We Americans have been taught from childhood about our rights, and we enjoy a glorious freedom and self-rule that we can easily take for granted. We don't have to hold our Bible studies in secret for fear of the government. We don't have to worry about being imprisoned for months or years without facing charges. We accept our freedoms as a normal way of life, easily forgetting that millions of people in other parts of the world do not enjoy the independence that we do.
As we approach and celebrate Independence Day in America, it is appropriate that we spend some time reflecting on our freedoms.
Throughout world history, the power-hungry have constantly fought to overpower and dominate others, whether overtly or through sneaky politicking. Freedom - whether political, religious, or spiritual - is wonderful to enjoy, but at the cost of great sacrifice and vigilant protection. In America, we are the heirs of great sacrifices made to give us a heritage of freedom. Let us guard and protect this inheritance, and not squander it like ungrateful children. To keep our freedoms, we need to appreciate the cost. We need to be willing to understand the sacrifice ourselves, so that we have the same legacy to hand our children:
"Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are people who want crops without ploughing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both. But it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will." – Frederick Douglass
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it." - Thomas Paine
"A right is not what someone gives you; it's what no one can take from you." – Ramsey Clark
"You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man's freedom. You can only be free if I am free." - Clarence Darrow [That is, even if you don't like what your neighbor believes in, it's still vital to protect his freedom.]
"So long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men." - Voltaire
"Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." - Wendell Phillips
"Freedom is never an achieved state; like electricity, we've got to keep generating it or the lights go out." - Wayne LaPierre
"If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that too." - Somerset Maugham
"The land of the free will cease to be when it's no longer the home of the brave."- Rick Gaber
"A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government." – Thomas Jefferson
"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." – Samuel Adams
"Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value." - Thomas Paine
"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." - Galatians 5:1
"If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." – John 8:36
When something is rare, it has more value, which is why gold and diamonds are valued more than sand. Freedom is growing rarer again – but it must be sought after, dug up, and cherished like the treasure it is. We have readers from around the world – many of which value freedom way beyond those of us who have an abundance of it.
Remember – "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required" - Luke 12:48
Prelude To Tyranny: Twilight's Last Gleaming - Koinonia House
The Impending Storm - Koinonia House
Twilight's Last Gleaming (2009) - Koinonia House