Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Let Freedom Reign

We are hearing a lot these days about 'Freedom'. It is claimed by some to be a God-given 'right'. Hmmm!

What is 'freedom'? Is it the same thing as 'liberty'? What does the Declaration of Independence mean: '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'?

I know what 'Life' means, maybe. But 'life' doesn't seem to me to be an 'inalienable' right as far as governments are concerned, anyway. Particularly in America, Land of the Executioners. In fact the only 'right to life' for some is the 'some' who are not yet born. In fact, for some, the 'right to kill' would be a more apt description of an 'inalienable right'.

The only way I can begin to understand the concept of 'freedom' is to think of it as being able to choose our personal 'limits' and 'boundaries' -- for good or ill.

'The pursuit of 'Happiness': Well, where is the 'truth' in that?

It is an error to consider these concepts as 'rights' given to us by God. They may be 'aspirations' or 'needs' that are integral to our nature and necessary to our fulfillment as humans and that may have something to do in our relationship with the Creator -- but ultimately 'inalienable' rights are rights we give each other.

I do not belief that God is absent from this process. But I do believe that humankind is the catulus from which our life, our liberty and our pursuit of happiness is enabled. I believe that what is important is not always the solution that working together we can agree upon. What is important is how we work together in our struggle to pursue divergent aspirations and needs.

And Freedom? Freedom is in the mind.

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