Independence day is today! So many people just call is July 4th or Fourth of July and to do so takes away what the day really meant and was all about — independence and freedom.
The phrase “freedom isn’t free” is heard a lot, however, I don’t think people take it to heart and really understand the price that has been paid for freedom. Those freedoms are attacked every day and are becoming less and less in our country. And some in authority are bound and determine to take away even more of our freedoms. We can’t and shouldn’t let them.
In fact, history shows us that the path to freedom almost always involves conflict. Case in point, the American Revolution. These conflicts demand a steep price from those who fight them. Sometimes even their lives. Governments, including ours, around the world have shown they are willing to trample individual liberties with no thought whatsoever to the bigger picture. Today we are assaulted on all sides. They want to tell us what we can and cannot put in our bodies and how to raise our children. They try to instill fear of everything — people – cops and the list never ends.
The government constantly invades our privacy. If you don’t think they can access all of your information, you may be living in la-la land. They do much under the guise of trying to keep us safe. But in reality, it’s not their job. Their job is to uphold the Constitution against all enemies whether foreign or domestic. Most all federal officials take such an oath. But they routinely break that oath, trading people’s freedom with the illusion of greater security.
We have to decide whether to choose freedom or fear. Thinking the government should be given whatever it needs to make us safe, is a knee-jerk reaction. The silent acceptance to intrusive government authority lays a brick on the road to tyranny. That intrusion happens daily as government intrudes into almost every aspect of our lives.
Think about it — from the type of toilet we can buy, mix of fuel we put into our cars down to the kind of light bulbs we can use in our homes. Bureaucrats are empowered to stipulate what health services we buy and from whom we purchase them.
Excessive government limits individual freedoms, it stifles job creation and entrepreneurial creativity. Plus it puts the poor into a lifetime of dependency and poverty and in effect throws away the key. The ability of hard working Americans to enjoy upward mobility is also stifled.
The federal government intrusion has dominated activity traditionally reserved for the states. It begs the question about what the future holds for our children.
Freedom is inextricably bound with living our lives as we see it; self-government in the true sense of the word. We can be trusted to govern ourselves and government must remain limited and stay within the powers given in the Constitution. When government takes more than we have given it, our choices are rendered meaningless. Unlimited government is tyrannical, sapping our independent spirit.
Our Founding Fathers understood this explicitly and thus they avoided creating a government that could be dominated by a single faction. Our Constitution’s checks and balances are intended to restrain the ambition of the power seekers to ensure government promotes our general welfare.
What big government supporters call general welfare is really the artful distribution of favors to particular factions. Our federal government was not supposed to be the most important institution in America but the powers to be have come to think that it is and they keep pushing their agenda of socialism upon us.
They have forgotten that through family and our religion we learn virtue and character. Without virtue, government cannot be both limited and free.
We cannot calculate the cost of freedom. Ask all of those who have lost family members in wars and skirmishes. Think about those 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Each of them individually, had more to lose than gain in a revolution. Many of them were upstanding in their communities, highly educated and owned substantial property. In fact, John Hancock, who was the richest man in America at that time, became a wanted man with a price of $500 on his head. These men did not choose to revolt. They wanted to be treated the same as other Englishmen in England. Each knew the penalty for treason was death by hanging, therefore each signer became a marked man and were pursued relentlessly by the British. Many lived to see their families killed or separated forever and their property destroyed.
Nine of them died from wounds or hardships from the war; many in poverty. These were the fathers of our country and they pledged their lives, fortunes and “sacred honor” for freedom.
The cost of freedom cannot be expressed in mere words. Neither can the cost of exploitation where men and women lose their freedom to think, worship or to invent. This is the slippery slope America is on now. But life is not really defined without freedom — freedom to live, to become everything God made you to me, to live free from coercion, compulsion and tyranny of power. The principal of evil sooner or later coerces, controls and aims to eventually destroy all opposition. God gave us the gift of freedom to choose. Christ also chose to die for us to give us freedom from being punished for our sins.
Freedom has been imprinted on our souls. When we give it up, hope and joy are crushed. Freedom comes with responsibility and you can’t really be free without it. Each of us must do our part to ensure freedom’s light continues to burn bright. You see God gave us the freedom to exercise our conscience, to stand up to coercion to confront those who try to destroy our freedom.
We can’t calculate the cost of freedom but it is worth any price because there is no substitute for it. Not one single thing. Let freedom ring. Happy Independence Day America.
VICTORIA SIMMONS Is a columnist, author, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org