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What Freedom Requires -- Self-Reliance
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What Freedom Demands of its Citizens

January 12, 2015

Over the past year and a half, we have written our opinions on many topics dealing with relevant issues.  We discussed issues dealing with 2nd Amendment rights, religious rights, powers vested in the Federal Government, and powers reserved for the states.  We believe, and wrote, that effective solutions demand the use of principles.  Missing from our discussions was a frank and comprehensive discussion about the responsibilities and characteristics required of the citizens who live in a free society.

A few years ago, while campaigning, each of us had front row seats into the feelings, beliefs, views, opinions, and practices of many constituents in Texas Congressional District 14.  Many times, we found ourselves wondering what the people in America understand about what is required to live in a truly free society.  We wondered, if the Federal Government was truly limited to its original scope; how well prepared even the conservatives who espouse this belief, would be.  Over the next several weeks, we plan to write about several attributes the Founding Fathers of our Nation believed were necessary to live as truly free people. We expect to write about self-reliance, integrity and moral character, education, and how God works through people.

But before we venture too far off; we owe you, our readers, a definition of freedom.  Some argue that freedom means I get to do whatever I want with very few societal restrictions.  The idea of doing what I want is agency, a right and privilege to make choices after which we must accept the consequence of those choices.  Freedom, on the other hand, is different than agency.  For us, freedom is about the wise application of truths for the betterment of ourselves and our fellowman.  We understand that each of the world’s major religions has a means to describe this truth, but for those of us who are followers of Christ, we prefer to define freedom using Christ’s own words:

Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed him, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” 

This statement openly declares that truth exists, but that it does not come without action(s) on our part.  In the Disney cartoon, “Sword and the Stone”, Merlin tells Wart, knowledge -- not muscle -- is the real power.  We contend that Freedom results when citizens have, and wisely use, knowledge.

Interestingly, many of our founders considered themselves first, and foremost, scientists.  The social atmosphere in the latter half of the 1700’s and the early 1800’s, fostered a thirst for finding truth.  Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were scientist who never stopped seeking more knowledge and truth.  Our Founders thirsted for truth in every realm they could find it; they found much; and left much for us to discover.

Next week we’ll take a look at self-reliance and reaching our dreams.

Mark, John and Bill