03 July 2008

How I Define Freedom

If you want someone to remember something, set it to music. Unfortunately setting it to music doesn't mean that it will be understood.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

In thinking about July 4th celebrations I thought it was fitting to break out the Schoolhouse Rock. I love this stuff. It made it so easy to remember it. I had to learn the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble and the Gettysburg Address in elementary school. I wonder if that still happens in public schools or has it become optional and forgotten like saying the Pledge of Allegiance and The American's Creed.

I long to return to a simpler time when people had a clue what it meant to be an American. I remember when it was considered the norm to love and defend your country and its citizens fiercely. It hasn't been perfect. We have made some horrible mistakes; slavery, the treatment of the Bonus Marchers, the internment of Japanese Americans, Roe vs. Wade, and now the inane idea that we somehow have the right to go through our lives unoffended.

"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. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

See anything about the right to be unoffended? Especially if being unoffended means you have license to offend others? It reminds me of the classic line in Orwell's Animal Farm- All animals are created equal, but some are more equal than others. We have lost sight of so much.

It occurs to me that the best way for me to celebrate the 4th of July, our Independence Day, is to take the time to say what is really on my mind and what is really important before it is illegal to do so. So here goes:

I am a free woman. I thank my God and Creator for blessing me by making me a woman of faith in these United States. I am humbled at the extravagance of mercy and blessing that has been bestowed upon me. I do not take these blessings for granted. As wonderful as they are they pale in comparison to my true freedom. As a repentant sinner whose only hope is in Jesus Christ, I am free forever from the penalty of sin. As I am being sanctified by Him daily, I am free from the power of sin. Soon, very soon, as I stand before my maker clothed in nothing but Jesus' righteousness, I will be forever free from the presence of sin. Alleluia! That's freedom worth celebrating!

Romans 6:22-23
22 But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


UpOnTheHill said...

Chris just sang the Preamble to his class this week!

rosemarie said...

Leave it to Chris to teach his college students with Schoolhouse Rock! He's my hero! BTW Here is a link to download a Max McLean reading some of our best documents, the Preamble, The Declaration of Independence, The Gettysburg Address and something else... anyway it's free for a couple more days. LYMI


UpOnTheHill said...

Thanks! LYMI