Freedom and Independence in America

Freedom and Independence in America

The word freedom is tossed around carelessly by so many Americans, on and around Independence Day, who clearly think it means something it does not. 

When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, he was inspired by the laws of Nature and Nature’s God. The laws included equality for all men originating from their common Creator and life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness being the basic rights of mankind.

The signers of the Declaration of Independence 244 years ago understood the freedoms they believed belonged to individuals and that the government secured those rights. They knew that self-governance begins and ends with self -governance by the individual. If the people turn over responsibilities of their lives and families to the government, dependence expands and liberty contracts.

The notion of freedom in the declaration is directly linked with personal independence. In order to protect and preserve freedom, individuals have to accept some interaction with the government. The most crucial right is in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights, which is the freedom of religious liberty and the right of conscience. 

The foundational concept of freedom declared, “I am made in the image of God-endowed by Him with everything I need to pursue the life of my choosing. It matters not who my father was; I am not bound to his station in life. I am free to succeed on my own merit. I’ll take care of myself, my family, and help those around me. I expect the government to protect me from the evil acts of others — repel foreign invaders, punish the wicked at home, then leave me alone.”  

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The modern concept of freedom is much more dependent on the government to clothe, feed, shelter the individual. Many trying to gain political power have fed this notion of freedom along with false promises. 

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