Freedom. It’s a compelling thought. Not compelling in a let’s discuss it’s intricacies sense, rather, compelling in a world changing sense, in that it has compelled men to take action in almost every single decisive event or moment in human history. It is a call to action. Liberterians want it. Liberals want it. Conservatives want it. Everyone wants it.
Sometimes it takes on different shapes. The Wright brothers wanted freedom from the ground. Karl Benz wanted freedom from walking. Michael Bay wants freedom from story and script. Libertarians want freedom from government, and liberal democrat socialists seem to want freedom from free thought or expression.
My colleague Nick Barden wrote an interesting piece yesterday in his column, The Ivory Cubicle, where he stated that duties, not rights, are what should define us. I agree with this statement. I also firmly believe the words of the Declaration of Independence when it said that “they are endowed by their creator with certain, unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” But once we have these rights, the questions remains; what are we to do with them?
Galatians 5:24 says “And those who belong to Christ Jesus have put to death their human nature, with all its passions and desires.”
Matthew 10:39 says “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
Take your pick. While there are subtle differences, these two verses pretty much say the same thing. All men have been given life, and therefore a chance to pursue liberty and happiness.
We can spend our lives pursuing a life on earth, pursuing personal freedom on earth, pursuing personal happiness on earth. But as those two verses show, the question is really simple. It isn’t whether you have rights. It is whether you will give them up for something greater.