Saturday, March 26, 2005


True Freedom

Individual rights do not equal freedom. How's that for an opening line -- let me repeat it -- individual rights do not equal freedom. This story is a good example of that. (HT:SmartChristian)

It concerns a pregnant 14-year old child; let's call her "Jane." Jane was impregnated by "Joe" who is, as far as we know, of indeterminate age. It seems that Jane was checked out of school by Joe's mom, posing as Jane's grandmother, and taken for an abortion. When Jane's mom found out where Jane was, she tried to interfere and was arrested -- thereby preserving Jane's individual rights. But then wasn't Joe's mom, Jane's ersatz grandmother, also interfering with Jane's individual rights by exercising undue influence? If it really is Jane's rights, shouldn't everybody leave her alone...but I digress.

Now the story intimates that Joe was of majority age; therefore, his impregnation of Jane is statutory rape. So while the staff of the abortion clinic had Jane's mom arrested and seemingly preserved Jane's individual rights, they covered up a potential crime. If you are like me, you may find something vaguely familiar in that scenario.

If people stop and think beyond the end of their own nose for just a minute, they might see that all this individual rights stuff puts us in a position where we have to choose whose, and sometimes what rights we are going to honor -- and that inevitably leads to an inequity. Can true freedom exist when one person is somehow more "free" than another? Isn't that the oldest question that nation has struggled with?

In America we are free because we believe that our commitment to that freedom will produce in us societal compliance as a natural consequence. You see the fact of the matter is it is impossible to operate a society without some sort of compliance. America tries to harness our natural tendencies to produce compliance rather than simply enforce compliance. But that does not seem to be working so well anymore.

I think it is because we have succeeded so well. We live in such plenty that people's natural tendencies have gotten all screwed up. When you don't have to struggle for the basics, you end up losing your way.

Therein lies the beauty of the gospel. Despite and abundance of grace, because we are all depraved, we are always struggling for the basics. Those who don't think they are so struggling, most of all.

Pray for this nation, we need it.


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