Freedom is a gift, but it’s a gift that comes with certain responsibilities. It requires us to be accountable for ourselves. On the one hand, we don’t want anything to get in the way of our freedoms, but on the other hand, some folks can’t handle their freedom. In America, we want the right (and have the dream) to work and supply for ourselves, without government not as supervening mommy. Leave me alone and let me make my own decisions. Yet already we’re seeing breathalyzers built into cell phones to prevent drunk-dialing or cars to prevent drunk driving. We’ve seen the demise of super sizes because McDonald’s made us fat. Not us. We didn’t drink too much or eat too much. Other people were responsible for that.

It’s a vicious cycle: we want options, freedoms, choices; but when things go wrong, we blame others, be they government, church, or our circle of friends. In the larger scheme of things, society tends to over react and, as a consequence limit (or at least encroach on our) freedoms in order to protect the few that can’t handle their choices. We have this fear of ourselves, of others, of community, of government, religion, and of the unknown. We definitely have a fear of taking chances, making mistakes, and being held accountable.

Truth be told, too many people want to be told what to do; that’s why there is such a comfort to rules, that’s the draw of becoming legalistic or fundamentalist. They want the black and white picture of reality and hate (or at least distrust) anything that smacks of gray. And they don’t mind the encroachment of their freedoms in order to secure their vision of safety.

The price of true freedom is personal accountability. Freedom goes against our sense of control, and ultimately, that’s what the extra rules that make up our walk boil down to. Freedom means challenging yourself and exploring new ideas, not sealing yourself away from everything that you might consider an evil influences. No amount of rules or intervention by the government in the name of safety and security is going to keep everyone from abusing the freedom that they have been given. Or being abused by it. There are simply consequences to our choices. With great freedom comes great responsibility.

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