Have You Made A Deal With The Devil?

Have you ever heard the expression he sold his soul to the devil? It refers to someone who has made a deal with the devil in which in return for their soul after death the devil grants them something during life. Musical mythology and legend has it that the great blues guitarist Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil for his musical skills and that is/was the inspiration for his song Crossroads.

However, the saying has a subtext that I would like to take a few minutes discussing. Saying that someone has sold their soul to the devil can also imply that for a few paltry benefits someone may have made a deal that they will later regret. That is how I personally view all those who put all their trust and faith in government to solve all the problems in this country.

Can you honestly assume the title of a free man or woman when you rely so heavily upon some form of government for a portion of your needs? If I were to pose the question of what would you do were someone to break into your home, the answer you give might be indicative of whether you actually understand what it means to be free.

If you were to answer dial 911 and wait for the police arrive to protect you, or your belongings, then you are relying upon a government entity for your safety and security. Is that freedom, or is it dependence? If you live your entire life anticipating the day you can retire and begin collecting your Social Security, are you truly free when your survival depends upon the arrival of that monthly check?

True freedom means that you are not dependent upon anyone but yourself for your needs. I realize, as did our Founders, that in forming a system of government some power and authority must be ceded to government for it to have any legitimacy and authority, but the moment any form of government exceeds the specific grant of power which created it, it becomes tyrannical; the only variable is the extent of the tyranny and the level to which the rights of the members of the society see their liberty restricted.

Liberty is the single most important thing our Founders fought to secure for themselves, and preserve for posterity. The word liberty is found in the Declaration of Independence as one of the three unalienable rights; “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

It’s preservation is one of the primary purposes for which our system of government was established; as found in the Preamble to the Constitution, “We the People of the United States, in Order to … secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Patrick Henry felt so strongly about liberty that he preferred death to the loss of it, “Give me liberty or give me death.” He also declared it to be the sole purpose for which governments are established, “You are not to inquire how your trade may be increased, nor how you are to become a great and powerful people, but how your liberties can be secured; for liberty ought to be the direct end of your Government.”

If our Constitution is, in fact, a written law which binds our government to certain acts, and restrict it in regards to others, then it can be said that when our government oversteps the limits to its delegated authority, (no matter whether it be an arbitrary assumption of power or by majority consent of the people), government has taken a step towards destroying the liberty it was instituted to secure.

When this happens it is as Frederic Bastiat wrote in 1850, “But, unfortunately, law by no means confines itself to its proper functions. And when it has exceeded its proper functions, it has not done so merely in some inconsequential and debatable matters. The law has gone further than this; it has acted in direct opposition to its own purpose. The law has been used to destroy its own objective: It has been applied to annihilating the justice that it was supposed to maintain; to limiting and destroying rights which its real purpose was to respect.”

When Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence he did not guarantee anyone success or happiness; only that it was our right to pursue it. Far too many people today are of the belief that if they are not as successful in life as others that government should be there to provide for their needs. This not only exceeds the original authority granted government, it means people willingly relinquish their liberty for the benefits provided by whatever government run program provides for them; selling their souls to the devil, so to speak.

When John Adams was away from his family in Philadelphia attending the Continental Congress he often wrote home to his wife Abigail to apprise her of the progress, or lack thereof, and to share his thoughts and ideas with her. In one such instance Adams wrote, “But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty once lost is lost forever. When the People once surrender their share in the Legislature, and their Right of defending the Limitations upon the Government, and of resisting every Encroachment upon them, they can never regain it.”

It is a sad commentary on the state of affairs in this country today that those of us who decry the abuses of power by our government, and the subsequent loss of our liberty, are considered dangerous by an overwhelming majority of our fellow citizens. It is, as famed historian Charles Austin Beard said, “You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the great struggle for independence.”

It truly boggles my mind how ready some people are to surrender their rights for the supposed security doing so would provide. Gun control laws are but one instance of how ready people are to surrender an unalienable right for the supposed protection the idea of a gun free society would provide.

Thomas Jefferson, aside from being our nation’s 3rd President, author of our Declaration of Independence, and inventor, was an avid reader and collector of quotations. Whenever he found a quote worthy of remembering he copied them down into what is known as a Commonplace Book. One such quote Jefferson copies is as follows: “It is a false idea of utility to sacrifice a thousand real advantages for the sake of one disadvantage which is either imaginary or of little consequence; this would take fire away from men because it burns, and water because it drowns people; this is to have no remedy for evils except destruction.

Laws forbidding people to bear arms are of this nature; they only disarm those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes.” (Translated from On Crimes and Punishment, Chapter XL, 1764 ~Cesare Beccaria~)

Another such instance is our total lack of concern over our loss of privacy which has been sacrificed in this so-called War on Terror. I hear the most ridiculous comments when I discuss the extent to which our government spies upon the people of this country. That fact that every electronic communication people make, from e-mails to text messages to phone conversations, to Facebook and Twitter posts is captured by the NSA and stored in a databank seems to be of no concern to people. The fact that the government has the ability to use your cell phone, your personal computer, and your smart TV to watch and listen to your private conversations in your home also seems to be of no concern to people.

The most ridiculous comment I often hear is that if you have nothing to hide you should have nothing to worry about. Really? I suppose then that it would not bother you if I installed bugs in your house and listened to every conversation you had? I suppose it wouldn’t bother you if I installed cameras inside your home and watched you 24/7. I suppose that if you have nothing to hide you should not worry about privacy, then if you have nothing to say you should not worry about the freedom of speech.

I suppose the best example of how little people care for their loss of privacy is that when Edward Snowden released documents showing the extent to which our government monitors them, they called him the bad guy and not our government for shredding the 4th Amendment. Instead of being labeled a true American hero for exposing the level to which our government has violated our rights, he was forced to flee his country and seek refuge in Russia.

How is it that people can still support a government, that when proven to be guilty of a crime they still support it, and condemn the person who exposed the extent of the crimes being committed by their government? How is it that people can call themselves patriots, yet call for measures which limit their ability to resist tyranny in their government? How is it that people can call those who enforce unconstitutional exercises of power heroes, and those who resist these unconstitutional laws criminals?

In his book, A Voice Crying in the Wilderness: Notes from a Secret Journal, author Edward Abbey writes, “A patriot must always be ready to defend his country from his government.” Yet those today who even mention standing up to the almighty power of government are considered dangers to society, radicals, or domestic terrorists. It’s absolutely insane how upside down and backwards things have become in America today.

On July 5, 1788 Patrick Henry stood on the floor of the Virginia Ratifying Assembly and argued against the ratification of the proposed Constitution, saying, “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force: Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.”

We have not heeded Mr. Henry’s warning to jealously guard our liberty. In fact, we have offered it up willingly for the promise of benefits and security from supposed threats. In doing so we have made a deal with the devil, with the devil being a corrupt government that no longer cares about the limits imposed upon it by our Constitution; the rights it was established to safeguard as found in the Bill of Rights, and the Liberty it was supposed to secure as found in the Preamble.

I’m almost certain that, in most instances, the things I have just said will go in one ear, and come out the other, without even registering in the brains of most people. People do not want to hear about preserving their liberty as that entails constant attention to it, and a willingness to fight to protect it. That entails sacrifice, and people would rather surrender their liberty and enjoy comfortable servitude, than face the hardships of defending it. It means that one must, often, stand alone, surrounded by others who do not understand what it is they are fighting to preserve, or why they are doing so.

It is, as Mark Twain once said, “In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.”

Those of us who attempt to warn you of the dangers of an all powerful government; providing for your every need, are shunned and you continue supporting new measures which, under the guise of providing you with more benefits, hide the real purpose of increasing the size, and scope of power government wields over you. You care not that your liberty has all but vanished; only that your team, your political party are the ones in charge when it happens.

You have forgotten, or perhaps never been taught, what it means to be a free man/woman, or a patriot. You are content to believe you still are free, while the truth is you have lost most of your real freedom. The sad thing is you don’t want to hear anything the shatters the illusion you live under.

But make no mistake about it, as with all deals with the devil, when the time comes for you to pay the price for your reliance upon government to do the things which were your responsibility to do, you will regret your decision.

It is only then that those of us who tried to warn you will be vindicated; but it will be a bittersweet consolation as we will suffer the consequences of your ignorance and apathy alongside you; that is if we haven’t been killed by our government for posing a threat to its power and authority.

You may call yourselves patriots and lovers of liberty, but if you were you would be as upset as I am about the loss of that liberty. As Mark Twain so eloquently said, “Patriotism in supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.” Well, our government hasn’t deserved my support for quite some time now, and by you still trusting in it, by your still voting for whichever candidates you choose to elect to the various positions with that corrupt entity, you have proven that you do not love your country, you love your government.

And, as Samuel Adams once said, “If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”

Enjoy the benefits your deal with the devil has given you; the time to pay the piper quickly approaches, and I hope you don’t suffer too badly when you realize the mistake you have made. For, as Thomas Jefferson wrote in his Summary View of the Rights of British America, “God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure if we have removed their only firm basis: a conviction in the minds of men that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.”

About Br'er Rabbit

I'm just one person out of millions of others. The only thing different about me is that I don't walk around with my head up my ass.
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