People crave freedom. We know that all too well. If you’ve raised children, you “get” it. If you’ve lived in the United States for any length of time, you’ve experienced it. If you were born here, it’s in your DNA.
How many of you know someone moving to where they can inhale an independent spirit and exhale liberty? Americans gravitate toward freedom, so they are packing up and moving if they can. If not, they have thought about relocating. Have you?
One of my civics class students said they were moving away. I talked to this student’s mother. She said they are moving to Florida because she’s tired of her vote not counting where they now live.
When you stop and think about it, Americans are seeking liberty under law. They don’t want lawlessness. Americans get confused sometimes, thinking that freedom means they can do whatever they want, whenever they want, however they want. That is a falsehood. Where on earth can you do whatever, whenever, however? You can’t. Either the moral laws of Nature and Nature’s God stops you, or the government controls you.
Webster’s 1828 dictionary (closest to the language at the time of America’s founding) defines civil liberty as “the liberty of men in a state of society, or natural liberty so far only abridged and restrained, as is necessary and expedient for the safety and interest of the society, state or nation. A restraint of natural liberty not necessary or expedient for the public is tyranny or oppression. Civil liberty is an exemption from the arbitrary will of others, which exemption is secured by established laws, which restrain every man from injuring or controlling another. Hence the restraints of law are essential to civil liberty.”
Our Founders wanted us to employ as much self-government as possible. We start as infants under the authority of family government, where moral values are taught and modeled. There, we learn self-government assisted by the church in learning moral teaching. Then comes civil government. Self, Family, Church, and Civil government are all under the authority of God, as our Founders saw it. There is liberty, but it is liberty under law with only necessary restraints “for the safety and interest of society, state or nation.”
For a society to function with as much freedom as possible, a moral foundation is essential. I know we have gone over this before, but the above bears repeating. Why? Follow the news on any given day. The principle of liberty under law, according to our Founders, is either being followed or is being taken away… day by day… little by little. We can’t ignore it.
Do you have more or less freedom today? First, we must understand the liberty that is in our American DNA. Speak up. Defend liberty. Know who is governing constitutionally to give you freedom and who is not. Then, look for opportunities to support those people who support the cause of freedom.
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship. 🇺🇸