“Proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants.” You may recognize that phrase—it comes from Leviticus 25:10 and refers to the year of Jubilee for the Hebrews. The phrase is also inscribed on the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, in Independence Hall—where 56 delegates signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776—or thereabouts.
God is the author of liberty; freedom is His idea, not man’s. Consider this language from the Declaration of Independence.
“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.”
The framers of our country understood that God is the One Who bestows liberty—unalienable rights they called them. Government does not bestow liberty! Listen to the next sentence from the Declaration.
“That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
Yes, you heard that right. Governments are instituted to protect those rights, not to bestow or withdraw them. We’ve heard a great deal of rhetoric about rights and liberties over the past six months in Wisconsin. But what we find is that when government creates certain supposed rights—such as the “right” to health care or collective bargaining for instance–guess what happens? If government grants the so-called “right,” government can take that “right” away.
But life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness—those rights are unalienable and government does not have the jurisdiction to take them away because government did not create those rights. That’s the way it’s supposed to work, anyway.
Freedom and liberty are as important now as they were 235 years ago when the signers of the Declaration pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honors for liberty. And many of them never fully realized the liberty for which they sacrificed their lives, sacred honor and fortunes. But they did know they were sacrificing for future generations so that their children and grandchildren could enjoy freedom. Now, over two hundred years later, Americans are still known for our independent streak. We like our freedom.
And yet in spite of our love affair with liberty, we’ve allowed government to incrementally siphon away our freedoms, making us—and our children—more and more dependent on government. In fact, many of our families are more dependent on government than we may even realize. Government provides free education, it provides food and necessities for our children, and it provides day care and health care.
Why should we be worried about that? Because families are the bedrock of our country, of our state! When families are strong, our state is strong economically and socially. Families are Wisconsin’s best natural resource and we need to be strengthening the independence and integrity of the family unit, not keeping that unit dependent on government hand-outs. That’s not freedom.
That is why we have to hold our elected officials accountable, and why we must be actively engaged in the happenings of our government. Politicians are happy to expand entitlement programs that increase dependence on government because it creates voters who want to keep them in power. But families, and children, are the ones harmed by the vicious cycle of poverty that government dependency creates.
The 2011-2013 budget Gov. Walker signed on Sunday is a good start for reducing families’ dependence on government. The budget defunds Planned Parenthood—an agency that thrives on making people dependent on government. The budget also does not include staggering government spending and the irresponsible borrowing that saddles the next generation with enslaving debt. That’s significant!
When our Founding Fathers envisioned freedom for us—they were not envisioning lifestyles funded by the state or federal government. Quite the contrary. The Declaration of Independence is about self-government and, naturally, independence. They were “proclaiming liberty throughout the land, to all the inhabitants thereof.” Now, it’s our turn. Let’s celebrate this Independence Day with a renewed commitment to strengthening the independence and integrity of the family.
This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the Prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”