Chaplain's Corner: Thoughts About Freedom
Chaplain Bill Wolfe / Llano County Sheriff's Department
Hello, and welcome back to the Chaplain’s Corner. I think I’ve probably mentioned that I don’t like preaching the same sermon twice and as always, I’ve kicked around a few ideas trying to find the right fit for this month. As I sat down to start writing I reviewed a number of prior Chaplain’s Corners, and this one about freedom just seemed to jump out at me. So maybe there’s something here worth saying again. (Of course to those of you who weren’t reading my column seven years ago, it will all be new. ),
Freedom… just a medium-sized word, seven letters in all, but it conveys such a wide variety of meanings. Three words are usually coupled with freedom: of, to, and from. Wow! How many tangents can I spin off from there? There are two other concepts and words that also attach to freedom: cost and responsibility. Those who fought for their freedom from England and to establish our government understood that cost. Those who’ve fought wars on foreign soil understood that cost and accepted their responsibility to future generations to preserve our freedoms at all costs.
Interesting thing about freedom…there is always someone wanting to take it away from you. As I sit here pondering, I realize that this taking away of freedom started way back in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were perhaps the most free individuals that have ever lived. At least initially. No 8-5. No IRS. No traffic jams. Then up pops Satan and he finds a way to take away their freedom.
This month we celebrate the formation of our county and the Declaration of Independence: the start of a political freedom that has carried us to this day. Back in May we celebrated Memorial Day and honored the memories of those who fought and died in Europe and the Pacific to keep that freedom for us. They fought because there was an enemy that sought to take freedom from those that had it. They fought and many died. Freedom does not come cheap and is to be prized all the more because the high price was paid.
We are still at war with the enemies of freedom. The price is still being paid. Men and women of the US military are still stepping up and shouldering the responsibility of preserving our freedom. Yes, there have been some foul-ups, but contrary to popular political sentiment in Washington, our forces are honorable men and women and are fighting over there so we don’t die over here. It’s a shame that in 2008 they are falling victims to political correctness just like they did in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
The men and women in law enforcement also have stepped up and are shouldering responsibility for maintaining our freedoms at the street level. And I honor you for that. Among other things, you are preserving our freedom from the fear of criminals and the freedom to have peace in our piece of the “American Dream,” however small that piece might be.
Changing focus a bit, it’s sad that in the country that was founded on freedom, some of those freedoms are being given up and others are being taken from us. The US Constitution guarantees the “freedom of the press.” That was intended to keep the media free from control by the federal government. However, nowadays the mainstream media has seen fit to take over and to both control and limit our political choices. That’s not the way it was meant to be.
The US Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. There is a segment of our society that is trying to twist that to be freedom from the Christian “religion.” Other religious beliefs are given the protection of political correctness, but the Christian “religion” is to be eliminated, contained or controlled as much as possible. I put religion in quotes here because Christianity is (or should be) more than just a set of religious beliefs or creeds. Christianity is about having a personal relationship with a living, personal God who desires to be involved in our everyday lives.
I know this has been an odd rambling coming from the Chaplain, but let me sum it up by saying that “political correctness” is not freedom, it’s just conforming to someone else’s biased ideas; and it is not that for which the men and women of this great country have fought and died. This 4th of July and the months following, contemplate the freedoms we enjoy and the price that was paid, and take pride in being an American.
I’ll catch you again next time. Until then: Blessings to you and yours.