Are you thankful you exist?


Socialism, Communism, and all political theories that involve attaining some degree of utopia here and now, at bottom express a dissatisfaction with the way that God has made things. They intensely dislike the world that God has made. And in their own faltering political ways, they attempt to get rid of these great blunders that God has created.

The main thing that proponents of Utopian societies want to get rid of are the limitations of our individual circumstances. That we should be constrained by our humble or poor birth, or the defectiveness of our culture or environment, is seen as a great evil. God has made us to struggle with this evil and this is something Utopians will not do. By means of money, i.e. distributing large piles into equal smaller ones, circumstances  and the struggles it would take to rise above them are left behind.

The majority of complaints stem from the existence of suffering and evil. And here I cannot but be baffled. To exist in this world is to be confronted by the challenge of every second. Each tick of the clock brings change and, thus, something to adapt to; something to struggle with. We imagine that evil and suffering is somehow inflicted upon us because God is himself evil and torturous. Yet, when we write our stories and books we add suffering and evil in the mix. We give our heroes a villain to fight with. We give them monstrous struggles to overcome. We send children into terrible abusive places and to terrible abusive people. We ordain the deaths of thousands of fictional people. We turn almost the entire world into soulless horrible inhuman zombies that destroy every piece of humanity it finds; yet we call the story good, and we pay good money to see them on film. Through imagination we create entire worlds and dash them to pieces. But, do the readers of these stories then turn around and call the authors evil? Do we blame them for the suffering they write? No.

The end of the road for people who continually complain about their personal struggles is the wish for death. It is the desire not to exist; to leave this real actual story. It is really an unthankfulness for existing. This is exactly where I am baffled. Because, despite the suffering I’ve endured, I still count it better to exist than not. And though I may understand someone’s desire to leave this world after having endured so much pain, I cannot think that about anyone who lives in the West. We have so much: technology, medicine, and many amenities in life. Yet, we are the most unthankful bunch I’ve seen. We constantly want each other’s things for ourselves, especially each other’s money; and we paint ourselves as victims of every challenge God sends our way. Every second we endure we find something more to complain about.

We are such hypocrites; who write end-of-the-world stories with great suffering in them, and then berate God for doing the same. I, for one, would rather meet the challenge and try to rise above the circumstances than be idle and unthankful. Every political Utopian desire is a wish to rewrite our actual story into a non-story: a state of existence where we endure through time but never leave the condition of happiness; a place where we become human pets in a little earthly terrarium that the government takes care of. And that, my friends, is not even a fairy tale. It’s doesn’t even count as a story. Neither can I imagine that that is what Heaven is. I certainly wouldn’t want to go there.

Dialoguing with a Gay Activist Who Hates the “Hate the sin but love the sinner” distinction

Peter Kreeft recalls a conversation he once had:

 My teacher was an articulate homosexual activist who was arguing, at Boston College, that “Catholic” and “gay” are as compatible as ham and eggs. I respected the clarity and intelligence of his mind and the openness and apparent goodwill of his heart, so I hoped that our conversation might open and clarify both our minds and teach us something new. (This almost never happens when these two sides argue about this subject.)

I was not disappointed.

I shall try and reconstruct our dialogue with a minimum of additions and polishings, as I like to believe Plato did to Socrates in his early dialogues. For purposes of anonymity, I shall call my dialogue partner “Art.”

PETER: Art, I’m really curious about one point of your argument, one part I just don’t understand. And I believe in listening before arguing, as you said you do. So I’m not trying to argue now—that’s not the point of my question—but first of all to listen and to understand. OK?

ART: Of course. What’s the point you don’t understand?

PETER: Well, to explain that, I have to ask you to listen too, to where I’m coming from.

ART: And where’s that?

PETER: Just the teachings of the Bible and the Church, all of them. I know you don’t believe all of them, only some. But I do. So from my point of view, what you do, and what you justify doing, is a sin. That’s the label you reject, right?

ART: Right. So what don’t you understand?

PETER: Please don’t take this as a personal insult, or even an argument, but I know of no other way of phrasing it than with biblical language, which you will probably find offensive. My question is this: Why are you guys the only class of sinners who not only deny that your sin is sin but insist on identifying yourself with it? We’re all sinners, in one way or another, and I’m not assuming your sins are worse than mine, but at least I think I’m more than my sins, whatever they are. I love the sinner but hate the sin. But you don’t do you?

ART: No, I don’t. What I hate is that hypocritical distinction.


ART: Because when you attack homosexuality, you attack homosexuals. It’s that simple.

PETER: But alcoholics don’t say that the Church attacks alcoholics when she attacks alcoholism. And cowards don’t say that they are their cowardice. And murderers don’t say the church is hypocritical for condemning their sin but no them, the sinners. Adulterers don’t deny the distinction between the adulterer and the adultery. The only group of sinners I’ve ever heard of who do this is you. And it seems to me you all do that, you always say that. All gays say that. Don’t they?

ART: Yes, we do. And I forgive you for being to insensitive that you don’t realize that you’ve done right now what you defend the Church for doing: insulting and rejecting me, and not just what I do.

PETER: Wait a minute here! You’re saying that when I make that distinction between what you are and what you do, when I accept what you are as distinct from what you do, I’m rejecting what you are? How can I be rejecting what you are in accepting what you are?

ART: That’s exactly what you’re doing. In fact, you’re trying to kill me.

PETER: What? That’s crazy. Now you’re being paranoid.

ART: No, listen: In trying to separate what I do from what I am, you’re trying to separate my body from my soul, my sex life from my identity. That’s what you’re doing by insisting on that distinction. Your distinction between what you call the “sinner” and the “sin” is really death to me; it’s the separation of body and soul, deed and identity. I’m holding the two together; you’re trying to pull them apart, and that’s death.

PETER: That’s sophistical. That’s an argument that just doesn’t fit the facts. Look at the facts instead of the argument. This is what the church believes about you—what I believe about you: you can be a saint! You have dignity. The Church thinks more highly of you than you think of yourself. She loves your being more than you do; that’s why she hates your sins against your being. We believe your self is greater than your deeds, whatever they are. But you don’t.

ART: The Church and the Bible will tell me I’m an abomination to God.

PETER: No! Not in your person, only in your sins, just like the rest of us, like all of us. That’s Paul’s point in Romans 1. He’s condemning hypocritical condemnation of pagan homosexuals by straight Jews just as much as he’s condemning pagan homosexuality.

ART: The Church is my enemy.

PETER: The Church is your friend. Because the Church tells us two things about you, not just one, and she will never change either one, she never can change either one, because both are matters of unchangeable natural law, based on eternal law, based on the very nature of God. She can’t ever say that what you do is good for the same reason that she can’t ever say that what you are is bad. She defends your being just as absolutely as she attacks your lifestyle; she hates your cancer because she loves your body. It’s the same authority for both. The authority you hate when it condemns what you do is your only reliable ally in defending what you are. You want the Church to change her teaching on what you do, and you’re trying to put social pressure on her to do that, but if she did that, then she could change her teaching on what you are, too, for the same reason, under social pressures. I’m sure you know that the old social pressures to hate homosexuals are far from dead. You know what happened in Hitler’s Germany. You know how changeable and fickle mankind is—and how dangerous. When the last bastion of absolute moral law is compromised, when even the Church bends to the winds of social pressure, what shelters will you have then?

ART: I’m not worried about the Left; I’m worried about the Right.

PETER: Today, maybe, but what about tomorrow? Today the fashion is the be Leftist, but just a short time ago the fashion was from the Right, and tomorrow it may swing to the Right again, like a pendulum. You can’t rely on fashionable opinions to protect you. That’s building sandcastles. The tides always change and knock them down.

ART: I’ll take my chances, thank you. I don’t know what will happen in the future, I grant you that. But I know what’s happening now, and I can’t take that. We just can’t take your “love the sinner, hate the sin” distinction. That much we know.

PETER: You still haven’t explained to me why. I began by asking that question, and I really want an answer. I want to know what’s going on in your mind.

ART: OK, I think I can explain it to you. You say I shouldn’t feel threatened by that distinction, right?

PETER: Right.

ART: You say the Church tells me she loves me, even though she hates what I do, right?

PETER: Right.

ART: Well, suppose the shoe was on the other foot. Suppose you were in the minority. Suppose what you wanted to do was to have churches and sacraments and Bibles and prayers, and those in power said to you: “We hate that. We hate what you do. We will do all in our power to stop you from doing what you do. But we love you. We love what you are. We love Christians, we just hate Christianity. We love worshippers; we just hate worship. And we’re going to put every possible pressure on you to feel ashamed about worshipping and make you repent of your sin of worshiping. But we love you. We affirm your being. We just reject your doing.” Tell me, how would that make you feel? Would you accept their

PETER: You know, I never thought of it that way. Thank you. You really did make me see things in a new way. You’re right. I would not be comfortable with that distinction. I would not be able to accept it. In fact, I would say pretty much what you just said: that you’re trying to kill my identity.

ART: See? Now you understand how we feel.

PETER: Yes, I think I do. Thank you very much for showing me that. But do you realize what you’ve just said? What you’ve just showed me?

ART: What do you mean?

PETER: You’ve said to me that sodomy is your religion.

Originally posted at The Gospel Coalition

Atheism and the Bonds of Society

“An atheist is a person who questions every kind of authority, and this is the thing that is important. Because, if we can, without blinking an eye, question the ultimate authority, God, who must be obeyed; then we can question the authority of the state, we can question the authority of a university structure, we can question the authority of our employer, we can question anything.”

–Madalyn Murray O’Hair (quote from here)

“A being, independent of any other, has no rule to pursue, but such as he prescribes to himself…”

— Sir William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England

“Those are not at all to be tolerated who deny the being of God. Promises, covenants, and oaths, which are the bonds of human society, can have no hold upon an atheist. The taking away of God, though but even in thought, dissolves all.”

“For in all states of created beings capable of laws, where there is no law, there is no freedom; for liberty is to be free from restraint and violence from others; which cannot be where there is no law: but freedom is not, as we are told, a liberty for every man to do what he lists: (for who could be free, when every other man’s humor might domineer over him?)”

–1. John Locke, A Letter Concerning Toleration,  2. John Locke, Second Treatise of Government

“For as God, when he created matter, and endued it with a principle of mobility, established certain rules for the perpetual direction of that motion; so, when he created man, and endued him with freewill to conduct himself in all parts of life, he laid down certain immutable laws of human nature, whereby that freewill is in some degree regulated and restrained, and gave him also the faculty of reason to discover the purport of those laws.”

–Sir William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England

The law of human nature is not, in all points, a limitation of human freedom but a direction of a freewill agent toward his proper interest. That law does not deserve the description of confinement which prevents us from falling off of cliffs and getting stuck in ditches. It’s aim is to preserve and broaden our freedom, not only to restrain.

If no God exists, then no law of human nature exists. If no law of human nature exists, then all government of human society is arbitrary and has no objective foundation or obligation upon men.

Moreover, there is no foundation for the establishment of government by free discourse in light of atheism because there is no objective and equal value of human persons to respect concerning each other’s jurisdiction or dominion over one another. Others need not respect the property (life, liberty, and estate) of their neighbors because no one has laid equality upon them or an obligation to respect.

The only reason, outside of the law of human nature, that can be maintained concerning respect of property, is only in the pursuit of certain social ends: i.e. If it is the case that men are pleased to preserve their property, then they need only confine their actions in such a manner as to meet those ends. But, let it be clear, if there is no superior being to lay an obligation upon them, then the choice to confine one’s action toward the preservation of property is arbitrary, and only holds so much as men are pleased to do so.

Also on atheism, outside of society, freedom is to do what one lists. There is no security within which one may conduct one’s affairs without constant threat of harm, and that harm cannot be considered illegitimate. There is no law the victim may appeal to, neither has he right to punish the offender, although, he may punish the offender if it so pleases him.

Furthermore, since rules of society are arbitrary, in a democratic society where the social end is peace with one another, those who think themselves outside this arbitrary law can rightly consider it tyranny. Tyranny is the exercise of power beyond right, and right cannot be defined by arbitrary decision if a person is not pleased to accept that arbitrary decision.

This is why John Locke states that promises and oaths, which are the bonds of human society, cannot hold for an atheist. He has no law but such as he prescribes to himself and it holds as long as it pleases him to hold it.

The objection may arise, “But there are, indeed moral atheists. Are you saying that atheist are inherently immoral?” No. Because there is a law of human nature and they can apprehend it as much as the religious man can. They can be just as moral or even more so than the Christian because the same law holds for both and both understand it. Not only does the law of nature govern them, but the laws of the society they are in confine their actions as well. However, since the atheist has rejected God, the only foundation for moral obligation; the option is left open to him to reject the law of society and the bonds of nature’s law, even in the smallest of measures, because his true foundation is whatever pleases him.

What is the proper relationship between religion and the government?

Is it the complete separation between church and state? Even Thomas Jefferson in his letter to the Danbury Baptists didn’t completely define the “wall” he talked about.  The wall itself seems to be penetrated at times by Jefferson’s own words in the Declaration of Independence which reveals that the source of life, freedom, and man’s ability to be happy comes from the Creator.

In 1787, the Northwest Ordinance allowed for the creation of five states, of which, Ohio was first. The ordinance states, “No person, demeaning himself in a peaceable and orderly manner, shall ever be molested on account of his mode of worship or religious sentiments, in the said territory.” This predates the First Amendment to the US Constitution which was adopted in 1791. This ordinance provided for religious freedom in the territory. It further states that religion and morality are to be taught. Article three says, “Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.” From reading the ordinance, it is obvious that this “religion and morality” was taught in public schools and paid for with public taxes.

The constitution of Massachusetts written in 1780 by John Adams asserts, “As the happiness of a people and the good order and preservation of civil government essentially depend upon piety, religion, and morality, and as these cannot be generally diffused through a community but by the institution of the public worship of God and of the public instructions in piety, religion, and morality.” It goes on to instruct that groups, political bodies, and religious societies should carry out this public worship authorized through the legislature.

Are these legal documents breaching the “wall of separation” that Jefferson talks about? Do they violate the First Amendment? Or do these writers and framers of legal documents and constitutions understand better than we do the proper relationship between church and state? A comparison of public scenes from the 18th century and today shows us that the former had greater religious freedom than the modern people of today. I postulate that this wall of separation as is thought of in the modern sense actually inhibits the freedom of expression and freedom of worship. If you doubt my statement and begin to invoke the undefined “wall”, consider if you will ever hear in your lifetime, a speech from a government official with these words:

“I congratulate the people of the United States on the assembling of Congress at the permanent seat of their government; and I congratulate you, gentlemen, on the prospect of a residence not to be exchanged. It would be unbecoming the representatives of this nation to assemble for the first time in this solemn temple without looking up to the Supreme Ruler of the universe and imploring his blessing. You will consider it as the capitol of a great nation, advancing with unexampled rapidity in arts, in commerce, in wealth, and in population, and possessing within itself those resources which, if not thrown away or lamentably misdirected, will secure to it a long course of prosperity and self-government. May this territory be the residence of virtue and happiness! In this city may piety and virtue, that wisdom and magnanimity, that constancy and self-government, which adorned the great character whose name it bears, be forever held in veneration! Here, and throughout our country, may simple manners, pure morals, and true religion forever flourish.”

–  John Adams, November25, 1800, the year the first Congress opened session in the Capitol.

I submit to you, the reader, we have lost some freedom when any religious expression in public places and public institutions is allowed to be defeated by a “wall”.

Prop 8: A Moral Stand

Shared morality is the rich foundation from which people can obtain the wisdom and discussion required to moderate what is called the tyranny of the majority. However, any moral society will eventually exclude those who operate outside of its standards. There’s no getting around it except to lower society’s standards. But, in order to keep this shared morality consistent, it must be a part of the basic institutions that provide a foundation for healthy life. I’m speaking of marriage and family. When marriage is redefined so that it means whatever anyone wants it to mean, it ceases to be a source of consistent morality, or any stable foundation. Concurrently, when the whims of individuals add, subtract, or replace whatever they want in the family unit, moral stability is lost. When these are redefined, society is redefined. Our society declines as it loses its attachment to religion: the main informer of morality to these basic institutions. Even though our government has a constitution; its concepts, especially liberty and equality, are interpreted today in ways the founders did not intend. Why? The words just don’t mean the same thing anymore because we don’t have the same morality. The previous restraints to liberty and equality enforced by the basic institutions, have been corrupted, and as a consequence, so have the original intents. Liberty and equality taken to the extreme will produce either a tyranny of the individual or a tyranny of the government. Self-restraint is taboo in this culture of radical individualism. Censorship is not even mentioned. Yet, if we are to preserve our way of life, at some point we must stop liberty from going too far, and restrain equality from infiltrating things it should not. To give them free reign is to watch our society be destroyed. Those who continually create new rights and new equalities which are mainly people living outside of the morality of the society, fail to provide a moral framework for their actions. They just complain about discrimination. All law is discriminatory in nature. They need more than this argument to back up their behavior. However, when their rights and equalities are made legal, this lack of morality is forced on the majority. I applaud those who passed proposition 8 for taking a stand for their corporate morality. I applaud them for trying to preserve the institutions that are the backbone of this country. We lose them, we lose ourselves. We just can’t react in defeat every time someone cries about rights. Some rights aren’t rights at all. They’re bondage.

I find then a principle: When I strive for self-actualization, I decay; but when I restrain myself, I gain liberty.

Burning the Quran

Pastor Jones in Gainesville, Florida and his congregation of 50, have captured the attention of the world by proclaiming their intention to burn the Quran on this coming anniversary of 9/11. The story is found here. Almost everyone from Angelina Jolie to Sarah Palin to General Peteraeus has weighed in on the issue urging the pastor not to go through with it. The first amendment covers this type of behavior and there’s not much legally that anyone can do to prevent the book burning.

While everyone is focused on the pastor, we seem not to have noticed the extreme reaction of the Muslim world. “If this happens,” says Mohammad Mukhtar, a cleric and candidate for the Afghan parliament in the Sept. 18 election, “I think the first and most important reaction will be that wherever Americans are seen, they will be killed. No matter where they will be in the world they will be killed.” Apparently, the Muslim world is holding all of Amercia responsible for the actions of 50 people. And what about America’s reaction? Even though building a mosque at ground zero is offensive to many Amercians, we are tolerant of it, while at the same time intolerant of a book burning in which the Quran is the main course. Who decides when and where tolerance is to be used or not used? Maybe we should extend a little more tolerance to Pastor Jones (not support, just tolerance), and advise the intolerant and enraged Muslims to calm down. Instead we react in fear. Why does our tolerance lean toward the folks who want to kill us? At least Pastor Jones and his 50 congregants don’t plan to kill Americans if we start burning the Bible. It amazes me how fast the Muslim world has extended their violence to all of us. Maybe this Middle-Eastern quick temper (which reveals a little of how they see us) should be cause for national concern and not so much the burning of books.

Tolerance is, I think, the last and only virtue of a decaying society. In pursuit of this one virtue, we have left all other values behind. No wonder we don’t know when to be tolerant and when not to be.

The Problem of Human Government

People have usually styled Capitalism as a “Christian friendly” economic system. And it is, in that Capitalism makes similar assumptions as Christianity about human nature. Christianity says that everyone starts out with an evil nature. This nature must be dealt with by a righteous, albeit forgiving, God. Christians believe this to be self-evident because, for instance, you don’t have to teach a child how to lie. But if you want him to tell the truth even if it hurts, you must train him to adopt the principles of honesty in daily living. Capitalism makes a similar assumption by saying that human nature is generally fallible based on historical precedent. It does not say necessarily that everyone will be bad. Instead it says that in any society of humans, there will invariably be those who justify taking advantage of other people.

Capitalism may be “Christian friendly” in the sense of the two “matching up” in it’s claims about such realities. But Christians are dissatisfied with the outcomes of Capitalism. Sure we like the fact that people get to decide their own level of risk. We are all for the idea of personal responsibility. But inevitably there will be people who fall short of the merits of the Capitalist system, or in essence, fall off the radar: people who are “at risk”, according to sociologists. Empathic Christians feel it is their responsibility to do something to help these “at risk” individuals or groups. Although we may agree with some of Capitalism’s viewpoints, if we are intellectually honest, we must inevitably be disgusted by some of it’s outcomes.

If capitalism, then, does not fit the bill, what else is there? Many who disagree with capitalism find communism a better alternative. The question must arise, where should Christians stand on this thing called Communism? It certainly appears to be a good thing, everyone working together and sharing everything equally. It sounds great. It definitely fits the picture many Christians have of their own church. Many churches strive for a communal inner atmosphere. We believe we are meant to enjoy each other and help each other, just like we are meant to enjoy God forever. It appears that although capitalism may line up with Christian realism, communism is the system of government that most closely matches Christian idealism – they just don’t call it communism or may not know that it is a form of communism. It may work in the church or a commune where many folks volunteer and agree on the same standard of social morality. But this begs the question, is the rest of the world up to it?

To answer this we have to look at what Marx predicted. He claimed that all resources would be collected and distributed by the ruling class – socialism. Then the working class would become aware that they are being exploited and take power from the ruling class in a bloody revolution, ushering in communism.

Now, some will agree that communism is the best form of government on paper. Some might praise the merits of capitalism. But who amongst us is ready to take the step of socialism to get there? It may be for good intentions. However, as the saying goes, the road to hell is paved with such things.

Socialism is a form of total government – or totalitarianism. Total government attempts to put “all” under it’s rule. This is for any number of reasons. But let’s consider the implications of only the ‘good’ reasons. Benevolent socialism might be done in an attempt to curb all manner of poverty and illness – basically to decide the level of risk for it’s citizens. Does it accomplish this task? Consider an analogy –

A lake full of some toxin may be cleaned up if enough money is spent. The lake may be 99% toxin free once the clean up is done. That one percent left, or some number less than one percent, is nearly impossible to attain. The trace amounts left of the toxin are so elusive that one might spend a fortune just trying to eliminate that last one percent. In some cases it’s like what mathematicians call a tangent – a line curving infinitely closer to zero (the axis) but never getting there. No matter how much money you spend, you can’t quite eliminate that last one percent.

Socialism is like the tangent that demonstrates the infinite dollars spent in trying to clean up the last little bit of toxicity. Or, in our case, poverty and illness. So by the time socialism has culminated, poverty and illness has not been eliminated and in the mean time we have taken away everyone’s freedom to choose their own level of risk (clean up their own toxins) for a solution that is unsustainable, economically speaking. It can’t be sustained by wealth unless wealth is being created. If the creation of wealth plateaus so will the amount of wealth we can tax.

But even if somehow we make this step of socialism successfully, true communism, as it’s successor, may still be deterred by human nature. A revolution to take power creates a power vacuum. According to communist ideology, that vacuum is never again filled by a government. There is no government in true communism. The only thing left is simply the shared principle of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” – Marx and Engels. Communism never accounts for human corruption or selfishness. It claims that those things are caused by people owning what we now call “property.” But even if all “property” is eliminated they can never eliminate the feeling that we are our own property. The ultimate thing we think we own is ourselves. It is the alleged ownership of that property which makes us consequently selfish. It is that selfishness which bites us back and reminds us of it’s existence every time we think it can be done away with by some trick of government or even no government at all as it were. And if there is no government in this great communism, how will we be protected from others’ selfishness if they at once decide they want or deserve more?

This leaves us with a problem. How are we to handle human nature? The options are either to eliminate human existence all together, leave the flaws alone, or somehow fix human nature. This is where both capitalism and communism part ways with Christianity. Communists don’t think the human nature itself needs to be fixed but only it’s environment. Capitalists think human nature is impossible to fix and adjusts policy accordingly. Christians, on the other hand, believe that human nature is the very thing to fix and that it really can be. Christians also believe that it is for the ultimate individual and collective good that human nature must be fixed. Of course, we believe that it’s fixing is no doing of our own and that it is not really fixed but forgiven first and then dealt with as it is till it is something different.

All government systems may eventually fail. However, they may survive longer if they account for the inevitable flaws in government that human nature will create. Capitalism admits to these flaws. We’re heading towards socialism because in a capitalist system were always trying to fix the flaws. Fixing the flaws in a Capitalist society can lead ultimately to communism. Fixing the flaws in a Communistic society can lead to Capitalism. If Marx was right and we see Communism on the other side of Socialism, how will we then account for the flaws without perpetuating the cycle?

The Health Care Bill

Image via Wikipedia

The health care issue is an issue of freedom and respect. What one is saying when he says that the health care bill is wrong is that he thinks the government is behaving in an unfair manner, encroaching upon personal freedom. He believes he is being treated like a child who must be cared for because he cannot take care of himself. It is considered a far better thing to stand on one’s own two feet than to have to lean on someone else. Greater respect is reserved for the man who stands on his own or is “self-made.” The thought is that if one has the ambition, he can do whatever he wants. However, now if his ambition is toward getting a certain aspect his health taken care of, he must ask the government first. A certain freedom has been taken away.

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