America…The land of the free and the home of the brave.
In case you have not noticed, that is a statement, that, as modern day Americans, we cannot take for granted. Nearly every freedom that we value as American citizens seems to be up for grabs.
Let us take a moment to ponder…What is Freedom?
Freedom is the most cherished of all American principles.
Freedom was the dream of our founding fathers as they birthed our nation.
Freedom is the prayer on all of our hearts when we think of our children’s future.
Freedom is the hope that gets us out of bed and sends us off to work every morning.
Freedom is the cause that countless American heroes have given their lives for.
Freedom is the unique, defining characteristic of America. It is our freedom that is envied by the nations of the world.
Our freedom has overcome turmoil at home and abroad. It has persevered through the darkest of days.
For you and me, and for any red-blooded American, freedom, quite simply, is who we are.
We are a free people!
Our freedom, though, is not the product of chance, but has been carefully crafted over hundreds of years. You do realize that when our founding fathers first scrawled their declarations of freedom by dim candlelight, they were, in a very real way, committing treason. But, loving liberty and freedom more than life, they took up pens; pens more powerful than any sword and called a fledgling nation to a revolution—not with a trumpet and bayonet, but with parchment and ink. There have been hundreds of other freedom lovers who have followed in their footsteps over the years—brave men and women whose words, faith, and courage give us strength for today and inspiration for the future. The key is that all of these patriots did not limit their convictions to words on a document; they lived every sentence that they wrote! Their convictions were seen in the character of their lives.
Many have died at home and abroad to defend our freedoms. Freedom has always come at a great price. Ever since that first battle summons went out in Lexington, Massachusetts, Americans have always answered the call to defend freedom. Even today, although their lives are interrupted, their families separated, their dreams put on hold, the brave members of our armed forces continue to display personal sacrifice for the greater good of our Nation. For every Husband, Wife, Father, and Mother serving our Country on the other side of the world: We love you and we are praying for your safe return. Your courage keeps us strong. For every son and daughter who has answered the call of our country, to take your place in the ranks of our military, may God protect you. We could not be more proud of you. You are our heroes. You are the protectors of our freedom.
But, our freedoms are not defended solely by our nations military. There has never been a time in American history when our freedoms were under greater attack within our own borders.
On January 6, 1941, America stood poised on the brink of another worldwide conflict. In his State of the Union address before Congress, President Franklin D. Roosevelt identified four fundamental freedoms that are universal. His message was, in essence, a prayer—that our children, our children’s children, and all future generations of Americans might live in freedom. He said, “Freedom means the supremacy of human rights everywhere. Our support goes to those who struggle to gain those rights and keep them. This is not a vision of a distant millennium. It is a world attainable in our own time and generation. In the future, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential freedoms.” He went on to say, that…
The first [freedom] is the freedom of speech and expression.
The second [freedom] is the freedom of every person to worship God in his own way.
The third [freedom] is the freedom from want.
The fourth [freedom] is the freedom from fear.
In light of Roosevelt’s definition of freedom, are we a free people today?
At the founding of this nation, our forefathers placed our destiny in the hands, heads, and hearts of the millions of free men and women who would follow after them; those free citizens who would be willing to do whatever it took to defend their freedom, and who would graciously recognize the good hand of God, governing in the affairs of men.
It is with great sadness and sobriety that I say, that is not the way of government today. There are those in elected positions right now, ruling in the highest offices of our land, who would strip us of our core, foundational, God-given, freedoms. We have people representing the American people in Congress who, in contrast to the efforts of the founding fathers, really do not care what you and I think. They would script our destiny for us without even considering our input.
Just last month Representative Eric Massa of New York went on record saying,
“I will vote adamantly against the interests of my district if I actually think what I am doing is going to be helpful. I will vote against their opinion if I actually believe it will help them.” (CLICK HERE for video of this statement)
Hold on Mr. Massa! Before you applaud yourself for taking a stand, let me remind you that you are in office to represent the opinions and interests of those in your district. If you are not going to do that, what are you doing in Washington?
Maybe you are thinking, “But, wait, John. Should an elected official vote his conscience or the popular opinion?” This question assumes that a person will arrive at a one-time moment when he is forced to face that proverbial fork in the road. It rarely happens that way. Here is how I see it: if you are an honest person with integrity, and vote your conscience all along the way, and one day acquire a public office, then you will have been placed in that position to represent your values that the voters on the ground share. Doing so will not be a big shock to those who have supported you up until that point. If you one day wake up in office and only then decide to suddenly “vote your conscience,” and in doing so alienate the people that you represent, I would question how honest you have been with them all along the way. Certainly you cannot please everyone, but if the majority of the people are concerned with your public policy decisions, you are most likely the wrong person to represent those people.
You see, as free citizens, our founding documents afford us the liberty to elect men and women from among us, to represent us, not to lord over us. The more our elected officials make decisions without listening to the opinions of the people on the ground, the less free we really are.
What about the freedoms detailed by President Roosevelt? How do we measure up in 21st Century America?
Freedom of speech and expression? UNDER ATTACK by the current Administration.
Freedom to worship God? UNDER ATTACK as seen in numerous legislative rulings in recent months and years (see THIS VIDEO for a small sampling).
Freedom from want? Freedom from fear?
All of these freedoms are literally slipping through our fingers.
Hear me well, if we will continue to be free men and women, the time to act is now! The clock is ticking. We are quickly running out of time. I fear for the future of America. What kind of nation will we pass to our children and to our grandchildren? Will they know anything of a free America?
My friends, the days of standing on the side-lines of this battle are over! All passivity must be cast aside. The question is, “Do you love America?” Do you want to remain free? Do you want the next generation of Americans to live in freedom?
Then, you must act now!
What will you do to ensure that those freedoms are maintained, not only during your lifetime, but for generations to come?
I cannot do everything to turn things around, but I can do something; and so can you! How that specifically plays out may look different for every one of us, but are you doing your part to defend our freedoms?
We must stand together in the face of those who would shred us of our freedoms. We must stand up, speak out, push back, hold the line, and work hard for freedom. It will require our time, our energy, and our money. It may cost a dear price!
We must live moral, upright, responsible lives that are consistent with the beliefs and ideals that foster freedom.
We must never forget that the greatness of America is the direct result of Divine Providence, and we must pray earnestly for God to continue to bless America.
I say often, work like it’s all up to you, and pray like it’s all up to God! That has always been the American way!
My prayer is that after reading this brief article, you will have a renewed conviction to advance the cause of freedom, deeply rooted in faith and dependence on God. What will you do to make a difference?
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