Let Freedom Ring!

As we prepare to celebrate our nation’s birthday we give pause to consider the fundamental principle upon which it was formed. What was created was a thing entirely new. Never in human history had a nation been so conceived. At its core lay the premise of individual human sovereignty: that man was created by God to be free. Free to dream. Free to breathe. Free to pray. Free to live.

During a commencement address delivered at Hillsdale College in May of this year, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas told the graduates “In the history of mankind, freedom has been the exception. Governed by kings and queens, human beings were told that power starts at the top and flows down; that their rights emanate from a monarch and may be taken away at the monarch’s whim.

Those who established the framework for this new nation clearly understood that it was the rights of man that must take first importance and that government is created by free men to serve free men. Of paramount importance was that free men must remain free.

In forming this new nation then, two distinct concepts became predominant: limiting the scope and power of governance and recognizing and insuring the rights of the governed. Senator Cruz continued “[Our] Constitution began from two radical premises. The first is that our rights come not from kings or queens — or even from presidents — but from God. As the Declaration of Independence put it, ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, and that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ Second, in the Constitution, America’s Founders inverted the understanding of sovereignty. Power comes not from the top down, but up, from ‘We the People, …’ Freedom works. No other nation on Earth has allowed so many millions to come with nothing and achieve so much.”

Our Constitution is a written testament, an ode to the natural and essential state of man, freedom. Within its confines are contained the limits of the state and the rights and freedoms of its citizens. The first freedom is the freedom to practice one’s faith, unencumbered or constrained by any power of the state. It is the first and most cherished freedom; it is a foundational freedom for without religious freedom, all other freedoms are at risk.

Our founding fathers, some Christian and others not, as a matter of principle, believed that the Law of God trumped the law of man. Or as R. R. Reno writes “[Religion] gives transcendent substance to the rights of man that limit government. Put somewhat differently, religion gives us a place to stand outside politics, and without it we’re vulnerable to a system in which the state defines everything, which is the essence of tyranny.”

The history of America is 237 years in the making. It is good that we remember and enjoy her bounty. But we must also remember that God made us in his image and likeness. It is God who gives us life. It is God who bestowed on America its bounty. Our freedom to praise God and to do His will is our first and greatest freedom. Let freedom ring.

Deacon Chuck

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: http://deaconscorner.org. Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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