What of Our Freedom, America?

CC BY-NC, KLaFaille, Flickr
CC BY-NC, KLaFaille, Flickr

Another school shooting in America—the 27th in one year since Newtown—and how are we responding? With more political standstill and fractious debate that further divides us and allows for more of the same.

You who read this blog know its intent: devotion. But I deviate here for once because I’m grieved—and angered—about what’s going on in this nation. And no matter the side you’re on concerning guns and mental health, we’re in crisis mode and need clear vision about the circumstances we’re experiencing.

What if our bodies responded to injury and sickness the way this nation does now regarding gun and mental health laws? We would die. Unfortunately, people, especially our youth, are regularly dying for lack of political and moral will.

What Freedom Is

I’ll make this quick. We’re fast to jump on our soapboxes and defend our freedoms; but I think that’s part of the problem. We may have a low view about what freedom means, which is not the liberty to do as one pleases. None of us living in America, or anywhere else, owns that type of freedom.

We have freedom according to the laws of the land, which are problematic respective of the current dilemma. We are only free in ways government permits. Moreover, our Declaration notably instructs us in a doctrine of unalienable rights that substantiates our freedoms and bridges us to a higher ethic for the good of all.

We’d best start understanding freedom and license as our right to act as we ought and so hold ourselves to standards that demand we trade “me-and-mine” sentiments for more collectivist notions. It is life lived with some restraint to assure the harmony and well-being of all that makes a people great.

Getting It Right

‘Land of the Free, Home of the Brave’ isn’t a place where one can leave an injured brother lying in the middle of the road at high noon. Something is off-kilter when we harbor a low regard for life and arm ourselves with a shoot-to-kill attitude. We cannot let another person fall through the cracks of a sound mental health. And while I’m at it, rehabilitation of most offenders is the right thing to do. The prison system, as it stands, only brutalizes men and women and so exacerbates the problem of poor mental health, guns, and violence.

America, the task of our liberty is to do right by one another. It’s amazing that we cannot agree on what that means! Simply put: we must exercise more accountability and less self-indulgence. Perhaps we should start by asking those nations we’ve considered less than ourselves how they’ve largely evaded the ills that ravage us.

Article: “Guns in America After Newtown” (Bill Moyers) – eye-opening

6 thoughts on “What of Our Freedom, America?

  1. I share your frustrations brother. “Freedom” has been misunderstood, abused and taken advantage of.

    Freedom is not “free”. It comes with responsibility:

    For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. 5:14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Galatians 5:13-14

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