The Religion of America Is Freedom

American religion is an anthology, not a meld. Like any great collection of fiction, it will be diminished by every story removed. Also, like any good anthology it has a theme. The collection is not random. From the very beginning of American history this place attracted people of many faiths. And it flourished. The distinctions of its religions prompted a political acceptance uncommon elsewhere. Other countries in the Americas attracted diverse populations: Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, for example. But these failed to make good on the possibilities inherent in the differences.

The theme, of course, is freedom. The problems overcome by converting such a theme to practice were manifest in a Constitution. Until recently, all this was accepted as a sort of American dogma. However far we strayed politically, this was the touchstone.

To accomplish a break with this past, those of a different religion—socialism—have set about their work with a diligence that, in retrospect, is breathtaking. Indeed, literally, having taken the breath of many millions in its path. A socialist world order cannot abide a rogue nation offering an alternative of freedom. No other country in the world posed such a threat to the success of their faith. Socialist conferences as long ago as the 19th century recognized this and focused their attention here.

A union, in and of itself, is a fine idea, giving a voice to workers often economically trapped by circumstance in a less than ideal job. Socialists quickly took advantage of this discontent to insinuate themselves into leadership roles as a means of gaining control over the economy of the nation. Bureaucracy is a natural playground for those who might wish to control government. And education, with John Dewey and his cohorts spreading the word, including from teachers’ colleges set up in almost every state, became the key means for spreading the word.

Had any of this been done by an established religion—say, Catholicism—it quickly would have been thwarted. But politics was a constitutionally guaranteed open field of play.

Socialist belief in their own dogma is as absolute as any religion. Millions of books have been written on every specific aspect of socialist politics in everyday life. And because any person pursuing an intellectual life must read copiously, it is very difficult to avoid the influences.

The metaphor of an anthology is a good one. We could not be the nation we were unless this was achieved. It was clear to the founders that in order to make this possible, there had to be concurrent freedoms of speech, the press, and assembly. It is no accident that the recent “health emergency” quickly moved to limit all of these.

And to those who wonder how this happened so suddenly, please look to those you have been electing to office. And to those who cry, “I didn’t vote for them,” please tell us all that you have done to stop the change from happening. You had freedom of assembly. Did you go to town meetings? Did you run and run again for town council? Teachers committee? Anything? For those who did, I thank you for making it possible for me to say this much now.

The American religion, the singular theme of this nation, is freedom. When this is impaired, as in times of war, it is understood to be temporary. Wars are seldom prolonged except by circumstances unforeseen. The costs in human life and resources are prohibitive, if nothing else. But realpolitik has devised a new terminology “cold war” as an excuse to maintain the military-industrial complex indefinitely.

Having already insinuated themselves into the political and military bureaucracy,  the socialist agenda appears to be to wear us down we now fight ourselves, giving aid and comfort to the very countries we bomb. Unfortunately, the United States has been in several prolonged wars which, as should be obvious to all now, were purposefully pursued as a means of extending and maintaining military power over other nations. The Russo-Ukraine war is only the latest example. Taiwan cannot be far away.

The hydra-head of difficulties that face us, more at home than abroad, can seem daunting. But for each there is a solution and relatively speaking, they are few and we are many.

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About Vincent McCaffrey

Vincent McCaffrey is a novelist and bookseller. Visit his website at www.vincentmccaffrey.com.

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