Americans across the country are preparing to observe Memorial Day, the annual holiday set aside to honor and remember all who served in the American armed forces and died in the line of duty. Since the Revolutionary War, Americans have selflessly taken up arms time and again to secure and protect freedom for themselves and their posterity. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance, as well as the blood of patriots willing to go into harm’s way to defend our way of life. What is the American way of life?
We Americans certainly cherish our God-given rights, but we seem to throw around the word “freedom” without fully appreciating or understanding its profound and essential place in our American way of life. God created us to be free. Each and every individual is sovereign, which means that we each individually will answer to God and only answer to earthly authorities with our permission. That is the basis for self-governance. A free people can regulate themselves and are duty-bound to submit only to those authorities they willingly consent to be governed by in their affairs as a community or a country.
A free people not only regulate themselves, they provide for themselves. Our governments are instituted to adjudicate and govern interactions between citizens, but NOT to collect and redistribute resources they must confiscate from one citizen to bestow on another—for then they make one citizen a victim and the other a slave.
We tend to focus on the rights granted by God in freedom and ignore the responsibilities required to preserve freedom. A free people must be moral and virtuous to handle freedom, and Americans have historically embraced those responsibilities. Americans have traditionally only asked for the liberty to work and worship as they please.
Americans have served in our military to guarantee our basic God-given rights, not to gain benefits or favors from a ruling elite. They did not fight for MEDICARE, Social Security, welfare, or the murder of the innocent. A free people are only motivated to fight to maintain their rights, and chief among these rights is the right to pray and worship God as they deem appropriate. Without a deep desire to serve the Lord, freedom loses its essence and is no longer worth fighting for—so an immoral and unbelieving people will not fight for freedom, but would rather forfeit freedom for whatever indulgences they can negotiate from their rulers.
Our American heroes did not serve and give the ultimate sacrifice for an all-powerful government to censor our beliefs, confiscate and squander our wealth on trendy trivial notions of socialism or sexuality, or leave our borders unsecure—inviting an invasion of people who may not hold our values. The fallen gave that last full measure of devotion so that their children and grandchildren could enjoy the freedom to openly praise God.
On this Memorial Day, America has never been less free and our liberty has never been more in jeopardy. Our freedom is threatened by an overbearing government aggressively trying to impede our freedom of speech and to infringe on our right to bear arms.
Do not forget those who died to preserve our freedom, and do not let their service and sacrifice be in vain. As Americans, we must revisit our founding and rededicate ourselves to the preservation of our God-given rights. We the People must be full of faith, moral, and virtuous, but also very careful and prudent at the ballot box that we only consent to be governed by godly men and women. That is the best way to observe Memorial Day and honor our American heroes who died for our freedom.
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1).
Pete Riehm is the host of Common Sense Radio heard 8 pm every Thursday on FMTalk106.5 or streaming at fmtalk1065.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on MEWE @PeteRiehm or read all his columns at http://www.renewamerica.com/.© Pete Riehm
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