I just got a comment, don't worry - I know that's how the last one started and then I got angry! But I just got a comment, actually it was on that last blog, this time from a perfectly lovely and intelligent sounding man named James. It began like this;
One thing that makes America great is our freedom of choice. We Americans have the right to support who and what we want. We can decide on our faith, our political views and if we don’t agree with any pre-existing ones we can start our own. This freedom is what defines us.
You hear a lot about freedom from American people, and that's fine - it's a wonderful thing to have, a wonderful thing to build a society on. But the idea that freedom defines them, is also something I've heard in some form or other many times before. And I must confess I'm a little confused. I live in a country where all of those things are also true. In fact it's true in most countries across the world. Certainly there are places it's not true, but surely if there is an established norm, it's for people to have freedom.
In the UK we have freedom, but it's never really spoken of. I don't know whether that's a good thing or a bad thing. On one hand maybe it's wrong to take such an important thing for granted, but perhaps it's good that it's just assumed - it's built into us, we don't need to talk about it, just like we don't need to talk about gravity for it to affect us. The idea of not being free is pretty much unthinkable. I quite like it that way.
So my question is, why has freedom become such a defining feature of the USA? Are people there any more free than others?
That's not rhetorical, I'm curious.