Equal, and Free

The Light and the Reason for the Light

On this, the 236th anniversary of our Declaration of Independence, the idea of freedom has never seemed more unclear. Last fall, the occupiers of Wall Street  (and many other venues around the country) decried economic inequity in our fair land. Although the occupiers never clarified their objectives sufficiently to make them comprehensible to me and the boys down at the coffee shop, I gathered that the so-called one-per-centers (not me) were exploiting the rest of us and thus denying our freedom.

In recent decades up to today, certain groups continue to struggle against what they perceive as oppression, or denial of their equal rights because they are not free. So what is freedom, and by extension, equality?

One wag defined freedom as “the ability to do anything you want to do without considering anyone … except the wife, the boss, the police, the neighbors, the government, and your mother-in-law.” And that was before today’s politically correct society and the ACLU. Do you believe you’re free, according to your understanding of that word? And what is your understanding of “freedom”?

Oh, my, how I have gotten sidetracked. Let’s go back to that extraordinary document, our Declaration of Independence. The Preamble to the Declaration states that “all men are created equal.” And what does that mean? It seems that some folks are more equal than others, if we look at their ability to ride around town in a big pickup/SUV or watch the paparazzi follow them to their fancy condo in the Pearl or hear about their trips to Paris … the Cook Islands … Antarctica … or even the moon. No kidding. An outfit called Space Adventures is taking reservations for a trip around the moon—only $150 million per passenger.

Back to Thomas Jefferson. When he wrote the “created equal” phrase, he was talking about human equality of a special kind. We humans are to be considered as moral equals with each of us possessing particular equal rights. We differ in many respects, but based on that view, our moral worth is no greater or less than that of any other person. Are you okay with that?

Taking things a step further, let me put forth the premise that this idea of the value of each human is founded primarily in Christianity.

Okay, you’ve got all night to show me where you disagree. Tomorrow, we’ll talk more about freedom and equality. The next day being Independence Day, we should have this all settled. Tell me what you think.


About samuelehall

A follower of Jesus, husband, father of 3 adult children, writer and learner.
This entry was posted in Finding me ... and you and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Equal, and Free

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  5. Doris Minard says:

    I have the same value before God as anyone else; I have the same “rights” according to the Constitution. Does that make me “free’? I would say so. As far as the Occupiers exploiting us and denying us (you) freedom I don’t see that. They are”free” to protest as anyone else. If they deny me access, then they are denying me my rights–not my freedom.

    • samuelehall says:

      Marilyn, Alison, Eric, and Doris–Thanks to all of you! Each has stated a truth about equality and/or freedom, which I partially addressed yesterday, and hope to put a “wrap” on it today …

  6. Eric FOrbes says:

    You’re talking about two different Ideas. There is overlap in the ideas of freedom and equality but the concepts are more different than they are similar.

  7. Alison says:

    I do think our worth is no greater or less than any other human’s– and I’m definitely okay with that. It’s what you do with that freedom that matters.

  8. Sam, you make me think. Isn’t that what freedom is about? The right to think (and sometimes act) for ourselves?

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