“Give me liberty or give me death!” – Patrick Henry
the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views.
The Statue of Liberty
In 1865, Edouard de Laboulaye, the French author and anti-slavery activist, proposed that the French build a statue and gift it to America in honor of Abraham Lincoln’s accomplishments and the spirit of freedom and pursuit of happiness. Hoping to inspire his own nation to embrace democracy, Edouard had stated, “With patience everything comes in due season.” And less than 10 years later the statue was complete. It is a gift many recognize but few take the time to understand.
Another country had seen a government not drunk on power and envied it. They coveted our freedom, our personal rights and our resilience even throughout internal strife so great it had led to civil war. Americans on both sides had fought for what they believed in and freedom for all had prevailed.
Statues should honor those that progressed our country towards the the symbol of equality it’s striving to be. The Statue of Liberty represents the progress America had made and what France knew we’d become because of it. The flame represents a light in the darkness – freedom shining into a world of power hungry dictators and monarchs. France recognized that America was made of something different. An idea not perfect, but that united, we could correct our mistakes.
The Gadsden Flag
In an atmosphere hostile to the English aggression towards it’s colonies, in 1776 at the Congress in South Carolina, Christopher Gadsden presented the Gadsden Flag. It was not enough to create a generic symbol to represent the forces being built to oppose England. Gadsden wanted to show that the liberties England was infringing upon would be fought for. A coiled rattlesnake ready to strike with “Don’t Tread on Me” below – a warning that further aggression would be met with a retaliatory strike. The Founding Fathers had foreseen the coming War for Independence and their words and symbols were gestures made to attempt to prevent it.
But as many of you know, Thomas Jefferson accurately summarized after the Revolutionary War, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
With liberty comes the recipient’s responsibility to protect it. Veterans of our armed services throughout the centuries know this fact all too well. They’ve sacrificed so much that they created entire generations of those ignorant to the gifts that they’ve been given. But even America’s citizens have an obligation to defend their liberties. We should allow no excuse for the pause or seizure of our freedoms. The Bill of Rights wasn’t written as suggestions… it was written to limit the power of government. It’s intent was to give Americans the freedom to choose what’s right for themselves. Some have so quickly or ignorantly allowed it to be trampled upon.
I implore all Americans to question each loss of liberty individually. See it for what it is. Criticize the motives and realize the reality that if you willingly concede, you may never go back.
Government has no right to limit the number of worshipers in a church.
Government has no right to limit the number of people that peaceably assemble anywhere.
To those that have studied history, we know that liberty is rarely given freely, it is more often that blood must be shed for it. We also know from history that a government that takes liberty away often never gives it back.
The seizure of liberties continues in today’s America. Governors have abused their emergency powers to the point of ignoring the Bill of Rights. They extend them endlessly and rule from their imaginary thrones. Opposition to their dictation is met with arguments on subject matter, not law.
“Even though it’s not legal, the Governor is doing it for the right reasons.”
Liberty is not about subject matter. Liberty does not yield to which side believes it is right. Liberty is supposed to exist for everyone willing to take the risk for it.
To some, the loss of liberty is a form of death. Once you begin to justify it’s absence, those that know history can see the slippery slope. With no end to the infringements in sight, we must consider the lives we will live without the freedom to exercise our religions or to meet together. We must see the pandemic for what it is, a dangerous virus that has led to the overreaction, censure and oppression of the young and healthy that wish to live in dangerous freedom rather than be imprisoned by rules meant for a country with no U.S. Constitution or Bill of Rights.
“Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.” – Thomas Jefferson
Latin for “I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.”
And so we wait. Some of us in states with government that knows all and will enforce what they believe is best for you. With a President unwilling to sanction state governments that infringe upon American citizen’s rights, yielding to the validity of subject matter over what the actual law of the land says.
Undoubtedly, the beginning of the end.