Monday, November 9, 2009

What Price - Liberty?

What is the price of liberty?
Does it have a different price and/or value when the liberty is for someone else, other than you?
What are people willing to pay in order to have liberty?
What would you pay to be free?
What has already been paid for our liberty?
Is liberty worth keeping?
Is liberty worth sacrifice?
Is liberty worth fighting for?

For us to answer any of those questions, we need to first ask these:

What is liberty?
Is Liberty a Right?
Where does the right of liberty come from?

"Liberty", according to, is:
1. freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control.
2. freedom from external or foreign rule; independence.
3. freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions, etc.; power or right of doing, thinking, speaking, etc., according to choice.

The "Declaration of Independence" has the following quote:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

This quote not only defines "liberty" as being a right, but lists it as one of the basic rights granted to men by God.

The preamble to the U.S. Constitution is as follows:
"We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

It would appear that the founding fathers of our nation thought that the concept of liberty was pretty important. So much so, that they dealt with "liberty" in both the Declaration of Independence (DOI) and the introduction to the Constitution. They not only wrote about liberty, but were willing to fight for their liberty. They spelled out that as they went to war to secure their liberty, they were also fighting for the liberty of those who would follow after them - "our posterity".

The DOI goes on to add, "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..." Did you get that? Governments are instituted among men for the purpose of securing and protecting our Rights!

So, what were these guys willing to do or pay for the Right of Liberty? The answer is given in the last sentence of the DOI, "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."

Was this just flowery words or did they really mean what they said? When these men, as leaders of the Colonies, gathered and wrote the DOI, it was no small matter. When they wrote and then signed their names to this document, they knew, without a doubt, that they would be called upon to possibly sacrifice all that they had, all that they were and their very lives. These same men then went on to be leaders in the Revolutionary War - or the War of Independence for the United States. Many of them suffered great hardship and some even death. They put "shoe leather" behind their signature.

Tremendous hardship was suffered by the Colonists in order to gain independence from England. Many men and women paid with their lives for Liberty for the rest of us in the establishment of America. There were birth pains!

Since the War of Independence, other generations have fought and died for the Liberty of the rest of us and for those who would follow their sacrifice. These souls paid with blood the price of freedom for others.

So, what is the price of Liberty? The price to be paid is whatever it takes, whatever is required. The result of the Revolutionary War was a new nation. The question, for each generation, is whether we value and guard our liberty and liberty for our posterity, enough to be willing to pay the price to keep it.

At the end of the Constitutional Convention on September 18, 1787, as Benjamin Franklin exited, a lady asked him, "Well Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" "A republic, if you can keep it." responded Franklin.

Is Liberty worth keeping, worth sacrifice, worth fighting for?

"Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood" (The Revolutionary Writings of John Adams, Thompson, ed. [28]).

1775 - letter to Abigail Adams "But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever" (Adam's Family Correspondence, Butterfield, ed. vol. 1 [241]).

If John Adams was right, this decision must be made on a generational basis. If any generation decides that freedom is not worth the price required, it will be lost and lost forever. Each generation has a responsibility to protect and to pass on that liberty to the next generation. Each age presents challenges to men being free. We are presently facing one such challenge.

Our very Constitution, that has cost countless lives in it's defense, is systematically being dismantled. Our rights and liberties are being stripped from us, bit-by-bit.

The most recent example is the recent passage of the healthcare reform bill in the House of Representatives. This bill is not about improving health care, it is not about the "uninsured", it is not about "choice or competition", it is not about reducing cost. It is plain and simply about power. The people pushing this bill talk compassion, but desire control. If any of the current Democratic plans for reforming our health care industry pass and become law, we all will lose a major chunk of our liberty.

The final vote in the House had it passing with a slim margin of only two extra "Yay" votes. In order to have a majority, 218 votes in favor were required. It gained 220. As an indication of the importance of this bill and vote, even though it was held on a Saturday evening, all 435 U.S. Representatives were present and voted. (Good thing Obama was not a member, he would have voted "present"). To their credit, every one of them put a yes or no after their name. Now, they will all be held accountable for how they voted. One Republican joined with the Democrat majority to pass the bill. 39 Democrats voted against the bill.

What price - Liberty? Over the coming weeks we should be able to see the price for surrendering liberty. "Yes" votes were bought by the Democratic leadership. How high of a price did certain Representatives hold out for before they would vote to surrender some of our liberty, forever? We will see. We will learn that to some, all it took was the guarantee that some "pork barrel" project back home will get federal funding. To others, all it took was the dropping of the provision to fund abortions. Although that is no small price, I believe you will see that the federal funding of abortions is a "must have provision" for the Left and no doubt it will be added back into the bill before it becomes law. One by one, votes were bought, up to the point where passage was guaranteed. To many of our leaders, the price of our liberty is not worth fighting over and they are willing to lessen our freedom in order to strengthen their power.

Where are the patriots? Where can you find someone who is principled? Who will pledge their Lives, Fortunes and sacred Honor for Liberty? We have American soldiers fighting and shedding blood for the freedom of people around the world. What price are we willing to pay for our own Liberty?

Whether we like it our not, we are in A.R.II (American Revolution II).

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