The Trouble With Freedom

by Ben Kinchlow

You know the trouble with freedom? People. If it were not for people, freedom would be wonderful!

The word "freedom" has, as one of its definitions, "the quality or state of being free ". What exactly does that mean? Try this definition: "the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action."

In other words, freedom is the ability to do whatever you jolly well please. Freedom, however, must not be confused with license. License implies a specific freedom given, and most often involves the abuse of freedom for selfish reasons.

Freedom, on the other hand, clearly involves the recognition of the rights of others. Freedom dictates "liberty and justice for all". The Biblical principle, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you", carries with it not only the ultimate definition of freedom, but also clearly indicates that you are to "reap what you sow".

My ability to act "as a free man", should be constrained by my regard for that which my actions may produce. Criminals and lawbreakers do not intend to have done to them what they do to others. Those who rob, rape, murder, and pillage, or those who drive under the influence of alcohol, abuse drugs (legal and otherwise), and any others who deliberately abuse the privilege of living in a free society, must be restrained or removed from this "free society".

When those who disregard the liberties of others are allowed to continuously act without restraint, society enters a defacto state of being constrained in its "choices and actions". The choice is? deal diligently and speedily with "anti-social behavior patterns", or become subject to those who impose their hostile wills upon us. In America we live under a form of government that allows idiots to be idiots, criminals to be criminals, and upright, law-abiding citizens to live according to the dictates of conscience. A function of government is to prevent those who refuse to abide by "do unto others" from imposing "one-way" acts on society at large.

In most of the world, people live under the iron heel of a dictator, an oligarchy, or a fascist or socialist government. Each of these by their very nature incorporates coercion or constraint in choice or action." This is a defacto restriction on the right of the individual to make decisions he chooses without government intervention. People who have never experienced the freedoms we take for granted (and hardly ever consider here in America) simply have no way to comprehend the concept of "true freedom".

An almost perfect example of this is September the 11th. Individuals acting within the boundaries of our freedoms were enabled by the very liberties they despise to commit their heinous acts of murder. Thousands of innocent people lost their lives because these people were "free" to act in a manner that violated the rights of others.

There are those in this country today planning similar acts of destruction, and who will do so without a moment's hesitation. We are faced with an implacable enemy. We cannot negotiate with them. We cannot communicate with them. We do not understand them, and we should not grant them license to perpetrate additional acts of hostility and bloodshed.

The challenge we face is the delicate balance between "liberty and justice for all", and the possible abrogation of the "civil rights" of a few individuals. Civil rights are those rights granted us by governments, with America being the premier example of civil liberties granted to all. While not perfect, America guarantees, to the overwhelming majority, the unparalleled liberties of her Constitution.

Human rights, on the other hand, are rights granted by God, and the civil rights of some cannot be allowed to infringe upon the human rights of all. "Political Correctness", as a doctrine, would imply that it is preferable for the human rights of all to be sacrificed rather than violate some fallacious position that civil liberties transcend human liberty.

As a firm believer in civil rights and civil liberties, I nevertheless boldly affirm that the right to live at peace far outweighs some alleged violation of a civil statute affording Constitutional protection to non-citizens.

The Scripture is clear, "insofar as it lieth with you, live at peace with your neighbor."

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