“It's a free country,” as the saying goes. We as Americans have been brought up to believe this. Our Founding Fathers even put it in writing. We say it without giving it much thought. It's cliché. If we were forced to answer this question honestly, could we really answer in the affirmative?
Now under the scourge of COVID-19, it is painfully apparent that we don't have many of the freedoms we thought were guaranteed us, and the celebration of Independence Day, 2020, served as an uncomfortable reminder that freedom is not free and is not guaranteed.
Demand you freedom this Independence Day. In many cities and towns across America, there will be no fireworks, no parades, no large gatherings, but tearing down and defacing monuments will undoubtedly be allowed.
So much more than a decoration or a national logo, the American flag represents the American ideals espoused in our founding document: "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, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Honoring and respecting the flag is how we express our unending support for these ideas.
Yes, life itself is worth defending, but life itself is not what makes us in God's image. It is freedom, the freedom to choose, and yes, to fail that is worth fighting for. It is free will, not safety that allows humans to achieve greatness.
In the name of protecting ourselves and our neighbors, we have agreed to forgo some of our basic rights. We forgo them, but we do not cede them. Some of our elected officials have mistaken this cooperation as an admission that our rights were theirs to give and thus to take away.
It's a symbol of the courage and sacrifices our Founding Fathers and all those who risked their blood and treasure for liberty. The facts that a few white supremacists from a group you've probably never heard of flew it at a rally somewhere doesn't change that.
American exceptionalism is real, celebrate it!
Liberty is the chance to use our gift of life to its fullest advantage. Without basic liberties, mankind is held back from reaching its fullest potential. That is why liberty curtailing forms of government like Communism and Socialism are immoral, or at best, amoral.