A manifesto of freedom

What is more valuable to a free man than his freedom?  Is it safety?  Comfort?  Love?  Whatever treasures one can name, each of them, without freedom, is, sooner or later, forfeit. 

Our freedoms are not separate items on a list.  They are all interlocked and interdependent.  Take away any part of freedom, and all of it begins to crumble.  Without freedom of speech, all of freedom suffocates in a soundless vacuum.  Without freedom of worship, the soul of freedom is lost.  Without the freedom to arm oneself, defeat by tyranny is inevitable.  Freedom is a way of life.

Moreover, add to the body of freedom anything that it is not, and then there also, freedom is cheapened and eroded.  There is no freedom from being offended, no freedom from want, or any freedom that guarantees happiness. 

Freedom is not license; it is a heavy responsibility.  Used unwisely — for example, to wallow in the excesses of physical pleasure — it is wasted and soon lost.  Its abuse brings misfortune and ruin.  The proper use of freedom is to employ it in the promotion of justice tempered with mercy, to protect the innocent, to educate, to produce the advances in the arts and sciences that give mankind dignity and a sense of worth.  It nourishes the inward self and at the same time guides us outward, toward what is greater than the self.

Nothing about freedom is simple or easy.  That is why so many men squander it and cast it as one might pearls before swine.  That is why tyrants arise, armed not only with the sword, but with lies and deception, with promises of riches not earned and of treasures stolen from others.

Freedom is not given; it is taken, by force if necessary.  The free man takes his freedom and then shares its blessings with others who also strive to take their own freedom.  The free man owes his freedom to no one but God, but he readily expresses his gratitude for it to Him, and to those who have bled and suffered and died to protect it.

The free man seeks his own good first, but he does so that he may seek it for others as well.  Indeed, the free man is selfless enough to lay down his life for it.  As with love, freedom is not selfish, nor boastful, nor arrogant.  It seeks not to rule others, nor to take away anyone else's freedom, but rather to serve freedom's cause for everyone who will have it.

Pity those who do not value freedom above all else, for to them, all else will soon be lost.

Image: Jeff Turner via Flickr.

What is more valuable to a free man than his freedom?  Is it safety?  Comfort?  Love?  Whatever treasures one can name, each of them, without freedom, is, sooner or later, forfeit. 

Our freedoms are not separate items on a list.  They are all interlocked and interdependent.  Take away any part of freedom, and all of it begins to crumble.  Without freedom of speech, all of freedom suffocates in a soundless vacuum.  Without freedom of worship, the soul of freedom is lost.  Without the freedom to arm oneself, defeat by tyranny is inevitable.  Freedom is a way of life.

Moreover, add to the body of freedom anything that it is not, and then there also, freedom is cheapened and eroded.  There is no freedom from being offended, no freedom from want, or any freedom that guarantees happiness. 

Freedom is not license; it is a heavy responsibility.  Used unwisely — for example, to wallow in the excesses of physical pleasure — it is wasted and soon lost.  Its abuse brings misfortune and ruin.  The proper use of freedom is to employ it in the promotion of justice tempered with mercy, to protect the innocent, to educate, to produce the advances in the arts and sciences that give mankind dignity and a sense of worth.  It nourishes the inward self and at the same time guides us outward, toward what is greater than the self.

Nothing about freedom is simple or easy.  That is why so many men squander it and cast it as one might pearls before swine.  That is why tyrants arise, armed not only with the sword, but with lies and deception, with promises of riches not earned and of treasures stolen from others.

Freedom is not given; it is taken, by force if necessary.  The free man takes his freedom and then shares its blessings with others who also strive to take their own freedom.  The free man owes his freedom to no one but God, but he readily expresses his gratitude for it to Him, and to those who have bled and suffered and died to protect it.

The free man seeks his own good first, but he does so that he may seek it for others as well.  Indeed, the free man is selfless enough to lay down his life for it.  As with love, freedom is not selfish, nor boastful, nor arrogant.  It seeks not to rule others, nor to take away anyone else's freedom, but rather to serve freedom's cause for everyone who will have it.

Pity those who do not value freedom above all else, for to them, all else will soon be lost.

Image: Jeff Turner via Flickr.