Freedom: Mankind’s Most Treasured Aspiration
We Americans are about to celebrate one of our most treasured national holidays…July 4th. It marks the anniversary of our country’s declaration of independence from England. With the pen strokes of a handful of very brave men, our country set off in a new direction, stating that its citizens had certain rights as humans…granted to them by God and not country.
Our nation is like our family, we can fight amongst ourselves…but if you aren’t family, you better not say or do anything against my brother, or sister. To anyone outside our borders, it may appear that we are a dysfunctional lot, but don’t confuse that apparent crack in our solidarity as a sign of weakness. We can come together in the blink of an eye when we have to. Why is that? Freedom, it is because of freedom. Once a person has tasted the precious nectar of freedom, it is impossible to comprehend ever living without it.
Freedom comes with a huge price tag. With freedom, we can do, say, write, worship, and travel as we pretty much see fit…so long as our actions and beliefs do not interfere with the rights and actions of others. Since we humans tend to not agree all the time on what is right and wrong, we have courts set up to arbitrate those differences. In this grandest human experiment of allowing its citizenry freedom, America is at its best when we can agree to disagree with each other without the need to verbally or physically destroy one another.
Sadly, the freedoms we enjoy are simply a dream for an ever-growing section of the world. While much of mankind is coming to grips with expanding individual freedom, there is a growing segment of mankind attempting to drag us all back into the stone age. When we bury our heads in the sand and say that what we see and read happening in a far-away place is of little consequence to Main Street, America…we are missing the same message that our ancestors were given prior to World War II.
I saw on the news yesterday that two women in Syria were beheaded for sorcery. It’s 2015…not 1615. The commentators said it was one of the first times that women were killed by beheading. Again, how in the hell does one try to derive any logic from an event where the word “beheading” and “sorcery” are used in the same damn sentence?
It is reported widely by many sources that these madmen are beheading young children, and crucifying young adults throughout territories occupied by ISIL in Syria and Iraq. Their crime?...being a Christian.
Just yesterday morning dozens of people were killed in Egypt, as ISIL demonstrates that they hate fellow Muslims as much as they hate Christians and Jews. Throughout the Middle East, these monsters are arbitrarily taking away the limited freedoms that had previously existed in some of these countries. They have replaced freedom with savagery the world hasn’t seen in two thousand years.
It’s hard for us to imagine the cruelty being imposed on those conquered. We think that we can turn the radio and the television off and it all goes away. Sadly, we need to be reminded about being jolted from our slumber as planes flew into buildings on what had been a beautiful September morning. There is talk on the news that there is a heightened alert for this coming July 4th. Various government agencies have noted there is increased “chatter” that home-grown ISIL sympathizers are being encouraged to hit us again.
Let’s hope that we all survive the weekend and that we never, ever take our freedom for granted. While you are celebrating your freedom, say a prayer for all those throughout the world who would give anything to be able to trade places with you.
I will end with the following…
“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Thomas Jefferson