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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Freedom

My personal freedom originates either from within me or outside of me.

If it is from within me, then it is from within all. If that is so, who is the arbiter of my freedom among the freedoms of all others? How can I grant freedom to myself? What power do I have to bestow upon myself such a right? And when all of us exercise such a self-bestowed right, then our individual definitions of that freedom will certainly vary and even contradict each other.

If my freedom originates outside of me, then that is true for all. If so, who gives me, and everyone else, that freedom? Do we grant freedom to each other? Do those who know us grant freedom to us? Perhaps a social club, a school or a church grants freedom to me. Does government grant it to me? Local government? County or state? Federal government? Do I receive my freedom from world government?

If so, then I do not have lasting, enduring, inalienable freedom, for it can then be suspended or removed. This granted freedom is not inherent freedom, for granted freedom can be removed at any time, depending on the beneficence of the grantee.

As a being, I desire freedom from birth to death. I want freedom when I am strong and when I am weak. I want freedom as a defenseless, developing child in the womb to a defenseless, dying one ready to be laid in a tomb. I want freedom to think and act. I want freedom to not act. I want freedom to choose without coercion. I want to act without intimidation.

A studied look around, a mere glance around, convinces me that everyone else has the same desire. I am not unique, for it is in the heart of everyone to be free. How did we all come to have this passion in all our hearts? Why do we all like independence and self-government? Damage or cut off my leg—I want freedom to be mobile. Paralyze me completely and I still desire independence, perhaps more so precisely because my freedom has been impaired. And there I find my freedom in thought. Freedom courses through my brain.

Why do we all have freedom coursing through our minds? Is it because we all consist of the same chemical makeup? If so, how do those chemicals, mere molecules, impart freedom to us as well as the desire to exercise that freedom? How does the physical impart a desire, a passion so hard to quell that life itself may be risked to gain liberty? How do chemicals impart a passion for freedom so strong that it may include risking the destruction of those very molecules?

Freedom is indeed within each of us, but it originates not from us, but from our Creator. In granting life to each of us, our Creator bestowed freedom upon us and the desire to exercise that freedom. It is a right given and unalienable. Those who risked all to gain liberty declared:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
When our founding fathers declared their intent to throw off the yoke of the British Crown, they grounded their intent, not in political philosophy of the day, but in the Hebrew thought of the Bible that was at least 4,000 years old. The Judaeo-Christian God created and endowed each person with freedom. Further they asserted, "We hold these truths to be self-evident. . ."

We all are created equal and each of us is endowed, an act performed by our Creator, who must of necessity be free. This endowment consists of bestowing rights upon each created one that are granted by God and no one else. These rights are unalienable. They are intrinsic to our being. These rights cannot be stripped from our being because they are indelibly imprinted on each created person by the Creator. These rights include, but are not limited to, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Our freedom is a derived liberty, bestowed by the Creator. This Christian view of liberty stands in stark contrast to any view that declares government bestows liberty upon individuals. Any government that is so arrogant to conceive it grants freedom can also retract it. Any government that is so arrogant to conceive it grants rights can also retract them.

Any government that recognizes each individual has certain intrinsic, God-bestowed rights which that government should not violate, will tend to be good government. Any government that believes it grants rights will tend toward bad government because it will manufacture rights that are not inalienable and/or it will retract rights that are inalienable or even those manufactured by that government.

Our founding fathers gave us a form of government that was grounded upon individual freedom that is inalienable because it is bestowed by God. Government cannot make freedom inalienable in truth, but in practice. Can we keep it?

4 comments:

Freesoul said...

here're some excerpts from 2008 Presidential candidate Dr. Ron Paul taken from his 1987 book "Freedom Under Siege".

I see no conflict between the self "ownership" concept associated with natural rights and those who, for religious reasons, believe their life is “owned” by God. One is a political concept and the other a religious concept. Obviously no one can dictate another's religious belief. What one does with one's life and property is a personal decision and it may or may not include religious beliefs. In a free society a person can "turn his life over to God" or squander it as he chooses. The important thing is that the state not be permitted to assume any ownership role of the individual.

A society built on the principle of individual rights rejects the notion that the state should protect a citizen from himself. Government cannot and should not protect against one's own "unwise" decisions. Freedom is impossible once a government assumes a role in regulating the people's eating, sleeping, drinking, smoking, and exercise habits. Once government believes it has an obligation to improve or protect the people physically it will then claim it can protect them economically and intellectually. It leads to a regimented society, hostile to individuals who cling to the notion that their lives and liberty are their own. Conservatives certainly must be reminded that "civil" liberty is the same as economic liberty, and present-day liberals must be told that economic liberty deserves the same protection that the written and spoken word under the First Amendment. Preemptive regulations of either literary commercial activity, for any reason, are prohibited in a free society. Fraud and libel are crimes that, when proven in a court of law, must be punished.

The most important element of a free society, where individual rights held in the highest esteem, is the rejection of the initiation of violence. Initiation of force is a violation of someone else's rights, whether initiated by an individual or the state, for the benefit of an individual or group of individuals, even if it is supposed to be for the benefit of their individual or group of individuals. Legitimate use of violence can only be that which is required in self-defense.

This means that all associations are voluntary and by mutual consent of both parties. Contracts drawn up without force or fraud must be rigidly adhered to. This sounds reasonable, and most people would agree this outline of mutually agreed-to associations. But it also means that free people have the right to discriminate – in choosing a spouse, a friend a business partner, an employer, an employee, a customer, etc. Civil rights legislation of the past thirty years has totally ignored this principle. Many "do-gooders," of course, argue from the "moral high ground" for their version of equal rights, knowing that they can play the sympathies and the guilt of many Americans. Yet the real reason for some of these laws is less than noble. For instance, minimum wage laws are popular, but the proponents rarely admit that this protects higher paid union-jobs and it increases unemployment.

Total freedom of contract and association is what the "pursuit of happiness" is all about. Once this principle is violated, the gradual but steady erosion of our liberties can be expected unless the principle of individual rights is reestablished.


Free choice means that the incentive to produce is maximized, since it's assumed that we can keep the fruits of our labor. In a free society, an individual benefits from wise and frugal decisions and suffers the consequences of bad judgment and wasteful habits. The state should neither guarantee nor tax success, nor compensate those who fail. The individual must be responsible for all of his decisions. Because some suffer from acts outside of their control, we cannot justify the use of violence to take from someone else to "help out." People in need are not excused when they rob their neighbors, and government should not be excused when it does the robbing for them. Providing for the general welfare means that the general conditions of freedom must be maintained. It should never be used to justify specific welfare or any transfer of wealth from one person to another.

A free society permits narrow self-interest but allows for compassion and self-sacrifice. Greed, when associated with force or fraud, is not acceptable. A free society is more likely to survive if compassion is voluntarily shown for the unfortunate than if the poor are ignored. A healthy self-interest associated with a sense of responsibility for family and friends is far superior to a welfare state built on foolish self-sacrifice and violent redistribution of wealth.

A society that holds in high esteem the principle of individual rights is superior in all ways to a society that distorts the meaning of liberty and condones the use of government coercion.


Dr. Ron Paul, "Freedom Under Siege", 1987


According to me , it suffice all.

Bob B said...

A former president once said in his inaugural address that "The rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God."

Any guesses as to which former president said this? You would be surprised.

Anonymous said...

The statement mentioned by bob b was made by President John F. Kennedy in his inaugural speech in 1961.

Bob B said...

Anonymous, you are correct. How many of today's Democratic leaders would agree with Kennedy's statement? I think it's a safe bet to say that not too many would. Would Kalin?...not unless he thought it would help his chances of getting re-elected.