What is Freedom?


A friend of mine sent me the following text, describing what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence.


She was trying to make a point of how freedom isn’t free.


That’s a contradiction: if freedom isn’t free, then it isn’t freedom, is it?


Let me tell you what I know about the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, risking their lives for it. I know that they signed it because of their strength of character. I know they signed it because they felt strongly about getting out from under the taxation by Great Britain. They must have decided at the gut level that they couldn’t go on the way things were.


They were “taking liberty”, which no one can take away from you. Even in a jail cell, no one can tell you what to think or believe. They can take your life, but they can’t take your spirit.


Yes, freedom must be defended. But to say that it isn’t free, well, that just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I exercise my freedom every day, and I can exercise it in my death by showing my character as an example of that freedom.


So to say that you need to kill or be killed to have freedom, that’s just not true. No one can take away something that is your birthright.


Now, many people complain that we are “slaves” to our government. If you want to be a victim, go ahead and feel that way. I oppose this thinking by making choices of my own that don’t involve the government. If they want to tax me and use it in ways I object to, I have the choice to rail against the system. I think I’ve made it pretty clear that I don’t like what our government is doing with our taxpayer money. In fact, I think I could run the government at a fraction of the “budget” it used in Clinton’s time. I’m not jaded by bureaucrats or beholden to special interests. I would cut so much waste, so many pork barrel projects and subsidies, it would disturb the wealthy. But we would be so much better off than where we are today.


If things continue to go the way they’re headed, we won’t have a last bastion of freedom where we can flee to anymore. And we certainly don’t want to be confined to our cells by an overly military government either. Join me in regaining control over our country, instead of letting the biggest corporations have their way with us.


Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?

Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died.

Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.  Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured.

Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.

They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

What kind of men were they?

Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists.  Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well educated, but they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.

Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.

Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly.  He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.

Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.  At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.

Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.


John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying.  Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished.


So, take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and silently thank these patriots. It’s not much to ask for the price they paid.  Remember: freedom is never free!

What she should have said is: “freedom must be exercised” If you don’t use it, you lose it, so educate yourself and VOTE!


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