Monday, July 4, 2011

Freedom In Virtue

                                         Jon McNaughton's One Nation Under God                                                              


America, America,
God mend thine ev’ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.


I have to be honest~I haven't felt much like celebrating Independence Day for the last few years. As I look around this country of ours and see what has become of what our forefathers fought for, I become a bit dismayed. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are three of the first things mentioned in the Declaration of Independence. Our nation has become a place where the culture has become one of death rather than life, morals and virtue are seen as a sign of weakness, and in general life has become all about us as individuals. None of that has anything to do with true freedom and everything to do with license (licentiousness).
Now I don't mean to concentrate on the negatives, nor do I believe these things are only going on in the United States, but as today is an American holiday celebrating freedom from tyranny I won't get into the global situation.
True freedom comes from being able to do what is morally right, following natural law, not necessarily man's law. It means living the virtues. Thomas Jefferson mentions the virtue of prudence in the Declaration of Independence so our founding fathers knew that the true freedom they were fighting for meant being able to live a moral and virtuous life.
The verse I quoted at the beginning of this post is from the second stanza of America the Beautiful. Confirm Thy Soul in Self Control is also the title of an essay by Dr. Paul Kengor. This essay captures the spirit and true meaning of what Independence Day should be.
As we gather today with friends and family, let us thank God for the freedom we still have and pray for the conversion of this country~ as the song says: America, may God shed His grace on Thee. Let us also thank Him for the true freedom that comes to us in His Son, Jesus Christ.

*Click the link under the painting for a larger version and a key to those portrayed in the painting.

5 comments:

Victor S E Moubarak said...

Happy 4th always to you and yours.

God bless.

Daily Grace said...

God's blessings to you Karinann

mary333 said...

I hear you, Karin. People have forgotten what true freedom is. The freedom many people seek is actually a form of bondage though they do not realize it.

This painting is a favorite of mine ever since you first put it up. Talk about speaking without words! This painting speaks volumes!

This is a straightforward, honest post and I believe this is what Jesus asks of us in this country and around the world - to see the truth that is staring us in the face. One has to wonder how much more obvious God has to make things before we "get it".

Karinann said...

Thanks Victor, Daily Grace and Mary.
Mary, I agree this picture does speak volumes which is why I always go back to it. As for how much more obvious God has to make things, I shudder to think!

Colleen said...

Great post! I have to say that I feel the same way. I am thankful that I live in a country that is free in the democratic sense. But with some of the things going on now, it is as if people have forgotten what true freedom means. You said it so well here. I am going to check out that link now.
Thanks for putting my post on your sidebar. God bless!

Closing Prayer

Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King

My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.

Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.