We are the beneficiaries of much freedom and liberty as citizens of the United States. Over the course of the lifetime of our nation, we have used that liberty and the freedoms we have to help those around the world who are oppressed to gain freedom.
We began as a nation intent on securing liberty for ourselves, but have grown past that to a place where we have been willing to die not only for our own freedom, but to help others to have it. Some people would like our nation to return to a state of self-protection where we only consider our own freedoms, leaving others who are weaker to try to secure liberty for themselves, somehow muddling along the best they can. I do not think that is the answer.
Once a people become free, a new yoke is placed on them of sharing that freedom with others. Freedom is in and of itself, it’s own burden as it is never intended to bind us in selfishness, for when we are truly free, we will never be able to keep freedom only for ourselves, for if we did, self-seeking would then enslave us.
We simply cannot pull up the ladder and let everyone else drown.
So it is for us an individuals, once we are freed from any bondage, oppression, slavery, addiction or undue dependence, something inside of us drives us to help others attain that same level of liberty. Think of the Underground Railroad, the multitude of recovery groups which meet any night of the week, healed healers and “fred free-ers”, abound everywhere.
When we think of how many gave their lives during the great World Wars and the many recent Operations to stop oppressive regimes from taking liberty and even life from so many around the world, we should take great pause in thinking of allowing dictators to take hold in large regions of the world. Those individuals and groups who desire to bring people under systems of unjust law which seek to crush all liberty and have no basis in love must not bel allowed to do so.
We should consider well those who would like to import those forms of governance to our own nation, to little pockets in cities and counties where they seek to establish beachheads for their oppression in hopes of slowly dominating our free nation. The stakes are high, and those who love freedom must not be afraid of speaking the truth and being willing to sacrifice for the sake of liberty.
As a Christian, I understand the precious value of having been freed by the sacrifice of another who was willing to give up His own liberty to purchase mine, and that serves as a great reminder of how we are to use our freedom on behalf of others who are also unable to secure their own freedom.
On this Independence Day, where our Declaration was made, we should pause and think of those around the world who are not so fortunate to live in liberty, and to commit ourselves to willingness to sacrifice for the interests of others and not to remain bound to only our own self interests.
July 4, 2011