July 5, 2015
“Aye, fight and you may die. Run, and you’ll live… at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willing to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take… OUR FREEDOM!” (Mel Gibson, as William Wallace, in Braveheart)
That may be one of the great lines from the cinema, in our generation. It isn’t the battle scene (the Battle of Stirling) that stirs the heart, but the sentiment that drove the disorganized Scots to heroism: freedom – for them – would be worth more to them than whatever it cost to secure.
Would that our generation would rise to that call: “Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.” (Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents). Entitlements and personal responsibility mix like oil and water; “You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don’t ever count on having both at once.” (Robert Heinlein). Responsibility keeps you up at night; the peace that comes from irresponsibility allows you to sleep, while your world crumbles under the force of ignorance…
The battles we face within America today are not fought with guns and tanks; rather, the battle lines are drawn at campaign stops and raucous rallies. The demand for personal privilege – at the expense of someone else – seems like a deal that’s too good to pass up. “If you want total security, go to prison. There you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking… is freedom.” (Dwight D. Eisenhower)
Freedom sounds great to the cheering crowd… until they consider the cost of experiencing it: “It is the preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else that prevents us from living freely and nobly.” (Bertrand Russell)
The War to Secure Freedom did not begin on American soil, two centuries ago; rather, the decisive battle in the conflict was fought on a hill outside Jerusalem about 20 centuries back. The Champion was a Carpenter who captivated a nation in bondage with his words: “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (Jesus, in John 8:31-32)
Freedom was a principle theme in the oratory that defined Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but he was echoing the message that defined the leaders who had followed the Resurrected One: “Were you a slave when you were called? Don’t let it trouble you—although if you can gain your freedom, do so.” (Paul, in 1 Corinthians 7:21) “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)
For two millennia, contrarians have demanded attention in opposition to the Son of God/Savior of the World, but their thinly-veiled agendas are nothing new: “They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity – for ‘people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.’” (Peter, in 2 Peter 2:19). His alternative, to the revolving door manipulators who try to counter the freedom call of Jesus: “Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.” (1 Peter 2:16)
It’s great to be an American, celebrating freedom; it’s even better being an American Christian, understanding freedom at its most powerful level: “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” (Galatians 5:13)
Thanks Bob…that was a good one today.
One of your best yet! Thanks brother.
Thank you Bob. Your “Point of View” series is always a must read, but this one was drive me to send a note of thanks. A powerful message filled with truth.
It’s GREAT to be an American.
Yet the attack on the religious freedom has now come down to this: you can’t even retire from the military with your freedom of religion and speech intact. Why do I say this?
Retired U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sergeant Oscar Rodriguez was invited to recite a traditional flag-folding speech at a retirement ceremony at Travis Air Force Base for Master Sergeant Charles Roberson. Rodriguez came at the request of Master Sergeant Roberson, who asked him explicitly to give the traditional version of the speech – which acknowledges God – instead of the more politically-correct version recently updated by the Pentagon.
Apparently, Roberson’s commanding officers thought this speech was much too dangerous to be heard by the audience. The traditional speech ends with these words:
“It is this one nation under God that we call, with honor, the United States of America. God Bless our flag. God bless our troops. God bless America.”
He was forcibly removed during his speech. Watch the video:
Freedom of Speech in America? Only if you are AGAINST religious freedom pronounces the Obama Administration.
The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble, or prohibiting …
What a tragedy! Airmen ignoring the law in order to obey their law-breaking boss.