How fragile is our freedom? I said in a previous post that I’ve thought a lot about Ronald Reagan and that I was not the only one. In last years Vice Presidential Debate Sarah Palin invoked some of his words. (Shout-out to http://www.conservatives4palin.com/ for the quote)
“It was Ronald Reagan who said that freedom is always just one generation away from extinction. We don’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream; we have to fight to protect it, and then hand it to them so that they shall do the same, or we’re going to find ourselves spending our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children about a time in America, back in the day, when men and women were free.”
Perhaps no other people can understand the fragility of freedom like those from whom it was taken or those who were born without it altogether. One of my heroes is Frederick Douglass. He was a slave in the U.S. who eventually escaped and became an advocate for African American and women’s rights, a friend to Abraham Lincoln and Susan B. Anthony, a great Orator and Writer among many other things. In one of his autobiographies he recounts an experience which he describes as the time when “the slave became a man.”
He had been "broken" by a slave owner named Mr. Covey who had used irregular but frequent beatings to accomplish the task. Finally after one severe beating Frederick Douglass had had enough. The next attempt of Mr. Covey to beat him, he fought back. He describes a fight scene that lasted around 2 hours. He would not be beaten this time. He wrote of his feelings following this life changing event:
“This battle with Mr. Covey was the turning point in my career as a slave. It rekindled the few expiring embers of freedom, and revived within me a sense of my own manhood. It recalled the departed self-confidence, and inspired me again with a determination to be free. The gratification afforded by the triumph was a full compensation for whatever else might follow, even death itself. He only can understand the deep satisfaction which I experienced, who has himself repelled by force the bloody arm of slavery. I felt as I never felt before. It was a glorious resurrection, from the tomb of slavery, to the heaven of freedom. My long-crushed spirit rose, cowardice departed, bold defiance took its place; and I now resolved that, however long I might remain a slave in form, the day had passed forever when I could be a slave in fact. I did not hesitate to let it be known of me, that the white man who expected to succeed in whipping, must also succeed in killing me. From this time I was never again what might be called fairly whipped, though I remained a slave four years afterwards.”
(From Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave)
This to me is one of the ultimate descriptions of freedom. It does not mean the absence of struggle, sorrow and pain. It means that when those things come along we will not be beaten by it. We choose how we will react to every situation. Our choice determines our freedom.
We are living in a strange and perhaps dangerous time when it comes to our freedom. It seems some are content with giving up some freedoms in order to enjoy certain comforts. However, what we all may find is that enjoyment will be dulled by the price we paid for it. Forced equality will never bring about true freedom. True freedom comes about with our decision to not let the conditions of humanity rob us of our joy.
There are several recent instances where sneak attacks at our freedom are coming to light. In Illinois they are looking to pass a law, not to ban guns, only to require insurance on gun ownership for personal liability of at least $1,000,000. The Health Care reform that was snuck into the stimulus bill will include a National Coordinator of Health Technology. They will determine the appropriateness of treatment based on what, we’re not really sure. But, this sets up a sneaky form of eugenics. What about the right to free speech? The Fairness Doctrine has been a frequently talked about subject. I do not think it will come about, but watch for something similar to it. Unions are vying for Card Check or something like it, in which people without their consent might find themselves part of a union. Also part of Card Check is the loss of a secret ballot. These are only some of the challenges to our rights.
Maybe I’m overreacting. But, when it comes to freedom I think in this case it is better to bring to light those things which might challenge it. Right now it feels we are being fed Socialism by degrees and the doses are increasing.
The truest source of freedom is the God who has endowed us with it. We must turn to Him first. We must strive to live as He would have us live. You know I think it’s funny how people will sometimes tell me that I’m limited because I choose to try and keep the commandments. But, I find in the commandments peace, safety and yes freedom.
I’m not calling for people to go and get muskets, or pitchforks or plastic sporks or anything like that. But, I do want the challenges to our freedom brought to light. We fight with truth on our side.
This is The United States of America, the greatest country in the world. Our freedom is a beacon for others to follow. Stand up and be counted. Do not let yourself be beaten by sharp attacks, sneak attacks, or attacks pillowed in talks of comfort. Walk with God and He will walk with us. As the Battle Hymn of the Republic says, “As He Died To Make Men Holy, Let Us Live To Make Men Free.”
God Bless and Thanks for reading
Sarah Emily Jordan