At the turn of the 20th Century, Mexico's conservative forces of Catholicism and business held monopolies they abused. Under President Diaz, undesirables were sent to extermination camps of similar cruelty to Hitler's. (This is mostly forgotten, but you can read my interview with the last surviving witness in my upcoming book Fresh Wind & Strange Fire.)
The Mexican revolution responded with socialism and secularism enforced by the blazing guns of Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata. President Calles launched a religious persecution, which included outlawing worship and executing priests. This movie is the real untold story of how ordinary peasants decided freedom and faith are unnegotiable.
If you think that's ancient history, read my Basic Elements Of The Upcoming Election on how these same forces now permeate the American presidential campaign. Santorum came from a Vatican perspective, Romney came from a business perspective, and Obama came from a secular statist perspective. Those who don't study history are often condemned to repeat it.
America's founding documents protect freedom with two indispensable principles: 1) a separation of church and state that means no religious organization can have official status to give them an abusive monopoly, and 2) government must be responsive to the will of the people below plus the laws of the Creator above. Nevertheless, there is constant pressure against these safeguards.
Liberals assert the state as the ultimate authority. The Obama administration didn't hesitate to order Catholics to violate their consciences or to order people who don't frequent modern medicine to buy insurance. Conservatives likewise assert religious traditions oppressively. Santorum quipped that government should provide merely "the freedom to do good," while the Garden of Eden story suggests heavenly government is more generous. In parts of the Southern US, evangelicals won't let you buy wine, though Jesus was a distributor. In parts of the Middle-East, you can't choose your faith, though Mohammed told followers to let Jews and Christians worship in peace. Screw all dictators and the horses or camels they rode in on.
I'll never forget the night I sang with Bulgaria's original bluesman Vasko the Patch, who once stood up to the might of the Soviet Union alone on a stage. Rock-and-roll has always been about rebellion, so maybe it's no surprise that wacky Republican rocker Ted Nugent threatened President Obama last week. (His rival Democrat rocker Gene Simmons has also spoken out loudly against Obama's heavy-handed statism.)
I have two thoughts regarding nutty hostile citizens making threats. 1) If the current bankruptcy of the U.S. government reflects the way politicians spend money when they're "deeply concerned by such comments," do we wanna know how they'll conduct their affairs when they have no crazies to fear? 2) Snarling or threatening is standard behavior in the animal world when one's territory is invaded without permission. Perhaps, the government should slowly and calmly back away from wild Ted and make fewer incursions into private lives. Before we capture and cage enraged grizzlies, maybe we ought to stop poking them with sharp sticks.
Still, America should try to reclaim freedom peacefully by election. As for me, I'd never let a lover, much less a government, put me in a stranglehold. Here's that classic American nut job rockin' in the free world on Independence Day. Sanity is overrated.