminder of what can be accomplished against tyranny if we are only willing to stand boldly against it together. By lighting off high altitude fireworks for an hour, we are clearly not depending on “luck” not to get caught. Our burning eyes stare down those who would force their personal choices on us. Let our dear Sheriff come to quash a celebration of freedom and Liberty. He is elected. Let the police officer arrive who’s chief is hired by the mayor who is elected. Apparently these patriots, by not arriving to squash Independence Day are civilly disobedient with us. As they should be, lest they become exposed in the white hot public spotlight.
Independence Day refreshes my resolve to remain free. I pound my chest when I state boldly, I am for Liberty.