The word Liberty is one that has been fought over for centuries. Its derivative, liberal, once meant that you were a conservative, but eventually came to mean quite the opposite, although, according an Australian man I met recently, it still means conservative in his country.
When the Hippy movement came in the 1970s, during the Cold War, it hailed as a movement towards freedom and liberty. The Renaissance, although with very different styles of clothing, music, and hygiene, was also a movement towards freedom and liberty of thought and idea.
Many protests are about liberty. Men and women march the streets asking for liberty to do this or that; to abort their unborn babies, or, as it was during prohibition in the 1920s and 30s, to drink alcoholic beverages.
Also on the Dime, beneath the president’s face and the word liberty, is a set of words that there have been court cases to have removed. They are the words “In God We Trust.”
Liberty is seen by many as the lack of restraint of bonds. It is seen as the freedom to choose any way you want. However, those that believe in peace, in order, in prosperity, in law, and in the pursuit of happiness, recognize the danger of such an idea.
The book Death Raft shows, in the story of the ship Medusa, what happens when liberty is left unchecked. The ship struck a sandbar off of Africa. Without enough room in the boats, a raft was built, on which 150 men piled. They had two casks of water, but those fell overboard during fighting. They fought, killed each other, and fell overboard in a desperate struggle to survive. The other boats abandoned them in panic.
If men were left alone to do as they chose, we would have a world of Death Rafts. Constant civil unrest and bloodshed, and indeed, that is what a great deal of our history is, wars and madness because of appetites not held in check. If liberty is left without a restraint then there is no liberty at all. When there is too much liberty there is none. Law was created by God to defend man against himself. Liberty is only useful to those who know how to govern themselves.
“Liberty is not the right to choose, it is the result of making the right choices.”
Through His Strength We Will Conquer,
Andrew C. Abbott