A Sigh (and Cry) for Liberty
If the past twelve months could be summarized by one utterance, it would be with the word “loss.” We’ve all lost the naiveté of normalcy bias, but many have also lost health, loved ones, occupations, and, seemingly, even hope itself. While these are indeed painful, the greatest loss -that which will transcend our generation- is the loss of liberty.
You may not have even realized it was missing. When dissident voice is vanquished, the cry of the aggrieved has no sympathizing ear. For the body of the populous, tyranny takes time to manifest, though the injury is earlier sustained. What are the symptoms of this perilous condition? Individualism is belittled and bartered away for the common good; free thought is sent through the rigors of another’s judgement; good is pronounced evil; injustice triumphs over law, chaos over order; and those who oppose are either placated by gifts, pretended by impostures, or silenced by shame.
Is this the end of the American Experiment: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Should we now settle for less? Did we get it wrong long ago? Or, perhaps we have underestimated the malign influences of him “which didst weaken the nations?” Can we possibly be startled from the lull of our slumber and reminded of whence we have come… of the precepts that birthed thirteen downtrodden and despised colonies into a unified front against tyranny -a mighty nation who would stand, although imperfectly at times, as a bulwark against despotism- the strength of which came partly from the ingenuity of the Era of Enlightenment but more conspicuously from the sacrifice and labor of the Protestant Reformation?
Centuries ago, the golden threads of Protestantism and Republicanism cocooned themselves about us as we transformed into “a church without a pope, and a state without a king;” and, the world witnessed a miracle -one they have been at times jealous to emulate. Through the principles of righteous government: freedom of conscience, expression, the unalienable rights of man, and proper representation of these principles in its governing bodies “It was demonstrated that the principles of the Bible are the surest safeguards of national greatness.” The Great Controversy, page 296
If we have forgotten this arduous journey and the darkness from which we were so laboriously extricated, we undoubtedly are a nation in the throes of an identity crisis. Who are we; and, what have we become? Instead of “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all," we have by-and-large transitioned into a society who seem to possess a theory of liberty but does little to actually sustain it. The sirens of idleness, abundance of bread, of peace, and safety have cast many a wayfarer upon Sodom's rocky shore. Come and take your ease, they sing, all your needs may be supplied, only trust implicitly, you must not disobey… And millions exchange the oar for the manacle.
Where is the indomitable spirit that appeared upon the beaches of Normandy… When the world watched in awe and followed those Yanks up the path that led to a free Europe, though many gave their all along the way? Where are the Patrick Henry’s? The Thomas Jefferson’s? The Marquis de Lafayette’s? Where are the Frederick Douglass’? The George Washington Carver’s? The Abraham Lincoln’s? Those who made this country a better place because of their acts of selflessness and untiring diligence? Perhaps we’ve grown comfortable rehearsing their exploits, but indolently refuse to hold high the torch of Liberty that these great men have laid down? “Tread cautiously” we say. “Our place is only to watch the events unfold.” Of us it may be said that circumstance is master, security is king, and the cause of Jesus Christ but a fanciful theory.
The privilege of freedom is lost, not on the battlefield, but in the mind of he who has become indifferent to her cause. As was said long ago: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” It is now apparent, that the time has come, for these few good men to come to the aid of their country.
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