OUR FORGOTTEN FREEDOMS
by CHARLES ROBEY
(MOODY AL USA)
Our dreams can and will at times be strange bedfellows. Authorities tell us they oftentimes will take us back for decades. Is it the same with our memories? Maybe so, I can vividly recall back into my youth, but oftentimes not remember what day it is without my wall calendar.
I have been fortunate, thanks to my trusty laptop computer, to be able to recall my memories so I can jot them down later in my blogs. Here we go again. I titled this one, “Our Forgotten Freedoms.”
“Therefore, each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. “ (Ephesians 4:25-32)
“Dear, are you planning to attend your high school class reunion? If so, we need to RSVP,” was my wife’s call.
That got me to thinking by looking back a bit. I think I’ll get in touch with Greasy Phil, to see what the old gang will be doing. Phil was always in the know, always had all the answers. Well, that didn’t work out. Seems Phil is now confined to an assisted living facility with limited mobility, and a bit of memory loss.
Guess, I’ll just sleep on it for now. And sleep I did, including going back into another sort of weird dream world or vision. Hard to tell at this point, but before I could recover, my thoughts quickly caught up with me.
What a difference time makes! Seems I went to bed in the past “good ole days” only to awaken in the present.
The year was 1955, It was my tenth-grade year. As usual I was running late for class. Literally running, that is. I had parked my bike in the bike rack as the last bell was ringing. I just made it in time for the daily preliminaries. The office loudspeaker had announced the day's routine.
First there was the Lord’s Prayer and devotion, (Matthew 6:9-13) brought by the school Bible club, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance, all standing of course.
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
It was then on with the day’s class activity. That was 1955, of course. But why not now? Why couldn’t it still be happening now? After all, we still serve the same living Creator, God.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
And, we still have the same divinely directed founding documents on which our country was founded.
“When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separation and equal station to which the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." (The Declaration of Independence)
” We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and to our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. (The US Constitution)
A bank robber is entitled to a fair trial for evil deeds done. A shoplifter gets the same fair and impartial trial. But what about we freedom-loving, God-fearing citizens of the greatest country known to man, the land of the free and the home of the brave?
Are we as a Republic, now being threatened and/or punished without trial for exercising our basic freedoms of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?
Our great nation was founded upon the very idea that we were fearfully and wonderfully created (Psalm 139:14) in His very own image. (Genesis 1:26-27) These freedoms that we Americans enjoy are a happy result of the Biblical worldview. Religious freedom, freedom of speech, the right to privacy, and so much more of the Bill of Rights were derived straight from the Bible.
“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” (Galatians 5:13)
Is America’s present culture now on the way to forgetting our freedoms? What is freedom? To ask that question is to answer it. Freedom by any other synonym means liberty and independence. It is an absence of undue restrictions and an opportunity to exercise our individual rights, powers. and desires.
In freedom's basket we find a hodge-podge of topics such as; freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, freedom of movement, freedom of thought, freedom of invention and freedom of discovery.
“Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” (The Constitution of the United States of America, Amendment I)
Freedom, along with the inspiration of our living Creator, God’s holy Scripture, not only implies a lack of restriction but also gives us the ability to stand alone. And especially, according to God’s word, being able to do what is spiritually and morally right in accordance with the divine dictates of our Creator and our founding fathers.
"All Scripture is inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, for rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness;" (II Timothy 3:16)
According to Dr. Larry P. Arnn, President of Hillsdale College, “The framers of the American Constitution combined the best political ideas of the past with innovations in what The Federalist called an improved science of politics: federalism, separation of powers, and checks and balances. Doing so, they created a form of government which had, in the words of James Madison,” no model on the face of the earth."
“Because men are not angels, government is necessary. Because no man stands to another as God to man, or as man to beast, government must be based on consent. The moral foundation of the Constitution is in the Declaration of Independence and its principle of equal rights. Under the Constitution, government was to be limited to protecting those rights.”
"In recent decades, the way our government operates has departed from the Constitution. It has become less limited, and our liberties less secure. At the same time, true civic education in America - education in the Constitution - has largely died out.”
So, where do our great Republic’s founding dictates now stand, here in the Twenty-First Century? I hope and pray our Constitutional rights will always remain in effect.
According to Dr. James McHenry, one of Maryland's delegates to the Constitutional Convention in 1787, a lady asked Dr. Benjamin Franklin at its conclusion, "Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" Benjamin Franklin replied, "A republic...if you can keep it. “
Yes, the United States Constitutional freedoms will always be here. We must stand firm for our liberty and our democracy, as free citizens of this great Republic
I trust you enjoyed (endured) this bit of fiction. I couldn’t help but drool a bit, as it just kept rolling off my tongue.
So, I trust this blog created for you life’s reality mixed with a tad of imaginary fiction or a little illusionary in nature. No, I’m not on psychedelic enhancements, having hallucinations, or smoking weed. I’ve not tasted LSD or funky mushrooms, either. Just being a bit literary and hopefully making life just a bit respectful of our yesterdays, today and the forthcoming future of our Republic, the great land of the free, home of the brave.
It goes without saying, we are indeed living in troublesome times. Being an older person, I’ve never seen anything the likes of America’s modern culture. This is a time when, in order to survive, we must remain true to our living Creator, God, family and country, in that order. We should not be blinded by today’s cultural upheavals, and not marginalize the impact these trends are having on faith-based living.
On the architrave above the Supreme Court is etched "Equal Justice Under Law." I pray this incision will always remain true in our nation.
So I conclude by quoting a phrase from the last paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, "… appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions…" To this I shout a big Amen!