“The man of the true religious tradition understands two things: liberty and obedience. The first means knowing what you really want. The second means knowing what you really trust.” – G.K. Chesterton
“Liberty correctly understood is the right to choose between good things in order to develop the highest reaches of our personality. But for Liberalism, liberty was not something moral, but rather something physical. It means to do, to think, or to say whatever one pleases without any regard for society, tradition, objective standards or authority. This, as can readily be seen. is not liberty but license. If liberty meant absence of all constraint, as Liberalism said it did, then the policeman who refuses to permit me to drive through a red light is interfering with my liberty, which of course is sheer nonsense.” – Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
Neither Conservatism nor Liberalism defines liberty. If liberty’s aim is not toward the common good then it is not liberating. The two components of liberty are justice and charity. If one group gives themselves solely to one or the other component then there is an imbalance which cannot serve the goal of the common good. In doing so justice would then tend toward cruelty and charity toward sentimentality. This is the place of division in which we now find ourselves. My parents and grandparents would find this place alienating, for it is here where the liberty they once held dear is lost.
On this eve before the celebration of our independence we, as a people, are at a crossroad. Our college students, born in this country, for the most part are incapable of answering the basic questions about our history that a legal immigrant must to attain citizenship. From elementary school through college the lack of emphasis on the Constitution and traditions deny these young citizens an understanding of their history and basic rights, and therefore opens them to manipulation and perversion of those rights. When such a thing happens the seeds of tyranny and anarchy have been planted, thereby, threatening the freedom born of democracy and distorting the traditional fabric of our nation until its identity is lost.
The regrets of assuming fools are meaningless, when their indifference has led to the loss of the most valued things of life. Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing. If we do not now hold fast to the best in our past and bring it into our future we will then be unrecognizable. And when we have lost our identity, we will be subject to indeterminable horrors.
To be free of something is to be free for something else. If that something else is the pursuit of unbridled indulgences alone, then one may find oneself not free at all .