Tuesday, May 12, 2020

True Liberty




True Liberty

It is freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
—Gal. 5:1

But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.
—Rom. 6:22

An English philosopher and physician John Locke (1632–1704) said, “All mankind… being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions.”  Locke’s views were echoed by Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), a founding father and president of the United States who wrote, “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.”  This is the essence of freedom.

Susan B. Anthony (1820–1906), a social reformer and women’s rights activist said, “It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union.  And we formed it, not to give the blessings of liberty, but to secure them; not to the half of ourselves and the half of our posterity, but to the whole people – women as well as men.”  Anthony’s beliefs were supported by W. E. B. Du Bois (1868–1963), a sociologist and civil rights activist who wrote, “I believe in Liberty for all men: the space to stretch their arms and their souls, the right to breathe and the right to vote, the freedom to choose their friends, enjoy the sunshine, and ride on the railroads, uncursed by color; thinking, dreaming, working as they will in a kingdom of beauty and love.”  Anthony’s concern was with having equal rights of women, while Du Bois’ focus was on African Americans.

Freedom & Equality

B. R. Ambedkar (1891–1956), an Indian jurist and politician said, “My social philosophy may be said to be enshrined in three words: liberty, equality and fraternity.  Let no one, however, say that I have borrowed my philosophy from the French Revolution.  I have not.  My philosophy has roots in religion and not in political science.  I have derived them from the teachings of my Master, the Buddha.”  Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790), a founding father of the United States elaborated on this dimension of freedom when he wrote, “Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom – and no such thing as public liberty without freedom of speech.”  But John F. Kennedy (1917–1963), president of the United States uttered a warning about the survival of freedom when he said, “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”   That was the will of Kennedy for Americans.
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