Freedom


Libya, Mexico, Philippines, Vietnam, France, Japan, Germany, Italy, Holland, Egypt, Grenada, Cuba, Kuwait, Iraq, Belgium, and Panama.  These are some of the countries the United States of America has invaded to protect from an aggressor or conquered after they had attacked the USA.  Which of these countries does the USA still occupy?  None!  No other country in world history has released the conquered or liberated people at that level for that long a period. 

Why is this?  Above all else, Americans value freedom.  We wish the same freedom for everyone else in the world. It began with our coup de ’tat against Great Britain in the 1700’s.  The doctor in James Fenimore Cooper’s The Spy said it best,  “Who would be ruled when he can rule?  The only rational ground to take is, that every community has a right to govern itself, so that in no manner it violates the laws of God.”  Despite the current talk about slavery, the USA was debating this concept of impressment, paupers, crop sharing, and bondage at its inception.  It was also one of the first countries to free the slaves within its borders and encourage others to do the same. 

This freedom of all US citizens must be recognized as a gift from Almighty God.  The rights to free expression, voting, appeal to the courts, and commerce has been a process of increasing inclusion.  Though it has taken over 200 years, we have shown the way to other countries by being one of the rare political adventures to allow the common man a voice and a vote.  There were democracies before, but they were mainly inclusive of elite groups of persons with economic influence who were allowed to vote, or whose votes were counted.

The USA the world knows is turning on its head and I believe there is a reason for this.  We are disobeying the laws of God on a trajectory unequalled since our national inception.  This is pulling us away from the love of the God who gave us these freedoms.  There seems to be a selfish, win-at-any-cost sense of unregulated freedom pervading our borders.  When freedom is tempered by the idea of mutual respect and common benefit, freedom can prosper.  When it focuses on the needs of one individual, one group, one party, or one philosophy in a selfish “us or them” attitude, the bonds which hold us together as citizens of a great nation unravel. 

Focused on the will of God, even this split can continue.  However, if God is removed from the equation, the contest of wills becomes a multi-entity cage fight with no rules.  Expressing disgust about the situations which surround us does no good if we are unwilling to let go of our own failures and turn to God for forgiveness and guidance.  Expressing disgust without voting, running for office, or participating in some other form of volunteerism or leadership is a fruitless waste of breath.  Speaking about anything falls far short of actually doing something to improve our world.  What can you do today, or plan for tomorrow?  Your voice is but a whisper compared to the shout given by your vote.  It doubles down when you apply action behind it.

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