Freedom, Rights, and Responsibilities

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Parades, fireworks, barbeques, and fun are common activities on the Fourth of July. It’s a great summer holiday. Time to forget work, time to play. But, did you remember the real reason for the celebration?

Men and women determined to free themselves from the political control of a king who lived across the Atlantic. Distance and time prevented a real understanding of the problems, needs, and dreams of the citizens in this new land. The king’s army carried out his heavy handed orders, and our ancestors rebelled.

God gave His children freedom as part of the plan to obtain salvation. Each of us has the right and the responsibility to freely choose our actions. Freedom is God-given, and when it is prevented, we yearn for it. Political entities can take away many opportunities and rights, but no one can deprive us of our ability to choose our responses or our thoughts.

Freedom was freely given, with responsibilities tied to the rights. We are responsible to choose good leaders, to support those who fight to maintain that freedom, and to do our best to live freely. Freedom for our country, and many others, came at a price of blood paid by our best and brightest sons.

There always seems to be someone who thinks they know more, or better, and fight for control and the destruction of our hard-fought rights and freedoms.
With the right to choose comes the necessity of accepting consequences. Some of those are wonderful: a new job, more money or time, and greater happiness, while other consequences are difficult to accept: loss of freedom, choice, happiness. The results flow naturally and logically from our actions—hold a sparkler too long and you will be burned.

The fight for continued freedom must constantly be fought. It can never be left to others, or ignored, for when we do some “other” will cheerfully move us out of the path of freedom and into the pen of slavery. We cannot sleep through the battle for freedom. We cannot allow our freedoms to be slowly stripped away until none are left. If we do, it will not be easy to regain them.

Rather than reach the point of no return, when it will require a battle of arms and death, let us resolve to be aware of our freedoms and rights slipping through our hands. Let us stand for freedom. Let us be study the constitution and intelligently support freedom. Let us make our voices heard strongly by calling and writing our legislators and other leaders, demanding that our freedoms be strengthened.

Once lost, it will be difficult to make choices that bring happiness. Our choices will be made for us. There are those who are cheerfully working to make choices for us, to enslave us, slowly and carefully so we barely notice. Sometimes events are manipulated to encourage us to beg for our freedoms to be stolen.

Only effort on the part of every citizen will ensure our children and grandchildren will live in a gloriously free country, free to light fireworks, watch parades, and enjoy the freedoms we did only a few years ago.

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