Liberty: love it or lose it
God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it. – Daniel Webster (1)
What’s not to love about liberty? Isn’t it the desire of every human heart to be free?
I used to think that, but lately I’ve come to realize that in this greatest and freest of all countries there is a contingent that does not love liberty…much less are ready to guard and defend it. They are ready instead to submit themselves to greater government control on the misguided notion that striving for an unattainable goal of perfect equity is worth relinquishing freedom.
America was founded on freedom. We fought a bloody war to win what our Founding Fathers recognized was our God-given right to liberty. As the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts said in a resolution to the inhabitants of Massachusetts Bay:
“Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual…Continue steadfast, and with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no man ought to take from us.” (2)
And in the year leading up to the Boston Tea Party, the men of Marlborough, Massachusetts unanimously declared:
“A free-born people are not required by the religion of Jesus Christ to submit to tyranny, but may make use of such power as God has given them to recover and support their laws and liberties.” (3)
God gave us liberty and the right to secure and protect it. Just as the American colonists knew they were justified in demanding their freedom, so too are we in defending it. As Alexander Hamilton put it:
”… natural liberty is a gift of the beneficent Creator, to the whole human race; and…civil liberty is founded in that; and cannot be wrested from any people, without the most manifest violation of justice.” (4)
Liberty is a natural right given to us by God, not by man. Any man who attempts to take away this gift will have to answer to the Giver.
May he give us courage and wisdom in the coming days as we press on in guarding and defending it.
(1) William J. Federer, America’s God and Country: Encyclopedia Of Quotations (St. Louis: Amerisearch, Inc., 2000) p. 670.
(2) Ibid, p. 60.
(3) Ibid, p. 56.
(4) Ibid, p. 274.