Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The True Meaning of Freedom

The Good Book says, "Be free, yet without using freedom as a pretext for evil, but as slaves of God." 1 Peter 2:16.

This very old fashioned understanding of the true meaning of freedom was deeply ingrained in the Founding Fathers. As explained in the Declaration of Independence, they strongly believed that all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That God given freedom, however, was not given to men and women to simply do whatever they felt like doing – that is licentiousness. To the contrary, the Founders believed that men and women must exercise their freedoms carefully, with appropriate restraint, and for the common welfare.

Today, too many seem to have lost sight that being free to do something doesn’t mean that you must do it. We have too often blurred the distinction between legality and morality. Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should – or that it is defensible to do so. Prudence, frugality, honesty, integrity, honor – these timeless virtues need to be embraced to prove our worth of the freedom we possess.

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