The Gift of Freedom
By Trish Overby
Most of us in the West would consider ourselves free – free to act, free to speak or, in other words, free to choose to do these things. It is what the USA is based on – freedom.
You notice I say most of us. There is a percentage of Americans who don’t have one or all of those freedoms. Freedom means having opportunities to choose to do what needs to be done to live in our country -- except when it takes away another person’s life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This is where our laws come in to protect our freedoms in our society.
Our judicial system upholds these laws to agree with the US Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. These laws should protect the right of women to choose what they have to do, sometimes reluctantly, with regard to their job opportunities and more importantly to their bodies. Roe vs. Wade (410 U.S. 113 (1973)) is a law that upholds women’s choices over their bodies.
As human beings, we choose to work, eat, play, and speak out because we have that freedom. When we can’t do those things, we have lost our freedom to choose. You might even say that the freedom to choose is what sets us apart from the other creatures of our earth. We are special in that we have a free will (freedom to choose). We are made different than animals in this very respect. But where would you say we get this free will – this power to choose? One of our Founding Fathers, Samuel Adams, wrote:
“The right to freedom being the gift of God, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave.”
Mr. Adams therefore says it is a gift of God. Some of you know the verse, “Let us make man in our image.” (Genesis 1:26) No other creature has this ability to choose. They are driven by instincts and cravings. But people have a unique and special gift.
It is significant and important what we do with this freedom of choice. We must use it wisely in this day and age of so many choices and the consequences of these choices. Can we do it on our own? I don’t think so. I think we need help from someone who has a bigger perspective than our own. This someone must love and care for us like no other. If it is a gift of God we have received, maybe it is to him we must turn for the help and advice to express it.