We shall not be moved
Except by a child with no socks and shoes.
Except by a woman dying from the loss of food.
Except by a freedom fighter bleeding on a cross for you.
-Flobots, Stand Up
There is just something about freedom. Next to love, this thing we call freedom is inspires our artists more than any other idea. If you stop reading right now and YouTube “Freedom” you’ll find music videos from George Michael, Akon, and Rage Against the Machine. Indeed, freedom is an ideal bigger than genre.
Putting your finger on exactly what freedom is can be a challenge, but as Americans, we have all felt free. We all experienced getting our driver’s license, rolling down the windows of your parents’ car, blasting an anthem (for me, Eve 6′s “Open Road Song”), and driving to no place in particular. This was an expression of the freedom we felt. We were unconstrained, able to express choice, and there was nothing but adventure and opportunity ahead… Well, sort of.
Actually, we were pretty constrained. There were speed limits, seat belt laws, and rules about how you had to operate the car. We also had to pay for gas to get where you were going (and home again). We had a curfew. While somewhat limiting of our freedom, looking back we understand that these constraints were for the best. They kept us, and others, safe. In a paradoxical way, these limitations actually increased our freedom. If everyone on the road were free to do whatever they wanted, that would limit your freedom! Who would want to drive when you could be so easily killed by someone unconstrained by speed limits? Or someone at a gas station able to steal your credit card and car without repercussion?
Freedom, it seems, is a complex thing. The trick is to find the right blend of constraints that allow us to flourish. Obviously, we are going to disagree about what flourishing means and how to best accomplish it, but this conversation must revolve around our values.
More on the Value of Freedom…
Mere Conservatism: Theology by R.J. Moeller
Issues such as abortion, murder, capital punishment, and war carry with them critically important moral conundrums that no responsible citizen should ignore. Underlying all of this, in the context of a free society like our own, is the question of “rights.” Here is where I believe the theology of an American matters to their neighbor. Again, don’t confuse theology with “religion.” You belong to a religion, but you believe in a particular theology.
The question before us, as fellow citizens of a representative republic, is the genesis of our rights. Where do they come from? Does everyone have them? Can they be taken away? Should they ever be taken away? What can and/or should be done if they are taken away? Read the full article
The Luxury of Working at Taco Bell by Chris Horst
On Sunday, the Denver Post featured an article on the expiration of unemployment benefits. Despite unemployment benefits being extended beyond the traditional time frame of six months up to close to two years; nearly ten percent of Americans are still unemployed, with no prospects of that number declining significantly anytime soon.
One quote from the article was especially telling. Dianne, a 47-year old human resources professional, shared of her own challenge in finding a job. She has been searching for a job for nine months and still has not landed a position in human resources:
I’m nervous. It means that maybe I’ll have to go down to the local Taco Bell for a job. Maybe I can get food there too.