"Oh say does that Star - Spangled Banner yet wave, o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?"
Our national anthem, penned by Francis Scott Key, beautifully summarizes our national heritage. The "land of the free" -- that is what has always set the United States apart from the rest of the world. Our nation was founded by strong individuals who had experienced repression of their God- given rights -- and they were determined to form a government that would respect and guard man's most precious heritage -- each person's individual freedom -- especially religious freedom! (it is listed first in the Bill of Rights for a reason!)
Freedom -- it sounds self-evident. However, it is clear that our modern populace does not grasp what "individual freedom" really consists of. And there is little wonder for this ignorance -- our media -- at the prompting of our "social engineers" have deliberately warped people's perception of what it means to be free. By their insidious degradation, they have subtly misled people -- mainly through the avenue of their emotions -- to accept and embrace incredible horrors - in the name of "freedom"! To consent to "pro-death" (under the guise of "choice") -- and to actually demonize pro-life! To embrace "alternative lifestyles" (under the misnomer "tolerance"), and veritably to oppose (reject tolerance for) the divinely-instituted foundation of society of one man and one woman united for life to raise and educate their children! To allow the usurpation of genuine parental rights, and give government officials the power to dictate an abortion for a minor -- while the parents are not even to be notified!!
(And this is only a sampling!)
While these false misleading "freedoms" are paraded and touted about, genuine freedoms are trampled and despised by the same crowd. God -- given rights, such as the right to life (opposed by abortion and euthanasia); liberty (opposed by ACLU lawsuits to prohibit Christianity from being displayed); and the pursuit of happiness (try counseling same-sex oriented people, who are seeking to go straight in California!) Also, freedom of conscience (doctors, nurses, and anyone who understands abortion as a grave act of violence, should never be compelled to take part, or approve of such a sordid act in any way!) The Obama-snare tramples this right! The rights of parents to raise and educate their children according to their beliefs (grossly violated by our educational system with sex promotion/sex orientation "therapy," and the secular-humanistic curriculums). Our beloved freedom of speech (which is in the cross-hairs through "hate-speech" laws -- which actually incite hate for Christians!). Finally, and of greatest value, our freedom of religion, which acknowledges people's right to live their religion, in the public square, and in their private lives; guarantees the unrestrained proclamation of their beliefs; and even guarantees individuals the right to change their religion, if they so desire! And again, this is only a sampling of abused freedoms!
So, what does genuine freedom mean? Does it signify that you may do whatever you want?
Then why do we have courts, prisons, or even laws? Obviously, that is not its meaning -- for that would lead to a total breakdown of society, utter chaos, and unheard of depravity! Rather, and these are not my thoughts -- they echo a great moral teacher of our time: FREEDOM IS THE ABILITY (liberty) TO DO WHAT YOU OUGHT. So, it is not permission to act immorally, on the contrary, our precious freedom is to be embraced to better mankind -- and it demands moral restraint! For example: with free speech, we have the right to speak out against immoral practices -- that is what finally led to the abolition of slavery in our country. That is a proper understanding and use of freedom.
Now, where do we go from here? Our healing must begin by turning to our Creator -- Who is Eternal Wisdom. We ask first of all His forgiveness -- then His healing and help - and we must ask in faith. In total faith, we will trust in the guide that He established, and in whom He invested His authority -- His Church! "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build My Church, and the jaws of hell will not prevail against it. I give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven ... ... (Mt. 16:18) "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go teach the nations all I have commanded .... I am with you all days, even to the end of the world." (Mt. 28:18-20)
"He who hears you, hears Me." (Lk. 10:16) Here is the beacon to guide us aright. The path is rocky and narrow, therefore, we must stay close to Christ through prayer and obedience to that authority that He instituted for our own good. There we will discover His truths, and also feed on the "bread of life" to find the strength to apply them in our lives! Then, as we amend our own lives, we will find healing for our families - which will then spread to our culture itself. It is no small undertaking, but "all things are possible to him that believes." (Mk. 9:22) May God bless America!
P.S. Quote -- William Penn: "Men have two choices: you may either be governed by God, or ruled by tyrants."