With Freedom Comes Responsibility

I follow technology issues. Pressure has been building for quite some time for the social platform providers to clamp down on hate speech. The whining that follows inevitably cites “free speech.” It is my firm belief that any freedom not treated with responsibility is not a freedom for all.

I think about Jesus setting people free–from sins, from health issues, from mental health issues (demons). He always had some sort of responsibility tied to it.

The men who founded a government in the US based on liberty as a foundation had much to say about liberty and responsibility. I remembered one, but I thought I’d better check my sources. So I found this Website with quotes from the founders of the US government:

George Washington said: “Virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government,”[6] and “Human rights can only be assured among a virtuous people.”

Benjamin Franklin said: “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.” 

James Madison stated: “To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical [imaginary] idea.”

Thomas Jefferson wrote, “No government can continue good but under the control of the people; and … their minds are to be informed by education what is right and what wrong; to be encouraged in habits of virtue and to be deterred from those of vice … These are the inculcations necessary to render the people a sure basis for the structure and order of government.”

Samuel Adams said: “Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt. He therefore is the truest friend of the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue.”

Patrick Henry stated that: “A vitiated [impure] state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom.”

John Adams stated: “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Virtue ennobles individual character and lifts society as a whole. Virtuous principles eschew prejudice and discrimination, confirming that “all men are created equal.” Virtue encompasses characteristics of goodwill, patience, tolerance, kindness, respect, humility, gratitude, courage, honor, industry, honesty, chastity and fidelity. These precepts serve as the cornerstones for both individual happiness and societal governance.

Or maybe adding in the Apostle Paul who asked rhetorically once, “Since we are freed from the consequences of sin, should we go out and sin more so that we can get more grace?” His answer, of course, was “No”. Then he wrote letter after letter explaining a better way to live.

One Response to “With Freedom Comes Responsibility”

  1. josephruizjr Says:

    Well said! Quotes are powerful reminders. Thanks Gary.

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