Are Freedom and Liberty Important to You?
By Susan Schrier Clouse aka “Preacher Girl” 11/10/19
“Give me liberty, or give me death!” said Patrick Henry.
“Live Free or Die!” is the New Hampshire State Motto.
On Monday we humbly acknowledged Veteran’s Day and all those who have fought, bled and died to protect our freedoms. How passionate are you about liberty? Is protecting it a consideration for you when you vote?
Politicians talk a good game about freedom and/or liberty, but listen carefully to what they are really saying. It might not be what you think. What do freedom and liberty mean to you? Here are some thoughts.
Freedom applies to the individual. You are free to think, believe and say what you want. These are matters of conscience and reflect your deeply held convictions. But people do not live in solitude; we are social beings.
Liberty is what freedom in community looks like; it is what determines how we interact with each other. Think of liberty as “freedom plus morality.” American morality has been historically grounded in our Judeo-Christian heritage, but today it seems more strongly influenced by contemporary culture.
I recently read an article about how the word “freedom” has been used more frequently over the past 100 years than “liberty,” especially in progressive circles. “Liberty” was the more popular word up until the 20th century. Why the shift? Sadly, I think this is just another sign that American culture is abandoning God and replacing Him with government.
Unless Americans, especially those under 40, turn their hearts and minds towards God, America will cease to exist. We might still be called the USA, but we will be unable to “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” Why should this be the case?
The desire to be free resides in every human heart. Our Creator put it there and for a very good reason. It’s an essential part of God’s love.
Love, to be love, must be freely given. Love cannot be commanded or coerced. God freely gives His love to you. God has also given you the gift of freedom, so that you can decide whether or not to accept that love. Because you can say “No,” your “Yes” has meaning. Your response to God is the most important decision you will ever make. In case you don’t know, freedom on the other side of saying “Yes” to God, is more powerful and more fulfilling than the shadow of it we experience when we don’t have faith.
There is a long history of the growth of liberty in Western Civilization, especially from the Middle Ages until the American Revolution. The Declaration of Independence boldly affirms God-given rights, like life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The Constitution protects these rights in many ways. The Bill of Rights specifically prohibits the government from restricting Americans’ freedoms to practice our faith, to speak our minds, and to protect our lives and property, among many others. Constitutional amendments expand the blessings of liberty to more and more citizens, like women and former slaves.
While the framers knew that the nation they were creating would have citizens of all faiths and of no faith, they trusted that the majority would remain believers in a loving, good and holy God. They knew that the future of freedom and liberty would depend upon it, because America’s love of freedom is inextricably linked to America’s love of God.
Are you passionate about wanting to reverse the trends threatening American freedom and liberty? Start by saying “Yes” to God.