Understanding Freedom

Because we live in the greatest nation on earth, we have no idea how much of the world lives. Our citizenry has been completely shielded from the ravages of war, genocide, ethnic cleansing, or being forced to leave ones home and country behind with only the cloths on their backs.  We read about such things, or see video from our cozy homes, but we have not a clue what that feels like.

We sense no threat and many believe such atrocities could never happen here. Many are complacent, naive, lack any understanding of history and worse, have no clue about civics.

Here is a quick lesson using the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution as an example.

Many believe that the 2nd Amendment guarantees ones rights to firearms. It does no such thing.  If you read the amendment carefully, what is actually says is that the “right” itself shall not be infringed.  What the founders meant by that was actually based in their understanding of the God given right of self-defense.  18th century philosopher Emanuel Kant called such understanding a priori knowledge, or translated by American founders as without exception, absolute, no argument, a given granted by God.  With this understanding, it is a God given right that we have to self-defense.  The founders simply codified and recognized it as such and put words in place that restricted the government from interfering with that right.

God given rights are unassailable by men or governments and their words. So even though it is pleasing to me that our Constitution codifies and recognizes the enormous importance of God’s rights granted to men, I don’t need a 2nd amendment to grant to me what God has already made clear.

Our brave forefathers fought and died for our liberty and our country. Many alive today have no such memory, have known no such sorrow and pain that goes along with the efforts in defending liberty and accordingly, they believe that our tranquility, prosperity and abundance are the natural state of things.  They are not and those of us that preserve that memory and understand history share no such illusions.

Even if you removed the 2nd Amendment, the US Constitution is a completely unique document whose writers were inspired by the hand of God in its creation. Nothing like the 2nd Amendment appears in any other constitution in the world and that is because no other government in the world has been brought into existence by the very citizens it governs, with their own consent, but under constant vigilance by way of our right to control all matters of governance, up to and including abolishing the old ways for new ways as we see fit.

Thomas Jefferson reminds us that, “The tree of liberty needs to be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” God provides us that right and the US Constitution enshrines this by recognition within the greatest document ever written by men.

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