What does Independence Day mean to you? Freedom from a cruel and oppressive government who is unreasonable, power hungry and controlling….or in other words, tyranny and dictators? What is our first freedom? Is it the issue of man’s rights? “Do they come from God or State? Are they earned or are they innate? If they’re earned, is man a slave from the cradle to the grave? If innate, is man born free? if He is, then tyranny. Of all kinds must surely cease be it brought by king or priest. But could virtue carry on if both church and crown were gone?”. First Freedom by Rob Lauer
Many people, including myself, have a misnomer about religious freedom in America. Most of us think our forefathers came to America to evade the Anglican tyrants and establish their own churches. The truth is, upon landing on American soil, the same tyranny existed and religious freedom had yet to be established. Then came along a young philosopher named James Madison who was one of the instigators of man’s rights, the constitution and the Bill of Rights.
The musical is entitled First Freedom. It is about the American break-up with the Church of England and its controlling Anglican taxation and dominance. Many newly immigrants had their own beliefs and religions and considered the taxes destructive, nothing short of priestcraft. In the play, Dr. Dewitt expresses how religious freedom would open up Pandora’s box to confusion, emotionalism and heaven knows what else? Spending the past 3 1/2 months as a cast member of the musical, my sense and understanding of our religious freedom has been awakened. I can see why America is in a political whirlwind and is widely looked down upon because of our tolerant/intolerant bi-polar disorder; thus being the land of confusion and emotionalism.
Will we remain true to our sense of what is right collectively, or, will we surrender to the voice of a few who’s desire it is to take away the freedoms for all? How many laws must be made before we have outlawed ourselves from existence? Why are so many laws being created to formulate and shape our society to succumb to a few? How can it be that people have become so out of shape civically that so many rules, regulations and controls have to created?
There are many questions answered in the play for our day and age regarding our morals and beliefs. Is a man born with natural moral instincts, or do they need to be taught to him and if he believes differently than you, should he be punished? If common sense morals are not being taught within a home then where are they learned? Is religion the institutional birth place for instruction? How can a society function with peace and tranquility when there are so many differing opinions? Who’s sense of what is right and what is wrong do we follow these days? Is there such a thing? Should there be? Who defines it?
If that alone doesn’t make one’s head spin around in confusion, then one isn’t asking the same questions as many of us. These are the questions the government has been asking ever since religious freedom became law and how they can erase it’s existence. Is this why “Big Brother” is getting bigger and bigger? Is this the Pandoras box spoken of by Dr. DeWitt? Although religious freedom has unleashed an epidemic of confusion and emotionalism, it is our very right; however, does our current political arena bolster it or undermine it? Confusion and chaos creates emotionalism which creates bizarre behavior which creates fighting and disturbances which creates disorder, disruption and civil disobedience and ultimately war.
Most probably, everyone will have a differing opinion regarding these very points, which we are entitled to. And then there is the issue of politics which is like the yeast in bread that raises the chaos and confusion as it multiplies, divides and conquers in the smoldering masses of our growing (un)civil society today all the while molding itself into a dictatorship by the minute. Sadly, children are learning to become amoral from our political leaders, social media, movies, T.V. and the streets or from peers at school. Who can they look up to to learn morality? God fearing Americans were once the icon and pillar of stability for the world to look up to, but now there is such a decline of belief in religion and God and it reflects upon our moral character as a nation. Our future president of the U.S.A. can only be as good as we are as a whole.
Has America become a living reality show gone mad? With all of our differences, can we ever be a United States of America? Will religion continue to be a divisive issue in our nation and world? Will governments try and intervene and take away man’s God given rights which include religious freedom? Will we be forced to divide up within our groups of understanding and similarities? “What should I tell the world? Dear Lord, I wish I knew! What’s a student and philosopher to do?”. First Freedom 2005 How will we use our first freedom? It’s time to think about it. This musical is epic and should be seen by all who would like to continue to believe the way they choose. It will awaken our purpose in why we celebrate Independence Day and agree that we may all disagree and still remain civil, especially if we can at least agree to live the Golden Rule!!!