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Prelude

A funny thing happened to me on the way to make this webpage. When I was logging on the computer, the operating system (Linux) said to me:
The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.
-- Justice Louis D. Brandeis

politicalaction.com

The following is a transcript of a recent sermon given by the good reverend, High Hat, to his parishioners at the Digital Church for Freedom Consciousness:

FREEDOM!!!!! What is your price?

My dear parishioners, today I wish to speak to you about freedom. What is freedom you ask? Is it just a word? Or, is it really a tangible thing that one may hold in one's hand and heart? I hear you asking, "What sayeth thee about freedom preacher? We are but lowly netknomes. Please help us." Well, my friends... that's just what I am gonna do!

It is said, "we live in a free country." Are we really free? Am I free to do whatever I want... to whomever I want... whenever I want? May I scream FIRE in a crowded building? May I walk unclothed about the streets in my full nakedness, as the creator hath made me, and not cause a commotion or feel shame? Does the opinions of others affect my actions in such a way that I am not free to do as my innermost desires dictate? After all, is not the opinion of others what constitutes law? Why is it that what I may be free to do in this fair city may invoke a sentence of punishment in yet some other city... or state... or country... or some other form of jurisdiction drawn about on imaginary lines across what at one time was a fenceless and wall-less terra forma.

[suddenly the good reverend is inhabited by the spirit of Richie Havens and breaks into song.]

Freedom........Yeah freeeeedommmmm..... Freedom........Yeah freeeeedommmmm.....
[now back to his own self...]

Why, history has shown that while many in this world lived and died under slavery, others seem to go unabated in their existence. Perhaps my brethren Mr. Nietzche was correct when he wrote: "Few are made of independence - it is the privilege of the strong. And he who attempts it, having the completest right to it, but without being compelled to; thereby proves that he is probably not only strong but also daring to the point of recklessness." So, is this true that freedom be a right by natural selection of the strong? Or, does every human derived from the primordial ooze deserve independence regardless of his or her ability to put it to a useful purpose? Why should we not be allowed to have a visit from Dr. Kevorkian when the pain of living has become a fate we perceive as worse than that of death itself? Yes! I wish to be free to ruin my life as I see fit. I demand the freedom to destroy myself! My eyes, my ears, and my mouth have indeed been opened!

[once again our spiritual leader takes on another spirit. This one being that of Roger Daltry a.k.a. TOMMY]

I'm free... Yes. I'm free... And, I'm waiting for you to follow me...
[returning]

My good parishioners I further impart to you words of wisdom from John Locke who says: "The natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man... but, to have only the law of nature for his rule." Unfortunately, man has left the trees. This "natural liberty" becomes negated in our social structure, and wicked and righteous folk seek to limit what we in nature were entitled to. Gertrude Himmelfarb in her examination of John Stuart Mill says: "The use and abuse of drugs, crime and punishment, pornography and obscenity, industrial and economic controls, racial and sexual equality, national security and defense, ecology, technology, bureaucracy, education, religion for the family, sex -- all come up against the ultimate test: the liberty of the individual". So, my dear friends, as you graciously place your donations for the continuance of this fellowship church into the basket, I ask you to consider this: exactly how much, and to what extent, may I or we exercise freedom while maintaining the right for others to enjoy their freedom unencumbered? I bring you now to John Stuart Mill, "Society has now fairly got the better of individuality; and, danger which threatens human nature is not the excesses, but the deficiency of personal impulses and preferences." So, by virtue of that fine statement I here now wish to act on impulse, temporarily shirk my responsibility as leader, take the money from the coffers and go forth to party... to fornicate, commit disgusting and perverted acts, rebuke all that is establishment and authority and live in ANARCHY!!!!!

Simply because I am free to do so.

If all goes well, and I get away with it, I'll see you all at the next sermon. Party on people!!!

Your buddy, his coolness:
High Hat

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