Celebrate freedom: A debt of gratitude


Freedom comes with a price we should never take for granted. Freedom is a result of sacrifices made for us through the generations of people who had a dream, were willing to fight for it and lay down their lives for it.

Thank God for every man and woman who were willing to put their lives on the line to keep our nation free of tyranny from the very inception of this nation. We owe our military veterans and active servicemen/women a debt of gratitude.

From the beginning of mankind, all the way back to the Garden of Eden, freedom has come with a price. God created mankind in His own image and gave him the gift of freedom – freedom to choose. We are not puppets on a string. We have the freedom to choose, even though we often make mistakes in our choices.

Jesus Christ is the only religious figure on Earth in any faith who loved mankind enough to lay down his life to purchase our eternal freedom. Whether we accept that gift or not, whether we act upon it or are thankful for it, our freedom to choose is a gift.

Right now, our nation seems to be running amok. Special interest groups want freedom in one area or the other to choose, but at the same time they want to strip the rest of us of our freedom to choose differently or believe differently than they do.

One person’s freedom does not dictate to another person that they have to make the same choices, have the same value system, or the same beliefs. In the very minute that one group tries to force conformity to their group by all, freedom is violated.

For instance, there has been a lot of controversy about the confederate flag. Personally, I am neither for nor against that flag. I understand the reason that some people cling to it as a representation of the south proclaiming their right to rebel against a government they did not want to support. I understand why other people see it as a symbol of repression of human beings. Slavery is wrong in my book, period, but I really don’t think that people who fly Old Dixie have the intent of celebrating slavery.

So, now that one group has dictated and mandated that this flag is offensive want to identify those who do as some kind of crazed, irrelevant bigots. The rush is on to force the removal of them all, stop selling and stop manufacturing an emblem that represents a certain phase of our history.

At the same time, as an act of freedom, people burn the American flag, spit on it, desecrate it, turn it upside down, raise other nationality flags above it, and that’s supposed to be okay because they are exercising their freedom.

In a truly free society, can it work both ways? One special interest group gains control of something important and suddenly everyone else is supposed to jump on that bandwagon like a bunch of mindless, will-less zombies who follow popular trends without any right to disagree.

I have always held fast to the ideal that we are allowed to disagree without diminishing the value of the person on either end. My life is not made up of cookie-cutter people who look like me, talk like me, think like me, believe like me or live like me. I can and do love people who are vastly different than me. But I will not set aside my faith, my values, or my moral compass to appease anyone.

As we celebrate another Independence Day, let us remember the cost of freedom and appreciate those who have fought to preserve it for us.

Reach Judith Victoria Hensley at [email protected] or on Facebook. Check out her blog: One Step Beyond the Door.

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