What Price Freedom?

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.

-Ronald Reagan

        This past weekend, I had the privilege of enjoying the new film “Last Ounce of Courage.” While it may not contain the highest quality acting I’ve ever seen and it most certainly has its moments of cheese, I am eternally grateful to my brothers and sisters who upon seeing our freedoms increasingly stripped from us, decided to take a stand and create this inspiring film rather than to steep in the apathy that seems to rule so many of us.
         The movie opens with the above quote from Ronald Reagan. From its inception, and down through the years, this has been a country known and desired for its freedoms, most of all its religious freedoms. Did you know that if you place a frog in boiling water, it will immediately jump out of the pot; however, if you place it in luke warm water, the frog will become so comfortable in the pot that it will not notice as you slowly turn up the heat to boiling. I think that we, like the frog, became so complacent in the luke warm water of enjoying our freedoms in this country, that we are asleep to the fact that the heat is being turned up and our life of freedoms is being drained.
       What does freedom mean to us anymore? And what is it worth? Freedom used to mean, a country in which we were free to worship our God, free to love our neighbors, free to stand as a nation for all that is good and true. If we really ask ourselves…what does it mean to us today? To many, including those in charge of this great country, it seems to mean I am free to do as I please and you are free to do as you please. We are of an age where for the first time ever in this nation, we are seeking to redefine some of the most foundational terms: freedom, marriage, life.  Terms that are not ours to redefine.
       We must wake up to the wool being pulled over our eyes. We must call a spade a spade and then be brave enough to act. What Price Freedom? This was the title of a paper I had to write in the 10th grade. One of the only projects I kept from those early educational years. We were assigned to write a response to the question What Price Freedom? For me, the price of freedom was already clear in my mind, even at 16. I wrote my paper on my Grandfather’s only brother who gave his life in WW II upon the SS Franklin. His concrete gift to my family and each of our successive generations was a trade-off of his life, for the sake of our continued freedoms. Many continue to sacrifice their lives in service for all that this country was created to be and has the potential to become.
     While not all of us are called to defend our freedoms by fighting those who seek to attack us from the outside, I believe that we are ALL called to defend our freedoms from the enemies inside our own borders. The enemy of our own ignorance or apathy, the enemy of individualism versus community, the enemy of the media who often seeks to control the American population through propaganda, persuasion, and lies, and of course…the many enemies in Washington, who seeking their own agendas, care little for the long-term good of this nation and its people.
      We must wake up and LEAP out of the pot. We must become informed citizens of this great nation, so that it may remain a great nation for generations to come. In so many wars and so many countries before us, there was an understanding that there were greater goods than one’s own luxuries, namely Truth, Justice, True Freedom. In memorial of the French Revolution, there is a line in one of the songs from Les Miserables that says “…who cares about your lonely soul? We strive towards a larger goal. Our little lives don’t count at all…”
       Let us ask Christ to give us his eyes. To help us to see the reality of our homeland and the state of our freedoms. And may I say, with deepest sincerity and genuine gratitude…Thank you.
Thank you Great Uncle Charles.
Thank you Great Uncle Dave.
Thank you Great Uncle Gino.
Thank you cousin Buster and Sonny.
Thank you cousin Alex.
Thank you Aunt Erin.
Thank you Josh.
Thank you Sam.
Thank you Tim.
Thank you to every one of you that has fought for our freedoms and continue to do so. I pray that today, we will join you in the fight.
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