Friday, April 20, 2012

Let's Cherish Our Freedom!

"None who have always been free can understand the terrible fascinating power of the hope of freedom to those who are not free" (Pearl S. Buck, writer).

1. The condition of being free.
2. a. Political independence.
    b. Possession of civil rights.
3. Facility, as of motion.
4. Frankness.
5. Unrestricted use or access.
Synonyms: freedom, autonomy, independence, liberty, sovereignty.

In the preface to Man’s Search for Meaning by Dr. Viktor E. Frankl, we read, "What alone remains is 'the last of human freedoms'--the ability to 'choose one's attitude in a given set of circumstances.'" Dr. Frankl was a long-time prisoner in concentration camps. He lost all: "How could he--every possession lost, every value destroyed, suffering from hunger, cold and brutality, hourly expecting extermination--how could he find life worth preserving?" Dr. Frankl, because of his experiences, came to the conclusion that we can transcend suffering if we have a cause and a purpose in life. "We can discover this meaning in life in three different ways: (1) by doing a deed; (2) by experiencing a value; and (3) by suffering." Dr. Frankl tells us in his book, "There are situations in which one is cut off from the opportunity to do one's work or to enjoy one's life; but what never can be ruled out is the unavoidability of suffering. In accepting this challenge to suffer bravely, life has a meaning up to the last moment, and it retains this meaning to the end."

Hans Poley tells of his remarkable experiences in his book, Return to the Hiding Place. Hans was the first person who went into hiding with the ten Booms. Elie Wiesel tells his story in Night. It would be well worth the time and effort to read these true stories. We have no idea of what it is to lose our freedom of movement, our civil rights, and our right to speak pro or con about our government. Anne Frank was a young girl who had to go into hiding with her family. She, too, eventually lost her life. Her story is told in her diary which, along with Corrie ten Boom's The Hiding Place, is also a movie. Another movie, Schindler’s List, also tells of the loss of freedom and how these people coped with it. I repeat, we have no conception of what it is to do without the very basics of life. We have been exceedingly fortunate in this country.

"It is not by license or chaotic so-called freedom, but only by obedience to everlasting laws of righteousness that the great energies of life are swung into their harmonious orbits. That is so within the personality in the control of impulses by ideals. It is so in all relationships: of friendship, of marriage, of the citizenship that sees a community in the light of the kingdom of God" (Walter Russell Bowie).

Which freedom would you be willing to surrender:

1) Religion: the right to believe in and practice the faith of your choice.
2) Press: the right to publish facts, ideas and opinions without interference. Unfortunately, some of the press has degenerated into a gossip mill! Even so, we need a free press.
3) Speech: the right to say what we believe.
4) Assembly: the right to meet together where and when we like; the right to associate with whomever we wish.
5) Due process of law: the right of the accused to a fair hearing. Totalitarian regimes take this right away--right away, immediately!
6) Political freedom: the right to have a voice in government, and the opportunity to exercise that right through voting, local town meetings, etc.
7) Economic freedom: the right to have and/or change jobs, to own property, and to save or spend.

Think about it - which one would you be willing to give up?

"Live like free [persons], only never make your freedom a pretext for misconduct" (1 Peter 2:16 Moffatt).

And don't forget what these two sociopaths told their brain-washed followers:

"We demand conscription of everybody. If you believe you must be free, then learn that the sword alone can give you freedom" (Hitler).

"He who would gain much, must risk much....The government is resolved to institute German order throughout the world. The world will have to reckon with German business, with German ideals and with German soldiers and cannon" (Goebbels).

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