Independance Day

Around the 4th July 1776 the US drafted and signed the Declaration of Independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain*.  I was asked prior to this day, 235 years later, did I find it uncomfortable that the US was celebrating "freedom" from the Kingdom.  I was a little surprised at the question, at first, but then I started to see the adverts declaring that the day celebrates the freedom of the US, with some implying that for some reason under the rule of the King that they weren't free.

You see, in The Land of the Free (TM) they have a strange feeling about being free, like it's an entitlement.  The funniest thing about this is that this sense of freedom and it's implicit entitlement actually means that the US is ridiculously hampered by it's own weight.  If everyone thinks that they have the right to be in control, no one can ever been fully in control of the country.  It almost feels like it should be the wrong statement to make; surely freedom breeds freedom of everything, but infact you can see that in the US that freedom isn't quite what it means to some.

It's worth noting that the US can be a very constrained and persecution-filled land - all you have to do is look at the multitude of laws that are created and curated to this day that dis-allow 'marriages' or 'unions' between homosexuals; the rights of the common law relationship is dimished to almost nought; the rights of secularist and non-religious folks like myself are almost seen as ridiculous compared to the idea of free-religion; and in a situation that is worsening, the rights of a women to family planning and what comes with that are alarming beyond what I think a country in the 21st Century should be.  The land of the free allows everyone to freely persecute anyone, and if enough do it, you are in trouble.  Blame my liberal/European mindset for this feeling.

But when I think about the idea that they are celebrating "freedom" in the sense of "release" from a abusive marriage to Great Britain I disagree.  The Holiday is no longer about that, it's about the ideals that the US stands for, for better or worse, and also for the freedom that the people who live here have.  It is a freedom, and it allows me to say this about the country, I guess, but it also a strange balance of right and wrong. 

The US is an experiment that is ongoing, with no results as yet.

*Interestingly, it is the opinion of many historians that the actual signing of the declaration took place on August the 2nd.