THE DIVINE TREATISE OF FREEDOM.
Appropriately, on this Monday anniversary of the terror attacks on America, puffy gray clouds cast an ominous shadow above the Everton Academy campus, as if the mast of the Palace of Education was waiting to catch lightning. In classroom 3003, while his cousin and classmates ignorantly chattered, laughed, and hand-signaled about, Jesse sat still like a statue at his desk, feeling powerless to understand how it seemed no one else but him understood the fallacy of Everton being the only private or public educational institution in the country to hold classes on the most sacred holiday on the Freedomian calendar aside from Divinity Day.
To distract himself from such perceived ignorance, Jesse firmly leaned forward and focused his eyes on a white-and-red mural draped ceiling-to-floor immediately adjacent to the windows at the left corner. He began studying the bold red font of the Indentations of the Divine Treatise of Freedom; which, to Jesse, appeared like blood splattered on an ivory washcloth, but with no blots. The words on the mural alone, to Jesse, were like knifes that stabbed at the skeptical eyes of a jaded soul.
INDENTATION THE FIRST: All citizens of the Divine Republic of Freedom, regardless of race, creed, or ethnicity, are granted equal and unbreakable rights to property, free speech, free press, peaceful protest, the right to vote, and the ability to lead a healthy and prosperous life.
INDENTATION THE SECOND: The Divine Republic of Freedom decrees the following: New York to be its capital city, the office of its head of State and Government, the Ultimate Minister, the establishment of the Supreme Assembly of Administration; a group of ten individuals that vote on matters of law, justice, and military action, and act as official advisers on all aforementioned matters to the Ultimate Minister, that the Ultimate Minister can invoke executive power to facilitate an order they deem in the best interest of the nation, but may be overruled by the SAA by 7-3 majority. The Ultimate Minister may also break any five-five deadlock on any Supreme Assembly of Administration on matters of law or military action.
INDENTATION THE THIRD: The Divine Republic of Freedom and the Office of the Ultimate Minister decree that no citizen shall criticize, question, or denounce the Ultimate Minister. Any such action is considered treason, and may be punishable by death.
INDENTATION THE FOURTH: The Divine Republic of Freedom and the Office of the Ultimate Minister hereby establish the DIVINE CORPS OF DEFENSE, including the Divine Army, the Divine Navy, the Divine Air and Space Force, the Divine Marines, and the Divine Cloaked Force, to protect against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and to search the domicile or jurisdiction, without a warrant, of any person or persons deemed by 11-0 majority vote of the Ultimate Minister and the Supreme Assembly of Administration as an Enemy of the State.
INDENTATION THE FIFTH: The Divine Republic of Freedom and the Office of the Ultimate Minister decree that all citizens are granted the right to a fair trial in front of a jury of their peers or a government-established tribunal, regardless of the severity of the crime they commit.
INDENTATION THE SIXTH: The Divine Republic of Freedom and the Office of the Ultimate Minister decree that those that seek immigration or asylum in the Divine Republic of Freedom agree to be subject to a strict and infallible vetting process, and that no potential migrant or refugee, regardless of race, creed, ethnicity, wealth, or social standing, shall be subject to the same terms and conditions of such vetting, and that any violation of Freedomian law will result in deportation if convicted in a court of law, regardless of the severity of the crime they commit.
INDENTATION THE SEVENTH: The Divine Republic of Freedom and the Office of the Ultimate Minister decree that all citizens are entitled to government-provided healthcare, and that no citizen shall ever be responsible for any medical cost or expense.
INDENTATION THE EIGHTH: The Divine Republic of Freedom and the Office of the Ultimate Minister decree that the person appointed Ultimate Minister shall hold the duties of the office of the Ultimate Minister until their death. Upon the death of an Ultimate Minister, the Supreme Assembly of Administration will vote for a sitting representative of the Supreme Assembly of Administration to be the new Ultimate Minister, by seven-three majority. Should a vote not yield a majority, the Supreme Assembly of Administration shall continue to vote until a majority is reached. The Divine Republic of Freedom and the Office of the Ultimate Minister decree that a representative to the Supreme Assembly of Administration shall be subject to five-year terms and elected by the citizens of the Divine Republic of Freedom by simple majority.
INDENTATION THE NINTH: The Divine Republic of Freedom and the Office of the Ultimate Minister decree that to hold any governmental position, up to and including the Ultimate Minister, one must be either a natural-born citizen of the Divine Republic of Freedom or have been a legal citizen of the Divine Republic of Freedom for more than eleven years, eleven months, and thirty days and have not been convicted of any prior crime.
INDENTATION THE TENTH: The Divine Republic of Freedom and the Office of the Ultimate Minister decree that any citizen, regardless of race, creed, ethnicity, social standing, or personal wealth, that is convicted of the following categories of crime under Divine law: murder, rape, terrorism, or treason, and whose appeal process has not resulted in an overturn of their conviction, to be executed in a public forum, and the family of the victim or victims of the death-sentenced crime has the option to perform the execution.
INDENTATION THE ELEVENTH: The Divine Republic of Freedom and the Office of the Ultimate Minister decree that any citizens deemed in the eyes of the law to be of sound mind and sound body to be allowed to maintain any firearm within their domicile for the purpose of protection only, and that any carry of such firearm outside their own jurisdiction may be punishable up to treason.
INDENTATION THE TWELFTH: The Divine Republic of Freedom and the Office of the Ultimate Minister hereby repeal the seventh indentation of the Divine Treatise of Freedom.
INDENTATION THE THIRTEENTH: The Divine Republic of Freedom and the Office of the Ultimate Minister hereby repeal the twelfth indentation, and decrees that all provisions therein within the text of the seventh indentation are re-established into law.
“Just another you-know-who vanity project,” Jesse muttered to himself, then rotated his eyes toward the faded DRF flag draped ceiling-to-floor in the center of the classroom. He began contemplating the pitfalls of the values and goals Francis Stewart attempted to establish after America’s fall, but before could he fall deeper into meditation, a voice from the hallway boomed: “Right, ladies and gentlemen!” After Bristol entered room 3003, he hurriedly scampered to the desk and firmly placed his briefcase and holotab. “Todo en el suelo, por favor! That’s Spanish for put all your materials on the floor, and be quiet and pay attention! Everyone tune your holotabs to Everton’s interlink site, access my linkpage, and click on the first available link. Today, we’re going to have our first lesson…on the founding…of the Divine Republic of Freedom.”
“Umm, Mr. Bristol?” Wes Montana asked, “is this because it’s Remembrance Day, or something?”
“I think he’s trying to trick us,” Luis Gomez, seated to Wes’ left at the very back of the classroom, fifth row center, whispered.
“Well, Mr. Gomez, that would seem appropriate now, wouldn’t it?” Bristol cynically asked.
“Mr. Bristol,” Matt chimed in, “in between practice, our huge victory Friday night, and the harlowcane show, I’m pretty sure we understand: America dies, we get a new country, everyone wins, the end!”
Obnoxious laughter filled the room. Bristol folded his arms with an indignant frown, but moments later, he began chuckling. Then, he approached Matt while sarcastically slow clapping. “Very clever, Matthew,” he softly retorted, “very clever. One of the finest jokes I’ve ever heard…a joke that…” just bought you ten points off your next assignment! Now who’s laughing?!”
Matt’s smile faded and his chuckling ceased. The remainder of the class did the same.
“Anyone else want to challenge me this morning?” Bristol crossly asked the class.