Freedom is a responsibility
Freedom. If you scream that word at the top of your lungs in somewhat of a deep voice, coupled with agony, you would be quoting one of the most powerful lines from the movie “Braveheart.”
What was William Wallace saying? Was it a declaration to continue? Or was it a statement that he was about to experience?
Patrick Henry boasted, “Give me liberty or give me death.”
Freedom, according to Webster’s 1828 dictionary, “is a state of exemption from the power or control of another; liberty; exemption from slavery, servitude or confinement. Particular privileges; franchise; license…” and so on. A couple of statements from Noah Webster under that definition are as follows “freedom is personal, civil, political and religious.” Then he encourages to see the definition for liberty.
He also included a warning and said beware of what are called innocent freedoms. Under the definition of liberty there are several breakdowns.
The first is, “freedom from restrain, in a general sense, and applicable to body, or to the will or mind. The body is at liberty, when not confined; the will or mind is at liberty, when not checked or controlled. A person enjoys liberty, when no physical force operates to restrain action or volition. There are natural liberties, civil liberties, political liberties, religious liberties, one can take liberty, be at liberty or set at liberty.”
I believe to enjoy the benefits are only achieved when we are in partnership with these two states of life, freedom and liberty.
Abraham Lincoln said, “Those who deny freedom to others do not deserve it for themselves.”
Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged.”
JFK said, “freedom is indivisible. When one man is enslaved, all are not free.” He also said, “The unity of freedom has never relied on uniformity of opinion.”
Benjamin Franklin said, “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporal safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
Last but not least, Douglas MacArthur said, “No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation.”
So, the very two words that we started out with, freedom and liberty, in order to experience the true power, the true strength, of these are coupled with one’s responsibility.
Lord, that we would be those who would sing, “Let freedom ring” would also be willing to be responsible in the preservation of these freedoms and liberties that You have so granted us the pleasure of having in these great United States of America.
• Patrick Propster is pastor of Calvary Chapel -Carson City.