Our National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. and in various churches, this Sunday, May 17, 2020, will be honoring our brave military who have served faithfully for our freedom and democracy. We must remember that there was great cost.
What exactly is FREEDOM and its COST to us today?
This might be the time to ask ourselves some hard questions, as we have been told recently that we must forfeit many of our freedoms for the “good of all.” We have to ask ourselves what will be the great cost to our democracy and freedom, as we see many private decisions slowly drifting…or rapidly falling into someone else’s hands to make choices for us….such as when we can work, run our businesses, shop, go to school etc. etc. ?
We, as citizens, appreciate warnings to potential danger and given a heads-up to prepare individually and within our community…just as we do when a devastating hurricane is approaching Florida or any part of our country.
I can never remember our local news saying “You are mandated to board up your house and stay inside because you could die from this approaching storm!!”
They just inform us and expect that as responsible people we will prepare and do what is right for us and the neighbors around us. Is EVERYONE always responsible? NEVER...not in the past and not in the future. Some houses blow away and people are sometimes killed, but we then try to help as much as possible to rebuild lives. One thing is certain, people are generous, helpful and outright heroic in many situations. Most do not expect government handouts unless they are in dire need. Faith based organizations hand out food with these disasters and as they are doing now.
This is DEMOCRACY…and personal responsibility. This is what our military men and women have bravely fought to maintain.
No governments… local, national, or international are able to have perfect answers when they begin dictating to the masses. State and community rules/regulations that help our society are expected, when they don’t interfere with with our Constitutional rights that will be discussed later. The individual is the patriot, the guy next door…like all of our military.
Our honored military have sacrificed so much for their country’s freedom. Do you think they were afraid? Of course they were, but they knew without freedom we would have nothing to live for. They went…They served…and they are loved for it! Are people afraid today? Yes, for certain, if they are about to lose everything they have worked hard for over the years or if they have elderly parents who are facing things alone. Wars were fought to keep our independence, starting with the Revolutionary War.
- WHY did the U.S. and other freedom loving countries get involved in the wars listed below? There is a simple answer….
TO PROTECT OUR FREEDOM TO MAKE OUR OWN WAY OF LIFE AND DECISIONS WITHOUT INTERVENTION FROM A DICTATORSHIP...whatever the name may be.
- Why should we be concerned today? I’m certain you are pondering your answer.
- There is also another question that we should be asking ourselves:
How do countries slowly, or not so slowly, lose their independence and freedom of choice?
“Although regimes vary widely, most dictators have at least a few things in common. They don’t come to power through free, constitutional elections. They often take control during coups d’etats, revolutions or…
states of emergency.
Once they have control, they have absolute, sole power.” (Encyclopedia Britannica)
- What about deaths brought on by men who cared nothing about freedom for their citizens…only about their own power?
(Deaths caused by three of the worst dictators: Joseph Stalin 43,000,000 Mao Zedong 38,000,000+ Adolf Hitler 21,000,000)
- What about the dictators of today’s communist countries to whom we are giving much of our allegiance…wealth and intellectual property?
At the present time, we know there are gulags around the world where thousands are languishing and dying because they have no voice and are arrested with no recourse for protesting or speaking out about their government’s activities. (The term, gulag, is a prison camp where conditions are extremely bad and the prisoners are forced to work very hard. The name gulag comes from the prison camps in the former Soviet Union.) Collins dictionary
Military conflict has taken place during every year of the 20th Century. There were only short periods of time that the world was free of war. The total number of deaths caused by war during the 20th Century has been estimated at 187 million and is probably higher. (from Imperial War Museums)
20th and 21st Century’s major wars:
- The First World War 1914–1918
- The Second World War 1939–1945
- The Korean War 1950–1953
Slide presentation: (Give each picture a moment to change)
- The Vietnam War, 1955-75
- The Gulf War, 1990–1991
- The War in Afghanistan 2001–2014
- The Iraq War and Insurgency, 2003–2011
- The Global War on Terrorism, 2001–present
Our freedom today in America and around the world is due to those who were willing to stand up and go into harms way to defend freedom. This is why we honor them today in our churches, who still have church services…via the internet and TV broadcasts. Because most churches place the physical health of their congregations as a priority, it was only the wise thing to do until they were able to assemble together again. How to do this was up to the church to decide what was best to continue giving people the opportunity to worship. Faith is alive and well, even if it is a family gathering around the TV at home. Underground churches have had to find creative ways to worship God in the past and present throughout the world.
A minister was arrested in Florida for not closing his church, which caused infection to spread from those not knowing they were carrying the Coronavirus. This act of defiance by the pastor, which was totally unwise at the time, lead the Governor of Florida to make this statement as the right to worship was being challenged by the local authority:
“I don’t know that [governments] would have the authority, quite frankly, to close a religious institution.” Governor DeSantis said in deciding not to shutter churches in Florida. “The Constitution doesn’t get suspended here.”
- What does our U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights guarantee us?
Our Constitution, through Amendment 1, guarantees FREEDOM of RELIGION, SPEECH, PRESS, PEACEABLE ASSEMBLY and petition of grievances. Many young men and women have been willing to die for this freedom. Many have!
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
To all our military…from all wars…we THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE AND YOUR DEDICATION TO FREEDOM!
My husband ,who is a retired U.S. Navy Chaplain, will be presenting the sermon from St. James Episcopal Church in Florida. This will be taped ahead of time to be aired on Sunday, May 17. If interested in watching, it can be viewed on YouTube any time on or after May 17. (Go to YouTube and type St. James Episcopal Church, Leesburg, Florida to view and choose the service for May 17.)