Liberty, Freedom, and License

Some define liberty as something the government gives you–or doesn’t give you.  Freedom is your ability to think your own thoughts and do your own thing. Internal freedom can remain even in an oppressed society.

America’s founders defined Liberty as the second unalienable right–the right that no man bestows because it comes from our Creator.

But much of America now denies the Creator. And with the Creator go His other aspects–Savior, King, Providence, Protector, Guide.

And when we stop looking to our Creator, we look elsewhere. Because we are people created to worship.

When we don’t worship our Creator, we worship something else. We look within ourselves. We seek the approval of others and thereby give up our freedom of thought and expression.

When we see ourselves as a god, we don’t see others as we should. Government should take care of the poor, we say, not us.

Yet we can’t find contentment. We agitate for more. More of whatever we want to agitate about today. More of what leads us away from God and more deeply within ourselves.

We find that singular place within ourselves that can never be content without God. Yet we will not yield.

We trample on the first unalienable right. Someone else’s first “certain unalienable right– Life”–is expendable if it gets in our way.

We are left with only the third right–“the pursuit of Happiness”–which we interpret as a guarantee of happiness. We have already decided this right does not come from God. So we demand it from the government, from all others.

But it is not in their power to bestow it.

We are lost.

We have traded liberty for license and we don’t even understand the distinctions between them. We have lost our vision.

The King James version tells us that “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

But the NABRE version reads this way: “Without a vision, the people lose restraint.”

We are a people without restraint.

And such a people will not know liberty or freedom for long.


*(The NASB reads similarly) 


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Written by Nancy E. Head