I have a truck.
Actually we have a truck (Cheryl uses it too) and we have had it for awhile. When we moved to the country we knew it was just a matter of time until we would need one to fit in with our community. There must be a subsection in the municipal bylaws because trucks are even more popular here than ATVs or caps with farm equipment logos.
The highly publicized Freedom Convoy of truckers rolled past here last Friday making international news as it went. I was sure my truck entitled me to participate but then I realized I was missing an important piece of equipment for the campout at the nation’s capital.
I needed a flag.
show me your flag and I’ll show you mine
As the truck convoy formed across the country it became obvious that flags were mandatory. Flag-people are a flamboyant breed who overcompensate for stuff with big, vulgar, big flags that are big.
Mind you, the Freedom Convoy wasn’t picky – any flag would do: Canadian flag, American flag, Confederate flag, Christian flag, Trump 2024 flag, F*ch Trudeau flag, Three Percenters flag, Nazi flag.
Spray painting a slogan on a piece of plywood or the side of my truck could also count as a flag but plywood is expensive and my truck is too dirty to hold paint.
On the other hand, I think it would have been awesome to show up with a skull-and-crossbones … now that’s a flag! Imagine how unforgettable it would have been to wear an eye patch (or two) and talk to the protesters in pirate language all weekend.
“Avast me mateys! Show me your booty!” or “Arrr, ye landlubbers – that’s no poop deck!” A swashbuckler would have made headlines.
I rummaged through the house looking for something flaggy but without success. The only item I could find was the Buffalo Bills car deodorizer that’s hanging from the rearview mirror and obviously that’s too precious to dangle outside a truck.
The problem is, I’m not a flag guy. Never have been. I don’t have flagpoles, flag brackets, or even flaggy bumperstickers. I guess I just want to drive my vehicle down the road without looking like a clown in my own parade.
However we shouldn’t lose sight of the secret reason the Freedom Convoy was assembled in the first place: to have a loud convoy. Then there is the reason they share with the rest of us: freedom.
However, freedom has a different meaning to these people. This Freedom Convoy has clearly shown us what freedom really means to them:
The freedom to give and receive dangerous viruses freely.
The freedom to stand strongly against vaccines because needles are really scary.
The freedom to travel unimpeded across the second-largest country in the world in order to demand freedom to travel.
The freedom to leave their jobs and families behind so they can fight to make a living for their families.
The freedom to gather illegally on Parliament Hill under the protection of an oppressive, tyrannical government.
The freedom to call the media ‘fake news’ while speaking into cameras and microphones offered by the media.
The freedom to poison the air with exhaust for days because medical masks are uncomfortable and hard to breathe through.
The freedom to scream about economic survival while blocking roads and harassing others who are struggling to survive.
The freedom to make threats of forced removal and harm against democratically elected public officials.
The freedom to be ‘tired’ of Covid-19 while screaming at the rest of us who are tired of fighting it on their behalf.
The freedom to return to normal, even if it means overflowing hospitals and deaths in other people’s families.
The freedom to manipulate christian symbols while worshiping politics and power.
Seriously, we are all tired of the pandemic and agree the time is fast approaching to move forward, but civilized societies, especially christian ones, have to make difficult choices for the well-being of all their citizens.
Seriously, we understand that governments have not been as nimble and wise as they should have been. No surprise, they’re bureaucracies. Yet they have done their clumsy best to fulfill their responsibility in spite of impossible circumstances.
Seriously, I have not heard a single coherent explanation from any supporter as to why this convoy was necessary.
Seriously, the VAST majority of truckers quickly realized what they had been drawn into and have wisely returned to work.
Seriously, the organizers of the convoy want us to believe they didn’t know that the extremist groups, violent social media posts, secretive dark money, and support from entities outside our borders would lead to a problem.
Seriously, you remember what fascists are, right? Fascists are people who want their own freedom so badly they will take yours away in order to get it. Fascists are drawn to convoys, flags, marches, occupations, violence, and dictators.
Seriously, that’s the powerful part of our faith. God’s invitation is for inner freedom and peace even as we live in an imperfect, troubled world.
As of this writing, most of the convoy has headed home, flags flapping in the opposite direction. A handful belligerently continue to blockade at various locations; we’ll see how that goes.
The good news is the vast majority of people in Canada have exercised their freedom to speak out against this kind of protest – we’re modern day muckrakers. We are truck-rakers.
Most realize that freedom has very little to do with this discussion. It’s impossible for every individual to be fully free all the time – that’s a concession we make every morning when we pull on underwear.
Rational people understand that true freedom is both won and maintained through sacrifice and cooperation. And that is what makes Canada a great country.
We still have the freedom to move, vote, work, recreate, travel, own, improve, worship, grow in safety.
We still have the freedom to contribute by being kind, cooperative, generous, honest, neighbourly.
We still have the freedom to drive our trucks without flags.
~ ~ ~