Yet I have to ask, do we remember the price tag our nation paid for our freedom? Do we remember that we are called to freedom so that we can be responsible for our lives, or have we settled for the 60’s definition of freedom - that we are free to cast off discipline without considering the consequences on ourselves or effects on future generations?
Freedom for those who founded our nation meant they they could follow their conscience in matters of faith, family and business. They were responsible for their own futures, whether they succeeded or failed. In the Puritan writings from the mid 1600’s, God’s people believed that it was a disgrace to be idle. Personal industry was a virtue connected to proof of Christian faith. They considered it Christian duty to accept others, in spite of our differences and leave room for every person to live as their conscience dictated. Their view of freedom is not only centuries, but also light years away from today’s politically correct culture. Intent on oppressing opposing ideas, today’s political and cultural trends intrude on my life, especially when faith is the central idea.
I fear that if we continue to accept the idea that we are free from duty, free from consequence, free from the responsibility to live a profitable, industrious life, that soon I will have little real freedom left. Benjamin Franklin is believed to have said, “Those who will trade liberty for security deserve neither.” Samuel Adams was a bit less tactful.
In a state of tranquility, wealth and luxury, our descendants would forget the arts of war and the noble activity and zeal which made their ancestors invincible. . . When the spirit of liberty, which now animates our hearts and gives success to our arms is extinct, our numbers will accelerate our ruin and render us easier victims to tyranny. If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom—go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!
In 20 years, I have to wonder if I will still celebrate the freedom won by those whose courage and faith founded my country.