The date on this post should be yesterday. I wrote it and blogger swallowed it whole. Oh well.

Ben Franklin once said, They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

You can go ahead and skip this if you\’re not in the mood for politics. I\’m not really, but I need to get this out of my system, so I don\’t bore my family and friends with it all holiday. Excuse me, Christmas. There was a letter to the editor in our local paper today, someone blamed the whole flak about the War On Christmas on some folks trying to get the attention off of other topics, like indicted Congressional Leaders, Thirty Thousand jobs gone at GM and the fact that Iraq and Afganistan were staring to have better infrastructure than New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. Amen. But I digress…

Point the first….America is not safe. No place is safe, not since we broke the lease in Eden, if you read Genesis. Hundreds of years ago, immigrants came to the shores of North America, not because it was safe, but because it was free.There was death on the ships, there were less than welcoming Natives, there were unfriendly tourists from other countries. As well as imported criminals. Nope, not safe at all. If safety was the goal, people stayed put.

But now, we\’re obsessed with safety. A safety that never existed. If there is an accident, a militant mob forms with the expressed intent of \”THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN.\” As if tragedy isn\’t a detriment enough, new laws, regulations and products come into being to insure safety.

Yesterday, one of the local letter to the editor contributors responded to the fury about the illegal spying. She said she had nothing to hide, they could spy on her all they wanted.

Um, darling, that\’s not the point.

The point is that democracies do not spy on their citizens. The point is that there is a consitutional set of checks and balances to make sure one branch of the government does not get more uppity than the others.

Our country\’s core value has changed. Core values, all the rage in board rooms and church leadership meeting. Companies and congregations ask \”what is our core value, what is most important to us?\” Now there is a spoken value, what people say out loud, and then there is the hidden core value, what really is important. So take a hypothetical church. The spoken core value is that following Jesus is primary. The hidden core value adds, as long as it isn\’t too weird. Don\’t rock the boat. Accept Jesus and be like us.

Once upon a time, when Ben Franklin was only dreaming of his electricity and printing press joining together and forming Blogdom, freedom was the core value. One man would not be in charge.

It\’s changed. Now safety is supreme. From \”Let Freedom Ring\” to \”Let\’s build a wall to keep out the riff raff.\” You know. a wall worked so well for Berlin, we OUGHT to build one across the southern border. In fact, there are some pieces at the George HW Bush Library that could be used.

What makes me sad is that our military men and women are fighting for our \”freedom.\” And it\’s being lost not on the deserts of Iraq, but in the halls of Congress and the airwaves of Foxnews.