The Liberty Prize

Here is the monologue from today’s Roderic Deane Show:

I’m calling this show the Liberty Prize for a couple of reasons. First, let me say that liberty is most definitely a gift (or prize, if you will) that we should all cherish. Given the choice between liberty and equality, which would you choose? Can you have equality without liberty? I think not.

What did our Declaration of Independence say? The second paragraph begins:

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….

Let me repeat something, “that all men are created equal”. It doesn’t say that all men are created and must remain equal, for how could that be? We are each unique in our appearance and capabilities. We each enjoy our unalienable, God-given rights in ways unique to each of us. Something else that God gave us was a free will. We are allowed to make our own decisions and either reap the rewards of those decisions or suffer the consequences.

I could go on and on about the guidance God gives us to help us make the right decisions, but that’s not my point today. God never promised us an equal outcome in our physical life and, as such, our Declaration of Independence doesn’t either. Of primary concern to our Founders was maintaining liberty, for without that, the true pursuit of happiness was not possible.

So, what are we to make of liberty in today’s world, in this country? Do we continue to enhance liberty? What, exactly, IS liberty? says this, among other things:

freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control.

freedom from external or foreign rule; independence.

freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions, etc.; power or right of doing, thinking, speaking, etc., according to choice.

Note the key word in each description, “freedom”.

To make sure that there was no doubt about what the Framers thought should be included in defining liberty under our system of government, they included a Bill of Rights to the Constitution of the United States. This Bill of Rights comprises the first ten Amendments.

Of late, the second Amendment has come under scrutiny. I think it bears repeating what that second Amendments say:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear ARMS, shall not be infringed.

When was the last time you thought about what this Amendment means in terms of freedom? Were you ever taught about the cost of freedom in school? Did you ever learn about how important and truly exceptional this amendment is in the history of man’s governance of his fellow man? After all, what is the first thing most tyrants attempt to do? They attempt to take away your ability to fight back. They attempt to take away your firearms.

Now, let me get back to the title of this show, “The Liberty Prize”. A prize is something that we generally think of as having been won. In winning something, there is always a cost. What is the cost to the prize of Liberty? In other words, what is the price of Freedom?

As Ronald Reagan famously said:

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

The price of freedom is both vigilance and courage. Here is what Thomas Jefferson had to say in 1787:

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion; what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.”

By “them”, he meant “We, the people”.

There is another Liberty Prize to mention today. In talking about preserving Liberty in our physical lives, we are also reminded of the promise kept to preserving Liberty and eternal happiness, for today is Easter Sunday.

I quote from the Book of Matthew, Chapter 28:

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

My friends, life and liberty, whether in this life or after, can only come with sacrifice. Jesus kept His promise and sacrificed His life so that we could be saved.

What sacrifice will you make in this physical life to maintain freedom for those that follow us in their path to eternal happiness?