These United States are not founded on a notion of freedom, but of liberty. The difference is profound, and yet the distinction has been all but obliterated by those who value freedom over liberty. In a nutshell, the modern concept of freedom is license to do whatever makes you feel good. But liberty, as conceived by those who framed our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution, refers specifically to liberty of the soul – a liberty that derives exclusively from God. That is, no man or government of men owns another man’s life nor may impose on his conscience in his relationship with God nor may impede his voice in the expression of his personal beliefs.
Thomas Jefferson went so far as to declare: “God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are a gift of God?” And again: “Almighty God hath created the mind free. All attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burdens[…]are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion.”
These words are carved in stone on the walls of the Jefferson Memorial in the heart of Washington, D.C. Tragically few today read them and fewer yet take the time to consider the weight of their meaning and the stark implications of their too-easy dismissal. One wonders how long it will be before they are sandblasted into oblivion because they so clearly represent an exclusive and narrow point of view. Christianity was the only religion with which Jefferson and the other Founders were intimately familiar, and their thoughts and writings are readily traceable to the words and precepts contained exclusively in the Christian Bible.
Modern liberals, by contrast, promote a godless value system of singular, personal standards and beliefs and indiscriminate deference towards every other standard and every other belief of seven billion fellow humans on planet earth, all in the name of freedom. Taken to its logical conclusion this is not the viewpoint of sober, sentient human beings but the infantile musings of nihilists, the end whereof is anarchy, not freedom – and certainly not liberty.